Tuesday, August 29, 2006

US Weapons

Today was a relatively easy day. We shot five different types of weapons within an hour time frame so I guess that means we are now "familiar" with them all. I didn't like the grenade launcher although I think that had more to do with the fact that it was set for right-handed firers so I had to completely readjust to shoot the thing. The .50 cal was cool, though, and the M240B and the M249 (or SAW). I'd already shot the SAW at camp last year. It's actually kind of funny: all these different training schools (including Basic from what I hear) have a weapons day to familiarize us with assorted fire arms but that's about all the time we spend with them. I can basically now say I've shot them but I wouldn't be able to hit anything because they just send us on the range with about 20 rounds and tell us to shot them (and 20 rounds on machine gun goes a lot more quickly than on an M16A2 or an M4).

Despite the fact that we got done rather early today, I feel like my platoon keeps getting screwed over. 3rd and 4th platoons had weapons day yesterday while we were on the range, and today we flip-flopped. We didn't get back until about 6 last night, and basically missed the evening hours for the dining hall while today 3rd and 4th got back before 4, and they had enough time to get everyone qualified (there was one person that hadn't qualified by the end of last night since we only got one run-through). I guess we were the guinea pigs yesterday and helped them work out the kinks in the system, but it just shows how inefficiently they were running the range yesterday.

Tomorrow we start MOUT (Military Operations on Urban Terrain) so that should be a bit more interesting the past few days. Part of me was actually grateful that I hadn't qualified on Monday because ARM just looked absolutely boring and horrible - not to mention that my legs get stiff and sore very quickly from standing with my knees bent (they had to be in a half squat position to fire). I'm going to be squad leader for the next three days so hopefully it works out. We're spending Thursday night on the FOB (forward operating base) so I guess I'll definitely have things to do as squad leader, even if it is just PCIs/PCCs (pre-combat inspections/checks). There sure are a lot of acronymns in this paragraph.

I wanted to mix things up a little bit today and do one of those online quizzes or memes (I learned a new blogging word) but I didn't see any that really seemed that exciting. I just thought it might be fun to post something other than "God, the Army really sucks," but I guess it'll have to wait until some other time. We have to do peer evals tonight, so maybe I can post my results when I get them in a few days. I'm pretty sure I'm going to be last in the squad, just because my technical skills are rather lacking (I was the last in the platoon to qualify after all), and my PT scores are lower. Other than that, I'd say we're all rather even, although some of the others might be more social than I am. After all, my idea of a perfect evening is going to Atlanta Bread Company alone to read and take advantage of their wireless internet (kind of like I'm doing right now).

Tomorrow is the midway point!

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