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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.


CMP iPhone App - CMP is the official app for keeping score at Civilian Marksmanship Program sponsored shooting events. It features an easy to use interface that allows for quick recording of your score after each string. The CMP app calculates your shooting percentages automatically to let you know how you are doing throughout the event. You can also enter notes and record conditions so that you have a permanent record of details of each event.  This application is sponsored and endorsed by the Civilian Marksmanship Program and a portion of the proceeds from the sale of this software are donated to the CMP.  The CMP app is designed for both the iPhone and iPad.  This application is sponsored and endorsed by the Civilian Marksmanship Program and a portion of the proceeds from the sale of this software are donated to the CMP.  Visit
id379873392?mt=8# to view and purchase the CMP app.


The Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) invites you to participate in the fifth annual Camp Perry Open. This year’s match will include a three-position air rifle competition, an international air rifle (all standing) event, a pistol course of fire, and an optional clinic held at the CMP Marksmanship Center – North at Camp Perry, Ohio. The matches will be held 14 -16 January 2011. For more information, visit


Printable Version

USAMU’s Olson Continues Pursuit of a Marksmanship Dream

By Steve Cooper, CMP Writer

ANNISTON, ALABAMA – Sergeant First Class Josh Olson, a member of the US Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) rifle team, lost his right leg to a rocket propelled grenade attack during a routine patrol in Tal Afar, Iraq in October 2003, but thanks to an engaging rehabilitation program at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and a USAMU initiative to retain wounded warriors who demonstrate excellent marksmanship skills, he has resumed his dream of serving his country in ways he hadn’t imagined before.

SFC Josh Olson takes part as an out-of-competition shooter during the first day’s final at the 2010 Dixie Double in Anniston.

SFC Olson, of Salem, Alabama spent two days with teammates and fellow shooters at the CMP’s Dixie Double Precision Air Rifle and Air Pistol Event where he fired as an out-of-competition precision air rifle participant. Because it is a 60-shot standing match times-two event, he fired from a seated “prone” position and thereby couldn’t compete fairly with others. Though he wears a full leg prosthesis at the office and when competing in prone competition, SFC Olson said it gets uncomfortable when traveling or sitting for long periods of time.

USAMU competitors also served as shooter clinic instructors at the 2010 Dixie Double. From the left are SSG Hank Gray, SFC Josh Olson, 1LT Chris Abalo and SFC Jason Parker.

At the Dixie Double, essentially a practice match for him, he quietly fired the highest aggregate score in the event.

While on a routine patrol in Tal Afar, Iraq in October 2003, SFC Josh Olson and his squad were ambushed by insurgents who fired rocket propelled grenades into his squad’s vehicles. This patrol photo from Tal Afar was taken in 2005. Photo courtesy of U.S. Army.

SFC Olson hasn’t lost his drive to be the best soldier he can be, he just doesn’t kick in doors looking for enemy insurgents for a living anymore. Instead, Olson now helps improve the marksmanship skills of fellow soldiers and represents the Army in high profile rifle matches at home and abroad.

Though he didn’t realize it at the time, SFC Olson was set on a career-altering path that horrible day in the congested arid city of Tel Afar, 40 miles west of Mosul and a couple hundred miles northwest of Baghdad. It was a path that began with basic training at Fort Benning, Georgia, followed by two years at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, six months in Kosovo and a year in South Korea.

SFC Olson was deployed to Iraq early in 2003 and found himself leading a squad with the 1st Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division, riding in the lead vehicle when ambushed. He left the vehicle to return fire when an RPG rocked his truck and blew his leg out from under him.

“I took an RPG blast pretty much to my entire right thigh,” he said. When his comrades got things under control they picked him up and loaded him onto a truck for emergency medical treatment.

“I was in pretty bad shape. I was med-evacuated and woke up about eight days later at Walter Reed Army Medical Center,” he explained.

Like this medical evacuation photo from Tal Afar, Iraq, SFC Olson was flown by helicopter to Mosul, Iraq and then transported by airplane to Landstuhl, Germany prior to his return to the U.S. Photo courtesy of U.S. Army.

During his blackout, SFC Olson was flown by helicopter to nearby 21st Combat Support Hospital in Mosul and prepped for airlift to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany and lastly to Walter Reed AMC in Washington D.C. In the care of the Amputee Patient Care Program at Walter Reed, he was in and out of the hospital for a total of 18 months due to a number of complications.

SFC Olson received 18 months of inpatient and outpatient care at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, D.C. prior to reactivating with the Army, eventually assigned to the USAMU.

“During my time at Walter Reed, a lot of the physical therapy and occupational therapy events we did involved shooting. I always loved to shoot growing up but nothing competitive,” he said. “It was with a BB gun in the backyard and occasionally I got to take a .22 out.”

“When at Walter Reed, we were actually shooting sporting clays and I shot really well. One of the occupational therapists said AMU was looking for amputees who wanted to stay on active duty and possibly try out for the Paralympics.”

“I jumped at the opportunity and was able to stay on active duty. It took the paperwork about seven months to get straightened out, but I finally got down to the unit and started shooting,” he said.

SFC Olson credits his coaches, facilities and teammates for his marksmanship development.

“I’m shooting with some the greatest shooters in the world so it’s really hard not to do well,” SFC Olson added.

He began shooting competitively in June 2005 and went through a ‘baptism of fire’ at Camp Perry and in international competition, he said. When he’s not shooting a precision air rifle, SFC Olson competes in .22 caliber international rifle. Following the CMP Dixie Double, he participated in the Championship of the Americas (CAT Games) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in the prone able-body event. He also plans to shoot in the USA Shooting Winter Airgun Championships (formerly known as 3X Air) at Colorado Springs in December.

SFC Olson is looking forward to the possibility of competing in the Paralympic Games or Olympic Games in London in 2012. He will try out for both, and would fire as a disabled shooter in the Paralympics or as an able-bodied competitor on equal terms with other world-class shooters in the Olympics. He said if he doesn’t make the Olympic team, he’ll know he’s done his best to get there.

When not competing, SFC Olson helps train National Guard and Reserve soldiers prepare for combat prior to deployment.

“If I can help one person learn skills that will save their life or that of a buddy, it will be well worth it.”

According to LTC Dan Hodne, Commander of the USAMU, the Army is looking for wounded warriors like SFC Olson to represent the Army as Paralympic shooters, serve as marksmanship instructors, and exhibit the notion of "Army Strong."

To view SFC Olson’s official results at the CMP’s Dixie Double Event, log onto To view additional photos from the event, log onto For more information about the USAMU, log onto


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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
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