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NEWS | April 11, 2022

Army Reserve Soldiers participate in U.S. Army Small Arms Championship (ALL-ARMY)

By Staff Sgt. Edgar Valdez Division West, First Army

Soldiers with the 3-335th Training Support Battalion (TSBN) shooting team participated in the U.S. Army Small Arms Championship (ALL-ARMY) from Mar. 13th to the 19th, 2022 at Fort Benning, Georgia.

The competition, hosted by the Maneuver Center of Excellence, in partnership with the U.S. Army Recruiting Command marketing and the United States Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU), is a comprehensive live-fire training event that tests Soldiers ability to employ both primary and secondary weapon systems, problem solving and critical thinking under stress created by the competition.

This is the third year Team Blackhawk Gold participated in the competition, and while some Soldiers were competing for their very first time, other members have been part of the competition before. Sgt. 1st Class Rosendorn and 1st Sgt. Brunet have been with the team since their first competition three years ago.

The members of the team include Sgt. 1st Class Joshua Rosendorn, program coach and captain for Team Blackhawk Gold. 1st Sgt. Cody Brunet, the 3-335th Training Support Battalion’s 1st Sgt., Sgt. 1st Class Ronald Small, Staff Sgt. Joel Eisen, Staff Sgt. Paul Prado and Sgt. Darius Carney-Thomas.

While the elements and spirit of competition are important, all Soldiers are reminded the Army’s critical intent of the competition in arms program is to develop marksmanship skills at the entry and intermediate level, recognize superior skill at the highest levels, while raising the standards of marksmanship. The team was one of four teams representing the U.S. Army Reserve during the competition, and we competed against members of the active-duty Army, added Rosendorn.

The team placed first amongst the U.S. Army Reserve teams and 15th amongst 42 teams during the competition, and while the competition evaluates Soldiers as a team it also evaluates them individually.

Rosendorn placed fourth out of all U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers and 31st overall, Eisen placed sixth out of all U.S Army Reserve Soldiers and 58th overall, Brunet placed seventh out of all U.S Army Reserve Soldiers and 62nd overall, Prado finished 23rd out of all U.S Army Reserve Soldiers and 127th overall, Small placed 27th out of all U.S Army Reserve Soldiers and 138th overall, and Carney-Thomas placed 44th out of all U.S Army Reserve Soldiers and 198th overall.

Eisen earned points towards a Distinguished Rifle Badge while Brunet earned points towards a Distinguished Pistol Badge.

“Competing for the second year now, I had the opportunity to lend a hand to other Soldiers and be active in helping with the training up before the match,” said Eisen. “I enjoy sport competitions, but there is more going on at the All-Army, there is growth for all participants in meaningful skills with direct effect on the lethality of our force”.

During their preparation for the competition the team not only practice firing small weapons, but they also attended a class on Imagery for Performance Excellence and Breathing and Expectation Management.

The classes thought by Jonathan Loper, a Master Resilience Trainer/Performance Expert are designed to assist Soldiers on incorporating imagery and breathing exercises into the shooting competition.

“I appreciate the opportunity of being part of the team, I learned I need to keep working my fundamentals and mental toughness to keep progressing,” said Prado. The best part of the event is seeing all these expert shooters, talking to you, giving advice, telling stories, I am honored to be part of the shooting team, added Prado.

“The All-Army Small Arms competition changed my perspective on marksmanship for the better,” said Darius Carney-Thomas. I had the opportunity to test and improve my shooting skills in ways the general qualification table would’ve never provided, not only was I able to shoot while being fatigued, but I was also able to shoot from distances up to 500 meters which was a huge confidence booster when returning to our typical army qualification. I believe everyone should be afforded the opportunity to attend the competition and I hope this is something that continues to happen annually, added Carney-Thomas.

Team Blackhawk Gold will begin preparation for next year’s competition and continue to represent the 3-335th TSBN and the U.S. Army Reserve during the competition.