Legends: Joe DeCosta 1932-2024

Longtime NRA National Matches Range Engineer Joe DeCosta sadly passed away on March 21, 2024, at the age of 91.

posted on April 12, 2024
Joe DeCosta, the longtime NRA Range Engineer at Camp Perry and Camp Atterbury who many of his staff affectionately referred to as “Mr. D.,” passed away peacefully at his home on Thursday, March 21, 2024.
Archive photo

Joe DeCosta, who was associated with the National Matches for 50 years, sadly passed away at his home on Thursday, March 21. He was 91 years old.

Joe DeCosta with target
Joe DeCosta served as the NRA Range Engineer at the National Matches at Camp Perry in Ohio for more than 30 years before retiring in 2014. DeCosta was so dedicated to the shooting sports that he came out of his well-deserved retirement to work as the Range Engineer once again for the NRA at the National Matches at Camp Atterbury in 2017.


A retired Marine, DeCosta was the NRA Range Engineer at Camp Perry for close to 35 years before retiring from that role in 2014. In 2017, he came out of retirement to once again serve as the Range Engineer, this time at the NRA National Matches at Camp Atterbury. He enjoyed every minute working at the National Matches and it was also a family affair for him, with two of his daughters also working on the Camp Perry range crew. In addition, DeCosta’s late wife of 63 years, Jeanne, accompanied him to Camp Perry for many summers and spent 18 years managing the NRA Entry Office.

“Joe DeCosta was a fantastic friend to the NRA Competitive Shooting Division and the NRA,” NRA Competitive Shooting Division Director Cole McCulloch said. “Upon my arrival in 2017, Joe was quick to assist me in understanding the NRA National Matches and worked tirelessly to help our team deliver the National Matches over the next several years. I won’t ever forget Joe.”

DeCosta entered the Marine Corps in 1951 at age 19, serving honorably for 26 years. He competed on the Marine Corps pistol and rifle teams, earning Distinguished Badges for both. After his notable career as a Marine, DeCosta signed on to serve as the Assistant Range Engineer at Camp Perry in 1983, going on to take over the main NRA Range Engineer role one year later. His shooting knowledge in multiple disciplines, keen leadership, teamwork and “say yes first” mentality made him a solid choice for the position.

DeCosta leaves behind a legacy of 26 years serving in the Marine Corps and more than 35 years as the NRA Range Engineer at Camp Perry and Camp Atterbury, along with the many employees he mentored during that time. His work ethic and values shined through his teaching and leadership at the National Matches for more than three decades.

One of DeCosta’s longtime employees, Matt Sandwisch, penned a memorial to him that you can read at the CMP website.

A service for Joe DeCosta will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, June 24, 2024, at Covenant Funeral Service in Stafford, Virginia. Interment will follow at Quantico National Cemetery.

Joe DeCosta

Legends: Joseph Marshall DeCosta
May 12, 1932 – March 21, 2024


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