By Sgt. Apolonia Gaspar | 71st Ordnance Group (EOD) Public Affairs Office
FORT CARSON Colo. — NCOs and junior enlisted Soldiers with the 4th Infantry Division and 71st Ordnance Group (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) competed for the bronze Excellence-In-Competition (EIC) pistol badge Sept. 29, 2021, at Fort Carson.
The competition was part of the Armywide EIC program that began in 1884 to help cultivate the Army’s lethality and tactical proficiency. With multiple awards, the competition serves as a steppingstone for competitors to gain the Army’s silver and distinguished badges, which requires competitors to attend multiple competitions and continue to place highly as they move up the ranks as skilled marksmen.
The EIC was held to give local service members the opportunity to compete individually for points toward an EIC badge, which may be permanently worn on the service dress uniform. The Army EIC program allows Soldiers to shoot the pistol, rifle or both, and those who place in the top 10% of qualified participants earn points toward an EIC badge. Soldiers, upon earning their first points, are authorized to wear the bronze EIC badge; at 20 points, the silver EIC badge; and once 30 points are reached, the Soldiers are awarded the Army’s Distinguished Rifleman or Distinguished Pistol Shot badge.
Competitors received a briefing on the M17 pistol, along with a safety briefing, before going out on the range. Shooters fired 40 rounds at distances of up to 30 yards.
“It was great watching the competitors improve during practice to the actual competition,” said Sgt. 1st Class Patrick Kelly, director of the competition, 764th Ordnance Company, 242nd EOD, 71st EOD. “You have Soldiers competing who have never touched a pistol before and seeing them progress was very impressive.”
Out of about 50 competitors, the following members were among the top 10%:
- Capt. Scott Medeiros: 749th Ordnance Company, 242nd Explosive Ordnance Disposal Battalion, 71st EOD
- Sgt. Phillip Lockwood: 764th Ord. Co., 242nd EOD, 71st EOD
- Staff Sgt. Tristen Wallner: 764th Ord. Co., 242nd EOD, 71st EOD
- Spc. Daevin Dilbeck: 749th Ordnance Company, 242nd EOD, 71st EOD
- Sgt. Aidan Fullerton: 749th Ordnance Company, 242nd EOD, 71st EOD
“This is a great way to improve our shooting and taking this badge back to my unit; I hope that it makes other Soldiers want to compete in this competition,” said Capt. Scott Medeiros, who placed first overall. “It was a great time, and I look forward to competing in the future and hopefully improving my score.”
Soldiers with 764th Ord. Co., 242nd EOD, 71st EOD, plan to host an EIC rifle competition in the future.