Department of Florida

From the Chairman


The 27th National Annual 3 Position Air Rifle Championship Tournament was held at the USA Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs from July 18-23. This was the final round, which started on Nov. 1, 2016 with a Postal Match throughout the country. The second round, which ended on Feb. 1, 2017 had the final 30 shooters who advanced to the final match of 15 Precision Catagory and 15 Sporter Catagory Shooters. The Dept. of Florida had one State Champion, Jessica Montcrieff, from the Oveido NJROTC Program and sponsored by American Legion Post 243 in Oveido who placed 3rd in the final competition. Jessica was presented a $500 Scholarship and Plaque at the Department Convention in Orlando and advanced to the final competition, an all-expense paid trip along with the coach and chaperone to the National Competition Event. Jessica placed 3rd in the nation in the Sporter Category and had an outstanding score of 2311.8. She was an example of focus and concentration to watch as she advanced to the final round.

The National Competition was a full 5 days of events arranged and directed by the Legion National Tournament Director, Shayne Abrahams, Sr. He was assisted by National Staff Member, Nettie and volunteers selected as Staff Members to assist with the Shooting Range under the direction of Loren “Bud” Sperry, of Washington State and Ida Mae Jewell, of Indiana. There was a dinner sponsored at Post 209 in Colorado Springs to host all the athletes, chaperones, coaches and staff to kick off the week’s events. Also in attendance was the National Auxiliary President, Mary Davis, the Dept. of Colorado Commander, Terri Clinton and staff, Past National Cmdr. Tom Bock and other dignitaries from the Legion, Auxiliary and the Sons of the Legion. All athletes, coaches and staff had an Orientation prior to the event to review and instruct all participants in conduct and procedures for the event and stay at the USA Olympic Training Center prior to obtaining ID’s and credentials for entry to the compound.

The Legion National Cmdr. Charles Schmidt arrived to share in the week’s events on Wednesday, July 19. Athletes and staff were given lunch at the Dining Facility and were in direct contact with athletes training there for the summer. On Friday night, the athletes were treated to a Pizza Party and the Chaperones and Coaches were hosted at a Reception in the hotel. The 8 Finalists in each category had the final competition of 10 shots, standing on Saturday morning. We had the pleasure of having Cmdr. Charles Schmidt attend and give the final scores for the final 16 competitors. On Saturday evening, everyone was in attendance for the Awards Ceremony and dinner hosted in the hotel by our National Tournament Director and Staff. Awards, plaques and ribbons were given to top winners in all categories and presented by our National Cmdr. Schmidt and a host of other dignitaries.

The First Place Winners, Emily Stith, Precision, CO and Hailey Smith, Sporter, IL each received a $5,000 Scholarship Award on behalf of the Legion and the Sons of the Legion. The Second Place Winners, Rebecca Lamb, Precision, VA and Alexey Levi Carlson, Sporter, SC each received a $1,000 Scholarship from the Auxiliary. The First Place Winners were both invited to the National Convention in Reno for an all-expense paid trip to participate with the other Youth Champions in August.

I thank all Posts who support our Youth Programs and look forward to more participation this coming year. I want also to thank Cmdr. Steve Shuga for selecting me to serve this year for the Department of Florida and our ROTC/JROTC/Shooting Sports Chairman.

Loretta Young
Dept. of Florida
ROTC/JROTC/Shooting Sports Chair