Army Reserve Marksmanship team assist Reservists with Soldier skills

Story and photos by Spc. Hector Corea, 366th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

HUTCHINSON, Kansas – No matter what job specialty, assignment or mission, each and every soldier in the Army Reserves may one day be placed in a position to fire a weapon in a combat zone.
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USAR Marksmanship Program and CSM Schultz

Command Sgt. Maj. Michael D. Schultz, the 11th Command Sergeant Major of the U.S. Army Reserve, and Sgt. Maj. James Mauer, USAR Army Reserve Careers Division and Marksmanship Program.

 

The US Army Reserves has been a staunch supporter of organized marksmanship events throughout the force. Regulation supports competition shooting at all levels, starting at the unit level with the annual USAR Postal Match (http://armyreservemarksman.info/postal-match/) all the way up to Federally required marksmanship events (under Title 36, Section 40725 of the U.S. Code) represented by the US Army Reserve Marksmanship Program.

In light of this continued support, SGM James Mauer of the Army Reserve Careers Division and Marksmanship Program presents the official head gear worn by all USAR Marksmanship Program members to CSM Michael Schultz for continued support.

ARCD Running Team Finishes Army Strong

Members of the Army Reserve Careers Division competing at the Army Ten Miler in the team event finished in the award category and were officially recognized for success.

Team ARCD Mission Failure is not an Option competed among 37 Reserve Mixed teams and took third place. The Army Ten Miler defines Reserve Mixed teams as male and female team members with Reserve status from the same unit, duty station, or installation. At least one scoring member of the team must be of the opposite gender.

ARCD Mission Failure is not an Option team members included Erin Miller, John Dunlap, Eleanor Cunningham, Chris Westerholm, Angel Liberg, Steven Mckee, Nancy Cortes, and Romeo Santos.

 

ARCD Mission Failure is not an Option team members included Erin Miller, John Dunlap, Eleanor Cunningham, Chris Westerholm, Angel Liberg, Steven Mckee, Nancy Cortes, and Romeo Santos.

Army Marksmanship Unit Olympians at Army Ten Miler

The Army Ten Miler is the third largest road race in the world. Started in 1985, it attracts 30,000 runners, half of them currently serving in the US armed forces, and is supported by 1200 military personnel.

Leading off the 28th Annual Army Ten Miler at the Fitness Expo was CSM David Turnbull and COL James C. Markert, Regimental Commander of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard.) In attendance were members of the Army Marksmanship Unit, recently back from competing at the 2012 Olympic Games.

Shotgun shooter SSG Josh Richmond competed in the Double Trap event, SGT Vince Hancock successfully defended his 2008 Gold medal by taking Gold again in Skeet, and SFC Josh Olson competed in the mixed 50m Rifle Prone and mixed 10m Air Rifle Prone at the Paralympic Games.

 

CSM David Turnbull, COL James C. Markert, SSG Josh Richmond, SGT Vince Hancock and SFC Josh Olson.

Celebrating a Great Year in a Soldier’s Life: Competition, Promotion, Awards, Recognition…

By Staff Sgt. Astrid N. Lopez

The Under Secretary of the Army and Master Sgt. Caban, at the Pentagon Ceremony on June 19th, 2012.

The Under Secretary of the Army and Master Sgt. Caban, at the Pentagon Ceremony on June 19th, 2012.

As we celebrate Columbus Day and enjoy this long weekend, I will also like to celebrate, one year, in over a 20 years career for a great Soldier, Master Sgt. Arnaldo Caban-Cruz.

Master Sgt. Caban, was born in Brooklyn, New York, but grew up in Moca, Puerto Rico.  He joined the Army in 1991 and for the last two years has been part of the Army Reserve Careers Division (ARCD) as an Army Reserve Career Counselor (ARCC), just recently with the 3rd Battalion, but until July 2012, it was with 5th Battalion, Area 5, in Fort Buchanan, Puerto Rico.

Master Sgt. Caban went to Washington, DC and participated in a ceremony at the Pentagon were Recruiters and Career Counselors from the Active Army, Army Reserve and National Guard, were recognized by the Under Secretary of the Army, the Honorable (Dr.) Joseph W. Westphal.

This recognition occurred in June 2012, from the 17th until the 20th.  The 17th was their travel day and on the 18th the awardees were given a tour of the Pentagon, Master Sgt. Caban exclaimed: “It was impressive…once inside the building it felt like if you were in a city!”.  That same afternoon they were taken to different DC sites. The actual ceremony was conducted on June 19th, 2012, and it was at the Pentagon’s Hall of Heroes. “It was truly an honor to be recognized by the Under Secretary of the Army, Honorable John W. Westphal, and it was even a greater feeling to have the Command Sergeant Major for ARCD, Cmd. Sgt. Maj. Connie F. Commenia, the Sergeant Major from my Battalion, Sgt. Maj. James A. Wallace, and my Area Leader, Master Sgt. Madeline Santiago there with me at the ceremony, while I’m being recognized” As Master Sgt. Caban was talking it was easy to feel his emotion and see how excited and honored he truly felt.

It was a great year for Master Sgt. Caban; he was nominated to participate in the Battalion (5th Battalion, ARCD) Army Reserve Career Counselor of the Year Board held in Orlando, Florida. “It was different from my previous experiences competing on a board…taking it a step further, because they not only test you in your soldiering knowledge, but also, your knowledge as an Army Reserve Career Counselor as well” Master Sgt. Caban explained.

“The tests and questions regarding Army Regulations and policies were not as challenging as the written essay”, he said, “because the topic of the written essay was unknown until the moment you are sitting down in the classroom with pencil and paper”.  The winner was announced on July 15th, 2011. “It was truly an honor to have won the competition, and knowing that I was going to be representing the 5th Battalion against the best, from other Battalions, was a challenge that I took with great pride” he said, after being announced the winner.

He then went on to participate in the Secretary of the Army, Army Reserve Career Counselor of the Year Board, Fiscal Year 2011, at Fort Benning, Georgia, against twelve other Career Counselors.  This competition lasted several days; about this competition he said “It was a little bit more intense…and there were several mystery events”. The fact that the competitors never knew how well they did after each event, made it even more difficult on them.  “We had to concentrate even more and just think about our next event”, he continued, “Regardless of how you felt you did on a particular test or event, you had to put it behind you and concentrate on the next one, that to me was the key during the competition”.  This competition included events like Land Navigation, Warrior Tasks, and Army Physical Fitness Test, among others.

On September 23rd, 2011 he won again, and became the Army Reserve Career Counselor of the Year.  “This has been a great experience for me, I feel that these competitions have made me a more…well rounded Soldier and I encourage every Army Reserve Career Counselor who has not had the opportunity to compete yet, to try and do so in the future. I’m also very thankful for having the opportunity to represent myself, my Area and my Battalion to the best of my ability.”

At the same time that this competition was happening, Master Sgt. Caban, was also participating in the Promotion Board. So while being physically and mentally challenged in the Army Reserve Career Counselor of the Year Board, his Promotion Packet was also competing, and again he was selected for promotion.

His peers celebrated his success by conducting a Promotion Ceremony at Ft. Buchanan, Puerto Rico, on January 19th, 2012. Our Battalion Commander Lieutenant Colonel Thomas E. Bartow and Sgt. Maj. Wallace were part of the Ceremony and also many of his peers.

As we can see it has been a great year for Master Sgt. Caban, whom recently changed his primary station and was transferred to Ft. Meade, Maryland on July 16th, 2012. He is now the Area Leader for Area 6, of the 3rd Battalion, ARCD.

Congratulations to him for his success and performance. We thank you for your service and for being all that you can be, so that we remain Army Strong.

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1st Battalion ARCD welcomes a new commander

Lt. Col. Eric V. Myrick, 1st Battalion ARCD outgoing commander, surrender the Battalion's colors to Col. Gary U. Bullard, Commander of the Army Reserve Careers Division.

Lt. Col. Eric V. Myrick, 1st Battalion ARCD outgoing commander, surrender the Battalion’s colors to Col. Gary U. Bullard, Commander of the Army Reserve Careers Division.

Story and photos by Sgt. 1st Class Mayra O’Neill, 362nd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

FORT DEVENS, Mass. – The 1st Battalion Army Reserve Careers Division bid farewell to Lt. Col. Eric V. Myrick, and welcomed Lt. Col. Kurt D. O’Rourke as the battalion’s new commander during a change of command ceremony held July 9, 2012 at Fort Devens Community Activities Center.

Myrick a native of Montgomery, Ala., assumed command of 1st Battalion ARCD on May 10, 2010, becoming the second to command the battalion since the ARCD activated in October 2008. He has held a variety of demanding positions throughout his career from serving as a Platoon Leader, all the way to performing the duties as the Manpower Policy Officer as a member of the Office of the Chief Army Reserve, G-1 [Human Resources].

During his farewell speech, Myrick said that being the 1st Battalion commander has been the best assignment of his career. “You have inspired me and made me a better officer and I hope I have been able to help you,” he said.

Inspired by the late basketball coach James Thomas Anthony, who never gave up or let his team quit, he tells the soldiers of 1st Battalion, “Don’t give up, don’t ever give up, don’t quit.” Myrick praised his NCOs by saying, “You have done many good things over the past two years, and I know you will continue to get better.” “Stay passionate about what you do. Find a way to get yourselves motivated and re-energized if you need to, but continue to push forward.”

Myrick’s new assignment will be with the Department of the Army at the Pentagon.

The incoming commander, Lt. Col. Kurt D. O’Rourke a native of Beverly, Mass., began by thanking his family for enduring three moves in the past four years, which they have handled with grace and enthusiasm, as they continue to support the challenges of military life.

His last assignment was as a student at the U.S. Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pa. Prior to attending the War College, O’Rourke was assigned as the Chief of Plans, Analysis, and Integration Directorate for the 99th Regional Support Command, Joint Base McGuire Dix Lakehurst, N.J.

O’Rourke considers taking over this command a gift and honor, and most of all a great privilege. “Command during a time of war and great transition for our armed forces is a distinct privilege,” he said. “Part of the honor of today is assuming command of a unit which has the distinction of having the finest non-commissioned officers in the United States Army Reserve,”

O’Rourke said with great pride. He continued to praise his NCOs and the Corp of the Non-Commissioned Officer by saying, “You have been, are, and always will be the backbone of the Army. You are the standard bearers of excellence and the Army Values.” However, he did emphasized that, “Mission failure is not an option.”

O’Rourke concluded his speech by quoting Adm. James Stockton, a Medal of Honor recipient and 8-year Vietnam prisoner of war by saying:

“Leadership must be based on goodwill. Goodwill does not mean posturing and, least of all, pandering to the mob. It means obvious and wholehearted commitment to helping followers. We are tired of leaders we fear, tired of leaders we love, and tired of leaders who let us take liberties with them. What we need for leaders are men of the heart who are so helpful that they, in effect, do away with the need of their jobs. But, leaders like that are never without a job, never out of followers. Strange as it sounds, great leaders gain authority by giving it away.”                                                                                        – Adm. James Stockton-

The United States Army Reserve Careers Division was established on 1 October 2008 by permanent order and assigned to the Headquarters, U.S. Army Reserve Command, Fort McPherson, Ga. This is the only accessioning agency assigned solely to the U.S. Army Reserve. Its mission is to shape and sustain the strength of the Army Reserve through aggressive retention and transition programs.

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Phase 2 Battle Staff Noncommissioned Officer Course: Class 005-12, Battle Room 5

Non Commissioned Officers from all branches of the Army, stateside and overseas, made up Battle Room 5, Class 005-12 of Phase 2 Battle Staff Noncommissioned Officer Course at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin. Battle Staff is a performance oriented course that prepares the Noncommissioned Officer (NCO), in the rank of Staff Sgt. and above, to perform operationally on the battlefield. The course is taught using the Small Group Instruction (SGI) concept. During orientation all students were reminded of the course failure rate, and the message was clearly sent that Battle Staff would be one of their most academically challenging Army courses. The tone was set as all students broke off into their prospective Battle Rooms.

Battle Room 5 was lead by Small Group Leader, Sgt. 1st Class Lance Wilson who made it very clear that active participation and positive interaction was essential to graduating. When asked what makes the course so challenging, Sgt. 1st Class Wilson said, “The challenge is seeing real world graphics and interpreting them into a mission and also taking a written OPORD (Operation Order) and developing a graphic overlay.” Paying attention to detail was constantly stressed along with perfecting one’s research capabilities. Another extremely important asset to doing well in the course was the diverse Military Occupational Skills (MOS) represented within the group. It was an excellent resource of experiences, technical skills, and tactical knowledge. While there was occasional competitive bantering between the different branches of Active Duty, Army Reserve, and National Guard, there was no separation. Everyone worked together as a team with a common goal in mind. When a battle buddy struggled, everyone pulled together to help.

I asked all of the students in Battle Room 5 what they gained from attending the course and whether they thought the Army is keeping them educationally prepared to remain proficient in their job(s). Staff Sgt. Daniel Halloran, a Human Resources NCO with 94th Division at Fort McCoy, said that while he believes Battle Staff offered minimal benefit as a Human Resources NCO, he still gained a better understanding on what operation responsibilities are in a JOC (Joint Operations Center) and TOC (Tactical Operations Center) during time of war. Furthermore, Staff Sgt. Halloran stated, “There are not many schools geared to my professional development that I would be allowed to take.” He is constantly searching to further his military education beyond the Senior Leadership Course (SLC). Sgt. 1st Class Darin Hawfield, assigned to 122nd Engineer Battalion as the S4 NCOIC (Noncommissioned Officer In Charge) stated that the course ranked among one of the most in depth and informative classes he has ever attended.

When an NCO graduates from Battle Staff, they earn the Additional Skill Identifier (ASI) of 2S. Sgt. 1st Class Wilson explained why it is important for NCOs to earn this ASI. He said, “It is important for NCO’s to learn about the bigger picture of what is done in a brigade area or larger and why and to learn the computer systems involved with it.” Furthermore, Sgt. 1st Class Wilson believes the biggest advantage is learning the IPB (Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield) process and the different staff positions. This is validated by Sgt. 1st Class Hawfield who already utilizes the skills he gained during the course on a regular basis. “I now know the importance of each role in the TOC. The key players in our TOC are now asking me to conduct classes on overlays, MDMP (Military Decision Making Process), and task organization. It is self assuring, to teach classes that I can honestly say I know what I am talking about and refer to the correct references,” he said.

Best Warrior Competition

By Master Sgt. Gregg Curry

This is all the ARCD Competitors. LtoR SFC Francisco Gonzalez (Winner) 8th Bn, SFC Gene Garcia, 13th Bn, SFC Alesha Rose, 5th Bn, SFC Jacques Gele, 4th Bn, SFC Benjamin Linlous, 3d Bn, and the runner up SFC James Tunnissen,11th BN.

The Army Reserve Careers Division (ARCD) in conjunction with the 11th Aviation Command held their Best Warrior Competition (BWC)from June 5th thru June 9th 2012 at Ft Knox, KY. 

Sgt. 1st Class Francisco Gonzales from the 8th battalion, ARCD was selected as the NCO to represent ARCD at the United States Army Reserve Command (USARC) BWC to be held July 16 – 20 at Ft McCoy, WI.

Sgt. 1st Class James Tunnissen from the 11th battalion, ARCD was selected as the runner up and alternate to represent ARCD as the USARC BWC.

These two NCOs did an outstanding job throughout the competition and it was an extremely close margin that separated first and second place.   

The following six NCOs, Sgt. 1st Class Benjamin Linkous, 3d battalion, Sgt. 1st Class Jacques Gele, 4th battalion, Staff Sgt. Alesha Rose, 5th battalion, Sgt. 1st Class Francisco Gonzalez, 8th battalion, Sgt. 1st Class James Tunnissen, 11th battalion, and Sgt. 1st Class Gene Garcia, 13th battalion were selected and represented their battalions at this competition.  It was very obvious that each of these competitors were very well prepared to compete as this level.  Everyone one of these outstanding NCOs remained in contention up to the very end. 

The competition included events such as the APFT, obstacle course, combatives tournament, pugil stick tournament, bayonet assault course, urban assault course, 10K rucksack march, land navigation course, night urban
orienteering course, M4 qualification, M4 night fire and weapons challenge.  In addition to these events the competitors were evaluated on multiple Army warrior tasks, a written exam and a physical board appearance.

Congratulations to all of the competitors for the 2012 ARCD BWC and good luck to Sgt. 1st Class Francisco Gonzalez at the 2012 USARC BWC.

Taking Care of Soldiers – Ready Reserve Muster Event

"Excellence in Action" - ARCD 2D BN KnightsLast weekend seventeen Army Reserve Career Counselors (ARCCs) from 2nd Battalion, Army Reserve Careers Division (ARCD), worked together with Human Resources Command (HRC), Soldier Readiness Processing (SRP) Team for 99th Regional Support Command (RSC), Veteran Affairs (VA), and Logistics Health to service more than two hundred Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) Soldiers at Fort Dix, New Jersey. This was my second experience working at a Ready Reserve Muster event. Each year there are improvements, but in my opinion this year it was by far the best. Leadership, teamwork, and lessons learned from past Ready Reserve Muster events, clearly made an impact.

 As with any large event such as this Muster, there are bound to be issues. Internet connectivity started out as what could have been, and many of us certainly thought would be, a disaster. One individual made a lasting impression from the start. Sgt. Markus Metellus, who was recently assigned to 99th RSC, was our IT savior to say the least. With a positive attitude and “never quit” mentality, he managed to accept every challenge and overcome every issue we threw his way. He did so confidently and with a smile that was contagious. Qualified as both a Signal Support System Specialist (25U) and a Nodal Network System Operator Maintainer (25N), Sgt. Metellus lead the way and set a high standard for any future Muster events. Maj. Stephen Trotter, Executive Officer, 2nd Battalion ARCD, and Sgt Maj. Jason Pritt recognized Sgt. Metellus’s performance in front of his peers and leaders by presenting him with a 2nd Battalion Coin. 

"Excellence in Action" - Sgt. Markus Metellus
The IRR Soldiers in attendance were presented with every opportunity, benefit, and incentive available to them as they continue to serve through their Military Service Obligation (MSO). Representatives from the IRR Affiliation Program (IAP), Employer Partnership Initiative (EPI), Army Air Force Exchange Services (AAFES), Defense Commissary Agency (DECA), Compass Point, and Military One Source attended the Muster event as well. Approximately twelve percent of the IRR Soldiers chose to take full advantage of their opportunities by transferring to a USAR Troop Program Unit (TPU). The goal of the Ready Reserve Muster event was to assess, update, and certify the personnel readiness of all IRR Soldiers that attended. The teamwork of everyone involved helped to not only meet these goals, but exceed them as well.

Junior Enlisted Promotion Board – Unforgettable Moments

Sgt. Eshleman, Sgt. Raskie, Sgt. Austin, Sgt. BoydOn 3- 4 March 2012, Headquarters, 301st Quartermaster Regional Support Group held a Junior Enlisted Promotion Board.  Four Active Guard Reserve Sergeants gathered in a room anxiously waiting for the Promotion Board to begin. 

I have been a competitor in many different types of Army Boards; however, on this occasion I was a mentor.   It is an incredibly different experience as a mentor verses being a participant.  As a mentor, my aim was to coach and encourage each of the participants.  One participant asked me, “What did you do to relax when you went to Boards?”  I shared different techniques, but the bottom line is that at least some nervousness is natural.  Relaxation techniques that work for some, may not work for others.  We have all been there and know that regardless of how much or little you prepare, when it comes time to pound on that door three times with confidence, nearly every symptom of shock these Soldiers memorized from the study guide, makes a surprise appearance.  On 4 March, as they awaited their turn, each participant dealt with their anxiety in a different way.   

Sgt. Jill Eshleman of 3rd Platoon, 542nd Quartermaster Company, paced the entire room as she answered different questions being thrown at her as a last minute review.  There was laughter from the other participants and mentors as she answered each question with confidence and perfection, while claiming she could not remember anything. 

Sgt. Rashieda Austin of 7th Platoon, 542nd Quartermaster Company, decided that if she didn’t know it by now then she just wasn’t going to remember it.  She escaped the anxiety of the day by walking around with the lint roller and making sure the participants’ uniforms were lint free prior to appearing before the Board.  On occasion, she would attempt to answer one of the study guide questions before Sgt. Eshleman, but she wasn’t quite fast enough. 

Sgt. Zackary Raskie of 6th Platoon, 542nd Quartermaster Company, sat as he was obviously reviewing questions quietly to himself.   His sponsor, Staff Sgt. Holmes, occasionally reviewed how to report to the Board or how to properly answer questions.  Every now and then when Sgt. Raskie would stand and stretch, Sgt. Austin was standing by to make sure his uniform had not acquired more lint since the last time she checked. 

Sgt. Heather Boyd walked in the room with a bright smile and ready to go. I checked her uniform and then she sat down next to her sponsor, Master Sgt. McGraw.  Appearing very focused, she opened her study guide and started reviewing the topics for the Board.  Master Sgt. McGraw tried to convince her that she should close the study guide and relax, but she was not having any part of that.  He said, “You got this Sgt. Boyd!”   She just smiled and continued to study. 

What a rewarding day it was for me to be able to not only coach, counsel, and mentor Non-Commissioned Officers, but also be a part of an experience they will remember forever.

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