By Jonathan LeBlanc, Fort Bliss Bugle Staff:
(El Paso, Texas, Jan. 11, 2018)
MCGREGOR RANGE, N.M. – The weather went from warm to cold almost overnight, but Soldiers assigned to the 178th Human Resource Company, 1st Armored Division Sustainment Brigade, had no trouble heading out to the range to zero and qualify on their M4 rifles here Dec. 7, 2017.
The unit is active at the ranges, qualifying Soldiers every two months or so on the U.S. Army small arms weapons systems.
Second Lt. Michael Harris, officer in charge for the M4 range, said the company visits the range often so the Soldiers are up to date on their training.
“It’s a perishable skill,” Harris said. “If we don’t get the Soldiers out here qualifying regularly then they will lose it.”
Regardless of military occupational specialty, it is important to remember that above all, a Soldier is a Soldier first. Stigmas regarding support roles in the Army not needing to stay efficient and effective with all basic soldiering skills need to be laid to rest.
“Regardless of what we do in the Army, like for instance, a Human Resource Officer, it’s good for us to remember we are all still Soldiers at our core, and we can be called at any time regardless of what our (military occupational specialty) is to apply these skills in a real-world scenario,” Harris said.
In addition to getting their own Soldiers qualified, the unit supports other units by conducting the ranges and allowing them to send Soldiers to their ranges.
“Today we have four other units out here and we do this often. We help other units by running ranges and facilitating them,” Harris said.
The Soldiers within the unit take points from their leadership and are all hands on deck with being able to train so frequently.
Pfc. Frederick Fisher has been stationed at Fort Bliss for nearly a year and said he appreciates being able to drive his tactical vehicle in addition to staying current on several weapons systems.
“For me, I love coming out to the ranges,” Fisher said. “I get to get skilled on multiple weapons systems, along with driving my (Light, Medium Tactical Vehicle). The real thing about this is upholding standards we as Soldiers have to stay efficient on weapons. This also makes it easier for a young Soldier to progress their career.”