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New rifles revitalize NJROTC marksmanship program

    The Pendleton County NJROTC is improving more and more all the time, and recently, the program received a grant to fund the purchase of newer, better air rifles for the NJROTC Rifle Team to practice and shoot with.
    Commander Clinton Warren said, “The older rifles were pump action and not adjustable. These new rifles have an air cartridge. Our goal is to get to the point that we can give a student a rifle that would be their rifle for four years.”
    The grant was funded by the National Rifle Association and was given to the NJROTC program in honor of their recent accomplishments in rifle competitions. According to Master Sergeant Brian Melton, the new rifles are adjustable for height, stock, site and many other features that allow it to become personal fitting for each student.
    “The new rifles do not require the pump action, so you don’t have to get out of position to prepare for the next shot,” he added.
    The new rifles have paid off as in their first competition they came home with two golds and two silvers. In their respective groupings, Mason Wessel and Keith Ramsey won gold and Hunter Pettit and Koby Leazer won silver.
    The required program for NJROTC is also a collegiate and Olympic sport. “You can earn collegiate scholarships in this program. We want to get our cadets to the level they are competing for scholarship money,” said Commander Warren who credited Master Sergeant Melton for completing the NRA grant and being a great marksmanship coach.
    “The rifles have been very impressive and they are shooting the center ring out of our targets,” said Melton.
    The team presently has 13-14 members at this point and anyone interested in joining the team should contact Commander Warren or Master Sergeant Melton in the NJROTC room at PCHS throughout the school day.
    Donations are welcomed to support the program. Any interested supporter can contact the NJROTC program at PCHS.