MAJOR ERNEST J. VANDE ZANDE
1975 Pan American Games – Mexico City, Mexico (Gold team medal in 50m Free Rifle Prone 60 shots)
1975 United States Distinguished International Shooter Badge
1976 NRA Distinguished Smallbore Rifle Badge – Position and Prone
1979 Pan American Games – San Juan, Puerto Rico (Gold team medals in 50m Free Rifle Prone 60 shots and Air Rifle and an individual Silver in Air Rifle)
1979 World Air Gun Championship – Seoul, Korea (Silver team medal in Men’s Air Rifle)
1980 National Smallbore Rifle Prone Champion – Camp Perry, Ohio
1980 CISM Team – Cairo, Egypt (Two silver team medals)
1981 Championship of The Americas – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Gold team medals in 300m Free Rifle 3X40, 300m Free Rifle Prone 60 shots, 50m Free Rifle Prone 60 shots and Men’s Air Rifle. Individual Gold in 50m Free Rifle Prone 60 shots, Bronze medals 300m Free Rifle 3X40 and Men’s Air Rifle.
World Record - 50m Free Rifle Prone 60 shots (600)
World Record team - 300m Free Rifle Prone 60 shots
1981 National Champion 300m Free Rifle Prone 60 shots
1982 World Shooting Championships – Caracas, Venezuela (Bronze individual medal in 300m Free Rifle Prone 60 shots)
1985 Championship of The Americas – Fort Benning, Georgia (Gold team medal in 50m Free Rifle Prone 60 shots)
1989 National 50m Free Rifle Prone Champion
1989 Championship of The Americas – San Juan, Puerto Rico (Silver team medal in 50m Free Rifle Prone 60 shots)
1996 Team Leader, United States Olympic Shooting Team – XXVI Olympic Games, Atlanta, Georgia
Born 23 April 1948 in McCook, Nebraska. Started shooting as a challenge from a schoolmate at age 11. Initial training in NRA Hunter Safety Course and then joined the Acorns Junior Rifle Club in Arlington, Virginia. Was a member of the Acorns JRC team winning the 1967 National Junior Indoor Rifle Team Championship.
Attended Murray State University in Murray, Kentucky on a rifle scholarship and helped win International and Conventional National Collegiate Team Championships in 1968 and 1970. Placed on academic probation in 1967. Named to Dean’s List in 1968. Graduated in 1971 receiving a double major in Business Administration. Inducted into the Murray State University Sports Hall of Fame in 1988.
Commissioned in August 1971 and graduated from the Ordnance Officer Basic Course in 1971 and Missile Material Officer Course in 1972 and assigned as Aide de Camp at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama. Assigned to USAMU International Rifle Section 1972-1976. Company and Compound Commander, Camp To Bong Son, Korea 1976-1977. Graduated the Ordnance Officer Advanced Course in 1978. Assigned USAMU 1978 until leaving active duty in 1981. Member of the winning 1977 NRA Lord Earl Roberts Team, Bisley, England. Won an individual Silver Medal in the 1979 World Beam Rifle Championship conducted as a demonstration event in Seoul, Korea. Conducted numerous shooting clinics throughout the United States and overseas. Inducted in USAMU International Rifle Hall of Fame in 1988.
Director of NRA National Junior Olympic Shooting Program and shooting operations at US Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, CO 1982-1988. Responsibilities included development and construction oversight of indoor shooting complex and locating land donation for construction of an outdoor shooting complex. Successfully completed Class B and Class A coach qualification. Served as Assistant National Rifle Team Coach 1986-1991.
Elected as the Athlete Advisory Council Representative for Shooting to the United States Olympic Committee serving 1988-1996. Elected as a member of the United States Olympic Committee Board of Directors 1988-1996. Appointed to the United States Shooting Team Foundation Board of Directors in 1990. Served on the NRA International Competitions Committee 1988-1994. In 1990 filed complaint to the United States Olympic Committee against the National Governing Body for shooting which ultimately led to the formation of a new and independent National Governing Body (USA Shooting) for the sport of Olympic Shooting in the United States. Member of the Board of Directors of USA Shooting, 1994-1996.
Retired as an active shooting competitor in 1992. Member USAR Shooting Team 1982-1994.
Past member of the Board of Directors of The Clark County Chapter of the American Red Cross and Powell Trust, 1995-1997. Currently serve as Airport Manager for Pearson Field Airport in Vancouver, Washington. Serves as President of the Wyatt, Vande Zande Foundation, a private non-profit foundation.