After the close of the National Matches, held annually at Camp Perry, it was tradition for a group of three to five leaders within the marksmanship program to meet at National Guard Bureau to review the states after-action reports from the matches and to make program recommendations for the following year.
Marksmanship Committee Reports show that as far back as 1962 there was concern that a position at the national level should be established whose full-time responsibility is to improve the marksmanship program. Problems encountered by the All Guard Teams during their first two years of active competition clearly demonstrated the need for full-time support and coordination by a permanent agency. The weapons accurization program initiated in 1965, which employed an armorer on a 6-month basis, was a step in the right direction, but it did not go far enough.
The Marksmanship Committee Report of 1966 recommended that a National Guard Marksmanship Training Center (NGMTC) be established as a unit semi-permanently attached to a suitable state headquarters and that the unit should provide the following for the All Guard Teams:
1. A training program and a match competitive schedule culminating annually in the National Matches.
2. A supply function covering procurement, storage, maintenance, and issue of suitable weapons, ammunition, optical and competitive equipment, individual distinctive team uniforms, etc..
3. A weapons accurization facility of the highest order to include machine rest and ammunition testing equipment.
4. Fiscal support to include allocation and payment of team expenses, equipment purchases, and travel expenses.
5. Command representation of suitable rank and background to represent the NGB at major matches, Army Area meetings, the National Rifle Association, Director of Civilian Marksmanship , NBPRP, and the National Match Staff.
It was further recommended that the selection of a location for the NGMTC meet the following criteria:
1. Favorable climate
2. Availability of pistol and high power rifle ranges
3. Billet and Mess facilities
4. Ease of reaching by various means of transportation
5. The availability of qualified personnel to properly man the unit
The states were invited to submit proposals for establishing the NGMTC, and after reviewing the proposals, the state of Tennessee was selected by the NGB. The NGMTC was established in Nashville, Tennessee at the National Guard Armory in February of 1968 with an Army Table of Distribution and Allowances (TDA) calling for 22 ARNG personnel (6 officers, 2 warrant officers, and 14 enlisted). The executive officer, two armorers, and an NCO had guard technician status. In the fall of 1968, the unit was augmented with eight ANG positions, which complemented the Army TDA.
The NGMTC was later moved from Nashville , Tennessee and reorganized effective 1 June 1990 at Camp Joseph T. Robinson in North Little Rock , Arkansas . The unit was housed in several buildings on Camp Robinson until 14 October 1992 when the Hebert R. Temple Marksmanship Center was dedicated at the present location.
The National Guard Marksmanship Training Center is divided, primarily, into two divisions, which are a.) schools and b.) competitions.
a. The NGMTC schoolhouse offers world class instruction in the proper use of the various small arms weapon systems available to the National Guard through small arms courses such as Squad Designated Marksman and Squad Automatic Weapons Expert.
b. The competitions held at the NGMTC include, among others, the notable Winston P. Wilson Matches and the Armed Forces Skill at Arms Meeting, the Chief, National Guard Bureau Postal Matches, and the National Guard Sniper Championship.
The NGMTC still fulfills the traditional role for which it was established, but today is even more critical than ever imagined. It daily trains service members in advanced marksmanship and improves their combat survivability, so that warrior skill readiness meets our military’s needs within global affairs.