The National Rifle Association’s connection to the military goes back well over a century. Indeed, it was military men who founded the organization.

Dismayed by the lack of marksmanship shown by their troops, Union veterans Col. William C. Church and Gen. George Wingate formed the National Rifle Association in 1871. The primary goal of the association was to “promote and encourage rifle shooting on a scientific basis,” according to a magazine editorial written by Church.

Military veterans have played a role in NRA ever since. They make up a significant part of NRA’s membership and Board of Directors. They shoot in NRA’s competitive matches and often become NRA-Certified Instructors to teach gun safety and basic marksmanship.

Because NRA deeply appreciates the sacrifices you make while serving our country, we are honored to offer you a complimentary one-year membership in the NRA as a token of our gratitude and respect. Click here for more information on benefits of membership and to take advantage of the offer:

Soldiers who hunt-and have difficulty finding a place to hunt because of frequent relocation-should visit While this site focuses primarily on NRA’s battles to protect hunters’ rights, several links on the site make it easy to find a place to hunt, including: a state-by-state index to public hunting lands, a guide to hunting on national wildlife refuges, and a state listing of guides and outfitters.

NRA is also proud to support a number of Wound Warriors hunts Read about one here.

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NRA conducts many more programs and services of interest to the military, from tactical competitions ( to tuition-free armorer schools ( The NRA HQ Range ( in Fairfax, VA, has hosted a free Veteran’s Day shoot for several years. Visit for details on the programs of the NRA.