Lake Forest, Ill. –
Sgt. 1st Class Joshua Rosendorn (3-335th TSBn) used a series of local, inexpensive marksmanship events to create several unit shooting teams and develop a cadre of well-trained Soldiers. All units of the Army Reserve can benefit by using the same programs and approach he used.
Sgt. 1st Class Rosendorn started by creating a small unit shooting team with members of his current unit, 3-335th TSBn “Blackhawk” (85th Reserve Support Command). "At first, unit leadership wasn't sure how much to support competition shooting or what value it would return to the unit," Sgt. 1st Class Rosendorn said. "I started slow, using inexpensive options for internal training. I set up Postal Match events using a Engagement Skills Trainer and at a local civilian range after duty hours to develop initial interest. The Soldiers could see they were improving much more than with just shooting routine qualification."
Sgt. 1st Class Rosendorn submited After Action Reports and information about these efforts to Public Affairs, making Army Reserve News, which created more interest. This led to unit leadership agreeing to send Soldiers to an away game, with Rosendorn leading and coaching a unit team consisting of MAJ David Zizkovsky, MAJ Jeremy Crochiere, 1st Sgt James Salm, 1st Sgt. Cody Brunet, and SFC Rosendorn to the 2020 All Army Small Arms Championship. They secured High Reserve honors for individual and team awards there.
Fast forward to this past March and the 2021 All Army Small Arms Championship. With his command’s continued support, SFC Rosendorn and 1st Sgt. Brunet returned to take a team that included Staff Sgts. Paul Prado, Joel Eisen and Shantel Belot. “This year was more about expanding the program to allow some of our Soldiers with less exposure to marksmanship events experience the benefits to be gained from competitive events” said SFC Rosendorn.
"Sgt. 1st Class Rosendorn approached myself and a few others asking if there was any interest in competition shooting. Everyone but myself raised their hands, and were talking about how great a shot they were. He then asked me why I didn’t want to go. I explained that I would love to go, but I’m no great shot, but I’m always willing to learn and gain experience," said Staff Sgt. Shantel Belot. "Practicing with the team, receiving good coaching, and attending the competition, I learned a lot and will take everything I learned and not only apply it to my own skills and abilities but also future soldiers that I may have to mentor or lead. This experience was not just a competition to me, but a great training opportunity where I was able to gain knowledge from the hundreds of other competitors always willing to give advice and constructive criticism."
Staff Sgt. Paul Prado had a similar experience. "I've been an EST instructor and thought I could shoot pretty well. Competition shooting helped me to understand that I have a lot to learn. I highly recommend these events to help run ranges and cause a major impact for the Soldiers that we will be training."
"I am a long-time shooter but new to formal competition," Staff Sgt. SSG Joel Eisen said. "Having the opportunity to look at my capabilities in shooting competition has been a humbling experience. The biggest take away for me is the confirmation that the fundamentals always matter, and your never done learning. Participation in events like this highlight the importance of competition, no matter your skill level going into a match, no matter how you do in that event, all shooters will walk away better and more capable than they started. I am excited to be able to bring my knowledge back to my unit and spread the capability."
In addition to two 3-335th TSBn team, Sgt. 1st Class Rosendorn also started working with Soldiers in the 16th POB (USACAPOC). The two units trained together as a lead up to the event, with Sgt. 1st Class Rosendorn providing mentorship and coaching to both teams. 16th POB sent Cpt. Greg Jankowski, Cpt. Desmond Anderson, and Staff Sgt. Colton Nichols along with the 3-335th TSBn team.
"I had my team shooters write up their experience and what they learned by preparing for the event," Rosendorn said. "Both units and our higher command leadership have seen the results and are expecting good follow up with our pending record small arms qualification. Despite shooting these new standards and qualifications for the first time, these better-trained shooters will be able provide improved instruction, coaching, and classes for the rest of our units."
Soldiers and units wishing to benefit from local, inexpensive Army Reserve marksmanship programs should visit https://www.usar.army.mil/ARM and download the resources, course of fire book, and newsletters.