The 173rd Airborne (the "Unit") is an established MilSim unit based on the real-world 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, an airborne infantry brigade combat team of the United States Army currently based in Vicenza, Italy. The Unit is based in the Central Standard Time zone and all unit events are scheduled and quoted in CST (GMT-6). Our Unit prides itself in being the premier airborne & light infantry MilSim unit in the Arma 3 community. We retain this reputation by effectively implementing realism mods for communications, equipment, textures, and interfaces, while simultaneously executing meticulously planned and designed operations which keep our soldiers engaged, challenged, and entertained. The Unit works very hard to embody and honor the real-world 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat team by employing real-world fighting tactics and other features of U.S. military doctrine.
One of the keys to the success of the Unit is division of responsibilities and mechanisms for ensuring accountability. There is a lot of work to be done, and our members keep the lights on by completing administrative work in an accurate and timely manner. To continue ranking up in the Unit soldiers are required to volunteer their efforts on an administrative staff. These staff positions manage tasks such as personnel tracking, security and monitoring of public Unit assets, mission planning, mod/texture building/maintenance, soldier training, community outreach, media/illustration asset development, enlistment and applicant processing, and community administration. On an on-going and continuously impressive basis these different administrative staffs coordinate and accomplish their objectives, keeping the Unit organized and headed in the right direction.
The 173rd Airborne (the "Unit") is divided into two inter-related organizational structures: combat (Legion Company) and administration (Headquarters Company). The combat side of the unit retains a company-level fighting strength made up of two (2) platoons. Each platoon is organized into three (3) squads. Each squad is lead by a Squad Leader, organized into two (2) fireteams, with each fireteam lead by a designed Fireteam Leader. Each of the two platoons contains two (2) rifle squads and one (1) heavy weapons squad. In addition, Legion Company is often assisted by the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade ("12th CAB"), the airborne detachment of the Unit. 12th CAB assists Legion Company by providing deployment/infiltration, re-supply, occasional close air support, med-evac, and exfiltration flights. An organizational chart is included below for illustrative purposes. Click the image to enlarge to see full detail.
The administrative side of the unit is made up of one (1) company known as Headquarters & Headquarters Company ("HHC"). This company is essentially responsible for keeping the unit organized. HHC is the organizational interface point for all of the administrative staffs (described in the Who We Are section). Each administrative staff is lead by a Staff Section Leader who oversees and is ultimately responsible for the actions of 3 to 10 soldiers who work on their staff. The Staff Section Leader may be assisted by an Assistant Section Leader or Senior Staff Member. Soldiers may serve on multiple administrative staffs, though a soldier may only hold one Staff Section Leader position. An organizational chart is included below for illustrative purposes. Click the image to enlarge to see full detail.
Training in the 173rd Airborne (the "Unit") is structured, planned, and on-going. The unit executes four categories of training:
- Basic combat training
- Company combat training
- Focused combat training
- Active combat training
During the first month of a new soldier's enlistment they are responsible for completing two sessions of Basic Combat Training (collectively "BCT"). During BCT soldiers learn the basics of light infantry combat. BCT is designed for soldiers with little to no MilSim experience, and the subject matter gets progressively more advanced.
Topics covered during BCT include simple topics such as basic terminology, basic combat gear, and an explanation of how the Unit maintains immersion, military courtesy, and discipline, to more advanced topics such as the ACE3 medical system, formations, navigation, and how to effectively execute military operations in urban terrain ("MOUT"). Note that soldiers who enlist as Active Duty must complete at least one session of BCT within 10 days of enlisting. Soldiers who enlist as Reserve Duty are not subject to this 10-day rule.
Company Combat Training
In addition to BCT the Unit offers several Company-Level training courses to enhance our soldiers' combat effectiveness. Various Company-Level training courses are required to continue receiving promotions. The Unit currently offers 5 Company-Level training courses:
- Airborne School - proper airborne operation protocols.
- Advanced Individual Training - in-depth training on topics such as explosives, convoys, radios, and heavy weapons.
- Warrior Leadership Course - how to lead small (fireteam-sized) elements.
- Advanced Leadership Course - how to lead medium (squad-sized) to large (platoon-sized) elements.
- Ranger School - an overnight course focusing on leadership, advanced combat tactics with the added complications of sleep deprivation and being taken far beyond your comfort zone.
- Airborne School and Advanced Individual Training are offered on a monthly basis.
- Warrior Leadership and Advanced Leadership Courses are offered on a bi-monthly basis (or ad hoc based on the number of eligible soldiers).
- Ranger School is held one to two (1-2) times per year.
On a weekly basis Active Duty soldiers are required to attend a Squad Training and a Platoon Training. These two training courses allow the soldier's squad and platoon to focus on specific skills that have been identified as needing additional improvement, refinement, or re-teaching.
- Squad Training is typically lead by the Squad Leader or the most senior Fireteam Leader in the Squad Leader's absence. Squad Training focuses on small-scale tactics such as MOUT, navigation, and communication.
- Platoon Training is typically lead by the Platoon Sergeant and/or the Platoon Leader. Platoon Training is effectively a mini operation without live targets – all squads are deployed in the same area of operation ("AO") and work to accomplish a common goal while focusing on specific combat strategies as directed by Platoon leadership.
Active Combat Training
On a weekly basis the unit executes a Company Operation. The main objective of the Company Operation is to put our combat skills into practice and to have fun as a large group all moving and working together as one entity. However, these live-fire scenarios provide invaluable training opportunities that simply can't be replicated in a training setting.
While a squad leader obviously will not stop all of their soldiers to "teach a lesson" in the middle of combat, they will work with individual soldiers and the squad as a whole on an as-needed basis. Two examples of these types of "training moments" are directing soldiers where to look to properly cover all sectors while holding a position, calling out "short"/"long"/"left"/etc. information when combat requires explosive, anti-tank, or long range marksmanship. Providing professional, constructive, and targeted training at all levels of the Unit is one of the many things that puts the 173rd Airborne in a class of its own.
The 173rd Airborne (the "Unit") was formed on November 18th, 2012. The founding members included actual military personnel as well as military enthusiasts and FPS gamers. The Unit was originally formed as an Arma 2 MilSim. The Unit officially transitioned to Arma 3 on October 12th, 2014. The switch from Arma 2 to Arma 3 brought about some growing pains as soldiers slowly followed the Unit to the new platform but by the end of 2014 the unit had grown substantially.
The Unit took a leap forward in the summer of 2015 following the launch of its new "state of the art" website, administered by a talented base of professional and amateur programmers, with additional support coming from the senior staff members. Nothing from the original website (today affectionately referred to as "Old Grey") was ported onto the new platform. Countless man hours were put into restricting the forums, composing and publishing unit information, and transitioning dozens and dozens and dozens of personnel files, including all service and disciplinary records.
Today, the Unit is larger than ever, and with its size has come the implementation of ever-more impressive technology and professional-grade web content. We are constantly looking for members who show promise and devotion to the Unit. Those soldiers are often specifically selected to serve as Senior Staff members, developers of critical Unit content, among other responsibilities.
The 173rd Airborne Brigade MilSim Unit is a well-organized unit of over 80 members which has existed successfully for many years thanks. We owe our success to the dedication of our members, the division and execution of critical tasks both on and off the battlefield, and strict adherence to a defined set of rules and regulations which are enforced consistently at all levels of the chain of command.
The main document by which our unit operates is the Unit Charter which is supplemented by several important articles which govern discipline and provide guidelines for our enlisted soldiers. While the complete Unit Charter is only available to enlisted soldiers a basic overview of this critical document is presented here for the benefit of the public and prospective Sky Soldiers alike.
Chain of Command
The Chain of Command ("CoC") is the line of authority and responsibility along which orders are passed within a military unit. Orders are transmitted down the chain of command until said order is received by those expected to execute it. The CoC also works in reverse whereby soldiers escalate issues or concerns up the CoC sequentially until a solution is conceived and executed.
Enlisted Member Duties
- Maintain an attendance rate of at least 60%.
- Stay up to date on unit policies and procedures.
- Represent the unit in a positive light at all times while wearing [173rd] tags.
- Attend necessary trainings to maintain and improve combat skills and efficiency.
- Upon completion of Basic Combat Training ("BCT") the S7 Training staff promotes soldiers to the rank of E-2 Private (PV2).
- Promotions to E-3 Private First Class (PFC), E-4 Specialist (SPC), and E-4 Corporal (CPL) are executed by Platoon Command.
- Promotions beyond E-4 Corporal (CPL) are executed by Company Command and require the completion of a formal Promotion Board.
Every unit member is held accountable for his actions while being a part of this unit and wearing the unit tags. There are varying types of offenses a unit member could commit, each with specific consequences which increase in severity depending on the severity and/or frequency of the infraction. Examples of these infractions include but are not limited to:
- Misfiring in training or operation
- Carrying incorrect gear
- Failing general unit member duties
- Disregarding orders
- Abusing rank
- Sharing classified information
- Causing direct harm to the unit, its assets, or its reputation any specific way
- Single verbal warning
- Written repremand
- Time in grade suspension
- Promotion freeze
- Bad Conduct Discharge
- Dishonorable Discharge
Time Away From the Unit
Unit members may be temporarily excused from their duties by formally requesting a Leave of Absence ("LOA") via a simple form built into the unit website. A normal LOA can last between 3 days and 2 weeks, while an Extended LOA ("E-LOA") may be granted for up to 2 months providing the soldier requesting the E-LOA satisfies certain specific requirements. While a soldier is away on either an LOA or an E-LOA they are excused from all unit duties:
- Attending unit meetings
- Attending squad trainings
- Attending platoon trainings
- Attending operations
- Performing administrative tasks (if applicable)
Leaving the Unit
Any member wishing to leave the unit may do so by contacting a member of Platoon or Company Command to request a Discharge. After meeting with Platoon or Company Command a discharge order will be filed and a member of the unit's Personnel staff will process the discharge. There are six means by which a member may be discharged from the unit. The four main ways for a member to discharge from unit are as follows (these are the "positive" ways to leave the unit):
- General Discharge - often filed for soldiers leaving the unit involuntarily, but on neutral terms (no major infractions).
- Other than Honorable Discharge - filed for soldiers leaving the unit voluntarily, but with less than 3 months Time in Service ("TiS").
- Honorable Discharge - filed for soldiers leaving the unit voluntarily who have at least 3 months TiS.
- Retirement - granted to soldiers leaving the unit voluntarily and will not seek to join another MilSim unit forever. To retire from the unit the soldier must have at least 6 months TiS and have attained the rank of E-6 Staff Sergeant (SSG).
- Bad Conduct Discharge - filed for soldiers leaving the unit either voluntarily or involuntarily after either consistently committing multiple minor infractions to the ultimate material detriment of the unit or multiple moderate infractions.
- Dishonorable Discharge - filed for soldiers leaving the unit involuntarily after severly harming the unit in any material way. In conjunction with a Dishonorable Discharge the soldier will be banned from all unit services (website, TeamSpeak, and game servers).
Returning to the Unit
After discharging from the unit any member may re-apply subject specific conditions. These conditions include but are not limited to:
- Most recent discharge cannot be "negative" in nature (as described above).
- A discharged member must wait 30 days before re-applying (can be waived by Command).
- Certain re-enlistment rank caps may apply, depending on previous rank prior to discharge and type of discharge received.
- Re-enlisting soldiers may be subject to an interview with one or more members of Command (Command's option).
The 173rd Airborne (the "Unit") requires a substantial time commitment from its most senior members. However, even the lower enlisted must put in a certain minimum amount of time if they hope to remain on Active Duty status. In a typical week, a lower enlisted soldier holding no administrative positions will spend five to ten (5-10) hours on unit events:
- 0.5-1.0 hours for company meeting (optional)
- 0.5-1.5 hours for Squad Training
- 1.0-2.0 hours for Platoon Training
- 3.0-5.0 hours for the weekly Operation
- Additional 1.5-3.0 hours for Company Trainings (as required)
There are several primary differences between Active Duty and Reserve Duty. These differences are summarized below:
|Active Duty||Reserve Duty|
|Weekly Time Commitment||~7.5 Hours||~2.0 Hours|
|Attendance Requirements||60% Overall||See "Activity Requirements"|
|BCT Day 1 Completion||Within 10 Days||Within 30 Days|
|BCT Day 2 Completion||Within 30 Days||Within 30 Days|
|Rank Progression||No Limit||Capped at E-4 Specialist|
|Time in Grade Modifier||None||2x Normal Recommended Range|
|Activity Requirements||Noted Above||Attend at least 1 Platoon Training, 1 Squad Training, and 1 Weekly Operation every 30 days.|
You must satisfy all of the requirements outlined on the Enlist page. If you meet all of the requirements you must fill out a simple web-based enlistment application ("Application"). Once you fill out the Application it will be posted on the Forums where it will be reviewed by the Military Entrance and Processing Station ("MEPS") staff. A link to the Enlistment Applications section of the Forums will be provided after you fill out the Application. Keep an eye on your Application on the Forums as MEPS may require revisions or clarifications before moving you through the remainder of the enlistment process. Each step in the enlistment process has a time-based deadline associated with it, so check back frequently or you may find that your Application has been denied for failure to complete a required step within the specified time-based deadline.
Once your Application is reviewed by MEPS and confirmed to satisfy all of the requirements your Application will be placed into On Hold status. Once your Application is placed into On Hold status you have forty-eight (48) hours to connect to our TeamSpeak server and complete a one-on-one enlistment interview with a member of the MEPS staff.
If you have any questions, comments, or concerns we want to hear from you! After creating a forum account you will be able to post in the Public Discussion section of the Forums. Our community is extremely active and you should expect a response to your post within a couple of hours. If you prefer to speak with someone immediately simply connect to our TeamSpeak server, join the Request a Recruiter channel, and a member of Command or the Military Entrance and Processing Station ("MEPS") staff will come up to help you.
If you aren't greeted within a couple of minutes feel free to Poke any Corporal (CPL) or Sergeant (SGT). They will either help you directly or notify the correct party that you require immediate assistance.
A third option is to contact First Lieutenant Brock MacDonald, Company Commander of Headquarters Company directly via a Forum Message. You can compose a message to him by clicking this link.
The 173rd Airborne (the "Unit") utilizes several realism mods to enhance communications, equipment, textures, and interfaces. The Unit S3 Operations staff maintains a compiled in-house mod pack as well as a modified version of ACE3. In addition, the Unit S3 Operations staff utilizes assets from several publicly available mods to enhance gameplay. To view our complete list of mods refer to the following link: