National Matches First Shot Ceremony speakers

Civilian Marksmanship ProgramNational MatchesNational Matches First Shot Ceremony speakers

First Shot Speakers

The First Shot Ceremony is the official “opening ceremony” of the National Matches. Each year an invited special guest makes brief remarks to assembled competitors, match officials, volunteers, state and local military and government leaders. Several hundred people attend the ceremony each year.

After the First Shot Speaker’s remarks, they have the honor of firing the ceremonial “first shot” of the National Matches. The First Shot Ceremony typically takes place on Monday morning prior to the start of the National Matches on Rodriguez Range in front of the main Camp Perry flagpole.

2023 First Shot Speaker

SFC Brandon Green, USA, Junior Distinguished Badge #1, Distinguished Rifleman Badge and President’s Rifle Trophy National Record Holder.

First Shot Speaker, Sgt. 1st Class Brandon Green, USA, fired the M70 bolt rifle used by DCM Emeritus and two-time Olympic Gold Medalist, Gary Anderson, to shoot the National Matches 200-yard standing record in 1971, as well as during the 2014 First Shot Ceremony. SFC Green earned his Junior Air Rifle Distinguished Badge #1 in 2001, Distinguished Rifleman Badge in 2005 and currently holds the President’s Rifle Trophy National Record of 400-20X, set in 2018. 

2022 First Shot Speakers

Mr. Jon Bengtson, Treasurer, CMP Board of Directors, and Mr. Harry Sieben Jr., Secretary, CMP Board of Directors

Mr. Jon Bengtson, Treasurer,
CMP Board of Directors
Mr. Harry Sieben, Jr., Secretary,
CMP Board of Directors

Additional photos may be viewed at


Mr. E.C. (Cris) Stone, Vice Chair, CMP Board of Directors & Long-time Competitor and CMP Supporter


Maj. Gen. Clark LeMasters, Jr., Commanding General of the U.S. Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command, and the Senior Commander of TACOM Life Cycle Management Command, U.S. Army Garrison-Detroit Arsenal, Mich.

2017 First Shot Speaker

Major General John C. Harris, Jr., Assistant Adjutant General, Ohio Army National Guard Commander, Ohio Army National Guard

2016 First Shot Speaker

Oscar Mahlon Love, Jr.,
CMP Board of Directors

2015 First Shot Speaker

Congressman Robert Latta,
Ohio’s Fifth Congressional District

2014 First Shot Speaker

Mr. Gary Anderson, DCM Emeritus

2013 First Shot Speaker

LTG John Crosby,
CMP Board of Directors

2012 First Shot Speaker

LTG William E. Ingram JR.,
Director Army National Guard

2011 First Shot Speaker

Dr. Joseph Westphal,
Under Secretary of the U. S. Army

2010 First Shot Speaker

Ohio Governor Ted Strickland

2009 First Shot Speaker

Brig. Gen. Melvin G. Spiese, USMC

2008 First Shot Speaker

Mr. John Sigler,
President, National Rifle Association

 2007 First Shot Speaker

Mr. John McLaurin,
Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army

 2006 First Shot Speaker

Lieutenant General H Steven Blum,
Chief, National Guard Bureau

2005 First Shot Speaker

Major General Greg Wayt,
The Adjutant General, State of Ohio

2003 First Shot Speaker

Mr. William Blankenship,
World and National Champion

2002 First Shot Speaker

Mr. J.B. Hudson,
Administrative Assistant of the Secretary of the Army

2001 First Shot Speaker

Mrs. Nancy Johnson,
2000 Olympic Gold Medalist