Saturday, June 18, 2011

IBOLC Week 4: Advanced Rifle Marksmanship

This week was all about moving and shooting. Instead of sitting still and shooting at stationary targets, we practiced moving and shooting at both stationary and moving targets. It's an interesting feeling, running through obstacles with live ammunition,  your teammates running with you as you shoot, move, cover each other, and advance towards the objective.

Wednesday was a night to remember. With absolutely clear skies, cadre suddenly started barking at us to set up our hooches - there was a storm coming. We laughed it off but did it anyway. About thirty minutes after we hit the sack, it started trickling. Then it started raining. Then, it started POURING. I was inside my bivy cover, which is the waterproof bag that you put your sleeping bag in to keep it dry - only I didn't have my sleeping bag and I didn't stay dry. None of us brought our sleeping bags on account of the ungodly heat, and few of us stayed dry. I had a nice little puddle inside my bivy cover by the time the night was over.

It was funny though, in the middle of the night when the storm was at its worst, everyone was up laughing about it. People were yelling phrases like, "THIS IS STUPID!" and "I QUIT!" much to the amusement of everyone else. I've decided to carry around a voice recorder to get all the ridiculous conversation that goes on in my platoon. I think it would make a great podcast: "Conversations of Infantryman." Ha. A lot of it would have to be edited for content...

We made it through the night though, lessons learned: staying dry is a PRI-ORITY. Friday was shooting the biggest guns the army has: The M203 grenade launcher, the MK-19  automatic grenade launcher, and the .50 calibur machine gun. The .50 cal makes your insides vibrate when you shoot it. I cried out in sheer delight when i pulled down the trigger for that first burst. It was like skydiving, in that I couldn't help but scream from the pure sensory overload of it. And to think, I got paid for it.

Also! Wainwright, Alaska will be my next duty station. I looked it up, read a bit, and am completely stoked to be going there. More to come on that.

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