“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.