Saturday, May 29, 2010

Cover me while I move (Basic Training) Day 52

A small clip from the DVD I purchased at basic. This one shows the
first covered position we lined up at during the buddy team movements at
this range. Unfortunately it doesn't show the entire range and all of us bounding
to the end and releasing the rest of our rounds, but it does give you a picture of what
the range is like.

These entries are from the letters that Brandon has mailed to me. His writing at times can be a bit difficult to determine his words... bare with me, I do my best, especially with army terms.
PT this morning was very light, only stretches and some very minor exercises. We found out that our PT test for the record is tomorrow. This is the real deal, the one that your score actually counts. I’ve passed all mine so far, but there are 11 or 12 in our platoon that still haven’t. Hopefully they can step it up. If you don’t pass, you will not graduate.  They will recycle you. I’m not sure if there will be a chance to do to the PT test again for the people that don’t pass, but they will be pressed for time to get in shape.  Our platoon has a guy that quit (PVT Jacket), the guy who went AWOL  (my bunk mate who did come back, but then got discharged), and we also have a few guys who are sick.  PVT Diesel has been in the infirmary for the last 5 days. He hasn’t passed a PT test yet, so I doubt he’ll be able to before we graduate. I wonder how many in our platoon will make it and how many will not. We started off with 35 and had one addition and two are officially gone leaving us at 34.
After breakfast we were transported to a new range for our buddy team movements… this time with live ammo. Each lane has 4 barriers that you get behind for cover. We ran through once pretending to shoot saying “bang bang”, then once using blank rounds (these really suck they cause everyone’s rifle to jam) and then we did it with live ammo.
Me and a buddy each start and run up to two different old beat up cars for cover. We shot at pop up targets down range. (We have to be safe because this is a “hands on” range. This means if we do something unsafe the DS can hit us, tackle us, or do whatever to us if needed).  After we are both set I yell “cover me while I move” (have to scream it because we have ear plugs in and we are shooting). My buddy yells, “got you covered” and I ran up to my next covered position about 20 meters away. Once I’m there and have my rifle set back to semi  (off of safe, always on safe when moving) I yell, “set” and start shooting at targets. The process starts over with my buddy moving and so on.
When we reach our last target we were allowed for the first time to switch our rifles to burst (automatic fire). That was cool! When finished, the DS gave everyone an AAR (after action review). The only thing he criticized me on was that I could have run a bit faster between covers. (I was concentrating on safety and form).
The whole event was pretty cool. Your adrenaline gets pumping when you have live fire all around and you’re running down the range. 
It was hot as usual and with our full battle rattle everyone was heating up. We got done early; so our senior DS decided to transport us back via the supply truck.  Our platoon was packed like sardines. Lots of moaning and groaning…I think each of us probably lost 5 lbs. in sweat alone.  Good thing it’s laundry night tonight.
When we got back, our DS had us all clean our weapons. This was fine, but we had to do it for over 4 hours. DS A-Hole came out and even gave us a mini smoke (because of our PT test tomorrow) because he saw some people not cleaning. You can only do so much.
Our bathroom has become the favorite hang out spot in our bay. It’s not uncommon to walk in there and see 4 or 5 people sitting on the sink. (We’re not allowed to sit or lay on the beds in bay… only the floor). The bathroom is also out of sight when a DS comes out of his office into the bay. It’s never a good thing to be doing nothing when a DS comes out. 
Random DS Quote: “Listen up men…lump on my butt crack and hole” (DS A-Hole reading PVT GG’s sick call description to everyone.

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