JERICHO, Vt. - Wind-blown snowdrifts set the scene for another
cold day at range 7-1. Two Recruit Sustainment Program (RSP)
soldiers took part in their first range experience March 15, 2014,
at Camp Ethan Allen Training Site in Jericho, Vt. The firing points,
etched out of the snow, provided some protection from the wind as it
whipped at the soldiers moving around the range.
This was a
unique opportunity for the RSP soldiers to fire and familiarize with
the weapons and to experience how a military range operates. The
soldiers were given an in-depth safety briefing regarding proper
weapon handling and safety so they would feel prepared and
confident. Ensuring soldier safety and proper weapons handling, are
top priorities of the Vermont Army National Guard.
March 15, 2014 - Pvt. Christian Jarvis, an infantry soldier,
with Alpha Company, 3-172nd Infantry Regiment, fires his M4 rifle
during a range familiarization training. Jarvis shot 36 out of 40
targets, and will use this training to his benefit when he qualifies
during basic training in July 2014 at Fort Benning, Ga. (Army
National Guard Photo By Sgt. Ashley J. Hayes)
Staff Sgt. Andrew Courville, a Vermont Army National
Guard recruiter, reflected on the experience level of his
soldiers, considered each person's individual needs, and the
benefits the training would bring.
“One of the RSP
soldiers here has already been through basic and has already
fired all of these, but the other one has not. I think it'll
give him a good step forward before he ships off for basic,”
said Andrew Courville.
One of those soldiers, who conveyed
confidence in her training, is Pvt. Sierra Courville, an
intelligence analyst, with Headquarters and Headquarters
Company, 186th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Mountain).
Sierra Courville attended basic training at Fort Leonard
Wood last summer. Thus, firing a weapon is not new to her,
but firing at a cold Vermont military range is. For her,
this provided familiarization, not only with the M4, but
also within a different learning environment.
was a lot more relaxed and a lot colder,” said Sierra
Sierra Courville will attend Advanced
Individual Training (AIT) in July, before joining her unit
in the fall. Sierra Courville has been in the RSP program
throughout the last year and will continue to drill with RSP
until graduation from AIT. RSP attendance is required partly
so soldiers maintain their military bonds and accountability
“It taught me a lot of things I needed to
know before I went to basic, so that I could spend more time
focusing on other things,” said Sierra Courville.
Firing the M4 is also not something new for Pvt. Christian
Jarvis, a newly-enlisted soldier in the Vermont Army
“It's like an everyday kind of
thing,” said Jarvis.
He said this is because he
frequently fires the M4 with his father and at the Public
Safety and Criminal Justice Program at Randolph Technical
However, the atmosphere at a military
qualification range provided a different experience.
Jarvis described the experience as "more controlled." He
said the "put in the ammo and shoot" experience with his
father plays out differently than the "tell you what to do
next" military firing range mentality.
This is just
the beginning of his military career. Jarvis will be
attending basic training at Fort Benning this summer. Jarvis
said having practice on the range would help him be more
prepared when he has to qualify during basic training.
Despite the cold weather and a different shooting
experience, Jarvis shot 36 out of 40 targets.
Courville said this was a special opportunity because it's
not very often they get to come to the range.
brought them to the EST simulator down in Northfield a
couple of times but never up to the range like this,” said
Andrew Courville said he hopes
training like this would generate more youthful enlistments.
Even though both soldiers had prior experience firing the
M4, time at the range helped prepare them for future Vermont
National Guard Training.
By Army National Guard Sgt. Ashley J. Hayes
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