Military Preparedness: Army's Civilian Marksmanship Program Is of Limited Value

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1990-05-23.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

                  United   States   General   Accounting   Office   i ,j
&A0               Report to the Chairman, Committee on               :
                  Armed Services, House of                           3
                  Representatives                                    B

May 1990
                  MILITARY                                            i2*ti
                  PREPAREDNESS                                        i:1
                  Army’s Cifim                                       )I
                  Marksmanship                                       ,/
                  Program Is of Limited                               \.*
                  Value                                                 .I

                          United States
GAO                       General Accounting  Office
                          Washington, D.C. 20548

                          National Security and
                          International Affairs Division


                          May 23,199O

                          The Honorable Les Aspin
                          Chairman, Committee on Armed Services
                          House of Representatives

                          Dear Mr. Chairman:

                          The House Armed Services Committee Report on the National Defense
                          Authorization Act for Fiscal Years 1990-1991 requested that we review
                          the Army’s Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) to evaluate its mis-
                          sion, purpose, usefulness, and cost. In March 1990, we testified before
                          your Subcommittee on Readiness on the results of our work to date.]
                          This is our final report.

                          The CMP was conceived in the early 1900s during a period in U.S. history
Results in Brief          when civilian training in marksmanship was viewed as essential to total
                          military preparedness. Its mission and purpose were simply to train U.S.
                          citizens in rifle skills in the event that they might later be inducted into
                          the military.

                          If usefulness is defined as a measurement of whether this program con-
                          tributes to the military preparedness of the United States today, we
                          believe that the CMP is of limited value for the following reasons:

                      . CMP objectives and goals are not linked to Army mobilization and train-
                        ing plans.
                      . Army requirements do not exist for the program-trained personnel or
                      l Program-trained personnel are not tracked and may not be available
                        when needed.

                          About $4.3 million was spent on the program in fiscal year 1989. The
                          proposed CMP budget for fiscal years 1990 through 1994 is about $5 mil-
                          lion a year.

                          The CMP is a congressionally mandated program established 87 years
Program Mission and       ago. The general purpose was to create interest in marksmanship train-
Purpose                   ing among U.S. men of military age. During the Spanish American War,

                           ‘Evaluation   of the Army’s Civilian   Marksmanship   Program (GAO/ T-NSLADSO-20,      Mar 8. 1990).

                           Page 1                                   GAO/NSL4DSO-171     Army’s Civilian   Marksmanship   Program

                          serious problems with mobilization, training, and combat operations sur-
                          faced. These problems raised concern about the adequacy of marksman-
                          ship training and the ability of the United States to expand the Army

Legislative History       The CMP began in 1903 with the establishment of the National Board for
                          the Promotion of Rifle Practice. During the next three decades, the
                          Congress increased the scope of the program through a series of legisla-
                          tive actions, which authorized (1) a Director of Civilian Marksmanship,
                          (2) an affiliated club system, (3) rifle competitions, (4) annual National
                          Matches that would include the National Rifle Association (NRA), and
                          (5) the sale of weapons to affiliated club members. The authorizing legis-
                          lation is contained in title 10, sections 4307 through 4313 of the U.S.

                          The CMP legislation authorized a program of diversified shooting activi-
                          ties. The common premise of the program’s legislative history is that
                          training civilians in marksmanship will contribute to military

Organization and          The Secretary of the Army is responsible for implementing the CMP. He
Activities                is advised by the National Board for the Promotion of Rifle Practice,
                          which is authorized 35 military and civilian members. The members of
                          the board, who are all volunteers, meet at least once a year. A military
                          officer serves as the Director of Civilian Marksmanship and manages a
                          separate organization responsible for the program’s day-to-day activi-
                          ties. He is assisted by a staff of 36-21 in Washington, D.C., and 15 in a
                          support detachment located near Camp Perry, Ohio.

                          The CMP (1) promotes and monitors generalized rifle training through a
                          system of affiliated clubs and other organizations and (2) sponsors
                          marksmanship competitions. As part of these activities, the program

                      l sells surplus weapons to affiliated club members,
                      l loans surplus weapons to affiliated clubs, and
                      . donates and/or sells ammunition and other shooting supply items to
                        affiliated clubs.

                          As of November 1989, approximately 165,000 individuals in 1,945 clubs
                          were affiliated with the CMP. Forty-one percent of the total membership

                          Page 2                     GAO/‘NSIADso-171   Army’s Civilian   Mazk%manshtp   htt=-

                                         was under 21 years of age. Table 1 shows the        CMP'S   affiliated club mem-
                                         bership by age.

Table 1: Affiliated Club Membership by
Age                                                                                    Club membership as of
                                         Age group                                            November 1989                Percent
                                         13-20                                                              68,490                 41
                                         21-26                                                               9,491                  6
                                         Over26                                                             86.911                 53
                                         Total                                                             164,892                100

                                         Affiliated clubs must have (1) at least 10 junior members (members in
                                         the lowest age group), (2) three responsible adult leaders (with at least
                                         one who is a qualified marksmanship instructor), and (3) access to a
                                         shooting range with adequate facilities. Club members participate year-
                                         round in a prescribed course of generalized instruction.

                                         Other organizations, outside of the club system, also receive marksman-
                                         ship training. For example, during 1989, about 8.7 million rounds of
                                         ammunition were issued to the Boy Scouts for use at their summer
                                         camps. The Director of Civilian Marksmanship estimates that up to
                                         365,000 junior-aged scouts were exposed to rifle training.

                                         In addition to generalized training, the CMPsponsors state and regional
                                         shooting competitions. During fiscal year 1989, the program sponsored
                                         135 rifle and pistol matches. About 7,468 competitors participated,
                                         shooting a standard national course of fire from standing, kneeling, and
                                         prone positions.

                                         The CMP also conducts an annual competition known as the “National
                                         Matches.” This event, which is held at Camp Perry, Ohio, during a
                                         4-week period each summer, includes military personnel, CMP-affiliated
                                         club members, and NRA members. In fiscal year 1989, there were approx-
                                         imately 3,650 competitors.

                                         The National Matches are divided into two basic competitions: the
                                         National Trophy Matches sponsored by the Kational Board for the
                                         Promotion of Rifle Practice and the National Rifle Association
                                         Championship Matches sponsored by the NRA. These competitions con-
                                         sist of pistol, small-bore rifle, and high-powered rifle firing. Three CMP
                                         training courses are held concurrently with the matches.

                                          Page 3                     GAO/NSIABSO-171     Army’s Civilinn    Marksmanship   Pro-

                                         During fiscal year 1989, the ChlP sold 6,000 Ml Garand rifles to affiliated
                                         club members and issued over 37 million rounds or components of
                                         ammunition to affiliated clubs. As of September 1989, the program had
                                         on loan to affiliated clubs or in storage over 24,000 weapons. Table 2
                                         shows CMP weapon and ammunition transactions for 1989.
Table 2: CMP Weapon and Ammunltion
Transactions for 1989                    Item                                                                                        Quantity
                                         Weapons sold to affiliated club member@
                                           Ml Garand rifles                                                                              6,000
                                         Weapons loaned to affiliated clubs or in storage
                                           Air rifles                                                                                      214
                                           .22 caliber rifles                                                                           14,875
                                           .30 caliber rifles                                                                            7,253
                                           ,451caliber pistols                                                                             217
                                           5.56 millimeter rifles                                                                            1
                                           7.62 millimeter rifles                                                                        1,580
                                         Ammunition sold to affiliated clubsa
                                           .22 caliber ball                                                                           367,500
                                           .30 caliber bullet                                                                         974,176
                                           30 caliber case                                                                            126,900
                                           7.62 millimeter case                                                                       328,700
                                         Ammunition donated to affiliated clubs and other organizations
                                           .22 caliber rounds                                                                       35,490,OOo
                                           -30 caliber rounds                                                                        2,154,470
                                           .45 caliber rounds                                                                           16,000
                                           7.62 millimeter case                                                                        212,400
                                         %venues from the sales of weapons and ammunition are returned to the U.S. Treasury

                                         The CMP’S role in U.S. military preparedness is reflected in its two
Program Contributes                      mobilization-related objectives. The first objective is to provide training
Little to Military                       in rifle marksmanship to civilians who would be subject to induction
Preparedness                             into the military. The second is to train and qualify program instructors
                                         so that they can augment the mobilization training base.

                                         According to Army officials, the expected benefits of the program are as

                                     l   Inductees who have program training will be better marksmen.

                                         Page 4                             GAO/NSlADBO-171      Anny’o   Civilian   l%rlrnmanaNp     Frogram