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How Our Instructors Compare

Please understand: this comparison is in no way an attempt to detract from the fine training programs offered by the NRA and the CMP. We simply want to point out how much more it takes to become a trained RWVA-certified instructor.

Occasionally, as we schedule events, we're told we must have an NRA Certified Instructor on site during the event. Many RWVA instructors are also NRA- and CMP-Certified instructors, but RWVA instructor qualifications go far beyond any requirements of the NRA or CMP. If range owners and other potential Appleseed hosts fully understand the extent of our training, they will start requiring RWVA-Certified instructors on-site.

In other words, RWVA is 'setting the pace' when it comes to training and certifying rifle marksmanship instructors. A comparison will quickly show how and why we can say that.

NRA Instructor requirements:

  • Possess and demonstrate a solid background in firearm safety and shooting skills acquired through previous firearm training (such as completion of an NRA Basic Firearm Training Course) and/or previous shooting experience
  • Successfully complete the appropriate NRA instructor examination. Certified—90% or higher. Assistant—85% or higher. Apprentice—85% or higher
  • Satisfactorily complete an NRA Instructor Training Course for the area of specialization you wish to teach (e.g., NRA Basic Shotgun Course), and receive the endorsement of the NRA Training Counselor conducting your training.
  • Submit your application with appropriate certification fee. Membership in the National Rifle Association is strongly recommended.
  • See

Citizen Marksmanship Program (CMP)

  • Association with a shooting club or shooting range where the Master Instructor will have opportunities to teach Garand-Springfield-Military Rifle Clinics.
  • Experience teaching rifle marksmanship as a coach or instructor.
  • Experience competing in John C. Garand and Springfield matches at national and club levels.
  • Experience as a competitive service rifle shooter (desired, not required).
  • Desire to teach marksmanship to new shooters and to help them get a good start.

RWVA Instructor Requirements:

Two paths possible

Path #1 Rifleman Boot Camp or Instructor Camp.

  • 2 day minimum (usually more) for 30+ hours of instruction where they learn:
    1. to run a line safely
    2. line commands
    3. marksmanship instruction
    4. The history and tradition of the Rifleman
  • Instruct real students at the Appleseed following the camp, under the supervision of a full instructor.
  • Consistently score 210 on the AQT (Rifleman skill level)
  • Perform well during the Appleseed following camp as documented on the Instructor Evaluation Form (IEF)
  • Participants who successfully complete of all the above will be certified as RWVA Appleseed Basic Instructors, and will be "Basic Instructors" until they have successfully complete instructing at four Appleseeds following their boot camp, demonstrating increasing command of the task of teaching rifle marksmanship until they meet the standard to become a Full Instructor.

Path #2 The Appleseed Trail

  • Must participate in at least two Appleseed as a shooting student.
  • As an Instructor-in-training must study online training materials and the RWVA Instructor Guide, as well as understudy to Instructors at four future Appleseeds
  • Must perform selected teaching duties under the supervision of a Full Instructor for at least three Appleseeds, and, at the fourth Appleseed, tell the Story of April 19th, 1775.
  • Must receive at least four positive Instructor evaluation forms.
  • Must be able to consistently score 210 on the AQT.
  • Demonstrate mastery in running a safe line.

Participants who complete the above may instruct at an Appleseed event under the supervision of a Full Instructor or higher.


  • 30+ hours of initial training
  • 96+ hours of actual on-hands experience under supervision (the apprenticeship portion).
  • Continuing education teaching several hundred new students over the subsequent 12 months, initially under the careful supervision of an experienced instructor, and finally, once he's proven - where the rubber meets the road, out on the firing line - that he can do the job, on his own

What's the major difference?

Unlike both the NRA and the CMP, our first requirement for a potential instructor is that he be able to do what he is going to teach - in other words, he has to be able to shoot an "Expert" score with a rifle on the Army Qualification Test (AQT). Our second requirement, once a new instructor completes the basics is we require our instructors to go out and instruct hundreds of students under the tutelage of an experienced instructor and gain valuable "hands on" experience - all the while he is being evaluated via IEF (Instructor Evaluation Form) to see that he measures up to our high standards. When a guy with an "NRA certificate" shows up to instruct at a range, he may never have instructed - but you can bet an RWVA instructor has a lot of miles of experience under his belt - this cannot be emphasized enough. The tremendous amount of "hands-on" training every RWVA instructor receives makes for an excellence hard to find elsewhere. Where an NRA certificate in effect stops - with the issuance of a certificate - is where an RWVA instructor really BEGINS his training...

It's a process that produces, not just trained and paper-tested instructors, but trained, line-tested, and experienced instructors

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