Usually when the U.S. Army Reserve’s 3rd Battalion, 304th Regiment gets together for a holiday party, it is in a gymnasium or another no-frills venue.

But this year the unit celebrated in style, thanks to battalion member Deen Haleem’s day job. Haleem is co-owner of the swanky Tiqa restaurant at 327 Commercial St. in Portland.

Haleem and his wife and co-owner, Carol Mitchell, canceled the regular public Sunday brunch to throw open the doors to dozens of Haleem’s battalion mates and their families.

“I was really happy to do it,” said Haleem.

When it comes to Maine’s military ranks, the U.S. Army Reserve’s 3rd Battalion, 304th Regiment is probably not the first unit to pop into mind.

Battalion members say few people have ever heard of the unit, based in Saco and Auburn, with roots that trace back to the 76th Infantry Division created to fight Germany in World War I.

But members of the 3-304th, as they refer to themselves, say they take great pride in their mission: training cadets at the elite U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York. They spend a weekend a month in training themselves and up to 27 days at various points in the year teaching basic infantry leadership skills to the cadets. While most members of the 3-304th are instructors, others perform administrative functions. Their ages range from 18 to 60. Their civilian jobs can be just about anything, said Battalion Cmdr. James Gormly of Warwick, Rhode Island, who works at a General Dynamics plant’s fire department.

The holiday party was also a chance to help their fellow battalion mates who may face financial hardship. Serving in the Army Reserve is not a way to get rich, battalion members said.

Cmdr. Sgt. Major Kevin Pattershall of Sanford, a computer software engineer in his civilian life, said Army reservists are paid about $200 to $300 for a weekend.

Battalion Capt. Crystal Kenney of Woolwich, a nurse in civilian life, said Army Reserve families face the same issues as soldiers in other military branches.

“We have soldiers who have been through fires, or are dealing with deaths” and need support just like other military families do, she said.

Battalion member Sgt. Amy Donahue of Kennebunkport said she was pleasantly surprised by the holiday gathering.

“I am brand new and I love it. I love our mission. There is a lot of camaraderie when someone steps up from your unit and does something like this,” said Donahue.

Augustine Hartman of Scarborough, an instructor with the unit since 2007, said he switched from a drill unit to the 3-304th because he likes to teach rather than drill. He said the holiday party was a rare chance for far-flung members to socialize.

“We can talk and catch up on stuff,” he said.