Teresa Casey, JROTC Air Rifle Championship Pioneer, Celebrates Retirement
April 24, 2022Civilian Marksmanship Program▸The First Shot▸Teresa Casey, JROTC Air Rifle Championship Pioneer, Celebrates Retirement
The Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) would like to wish a happy retirement to Teresa Casey, who officially retired from Naval Service Training Command NJROTC Program Support on Jan. 31, 2022.
In the world of junior air rifle, Casey was an essential part of molding one of CMP’s most popular events of the year, the Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) Sporter and Precision Air Rifle Championships. As the program coordinator for the Navy JROTC (NJROTC) marksmanship program, she was a key leader in developing a relationship with the CMP as well as growing Navy marksmanship programs, including shoulder-to-shoulder competition.
“From my career, I am probably the most proud of two things,” Casey said. “Supporting Naval Aviation, especially during Desert Shield and Desert Storm, and supporting cadets, instructors and host high schools that make NJROTC the outstanding citizenship development program that it absolutely is.”
Casey worked for the Department of the Navy as a Civil Servant for 39.5 years. Her journey with the department began at age 16 when she served onboard the Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, at the Naval Aviation Depot, Quality Assurance Department. The position was a part-time co-op in a work skills program through Escambia High School, where she graduated from in 1984.
From there, she was hired full time as a clerk – a title she held for the next three years. Casey then moved on to Production Controller (a.k.a. parts chaser and job scheduler) for manufacturing aircraft electrical cables for eight years. The depot eventually underwent base realignment and closure, but Casey was able to get a job with the NJROTC program.
In 1993, she took a supply position in NJROTC, shipping textbooks to high school units. Soon after, she was moved to the headquarters office in Operations, “on loan” for three months to organize New Instructor Orientation Training – a stay that lasted for the next 28 years.
Along the way and as the NJROTC Program Analyst, she supported many operational aspects of the NJROTC Program, which, since around 2000, included marksmanship and an annual sporter air rifle postal competition. She took the marksmanship agenda and, with passion, expanded it to the prominent program it remains today.
“It is safe to say her contributions to our sport are immeasurable, and she should be lauded as one of the great unsung heroes in the shooting community,” said Brad Donoho, CMP smallbore manager.
Casey’s relationship with the CMP began when the organization was called upon to score the Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Postal.
“That one request is what started it all for us,” said Donoho, who currently serves as the chief range officer for the JROTC Championships. “After that call, the Army, Marine Corps and Air Force JROTC Postals happened soon after, and JROTC marksmanship participation skyrocketed.”
The first NJROTC Shoulder-to-Shoulder Championship was held in Millington, Tennessee, in 2002, before moving on to the prestigious Army Marksmanship Unit at Ft. Benning, Georgia.
“With the incredible support of the CMP,” Casey added.
Her relationship with the CMP fully developed after she attended the CMP National Youth Leadership Conference at Camp Perry, Ohio, where she met young marksmanship supporters from around the country. She went on to meet Gary Anderson, who was CMP’s Director of Civilian Marksmanship (DCM) at the time. The two became colleagues and friends over the years – sharing similar goals for youth marksmanship athletes.
“His vision and hard work to standardize youth marksmanship rules and safety as well as to increase competition opportunities laid the foundation of success for the Three-Position Air Rifle Rules, the formation of a Council . . . to standardize training safety and create or support sanctioned national competitions for cadets,” Casey said of Anderson.
“Just to meet and learn from the best on all levels was my very humbling privilege,” she went on.
Anderson became the DCM in late 1999. Soon after, he and Casey began working with the Navy, Army and Marine Corps Cadet Commands in building the relationships that led to the current CMP-JROTC partnership that is highlighted by the National JROTC Air Rifle Championship, now held at CMP’s air gun facilities each year, and the JROTC Marksmanship Instructor (JMIC) Program.
“For many years, Teresa Casey has been one of the most influential junior shooting leaders in our country,” said Anderson, who is still active in CMP programs and stands as the DCM Emeritus. “Literally hundreds of thousands of American youths owe their start in marksmanship to Teresa Casey’s efforts to promote the Navy JROTC marksmanship program.”
To mark her successful incorporation of the precision class in national competition for NJROTC cadets, the NJROTC Precision Champion traveling trophy, a coveted award, was named in Casey’s honor in 2003.
“It’s especially meaningful to me because the other trophy for the sporter class is named for a most-respected gentleman, friend and mentor to me and countless others – the multi-Olympic gold medalist, Gary Anderson,” she remarked.
Anderson added of Casey, “I have nothing but the highest respect for her and her commitment to youth in the Navy JROTC program. Junior marksmanship is going to miss Teresa.”
Casey’s relief is onboard, LCDR (Ret) Paula Sawdy-Bowes, who is a former instructor, coach and the National 3PAR Council member for Navy Junior ROTC. She is the former Senior Naval Science Instructor of 15 years at Greenway High School in Phoenix, Arizona, and was also coach of the unit’s marksmanship team – competing nationally.
“She has tremendous leadership and operational experience as a Naval officer,” Casey said. “It took a while to fill my position, and she was well worth the wait to maintain and advance the NJROTC Program. In her short time on the NJROTC staff, she has quickly adapted her unit working knowledge to the national program office level already producing very positive results.”
In retirement, Casey is planning to spend her days with family and enjoy free time she hasn’t been able to experience in decades.
“I will miss most working with all of the hard-working, dedicated instructors who make the wheels of the program turn each day to bring this program to reality at the unit level for the cadets,” she said. “I would miss the cadets and watching their incredible achievements at events, but I plan to attend as a spectator whenever possible.”
“I’d like to convey special thanks and a hearty ‘BZ!’ to my Pensacola coworkers, especially Rick Coar, Larry Wingard, Commander Mark Watson, USN Ret., Dr. J.D. Smith and current Director, Captain Tim Daseler, USN Ret., who helped make all of this possible for many years due to their hard work and support,” she added. “I would be remiss if I didn’t extend my sincere appreciation to all who have taught me so much and supported me throughout my career. There have been countless wonderful people working together to make opportunities for our amazing cadets to succeed and lead us in the future.”
Thank you, Teresa Casey, for your years of diligence and commitment to youth! From all of us at the CMP, we truly wish you the best in your most deserved retirement.