Wings of Onyx
CT Sideways, 501st Publisher
Sunday, June 16th, 2019
To the members of the 501st and its GARC allies,
A special report.
Advanced Recon Commandos, the best of the best, or as they are widely known: ARC troopers. Showing outstanding skill and teamwork, 501st ARC troopers are the subject of much awe and reverence. But what does ARC mean to the 501st, how do their soldiers operate, and what’s the stuff that really makes an ARC trooper? These questions and more were answered when I had the chance to sit down with Sergeant Major Crow, Commander of Arc Detachment Alpha “Onyx.”
AS THE CROW FLIES
Crow joined the 501st Legion in July of 2017. He became a Trooper, but he wasn’t destined to stay in general infantry for long. “I was in a fun op and I was down, and Valmoric came over to me. He was role-playing, telling me I was gonna be alright, all that stuff,” he recalls. Crow also received medical training from Koda himself. “I'm super thankful to the medics.... Koda, Valmoric and Bondoer, for helping me find my personality in the unit.”
He went on to become an Acklay medic and served in Acklay for sometime before switching over to a team lead position. “I actually Co-team lead with Lava back then. He’s still one of my best friends to this day. I talk with him all the time.”
As time went on, the Sergeant Major grew to enjoy seeing how the unit worked. His reputation eventually landed him an invitation to try out for Onyx - the 501st’s elite ARC trooper program. “Onyx was just getting back together, and I was invited to try out. I went into it, not necessarily with the mindset of ‘I'm not gonna get in,’ but I'll do my best and see what happens.” It's plain to see how that turned out: crow was slotted into Krayt squad - to the sure satisfaction of the now-Battalion Medic Koda - as a medic.
As more recruits entered the detachment, Crow stepped up to fill a leadership role and inject new blood into the commando corps. His goal was simple: to produce exceptionally trained troopers worthy of the respect they received in the ARC program. With the help of Sergeant George, Crow feels like he’s succeeded in that goal. “Onyx is a place people call home. People know the ins and outs. People get along. It's a family more than a detachment - the image of what the 501st can accomplish.”
ARC troopers “know every in and out of every piece of equipment, and they are always testing things out,” even in their free time. Crow “came in once and found them trying to see how many underwater rounds it would take to kill an HSD.” Each trooper has a different preference for their loadouts, much like in the infantry. However, commandos are given more generous leeway with customization.
Crow prefers the MOD-0, but admits that the Westar is, in his own words, “a machine.” On top of the Westar, Onyx has access to the ARC rangefinder. The rangefinder acts as an NVG, and several types of thermals. This tool allows the ARC troopers to see threats and neutralize them.
ASSESSMENT AND SELECTION
It takes a lot of training to become qualified for the use of such equipment, and that all starts with the infamous Assessment and Selection (AnS):
“AnS is the primary testing period for people in the 501st. We asses to see if (Troopers) have the skill set and mind set to begin ARC training. When referencing a skill set and mind set, it's looking at how troopers think on their feet to complete a goal. It's a personality test as much as a skill test.”
Onyx is most concerned with trooper’s core values, and AnS is there to evaluate disposition as much as field performance. The training program breaks applicants down so the commandos-aspirant can understand their values for themselves. But for those who've gone through and have not made it: do not view it as a failure, but a learning opportunity. “Everything is a learning opportunity, and we love seeing self growth, even from those who don't make it.”
ADVANCED RECON COMMANDOS
If a trooper is skilled enough to make it into ARC, they become an ARC candidate through two varying selection processes. Through these an ARC candidate may one day become one of two arc types: a member of a strike team, or a member of a ranger team.
Strike teams are four man ARC teams who see the bulk of the battle line. They see the worst of it, and give it right back. These teams have your standardized 501st roles. Medics, RTOs, Squad leaders etc. and operate to complete an objective or to assist Avalanche forces.
The ARC Ranger is a Trooper incredibly talented in long range engagements and reconnaissance. They offer scouting, field intel, and detect QRF forces. There are two ranger ARC’s per team, so nobody goes alone! And of course these troopers are lead by the Alpha ARC’s. “Alpha’s are exceptional NCO’s who are tasked with leading ARC’s in the field.
Of course, the 501st loves seeing Onyx in fun ops, but what about official joint training? “I have a bunch of ops on the drawing board. If someone wanted to run a training op with us next Tuesday, I could do it,” Crow goes on, “ but I don't know what people want to learn!” The Sergeant Major encourages any element in the 501st to come to him or George with ideas and topics they would like to learn about. Onyx is excited to teach. In fact, their goal is to “get as many troops into teaching roles as soon as possible,” so, Squad leads and Platoon commanders, be sure to drop by and see about getting a joint training done soon!
Above all else, Onyx is part of the 501st. They’re here, like us, to game and learn with each other. When asked what message he’d like to pass on, Crow had these words:
“Onyx is not special. We are like everyone else. We treat everyone with respect and common courtesy. We ask that its given in return. Some people don't like us because of our pauldrons or our weapons. But we earned those privileges, and they are privileges. We wanna get to know everyone but we are kinda shy. I encourage people to come to get to know us. Don't be afraid to come to the Team speak channel, We’d love to meet you. Come hang!”
Before I leave you, when asked what Crow’s favorite moment in Onyx was, the Sergeant Major didn't hesitate in his response. “When Salvo shot Klein in the face with a grenade launcher. These are the people I have the pleasure of working with.” after some chuckling, he continued. “It was a funny moment that we still laugh about. Yes, we try and have professionalism, but we are human. People make mistakes, and at the end of the day, we are here to have fun.”
The 501st is lucky to have Sergeant Major Crow. A leader of commandos, a teacher of troopers, and a friend to many he’s met along the way, Crow deserves recognition for the legacy he’s created in Onyx and the unit at large. And don’t forget to stop and chat with an ARC trooper, or if you're feeling extra daring, challenge them to a game of Rainbow Six Siege. I’m told it's quite popular among the ARC troopers, though I can’t imagine why….
Until next time,
CT Momentum Signing off
Avalanche 1 -
Swanny (CT to Sr. CT)
“We’re excited for the campaign to start up again and can’t wait to get back into it (:”
- CS-M Point
Avalanche 2 -
Bishop (CT to Sr. CT) Gull (CT to Sr. CT)
“Little does Lava know that I am in my Mid-Life” - CS-M Crisis
Avalanche 3 -
“3rd's doing good.” - CC Ewik
Avalanche 4 -
“I will have my gold. No matter how many men it costs.” - CS-M Coward
Grinch (CT to CP)
"Ewik is just a tree hugger" - CC Lava
“No commendations/promotions unfortunately this time. We wish all avalanche platoons the best of luck in the 501st Olympics!” - CS-M Crow
Alex (CX-C to CX-X)
“Announcing another Razor candidate cycle on the 16th of this month. Post will be in #razor-open on discord as usual. If anyone wants a head start to the process you can read older pins of the same announcement. Officers and NCOs that have not taken the opportunity to ask questions or observe the process may still do so.” - CX Scuba
“CT Sideways is a mage” - CI-O Roadboy
Jericho (CM-C to CM)
"Daddy's home." - CS Verax
DID YOU KNOW?
Drag Key Bind
Configure > Controls > Configure Addons > ACE Common > Drag/Release Object
Capture Key Bind
Configure > Controls > Configure Addons > ACE Common > Take Prisoner
Set Underwater & SR Radio to same button
Configure > Controls > Configure Addons > TFAR > DD Transmit > Set to Caps Lock
Configure > Controls > Configure Addons > ACE Movement > Vehicle Quick Mount
MAKE SURE YOU SET THE PRIORITY SEAT TO PASSENGER.
Magical Door Opener
Configure > Controls > Configure Addons > ACE Common > Open / Close Door
-Thanks to CT Pro
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Publisher: CT Sideways
Editors: CP Sense, CP Hoodoo
Writers and Journalists: CT Daku, CT Momentum, CT Stone, CT Ruse, CX-X Shnuffles and CT Lucky