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    Cyber Soldiers train and compete at the U.S. Army Smalls Arms Championships

    SSG Rosales, 100 CST at USASAC

    Photo By Steven Stover | FORT BENNING, Ga. – Staff Sgt. Joseph Rosales, a cryptologic linguist assigned to...... read more read more



    Story by Steven Stover 

    780th Military Intelligence Brigade (Cyber)

    FORT BENNING, Ga. – The 100 Combat Support Team (CST), E Company, 782nd Military Intelligence (MI) Battalion (Cyber), 780th MI Brigade (Cyber), fielded a four-Soldier team to compete in the U.S. Army Small Arms Championship, March 10 to 16.

    According to Capt. Joe Lucas, team lead for 100 CST and the officer-in-charge of the Small Arms team, there were more than 200 individual competitors and 44 teams from brigade combat teams, Special Forces Groups, Reserve, and National Guard units.

    During the 15 individual and team matches, the 100 CST team – Staff Sgt. Joseph Rosales, a cryptologic linguist; Staff Sgt. James Hansen, a target digital network analyst; Sgt. Steven McMaster, a cyberspace operations specialist and developer; and Spc. Justin Gershen, a digital network exploitation analyst – received instruction from the Army Marksmanship Unit (AMU) on employment of the M4 carbine to 500 meters and the M17 pistol to 50 meters in tactical and precision scenarios.

    Lucas also stated the U.S. Army Small Arms Championship benefit is three-fold.

    “Tangible skills, warrior ethos, and socialization of Cyber to the rest of the Army. During the week of the Championship, the Soldiers received coaching and repeated opportunities to fire the M4 and M17 from point-blank to 500 meters in a variety of positions and situations. Over the course of that week, I saw their skills and confidence with those weapon systems increase dramatically. I now view the four Soldiers who participated as marksmanship trainers for E Company,” said Lucas. “For multiple participants, they had never participated in anything this large and competitive. Their sharpness, competitive edge, and thirst for victory increased dramatically throughout the week. Finally, 100 CST competed against members of several brigade combat teams and Special Forces Groups. Many of these other competitors had no awareness of Cyber operations. As we push Cyber down to more tactical units, exposure in these Army-wide competitive arenas gives a low-threat opportunity for these tactical units to learn about Cyber operations and the Soldiers who execute them.”

    Lucas qualified for the President’s Hundred Tab while a cadet at the United States Military Academy at West Point. The badge is awarded by the Civilian Marksmanship Program to the 100 top-scoring military and civilian shooters in the President’s Pistol and President’s Rifle Matches. The tab is authorized for wear on military uniforms of the U.S. Army.

    “My background in competitive shooting is how I arranged for 100 CST to compete in the Small Arms Championship,” said Lucas. “I have friends in the AMU and had been trying to arrange for a Mobile Training Team (MTT) to teach the 780th. The AMU MTTs were booked almost a year out, but they invited us to participate in the Championship as a training opportunity.”

    Hosted by the Maneuver Center of Excellence and Ft. Benning, Ga., the annual U.S. Army Small Arms Championships (All Army) event is open to active Army, Army Reserve, Guard (National Guard and Army National Guard), Military Academy, College Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) cadets and Officer Candidate School (OCS) candidates.

    According to event organizers, “the U.S. Army Small Arms Championships (All Army) is a comprehensive live-fire training event that tests Soldiers ability to employ both primary and secondary weapon systems, problem solve, and think critically under the stresses created by competition. While the elements and spirit of competition are important, all Soldiers are reminded that 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 and increasing lethality across the entire force.”

    Staff Sgt. Rosales said the event not only increased his confidence in shooting both the rifle and pistol, but his overall skill and ability to coach his Soldiers to qualify on the range. Rosales also believes it’s a great competition and training event for MI and cyber Soldiers.

    “Just like other tactical competitions that our cyber unit, and other MI units host, this is a metric to show how you compare to other Soldiers and other units,” said Rosales. “These types of events are a good reminder for MI and cyber soldiers that they’re still in the Army with tactical skills to maintain.”

    Staff Sgt. Hansen said Championships are also important for both MI and cyber Soldiers because of the requirement for Soldiers to always be prepared to operate and support the war fighters deployed down range.

    “Soldiers within the 780th will, at some point in their careers, be deployed down range and expected to know how to be technically and tactically confident in their ability to safely support any tier of operations,” said Hansen. “MI soldiers have traditionally supported operations on the ground as support personal and with the 780th expanding support throughout the Army; Cyber Soldiers will need to be able to deploy and support ground combat operations. We must train as we fight to accomplish our mission and to make the organization and Army stronger.”

    The 100 CST Soldiers are already planning to go again next year.

    “I’m looking forward to training and putting together a team for next year,” said Rosales. “Now that we’ve experienced the competition, I think we can go back and really have some success.”



    Date Taken: 03.16.2019
    Date Posted: 04.04.2019 10:49
    Story ID: 316889
    Location: FORT BENNING, GA, US 

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