In October, I wrote a story on I.F. resident David Crandall, who was a member of the U.S. Veterans Rifle team which won gold at the NRA World Long-Range Target Rifle championships in August at Camp Perry, Ohio. He informed me that he recently was selected captain of the team and his wife Chris was selected as adjutant, jobs they will keep for the next four years in preparation for the 2019 world championships in New Zealand.
I.F. man named captain of U.S. Veterans Rifle team
David Crandall will direct the defending world champions for the next four years
By MARLOWE HEREFORD
Seven months ago, David Crandall experienced the biggest moment of his 13-year long-range rifle shooting career.
The Idaho Falls resident was a member of the U.S. Veterans Rifle team, comprised of long-range shooters aged 60 and older, which won gold at the 2015 NRA World Long-Range Target Rifle Championships at Camp Perry, Ohio. It was a first for the team since 1999, and the first gold for Crandall in four world championship appearances.
Crandall received a new honor earlier this month upon being selected captain of the U.S. Veterans Rifle Team. His wife, Chris, was selected as adjutant captain and the two will serve their posts through the 2019 world championships in New Zealand.
Upon the conclusion of every world championships, current captains are asked if they want to continue. Palma team captain Dennis Flaherty and veterans team captain Tom Whitaker stepped down after the 2015 world championships and Flaherty recommended that David Crandall apply for veterans team captain. On March 3, Crandall received an email from NRA president Allan Cors informing him he was chosen.
Crandall will be second in command of the U.S. Rifle teams under the new Palma team captain, and his responsibilities include forming the veterans team and creating a schedule of training opportunities and competitions for the next four years.
“Each year we’ll be going on team trips to gain international experience, continue integrating the team and giving them opportunities to mesh together,” he said. “It’s going to be a very challenging job. I want to do well.”
To Crandall’s knowledge, he is the first veterans team captain from Idaho and Chris is the first female adjutant for the veterans team or the Palma team. Also a competitive long range rifle shooter, Chris has helped previous captains and adjutants and has management experience from working for the Idaho National Laboratory, which she and David are both retired from.
“I wasn’t out there to get recognition,” Chris said of her previous contributions to the U.S. Rifle team. “It’s gonna be a lot of work. It’ll be fun.”
David Crandall said Flaherty was in favor of Chris being adjutant early in the application process.
“It’s important for me to emphasize that I would have come to the idea of having Chris as adjutant, but it was suggested right up front,” he said. “Chris is a good shot, a former state champion here and has on good days beaten everyone else in matches.”
The first task is to visit with Flaherty in May to learn more about a captain’s responsibilities. David Crandall said the team selection process has changed tremendously from when he made his first world championship team in 2003, and the team dynamic has also changed. In his opinion, the changes have been for the best and he aspires to maintain them.
“When you value people for their contributions, they feel more like a team,” he said. “One of the biggest complaints we heard as we got into the sport was it’s a good old boys club. We’ll establish or improve the previous process for selecting team members. We have to make sure the people know it’s a fair selective process.”
His competitive shooting career will take a backseat to helping direct the team, and he said he anticipates the competition for the 10 spots on the veterans team to be tight. He aspires to help the next team improve on last year’s 12-point victory margin, and be good representatives of the U.S. and supportive of each other.
While he now has additional responsibilities, Crandall said he is looking forward to sharing his new role with Chris in a country neither of them have visited. Long-range shooting has taken them to Canada, Great Britain, South Africa and Jamaica, but the closest they came to New Zealand was Australia.
“New Zealand has been on our list for a while,” he said. “I have two team world championship medals and now I’m excited to have the opportunity to win a medal as a captain. Chris can get one, too.”