Thursday, May 13, 2010

Pre-Qualifying (Basic Training) Day 36

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.
We woke up this morning, and had no morning PT, we just got dressed in our ACUs. We did some stretches as a company and then started on our 8k road march. We had on our A-Pack (Assault Pack - back pack filled with some odds & ends) and our Flick (a vest that can carry a number of items - canteen, first aid pack, cartridges) with of course our rifle that we had to carry. The march was much better then the 3k with our rucksack. We ended up going almost two miles farther than the 8k because they took a wrong turn. PVT Home School was having issues so the company commander made him march in front with him about half way through. By the end of the march we made it to a new range that we would be pre-qualifying on. My shoulders were starting to burn and my legs were beat. It ended just in time.

We ate breakfast at the range - duty food. (This is where the DFAC delivers the food and the duty squad dishes it out to the company.) This new range is the one we will qualify on. It has 6 different targets at various distances from 50m to 300m. We get 40 shots all together - 20 from prone supported (laying using a sandbag) - 10 from prone unsupported (laying with no sandbag) - 10 from the kneeling position (previously I called the sitting position, you basically put your right knee on the ground and sit on your right foot).  You have to at least score 23 total to qualify. If you don't qualify, you cannot graduate basic. You will get recycled. I shot 25, 26, 24 & 30. Good enough to qualify. We have more practices tomorrow and then we qualify on Friday. 

It's been getting quite hot during the day. We've been allowed to wear our "eye pro" sunglasses during our range time, which is cool. I also have quite the tan. I've been putting sunscreen on my neck and face, but forget my hands and wrist. I have dark hands and about 4 inches up past my wrist then it goes to white.

One of the benefits of being at an all male basic training is that most of them time we are allowed to relieve ourselves at the wood-line. This is good news because the latrines at the ranges are very disgusting. The pee troughs are clogged and just sit there with standing pee and all the toilets are basically in the open in the middle of the room. They are basically just holes in a bench so you can see and smell all that everyone has deposited. It's gross! We were allowed to purchase Powerade and power bars today...and I partook. They hit the spot. 

We had the buses take us back to the bay and then took a nice long shower. You get pretty dirty lying on the dirt all day while getting sweaty in the hot sun.

On another note, it's kind of funny that our platoon leader and his assistants both have the worst gas in the platoon. With 35 guys all together farts are always a pretty funny deal. There are planned farts, attacked farts, crop dusting, and the loud farts in quiet formations. Sometimes the DSs even get mad because it's just too much. I have to admit that they still make me laugh when someone lets out a loud one when it's absolutely quiet. My 12 year old humor starts coming out.

Random DS Quote: "Slap it like you would your wife's face". (DS explaining how to un-jam our rifles using the "SPORTS" technique).

A typical day at the range is seen in this video clip. It is a mix of platoons from
our company consisting of the Outlaws, Terminators & Gladiators. You can see a variety 
of the positions we shoot from, the pop up targets, and how each soldier "coaches" position
themselves to help out the shooter with their breathing, trigger squeeze, and head position

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