Army Officer Fernando Guadalupe has many accolades and achievements from his over two decades of service. Apart from earning esteemed titles such as Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Operations Subject Matter Expert, he oversaw major changes in the soldier training program that improved the Army’s capability in war.
Fernando Guadalupe is recognized as a distinguished leader in the U.S. Army and played many roles during his service. He served as a combat veteran (deployed three times to Iraq) as well as a company commander, 10th Mountain Division planner, and the 1st Combat Aviation Brigade deputy commander. Fernando Guadalupe scaled the Army ranks thanks to his outstanding leadership and became an expert in a range of specialized fields
He earned the titles of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Operations Subject Matter Expert as well as Central and South America Geopolitical Subject Matter Expert. Later in his career, he was named the Resolute Support Mission Director of Staff at NATO headquarters as well as the chief of doctrine and tactics for the U.S. Army Aviation School of Excellence. He worked as a career aviation officer, too, and conducted thorough research on emerging topics (such as the effect of sleep deprivation on soldiers) later to be published in military technical journals.
At Fort Jackson in South Carolina, Fernando Guadalupe implemented enhanced marksmanship instruction and oversaw new training methods to improve soldier capability. Mr. Guadalupe integrated regular training of both close combat optics and iron sights, which had gone out of practice some time before. This new criterion for basic training placed a greater emphasis on marksmanship and well-rounded understanding of multiple scopes.
The changes in soldier training came about after standard practices for combat in the Middle East became outdated. In the past, Army soldiers relied on optic sights to take down enemies at close range in the Middle East. As the Army phased out of Middle East involvement, the need to train recruits using their iron sights came back into play. The iron sights are the standard sights equipped on Army weapons, and perfecting their use (as well as other sights) will ensure that each soldier is more prepared for conflict than ever.
Fernando Guadalupe oversaw the training upgrades across a range of optics for weapons such as carbines and rifles. Thermal sights are a popular scope option, but they require the use of batteries and may suffer from defects or outages during combat. In these scenarios, soldiers must rely on their traditional iron sights to see targets. By altering training methods a bit, Fernando Guadalupe could ensure that each soldier is equipped with a range of optic skills for war.
The new training criteria requires soldiers to fire an additional 100 rounds on the rifle range, pass exams on the traditional iron sights, and pass a “battle, march, and shoot” drill as part of The Forge. The focus on iron sights hasn’t been a requirement since they were phased out in 2015 in favor of optic sights.
“We strive to ensure new recruits are prepared for any circumstance,” says Fernando Guadalupe, “and enhanced marksmanship instruction may mean the difference between life and death for our soldiers.”