Back to First Shot Front Cover!   
CMP Home Page TFS Articles Archives CMP Competitions Home Page CMP Forum CMP Sales  AUG-2014

For Email Marketing you can trust

Click here to go to the CMP Forum to read & post questions.

We want your feedback! Please let us know what you think about TFS. Do you have an interesting story or article that you would like to share? If so, please let us know!


The Civilian Marksmanship Program is dedicated to the respect for and safe handling of firearms, instilling patriotism and discipline in our youth participants.  The CMP provides its constituents with the highest level of instruction in the proper control of firearms by highly-skilled coaches and veteran range safety officers in the classroom, at our ranges and wherever the CMP banner is displayed. 

Upcoming CMP Events:

Tuesday & Thursday Night Open Public Shooting
CMP Marksmanship Centers,
Port Clinton, OH
Anniston, AL

Shooters, including aspiring new shooters are invited to take advantage of a new opportunity to do practice shooting.  Both ranges consist of 80-point, 10-meter air gun range and are fully equipped with electronic targets that accommodate air rifle, air pistol or National Match Air Rifle shooting.  Instruction and equipment are also available.  Visit
MarksmanshipCenters.htm  for additional information.

Download a CMP Sales
Catalog Today

CMP Applications & Software

The CMP currently offers three Apps for shooting sports. Each download supports the Civilian Marksmanship Program. For more information, visit

Please note the changes for the 2014 National Match Schedule posted at


 Photos may be downloaded or ordered on our website at

Printable Version

Civilian Teams Emerge as Leaders in the 2014 National Trophy Infantry Team Match

By Ashley Brugnone, CMP Writer/Editor

CAMP PERRY, OH – On July 20, for only the third time in the event’s 92-year existence, a civilian team outshot the rest in the National Trophy Infantry Team (NTIT) match. Nicknamed the “Rattle Battle” for the quick strings of rapid fire the match demands, the NTIT hosts civilian, junior and military teams – requiring an astounding amount of concentration and camaraderie for success.


The Army Marksmanship Unit (AMU) is always an impressive spectacle during the Rattle Battle, with their precise techniques and sharp eyes. Despite their precision, this year, the AMU fell short of victory – finishing in sixth place.

Making history as overall champions of the 2014 match was the Virginia Firearms Education and Marksmanship, Inc. (VFEMI), with a score of 1359. Team members are Alvin Bethel, John Boynton, Clyde Bryant, James Otto, Roman Podshivalov and Gregory Spitzer. The team is coached by David Kozikowski, while Jon Geel serves as Captain. VFEMI is only the third civilian team in the history of the NTIT to earn the overall title.


Each year, members of the junior team from California find themselves in a hairy (sometimes hair-LESS) situation, as they break out their razors to stand out amongst the other competitors.

“To be on the top of the winning civilian list is one thing, but to be on the top of the list over everyone – it’s unbelievable,” said team member John Boynton, 50, of Springfield, VA.

Because of their home location in Virginia, the team has the advantage of being able to practice at the nearby Marine Corps base at Quantico. Now, with their recent win, the team may have to look for new facilities to hone their skills.

“We’re fortunate to have that facility so close. We can’t brag there now or we might get disinvited for beating the Marine Corps team,” said Boynton, jokingly.


The NTIT is one of the most anticipated events during the National Match season. With its rapid nature and intense competition between civilian and military teams, the event is considered one of the most popular spectator-friendly matches at Camp Perry.

The NTIT was first fired in 1922. Previously, only two Civilian teams had won the match: the Nebraska Civilian team in 1930 and the California Grizzlies Junior Team in 2009. Civilians led the competition this year, coming in the top three places.

The “Rattle Battle” is unique to other events because of its emphasis on fast, accurate firing in a team setting. This year, 37 teams fired in the event.


Coaches stand behind the competitors on the firing line to call wind and give guidance throughout the match.

Junior teams also make their ways to the firing line for the NTIT, like the Michigunners, based out of Michigan. The team practices all year for the Rattle Battle match, with the guidance of Lewis Gaddie. According to him, there’s more than just strategy that goes into properly training for the event.

“We want them to have fun, but we want them to do their job,” he said. “They take their shooting very seriously. We try to teach them from their mistakes. But they still have fun.”


One of the most important elements of the NTIT is ammunition. An appealing and unique part of the match is that teams are not required to fire from different positions – with their only objective being to fire until they’ve exhausted their rounds.

His first year helping coach the junior team for the Rattle Battle, Gaddie explains that there’s a definite difference between training juniors rather than adults.

“The maturity level is different. The kids actually listen better than the adults do,” he said, with a laugh. “The adults have a tendency to be a little hardheaded.”


Many different teams participate in the Rattle Battle because of the excitement the match can bring. Even wounded veterans form a team to compete in the fun and challenging event.

“It’s great seeing the juniors out here,” said John Spickard, 71, of Lebanon, TN, who helped coach the Snake Bit ORSA team in the match.

Spickard is a veteran of the NTIT, having fired in it many times before. This year, he served as coach instead of shooter in order to help cultivate other marksmen for the future of the event and allow others to enjoy the fun and excitement it guarantees.

“I like to let someone else shoot,” he said. “We just want to shoot a good score and have smiles on our faces and have a good time.”


During the NTIT, teams fire off 384 rounds from the 600, 400, 300 and 200 yard lines until all of their ammo is used. The match requires an incredible amount of focus and accuracy.

Coming in second place in the match was civilian team Coalinga Killer Rabbits of California, with a score of 1270. Following in third was yet another civilian team, TSRA Gold of Texas, with a score of 1243.

The CA Grizzlies Motherlode led the junior competition, with a score of 1100. Members are Sophie Christensen, Sean Depolo, Andrew Miller, Kasey Nelson, Hollie Swenson and Peter Tidball. The team is led by coach Miles Grove and captain Cheyanne Acebo.


Lewis Gaddie and his junior team, the Michigunners, finished eighth in the Junior Infantry Team competition. This was the first year Gaddie helped coach juniors for the Rattle Battle.

All Guard Gold finishing 5th overall and the top Reserve team earning the Celtic Chieftain Trophy with a score of 1204. Members are MSGT Edward Altmeyer, ARNG, SSG John Coggshall, ARNG, SSgt Leigh Jenks, ANG, CW3 David Kerin, ARNG, SSG Jonathan O’Neal, ARNG and TSft Daniel Rodriguez, ANG. The team is led by coach CW4 Rick Tanner, ARNG, and captain MSgt Garey Diefenderfer, ANG.


Winning the NTIT was the civilian team VFEMI. The team is only the third civilian team in over 90 years to defeat military marksmanship units in the match.

For more information on the National Trophy Infantry Team Match and other National Rifle Matches, visit Results can be viewed at Photos of the match can also be found at




Back to the Top

PROGRAMS:  For marksmanship training, competitions, National Matches, safety information and youth marksmanship.


Camp Perry Program Center
Phone: (419) 635-2141      Fax: (419) 635-2802

Mail & Shipping:
Civilian Marksmanship Program
P.O. Box 576 (mail)
Camp Perry Training Site, Bldg #3 (shipping)
Port Clinton, Ohio 43452
SALES:  For government surplus rifles and ammunition, CMP products and CMP memorabilia. 


Anniston Distribution Center
Phone: (256) 835-8455     Fax:  (256) 835-3527

Mail & Shipping:
Civilian Marksmanship Program
1401 Commerce Blvd
Anniston, Alabama 36207
Spam and Virus Filtering Provided byISP Services