Coast Guard Academy Members and Cadets Volunteer Personal Time to Help Design Stages For Smith & Wesson Back Up Gun Nationals

by Editor 8. November 2013 13:29
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BERRYVILLE, Ark. – The International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA) and Smith & Wesson announced that they have are once again turned to the Staff and cadets of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy’s Practical Shooting Team to assist Smith & Wesson to design stages for the inaugural Smith & Wesson IDPA Back Up Gun National Championship.

Since 2009 members of the Coast Guard Academy community have taken a break from their busy schedules to volunteer their personal time, under the direction of IDPA and Smith & Wesson, to assist with designing and staffing stages at the Smith & Wesson Indoor Nationals, making the cadets a fixture at that championship.

“Smith & Wesson has worked closely with members of the Coast Guard Academy staff and cadets for several years now and we wouldn’t dream of putting together another major championship without calling in volunteers from the Academy as reinforcements. The staff and cadets bring creative stage designs, tremendous enthusiasm and a tireless work ethic to our matches, and their professionalism is a great credit to the Coast Guard,” said Paul Pluff of Smith & Wesson.

In addition to volunteering to design two of the 13 stages and working as Safety Officers, with the oversight of Smith & Wesson, at the Back Up Gun Nationals, USCGA cadets will also be called upon to present the colors at the championship’s awards banquet.

“We’re honored to once again be asked by Smith & Wesson to be a part of this event. Serving the public is the heart of every Coastie, serving the sport is just icing on the cake as it gives our young leaders in training an opportunity to develop the knowledge, skills and abilities using firearms in realistic scenarios. For some of them it will be their first major championship, there is no better event than this to take on the buzzer for the first time,” said Chad Barber of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.

The USCGA Practical Shooting Team was formed in the early 70’s to compete against the other service academies. After 2001 the team turned its focus towards law enforcement qualifications and other competitions. As a result of their training and experience senior cadets on the team have been afforded internship opportunities during summer training periods with several of the Coast Guard’s Tactical Law Enforcement Teams (TACLET), Maritime Safety and Security Teams’s (MSST) and Maritime Security Response Team (MSRT).

The Smith & Wesson IDPA Back Up Gun Nationals will take place November 14-16 and feature a 13-stage course of fire with a round count of 180. Held on the indoor ranges of the Smith & Wesson Shooting Sports Center in Springfield, Massachusetts, match officials expect the event to draw upwards of 200 top IDPA shooters vying for titles in either the Pistol or Revolver division.

Registration is open and just a handful of slots are still available for those interested in competing. Registration is being conducted online at

For more information on IDPA, the inaugural Smith & Wesson IDPA Back Up Gun Nationals or to join the more than 22,000 members competing each week all across America, visit

You can further connect with the IDPA community through IDPA’s social media, such as @OfficialIDPA on Twitter and ShootIDPA on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr, or check for regular news and updates on the organization’s DOWN ZERO Blog.

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