Army Reserve takes Creedmoor Cup Two Years Straight

Members of the Army Reserve Marksmanship Program Rifle Team team won the 2012 and 2013 Creedmoor Service Rifle Team match held at Camp Butner, a National Guard post.

Individual match winners at the 2013 Creedmoor Cup.
Day 1 Service Rifle Category winner: CPT Kirk Freeman
Day 2 Service Rifle Category winner: SGT Kristoffer Friend
Day 3 Service Rifle Category winner: SFC Chris Gervasio

2013 Eastern Creedmoor Cup Matches Service Rifle Champion is SGT Kristoffer Friend.

This makes back to back wins by the USAR Marksmanship Team. CPT Kirk Freeman won in 2012.

CPT Freeman, 2012 Eastern Creedmoor Cup Service Rifle Champion
SGT Friend, 2013 Eastern Creedmoor Cup Service Rifle Champion

Army Reserve Marksmanship Team with back to back wins!

SGT Friend and CPT Freeman

SGT Friend

ARMP at Creedmoor

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Best Warrior Excellence In Competition

Best Warrior Competitions (BWC) are becoming popular among Soldiers and for good reason. The event tests a wide range of Army skills and pits Soldiers in friendly competition. Competitive events have been long recognized as a positive motivating force for improving ability. The 11th Aviation Command recently held a Best Warrior Competition.

Staff Sgt. Matthew Anderson served as the Non Commissioned Officer In Charge of the 11th Aviation’s BWC marksmanship events and the assistance NCOIC of the overall event. “While I shot a lot while serving in the Marine Corps, I recently had a chance to compete in an Excellence In Competition event hosted by Army Reserve Careers Division. I liked the pace of the ARCD EIC event as it challenged marksmanship in detail versus merely training to hit somewhere as done in routine qualification.”

With that background, Staff Sgt Anderson had members of the Army Reserve Marksmanship Program (ARMP) conduct a formal Excellence In Competition event as a scored component of the 11th AVN BWC.

Master Sgt. Norman Anderson, a top shooter and rifle coach with the ARMP, ran the line at the event. “Marksmanship is the only Skill Level One task that can simultaneously save your life, your buddy’s life, and accomplish the mission. It is important for Soldiers to learn how to shoot better than routine qualification allows.”

EIC events are designed as both a competition and a training event, serving to train and support the war fighter. To earn awards, a Soldier must participate in a recognized EIC event and finish in the top ten percent. Unlike routine qualification, where everyone is expected qualify, Excellence In Competition pits skills against the rest of the field and the bottom 90 percent receive nothing. Events that have a restricted roster, such as to a specific unit or command, may only award four leg points to the finishers and only if the shooter does not yet have any points. Such events are said to be “baby legs” and a way to get a Soldier started in higher-level shooting. Only events that are open to all comers may award more Leg points and to those personnel having already earned points. Among those in the top ten percent, points are awarded based on order of finish. The first place finisher receives ten points, the top third receive eight points and the remainder will earn six points. Again, those finishing below the top ten percent of all shooter earn nothing. The goal is to not merely pass, but to surpass. Everyone seems to think they shoot expert. Only an event that recognizes the top ten percent can show who the real experts are.

The EIC program awards a Bronze medal after earning any number of points, Silver after accumulating 20 points and the Distinguished Rifleman and Distinguished Pistol Shot Badge after earning 30 points. These points can be accumulated any time in a person’s life and are a part of your permanent records. This program began in the 1870’s and Army Marksmanship records show that since then only 3,395 Soldiers have earned the Distinguished Rifleman, 1,689 members have earned the Distinguished Pistol Shot badge and 499 have earned both.

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Army Reserve Careers Division EIC

“Not too back for a bunch of career counselors. They shot very well, ” notes Sgt. Major James Mauer or Army Reserve Careers Division, Battalion Three (ARCD Bn 3), nicknamed “Team Firestorm.”

In recent years, ARCD has been noted for hosting improved marksmanship events, including higher level shooting events normally seen at more advanced training. SGM Mauer explains, “Letting our ARCCs (Army Reserve Career Counselors) become Subject Matter Experts in marksmanship is beneficial as it demonstrates to their Soldiers they truly believe in effective training. Our events formally recognize the top ten percent in our Battalion with orders published by Department of Army and kept in their permanent records. This builds camaraderie, esprit de corps and team building.”

Better than merely hosting a range event, the training is proving effective. The unit is now enjoying a nearly 90% first time go rate on qualification, with the remainder passing on the second attempt. Soldiers that previously struggled to qualify a year prior were now earning awards within the Battalion for superior shooting. Staff Sgt. John Arcularius of ARCD Bn 3 said, “This is the second year that our Battalion has conducted actual training prior to qualification and it shows. The results are validated by improved performance.”

ARCD Bn 3 commander, LTC Stephen Keck noted, “This was absolutely OUTSTANDING Annual Training. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I am truly humbled to be a small part of Team Firestorm.”

Staff Sgt. Arcularius, a former member of the Marine Corps Weapon Training Battalion, praised the Marine shooting team at Quantico for their help. “The Marines spared no effort in helping us. Gunnery Sgt. Fernald, Staff NCOIC of the Rifle Team, made sure we had everything needed while at Quantico.”

For rifle shooting, ARCD BN 3 “Firestorm” Soldiers achieved a 76% first time qualification rate. With pistol, personnel achieved an 80% first time qualification rate. With a combined 82 Soldiers, this was a total 91% of ARCD personnel achieving a first time successful qualification rate. In addition, Firestorm shot rifle and pistol Excellence In Competition events. EIC events have been formally recognized by the Army since 1884. The program tracks marksmanship achievement via a point system commonly referred to as “Leg” points in an effort to obtain awards signifying heightened marksmanship ability. EIC badges are much more prominent than normal qualification badges, issued in Bronze, Silver and Gold, as opposed to the typical “tin” qualification badge, and eligible for wear on dress uniforms, as per 670-1. This EIC program is governed by AR 350-66 and is recognized by all services, not just the Army, as well as civilians.

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