AFSA stands for the Armed Forces Skeet Association.
AFSA is a non-profit association that exists for the benefit of its
members. All members of AFSA are active or retired members of the Armed
Forces. There are no membership fees.
AFSA sponsors the Armed Services Skeet Shooting
Championships. The annual shoot is conducted in various parts of the country on a
two year rotation plan: Eastern U.S., and Western
U.S. Each year clubs from the next shoot area are given the opportunity to
bid on our shoot. The following year's competition is conducted at the
winning club's shooting facility.
Our shoot emblem is shown above. It's components are: the eagle (which
symbolizes strength and tenacity), a shotgun (which is the tool of our sport), a
clay target (which is what we shoot at), and five stars at the top (which
reflect the five services our members are associated with (Air Force,
Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard). A colored shoot pin is given
to each shooter at each shoot with the above emblem on it. Note that 2002 was
the final year for the Armed Forces Skeet Championships. In May, 2002 the name
of the shoot was changed to the Armed Services Skeet Championships at the
insistence of the Armed Forces Sports Council. In 2010 the emblem was redesigned.
Mike Brazzell is the Armed Forces Skeet Association Historian. He and Cotton Talbot researched and composed the following history with the help of some of our other shooters and the NSSA Skeet Reviews Mike has at the NSSA-NSCA Museum.
HISTORY OF ARMED FORCES SKEET
(As of 28 January 2010)
The Armed Forces Skeet Association and military skeet shooting had their beginnings during the Second World War when skeet was used to teach the principles of aerial gunnery. Almost every flight training station and base had skeet fields. These facilities were utilized throughout the Korean and Vietnam wars and many still exist today.
In 1958 at the NSSA Championships in Waterford, Mi., military participation rules were drawn up for the NSSA by a committee representing the various branches of the services and military events were included for the first time at the NSSA Championships held at the Princess Anne Gun Club, Lynnhaven, Va., in 1959.
The first “World Wide Military Invitational Championships” at 200 targets all bore (12 gauge) was held the week before the NSSA Championships and was expected to attract service teams that would remain and boost attendance at the big shoot. The High Over All (HOA) Champion was future Armed Forces Skeet Association and NSSA Hall of Fame member Master Sergeant Hal Myers, USAF with a perfect 200X200.
In 1960 the second “World Wide Military Championships” was again held at the Princess Anne Gun Club the week before the NSSA Championships. US Navy Captain R.L. Livingston won the HOA with a 199X200.
In 1961 the Air Defense Command took over and the shoot was moved to Colorado. The “military” shoots were the brain child of General Curtis LeMay, USAF and were brought into being by Colonel John P. Breckenridge, USAF. The first Armed Forces Skeet Championships was hosted by the USAF Air Defense Command and held at the Ent Rod and Gun Club, Peterson Field, Colorado Springs, Colorado. There were five man team competitions between other Air Force Commands and Bases, as well as an interservice five man team event that was open to all services. All the five man team events were held in the 12 gauge only. Open individual competition was in all four gauges and HOA. The shoot was held annually at Petersen Field until the formation of the Armed Forces Skeet Association in 1975.
The first “Armed Forces Skeet Championships” in 1961 was a 350 target event. T. Leigh was 410 Champion, 46X50. J. Breckenridge 49X50 in 28 gauge, E.K. Griswold 50X50 in 20 gauge and Griswold again with 200X200 in 12 gauge. The HOA results have not been located. The event attracted a total of 257 entries and was the second largest NSSA skeet shoot of the year. The Canadian Open in Montreal had attracted 324 entries a month earlier.
In 1962 the shoot went to the 500 target format we use today. The 410 Champion was Hank Shaw, USA with 98X100. The 28 gauge Champion was W. Brauer with the first 100X100 in the small gauges. F. Owen followed with a 100X100 in the 20 gauge and the 12 gauge Champion was US Navy shooter Ken Sedlecky with 199X200. The HOA in the new 500 target format also went to Ken Sedlecky 490X500.
Until 1973 the Armed Forces Skeet Championship five man team event was held in the 12 gauge only. In 1973 the Navy Team donated a traveling 20 gauge five man team trophy and contacted the other service teams for a trophy for the other gauges and HOA. As a result, for the first time at the championships, the shoot in 1973 held a five man team event for all guns and HOA.
Shotguns had been awarded for gun championships for several years and in 1973 with donations from civilian friends and military supporters the list was expanded to include a shotgun for each HOA class winner and retired champion.
In 1974 Lt. General Kenneth E. Pletcher , USAF was approached by the Navy team captain, Commander Cotton Talbott, who proposed that an Armed Forces Skeet Association be formed so that continued competition could be held if or when Special Services at Petersen Field, Colorado Springs could or would not host the championships. The real concern was that a number of skeet ranges at Peterson Field would be lost to an expansion of the golf course leaving an insufficient number of fields to conduct the shoot. As was expected, many discussions were held over the next year as to the feasibility of the proposed association’s ability to conduct the shoot, finances, organization, etc.
In 1975 Lt. General Pletcher contacted Commander Talbott and asked him to make the proposal during a meeting of shooters at the club. At that meeting the proposal was duly put forth and after a short discussion Lt General Pletcher endorsed and seconded a motion to form the Armed Forces Skeet Association. General Pletcher was elected the first President of the Association, Colonel Chub Madden, USMC, Vice-President, and Commander Cotton Talbott, USN Secretary/Treasurer.
Subsequent to that vote in 1975, the 1976 shoot was moved to the National Gun Club in San Antonio, Texas. At that time the Secretary/Treasurer guaranteed a loan of $8000.00 to get the Association up and running and start the planning for its first shoot. The first shoot attracted 132 shooters and a net profit of around $6500 was realized, ensuring continued operation of the Association.
The constitution and by laws were drafted by a committee headed by Colonel Madden with input from Lt. Colonel Winn Thurman (JAG), USMC and approved at the shoot in 1976. Commander Talbott filed papers to incorporate the Armed Forces Skeet Association as a non-profit association. Approval was granted that year by the State of Louisiana and our Association was official.
The shoot went from San Antonio to Colorado several times and then it was moved into a three zone rotation. East, Central, West, Central etc. for several years.
In 1978, Acting on a request from Rod and Guns Europe, a five man “World Military” event was added to the program in order to accommodate teams from Rod & Gun Clubs that could not field teams from only one branch of service. This was approved and an Open five man team event was established.
In 1981 a Doubles event was added to the shoot program. Commander Jack Bishop, USN with a 96X100 was our first doubles champion. He won the event at the National Gun Club
In 1983, after months of long negotiations with the IRS our Sec/Treas, Lt. Colonel Ed Hughes, USAF, was able to obtain a 501C (19) non- profit, military, designation for the association.
The Armed Forces Skeet Association Hall of Fame was established in 1990. There were six members of the Association in the first induction. These six members included Lt.General Kenneth E. Pletcher , USAF (Ret), the only living inductee, Lt. Colonel Winn Thurman, USMC (Ret), Major W.K Griswold, USMC (Ret), Major Ken Gilbert, USA (Ret), Captain George Albert Young, USMC (Ret), and Chief Petty Officer Allen Buntrock, USN (Ret).
In 1991, the General Pletcher Award was established to Honor General Pletcher and those that had contributed to the association on a long and continuing basis. Lt. Colonel Ed Hughes, USAF (Ret), was the first recipient of the award.
In 2002 bowing to pressure from the Armed Forces Sports Council, the name of the shoot was changed to the Armed Services Skeet Championship. We were not required to change the name of the Association.
Shooting records established at the Armed Forces Championships
(The following records were established at the Armed Forces or Armed Services Skeet Championships and may not correspond with those shown in the NSSA Records Annual for first instance of shooting the record score if the individual or team did not submit the appropriate form for recognition of world record score to NSSA.)
At the initial shoot in 1961, E.K. Griswold established the first individual record by shooting a 200X200 in the 12 gauge event.
In 1962, W. Brauer broke 100X100 to set the 28 gauge record.
Also in 1962, F. Owen broke 100X100 to set the 20 gauge record.
In 1983 Senior Chief Petty Officer Dan Mitchell, USN broke the first 100X100 in the 410 bore.
In 1984 Captain Gary Kwist, USAF broke the first 100X100 in the Doubles event.
In 1985 Dan Mitchell again set a record by breaking a 499X500 in the HOA event.
Two Man Team Events
In 1967, the US Navy team of William Poddick and Allen Buntrock broke 200X200 in the 20 gauge event.
Also in 1967, the US Air Force team of James Bellows and Patrick O’Malley broke 200X200 in the 28 gauge event.
In 1978, the team of Don Wood, USA and Cotton Talbott, USN broke a 400X400 in the 12 gauge event.
In 1986 Mike Brazzell and Darold Tukey set the Two Man Team HOA record at 991X1000.
In 1995 LtCol L. T. Drennan and CWO-4 John D. Henry set a record Two Man Team Retired Military Doubles event with a score of 199X200.
In 1999, the US Navy team of Jose Castillo and Dave Cunningham broke a 200X200 in the Doubles event.
In 2001, the US Army team of Clyde Simmons and Wade Herrington broke a 199X200 in the 410 event.
Five Man Team Events
In 1978 in an Open Five Man Team event, Dave Ellis and John Culpepper (USAF), Cotton Talbott (USN), Don Wood and Tom Barrowman (USA) , shot a 998X1000, an AFSA record.
Compilers note: I will add the Interservice team records when I can find them. If anyone knows of a record please tell me what year and what team and I will do my best to verify and include it. COTTON TALBOTT firstname.lastname@example.org
The complete history of the Association is maintained and updated by Mike Brazzell at the NSSA-NSCA Museum in San Antonio, TX.
50TH ANNIVERSARY SHOOT ITEMS
We owe our thanks to the Air Force Skeet Teams, Kolar employees, the Mainland family, and John Ramagli for the wonderful Kolar Gun donated by Kolar Arms. Kolar MAX, 30", AAA Tubes & Custom AFSA Case. John presented it at the banquet to Chris Robbins, USAF.
Other 50th door prize sponsors coordinated by Doug Newcomb, Mike Brazzell, Ed Traylor, Andy Ulsher, John Ulsher, and Pat were:
Remington donated an 1100 Competition 12 Gauge for award to the HOA Champion and knives for door prizes. Briley donated a tube set for another great door prize. NSSA donated a Remington 1100 and an entry to the 2010 World for an active duty soldier. Decot donated three $100 gift certificates. The Virginia Ladies donated a new quilt for a silent auction. Gift certificates from Florida Skeet Association and Florida Police and Fire Games. Mil-spec donated 200 of their cleaning product samples. RGS barrel and tube cleaner. MEC donated a 9000GN.
2010 SHOOT AWARDS
50th Anniversary Targets Donated By White Flyer
50TH ANNIVERSARY QUILT FROM VIRGINIA LADIES
20 OR MORE SHOOTS
The following shooters said they attended 20 or more of our shoots: Knutson, Brazzell, Talbott, McKown, Simmons, Barrowman, Hughes, Scott, Pitman, Paillex, Medlin, LT Drennan, Snyder, Baylog, Savage, Potts, Jenkins, Bud Gast, John Ulsher, Gaines, Jim Simmons, JR Hunt, Cowboy Harris, Wallace, Coffey, and Tiner. Each received a special Gold hat. At the banquet it was determined that LT Drennan and Cowboy Harris shared the honor of attending the largest number of ASSC shoots. LT deferred to Cowboy to make him the recipient of the last AFSA gold one ounce coin.