CMP history goes back to late 19th century efforts by U.S. military and political leaders to strengthen our country’s national defense capabilities by improving the rifle marksmanship skills of members of the Armed Forces.
The CMP traces its direct lineage to 1903 when Congress and President Theodore Roosevelt established the National Board for the Promotion of Rifle Practice (NBPRP) and the National Matches. From then until 1996, first the Department of War and later the Department of the Army managed the program that became known as the “civilian marksmanship program. During this period, program objectives shifted from military marksmanship to training civilians who might serve in the military to developing youth through marksmanship training. In 1996, Congress acted again to establish the Corporation for the Promotion of Rifle Practice and Firearm Safety that now governs the CMP.
In addition to being a lead organization in the annual conduct of the National Matches, the CMP is the national governing body for several shooting sport disciplines that include Service Rifle and Pistol, As-Issued Military Rifle, Rimfire Sporter and National Match Air Rifle. The CMP provides competition rules and sanctioning services for events in each of these disciplines. It now sanctions over one thousand local and regional competitions a year in these disciplines.
The CMP pioneered in developing its Competition Tracker system that applies computer and Internet technology to manage its database of competitors and manage competitions. Competition Tracker was the first such system in the world to support the live posting of competition results on the Internet. The CMP is also the custodian of the Distinguished Badge program that was initiated by the U. S. Army in 1884. Since Distinguished Badges are awards inaugurated by the U. S. Government, they are especially prestigious and coveted.