|Guard Bureau solders qualify at Fort Pickett
by Lt. Col. Chester C. Carter, II
BLACKSTONE, Va. - Soldiers from the National Guard Bureau (NBG) completed Individual Weapons Qualification during the week of Apr. 23 through Apr. 27, 2001, at Fort Pickett. Soldiers assigned to NGB are required to meet the same qualifications for promotion and career development as any soldier in the Army National Guard. Weapons qualification is part of that qualification and development process.
Soldiers traveled from NGB, which is located in the Washington, D. C. area, to Fort Pickett, which is located approximately 60 miles Southwest of Richmond, Va. Sgt. Maj. Peter Mazeikus, who was responsible for running the range tower during weapons qualification, indicated that soldiers assigned to NGB are required to undergo the same training and must meet the same requirements as any soldiers assigned throughout the Army National Guard. Mazeikus indicated weapon qualification contributes to the soldiers career development and that scores impact on the soldiers promotion points under the enlisted promotion system Select, Train, Promote and Assign (STPA).
According to Chief Warran Officer Mike Stensrud, the range Officer In Charge (OIC), Sgt. Maj. Joyce Bull, Installation Sergeant Major for the Army National Guard Readiness Center, set this event up with Fort Pickett and the Virginia Army National Guard a couple of years ago. Stensrud said the Virginia Army National Guard has been fantastic in its support of the NGB weapons qualification program.
Sgt. 1st Class Marian Barry, the range noncommissioned officer in charge (NCOIC) echoed this. Barry described the support provided by Fort Pickett as awesome. She said that the day before had been cold and rainy. In response Fort Pickett provided a hot, hearty soup to help warm the soldiers that were training on the range. Fort Pickett and other Virginia Army National Guard organizations provided logistical support for the NGB training event.