Public Welcome to Witness CMP’s National Matches First Shot Ceremony

The Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) is excited to announce the 2022 First Shot Ceremony, set to take place Tuesday, July 12, at the Camp Perry National Guard Training Facility near Port Clinton, Ohio.

The First Shot Ceremony serves as a welcoming event for guests, participants, volunteers and staff eager to start the 2022 National Matches – an event that has assembled marksmen and women at Camp Perry since 1907.

The first CMP National Matches of the 2022 season will fire on July 12, beginning with the pistol series, and will conclude on August 12, following CMP’s lineup of long range rifle matches. Whether an experienced competitor or new to the sport, the National Matches calendar also includes several highpower rifle, smallbore rifle and air gun competitions and clinics scheduled throughout – ready to accommodate the thousands of visitors expected to participate in the annual event.

The 2022 First Shot Ceremony will begin at 10:00 a.m. on Camp Perry’s Rodriguez Range. Fully open to the public, spectator seating will be set up alongside the range, with additional bleachers placed diagonally in front of the Lawrence Road Shooters’ Plaza – where the ceremony will take place. Roads will be blocked to keep traffic away in the area immediately surrounding the Plaza, with ample parking available around Camp Perry.

Sights and sounds at the First Shot Ceremony will include an authentic B-25 bomber, Georgie’s Gal, courtesy of Port Clinton’s Liberty Aviation Museum. The fascinating aircraft will make passes prior to the start of the festivities at approximately 9:45-10:00 a.m. as distinguished speakers and military guests fill the Plaza below.

Firing the ceremonial First Shot (or, First Shots, in this case) will be CMP’s Board Treasurer, Jon Bengston, and CMP’s Board Secretary, Harry Sieben. Bengston will use a 1903 Springfield rifle as Sieben will fire a M1 Garand rifle.

While on the grounds of Camp Perry, visitors are encouraged to check out Petrarca Range, located next to the Plaza, and the Gary Anderson CMP Competition Center, only a short walk away. Petrarca Range contains an outdoor line of CMP’s electronic targets, while the Gary Anderson CMP Competition Center features an indoor air gun facility and authentic Olympic memorabilia from the career of celebrated marksman, Gary Anderson. Both are open to the public weekly.

We hope you’ll join us for another full season of National Matches competition and fun! For more information about the National Matches, visit

About Jon Bengston:

Jon N. Bengtson has been with the CMP since August 1999. He is a founder and Chairman of the Board of AirWire Technologies, a mobile networking company. Mr. Bengtson has served as Chairman of the Board of Altair Nanotechnologies (ALTI), various senior executive positions with International Game Technology, The Sands Regent Hotel Casino (SNDS), Radica Games LTD. (RADA), and ShareGate Incorporated. Throughout his career he served on numerous local charity boards and served as the Nevada Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army from 1991 until his retirement in 2005. He holds a B.A. in Finance and MBA degree from the University of Nevada, Reno.

About Harry Sieben:

Harry A. Sieben Jr. has been with the CMP since July 1998. He is an attorney with the Sieben Carey law firm in Minneapolis. He was a State Representative for 14 years including 2 terms as Speaker of the Minnesota House of Representatives. He served 35 years of active and reserve duty in the United States military, retiring from the National Guard as a Major General. He served 12 years as a Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army and currently serves as Civilian Aide Emeritus.

-- By Ashley Brugnone, CMP Staff Writer

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