Washtenaw Club Hosts First Remote Small Arms Firing School

Washtenaw Club Hosts First Remote Small Arms Firing School

By Steve Cooper,

CMP SAFS Instructor & Marketing Manager

YPSILIANTI, MI – Despite unrelenting humidity and temperature hovering at 90 degrees, 34 members and guests of the Washtenaw Sportsman’s Club fired a highly-successful Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) Small Arms Firing School (SAFS) on Sunday, August 26, just outside of Ann Arbor.

It was the first remote, or stand-alone CMP SAFS entry-level training and Excellence-In-Competition (EIC) rifle match outside of the United States Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) school at the National Matches or similar course conducted at CMP travel games held at locations across the country. Of the 36 competitors, 34 had not earned any EIC points yet.

“Fortunately we had no wind for the competitors to contend with; but unfortunately, we had no wind to help keep the competitors cool,” said Sara Rozanski, CMP Highpower Rifle Coordinator, and captain of Team CMP, the program’s competitive rifle team.

The CMP school at Washtenaw used the same curriculum used by the CMP at its travel games locations during the year in Oklahoma, North Carolina, Alabama, Vermont and Arizona. The school and match are geared toward aspiring highpower rifle competitors who have little or no match firing experience. The in-class curriculum and firing line training stresses the cardinal rules of firearm safety, match procedures normally found in a three-position event and coaching of techniques designed to improve marksmanship skills.

Charles Zielski earned four EIC points and won the SAFS match with a score of 382-13X.

Washtenaw Sportsman’s Club provided 10 assistants, coaches and safety officers in combination with members of Team CMP’s Rozanski and Nick Till – both veteran top-tier National Match-level competitors. That core group assisted greatly in conducting a match that hosted many first-time match shooters.

After three-plus hours in the classroom, attendees took to the Washtenaw rifle range where they received practical position training for prone slow-fire & rapid-fire, sitting or kneeling rapid-fire and the most unstable position – standing slow-fire, frequently called off-hand. Students were also coached in the use of the web or leather rifle sling, loading procedures and match-shooting conduct.

CMP chief range officer Danny Arnold congratulates match high junior, Nathan Abrams.

The added benefit to the SAFS rifle event is the awarding of four Excellence-In-Competition points of the 30 possible that may be accumulated in a shooter’s career, culminating in the award of a Distinguished Rifleman badge – considered one of the highest honors a rifle competitor may aspire to win. In any CMP-sanctioned EIC event, the top 10 percent of eligible competitors in a match will be awarded points or “legs” as they are sometimes called.

At Washtenaw, the top three overall competitors were eligible for and were awarded four introductory EIC points.

The match winner, Charles Zielski, 39, of New Berlin, WI, fired a score of 382-13X of 400 possible. His string of 100-5X in prone slow-fire, 99-4X in prone rapid-fire, 96-3X in sitting rapid-fire and 87-1X in standing slow-fire earned him top honors.

In second place, also winning 4 EIC points, was Keith Weller, 51, of Mequon, WI, with an overall score of 379-9X. George Firn, 36, of Ypsilanti, MI, placed third and he also took home 4 EIC points with an overall score of 378-13X. First “leather” or fourth place went to Timothy Jones, 52, of Brownstown, MI, with a score of 375-9X. Jones won an X-ring tiebreaker for fourth place over Cullen O’Brien, 44, of Manchester, MI, who also fired a 375 with 5 center X’s.

Miki Marciniak received a CMP gift certificate as high woman in the SAFS match.

The high junior in the match was Nathan Abrams, 15, of Petersburg, MI, and the high woman was Miki Marciniak, of Macomb, MI.

This successful remote SAFS event will take its Washtenaw momentum to the Florida National Guard’s Camp Blanding Joint Training Center on November 3-4, 2018, west of Jacksonville. Registration for the Camp Blanding event is now open. Visit https://ct.thecmp.org/app/v1/index.php?do=match&task=edit&match=17428 to register.

The CMP is in the process of scheduling additional SAFS courses and matches in various locations across the U.S. in 2019 and beyond. It is anticipated the CMP will conduct three or four remote SAFS events each year in addition to its travel games schedule and USAMU-led SAFS programs at Camp Perry each July during the National Matches.

The CMP Small Arms Firing School commences with classroom education and familiarization, followed by instruction and live-fire practice on the firing line.

For results and more information, click on the following link to access the CMP Washtenaw event on our Competition Tracker: https://ct.thecmp.org/app/v1/index.php?do=match&task=edit&tab=results&match=17326

Photos may be viewed at https://cmp1.zenfolio.com/p617487618.

The Civilian Marksmanship Program is a federally chartered 501 (c) (3) non-profit corporation. It is dedicated to firearm safety and marksmanship training and to the promotion of marksmanship competition for citizens of the United States. For more information about the CMP and its programs, log onto www.TheCMP.org.

Team CMP coach Nick Till assists a student-competitor with prone slow-fire technique as part of the three-position rifle match.


Team CMP captain and coach Sara Rozanski assists a junior student-competitor with sitting position adjustments.


The CMP Small Arms Firing School class and competition concludes with a 10-shot slow-fire standing stage at 200 yards.