U.S. Rep. Joe Garcia presented retired Chief Warrant Officer Anthony Atwood with the Civilian Marksmanship Program’s (CMP) Patriot Award on Feb. 18 at the Miami VA Healthcare System.
The Civilian Marksmanship Program is a national organization dedicated to training and educating U.S. citizens in responsible uses of firearms and air guns through gun safety training, marksmanship training and competitions. The CMP is a federally chartered 501(c)(3) corporation that places its highest priority on serving youth through gun safety and marksmanship activities that encourage personal growth and build life skills.
With of more than 20 years of military experience, CWO Atwood is a retired Navy reservist (NOSC Miami).
Atwood, who has long been a tireless supporter of the veteran’s community in South Florida, teaches military history among other subjects at Florida International University and is also the executive director for the Military Museum of South Florida.
“He has been involved in the veteran’s community for a long time and is the definition of a true patriot,” Garcia said.
The 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.
The CMP actively assists the mission of our armed services. As such, the organization created the Patriots Program, where outstanding citizens are recognized for their contributions to our country.
The Patriot Award is represented by the presentation of an actual M1 Garand, the rifle. Scott Maddox, of the CMP, presented the rifle to Atwood along with Congressman Garcia and Dr. Vincent DeGennaro, chief of staff at the Miami VA.