In addition to the championships that come with the end of the season, so too do the NRA All-American awards. Nominations for the prestigious achievement must be submitted to the NRA Collegiate & Schools Program by February 22. The following week, the NRA Collegiate Programs Committee will convene to determine this year's 2012 NRA All-Americans.
Consistent and exemplary performance is a hallmark, and perhaps the most evident characteristic, of the All-American. Recipients embody intangible attributes such as integrity, respect, and responsibility. These highly motivated men and women distinguish themselves on a level above that of their peers.
Whether NRA All-Americans continue outstanding marksman careers or pursue other fields such as medicine, architecture, education, law, the military or even space exploration, they accomplish notable successes in their careers.
The All-American award, created by the NRA in 1936 to honor top collegiate rifle shooters, has become an attainable, although elusive, goal for all three disciplines of college shooting sports. The experiences and knowledge gained in pursuing and achieving the prestigious honor remain with the NRA All-American throughout his or her shooting and professional careers.
When the NRA All-American Program marked its 60th year during the 125th anniversary of the National Rifle Association in 1996, it signified a joint milestone rich in history. Moreover, it bolstered the resolution that these exceptional men and women continue to be recognized for their commitment and contributions as leaders in the shooting sports community and beyond.
The selection criteria for Rifle & Pistol All-American status has evolved from performance in specific matches and personal knowledge of the shooter to move objective guidelines, including: full time undergraduate or graduate status with or without team affiliation, average score for the season, minimum number of shots fired, number of matches fired, specific matches required, recommendations from coaches and other school officials.
NRA All-American Shotgun honors will be awarded to the top ten High Overall National Champions at the Association of College Unions International (ACUI) Intercollegiate Clay Target Championships. The High Overall National Champions are determined by the combined American and International events. Places 1 through 5 will be awarded First Team NRA All-American Shotgun, and places 6 through 10 will be awarded Second Team NRA All-American Shotgun.
No preliminary paperwork is necessary to become a Collegiate Shotgun All-American.
The All-American selection committee is chosen from the NRA Collegiate Programs Committee, one of 39 policy-making committees of the Association. Members of the selection committee are well known in the competitive shooting community and many are former All-Americans, coaches of All-Americans, or both.
Since the start of the NRA's college honors program, All-Americans have contributed significantly to international shooting. For example, Robert Sandager, a 1936 NRA All-American from the University of Minnesota, went on to be named to the U.S. Shooting Team for the 36th World Championships. Since that first year, the extensive list of NRA All-Americans competing at the international level reads like a Who's Who of shooters.
The NRA All-American Program stands out because of its commitment to recognize and honor collegians who have performed remarkable shooting feats through a shooting season. This emphasis on continuous exceptional performance has been a major strength of the program. Acknowledging the outstanding achievements of collegiate shooters remains paramount to the All-American Program's history. The integrity of the All-American Program has remained intact because its foundation was built on respect for every college shooter willing to reach beyond the status quo and challenge himself/herself not only to meet, but to exceed the standards required of an All-American.
To be an NRA All-American is to always accept the challenge of performing at optimal levels while demonstrating exceptional leadership and character.