NFM and more than 2,000 museums provide free admission for military families through Labor Day

The President Theodore Roosevelt collection at the National Firearms Museum

Fairfax, Virginia - The National Firearms Museum is joining more than 2,000 museums across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and American Samoa in this year's Blue Star Museum program. Created by the National Endowment for the Arts in a collaborative effort with Blue Star Families and the Department of Defense, Blue Star Museums provide free admission to active duty, National Guard, and Reserve military personnel and their families from Memorial Day through Labor Day 2014.

“As we kick off our fifth year of Blue Star Museums, more museums than ever are part of this military appreciation program,” said NEA Acting Chairman Joan Shigekawa. “Together with Blue Star Families and more than 2,000 museums, we are proud to help connect military families with the cultural resources in their communities.”

More on the National Firearms Museum and the Blue Star Museums program ...

NRA now accepting toys and donations for Marine Toys for Tots Program

Marine Toys for Tots was founded in 1947 Fairfax, Virginia - Toys for Tots was founded by reservist Major Bill Hendricks back in 1947. Since then, the program has distributed more than 350 million toys to just over 160 million children. Like more business and organizations in the DC Metro area, the National Rifle Association is lending a hand.

From now until December 12, visitors and employees can be donate to this worthwhile charity in one of two ways.

More on Toys for Tots donations at NRA Headquarters ...

From Aimpoint - Aimpoint awarded contract by Naval Surface Warfare Center

Chantilly, Virginia - Aimpoint, the originator and world leader in electronic red dot sighting technology, has been awarded an $8.7 million, five-year IDIQ contract by the U.S. Navy Surface Warfare Center - Crane Division for supply of sights and mounts for the Enhanced Combat Optical Sight – Optimized (ECOS-O) program. The ECOS-O integrated system combines the battle proven Aimpoint Micro T-1 sight with the Leupold® Mark 6® 3-18x44mm riflescope. This combination of optics allows operators to utilize the non-magnified red dot sight both as a primary optic, as well as a fast way to acquire targets for long range identification and engagement using the magnified Leupold scope.

More on Aimpoint's contract with the Naval Surface Warfare Center ...

National Rifle Association donates toys and games to Toys for Tots

From right to left, Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre, NRA Secretary Major Jim Land (USMC Retired), NRA President David Keene and NRA 2nd Vice President Allan Cors

Fairfax, Virginia - It was a special afternoon here at NRA Headquarters in Fairfax. On top of our yearly awards ceremony, we had a visit from representatives of the United States Marine Corps. They were here for the toys.

Toys for Tots to be specific.

More on the NRA's Toys for Tots donations ...

National Guardsman Gormley promoted to full bird Colonel

Colonel Guy Gormley displays the NRA banner that flew in Bagram, Afghanistan at the NRA Museum

Around this time last year, the National Firearms Museum played host to a very important ceremony — the promotion of Lieutenant Colonel Guy Gormley to full Colonel. Here's a look back:
Fairfax, Virginia - The National Firearms Museum played host last week to a very special event. After almost twenty-five years of service, first with the United States and then with the National Guard, Lieutenant Colonel Guy Gormley received promotion to the rank of Colonel. And what better place for an NRA Life Member to hold such a ceremony then inside the Robert E. Petersen Gallery at the NRA National Firearms Museum.

Filled to the rim, Gormley was accompanied by his parents, wife Sara, daughter Katherine and son Guy … not to mention the crowd of co-workers and friends he picked up along the way. Overseeing the ceremony was Colonel James P. Bagely.

Read the full promotion story here on NRAblog.

Seventy-two years ago today, August 16, 1940, the Army Parachute Test Platoon conducted its first jump. Their success validated the innovative concept of inserting United States ground combat forces behind a battle line via parachute.

A little over two years later the first US Airborne operation occurred when 531 members of the 2nd Battalion 509th Parachute Infantry Regiment participated in Operation Touch in North Africa.

More on National Airborne Day ...

Blue Star Museum Project for military families The National Firearms Museum is part of an elite group. Yes, they're a museum. Sure, they have an incredible collection of American History. But the elite group part of our meaning is that now they are part of the Blue Star Museum Initiative.

Created by the National Endowment of the Arts, in a collaborative effort with Blue Star Families and the Department of Defense, Blue Star Museums provide free admission to military personnel as well as members of their family. A summertime project, Blue Star begins on Memorial Day and runs through Labor Day.

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Multi-gun champ Horner featured by Army Marksmanship Unit

Daniel Horner of the Army Marksmanship Unit is a champion multi-gun competitor

FORT BENNING, Ga. — In showcasing the U.S. Army and the very best of Army Soldier skills, Soldiers from the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit are expected to win regardless of the competition around them. Since joining the unit in 2006, Staff Sgt. Daniel Horner has embodied that notion and worn it on his sleeve.

Horner is a member of the unit’s Action Shooting team and in the sport of Multi-gun shooting there is Horner and then there is everybody else. Horner recently won his fourth consecutive United States Practical Shooting Association Multi-gun National Championship in Las Vegas and his fifth overall.

“A champion expects to win every match,” said Horner. “A winner goes to compete and see how it turns out. Sometimes he wins, sometimes he doesn’t. A champion goes to a match and tells everybody to start engraving the trophy, because it’s mine.”

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Kyle is down at Fort Benning in Georgia right now covering the 2012 NRA Collegiate Championships, hosted by the United States Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU). But other exciting news has just come from the USAMU, making history for both disabled shooting and the Army. At the center of this news is National Matches competitor Sgt. 1st Class Josh Olson, a combat-wounded veteran who will be competing at the Summer Olympic Games in London. Here's what the USAMU has to say about their latest news:

SFC Josh Olson of the USAMU will compete in London this summer
Sgt. 1st Class Josh Olson of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit is the first Active Duty Soldier nominated to the U.S. Paralympic Team. (Photo by Michael Molinaro, USAMU PAO)

FORT BENNING, Georgia — The U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit is proud to announce its historic expansion with the creation of a Marksmanship Instructor Group and Paralympic Section, the first-ever Army units designed specifically for wounded warriors deemed able to continue to serve on active duty. Approved by the Army this week, this historic first is part of the Army Chief of Staff’s initiative supporting Wounded Warriors.

For these Soldiers, serving in the USAMU will involve raising Army combat readiness by providing the absolute best shooting instruction for all Army units. They will also showcase the Army by competing at a world-class level in national and international competition as part of the USAMU's efforts to connect the Army to the nation's citizens. Sgt. 1st Class Josh Olson, Operation Iraqi Freedom combat-wounded veteran and USAMU Paralympian, is the first Active Duty Soldier to be nominated to the U.S. Paralympic Team and will compete in London this summer.

This ground-breaking approach inspires wounded combat veterans to remain on active duty, enhances combat readiness, and highlights ability rather than disability. "Despite their injuries, these Soldiers are stronger for serving and continuing to serve; now they will make the Army even stronger,” said Lt. Col. Daniel Hodne, commander, USAMU.

Congratulations to SFC Olson and to all of our friends at the USAMU. We look forward seeing how this will revolutionize the shooting sports and increase opportunities for both combat-wounded and disabled shooters.

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