FORT BRAGG, N.C. -- Riding a motorcycle down the open road, the places that it brings you and the excitement that it offers are appealing aspects of this dangerous hobby. Riders in 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) are drawn to this appeal and assume risk every time they get on the road.
The Basic Riders Course and the Advanced Riders Course offered through the United States Army Special Operations Command are given to the soldiers of 3rd SFG (A) to help them manage that risk and make them safer and more proficient riders.
Dan Bueno, the 3rd SFG (A) Safety Program Manager, coordinates and is an instructor for both BRC and ARC.
"I enjoy motorcycling, it's a passion of mine so I became a Motorcycle Safety Trainer," Bueno said.
As a Motorcycle Safety Trainer, Bueno recognizes the importance of safety when it comes to riding a motorcycle.
"If you have been in Special Forces for any length of time you know that you do a lot of dangerous stuff, and we all want to go home in one piece," Bueno said. "Safety is knowing that you will go home in one piece and you achieve your end state in a safe manner."
Although the BRC differs from the ARC, Bueno applies his understanding of safety to both of the courses that he teaches.
"The BRC is geared to the individual that has never ridden a motorcycle," Bueno said. "The rider coaches teach an inexperienced person how to ride a motorcycle safely."
After riding for a while those novice riders will gain more experience and will be ready to move on to the ARC.
"We will teach you higher skilled techniques in the ARC, more advanced skills like braking in a turn, for example," Bueno said.
The BRC and ARC are designed to take a person who has never touched a motorcycle and make him or her a proficient rider. Both of these courses have standardized requirements that have to be met in order to pass them. In the BRC you have two types of exams, a written exam and a skills exam that are built following the Motorcycle Safety Foundation guidelines, he said.
After a rider completes BRC, he or she receives an MSF card and a North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles waiver card. Bringing this waiver card to the DMV will waive the riding portion of the North Carolina motorcycle skills test and that rider will only be required to take the motorcycle knowledge test to gain his or her motorcycle endorsement.
Becoming a proficient and safe rider takes time. BRC and ARC are great courses that are not only r
commended, but required for soldiers within 3rd SFG (A), and are designed to effectively teach soldiers how to safely operate a motorcycle.
"This motorcycle training is conserving our force," Bueno said. "We can't stop people from enjoying their hobbies but we can teach them how to do them in the safest way possible."