Ready, fire

I woke up excited about today. Today was the day that I would get to zero in my M4 and shoot at pop-up targets on an Army qualifying range. Nothing could go wrong. Well, almost nothing.

We bussed out to Range 18 where we would zero out our weapons. First off, everyone shot 18 rounds at three round increments and then made adjustments in between each round.

Sidebar: if you remember my post about “Really Cool Gear,” this was the day we took advantage of it. The Army may not do somethings as efficiently as the other branches, but one thing they got going for them is their uniforms. They design them for comfort and functionality. It felt great to slip into their cold weather uniform and gortex rain suit before stepping into the cold, rainy weather outside. It’s like wearing pajamas yet it keeps you toasty warm and dry at the same time.

Back to the range. After we zeroed in our iron sights, the few of us that had our CCO (red dot taliban-killer sights) then had a chance to sling 30 rounds down range to zero in that sight. Now, what differed here for me is they tell you to keep both eyes open with this sight. For whatever reason it was painfully hard to do that. At my home base, I qualified with one eye closed and did just fine. Here, my eyes kept blurring and losing the red dot on the target.

However, I still managed to zero in fairly quickly. (I should have went with my gut and zeroed in with my non-dominant eye closed). Once I got to the qualifying range, I had a terrible time keeping that dot on the pop-up targets. I won’t mention my score here, but let’s just say I would be heading back for remedial training if they were keeping track. All-in-all, the ranges here are unbelievable. They have ever scenario played out to simulate combat downrange. That is another great thing about the Army. They, for the most part, train you for what to expect and then some. Hoah.

Tomorrow we begin a Land Navigation course, but typical with any new training we can expect death by powerpoint first off before actually getting to navigate our way through the woods. So far, time has gone by pretty quick. I can’t believe that in about three weeks I’ll be boarding a plane to head downrange to Afghanistan. Hopefully I won’t be needing to use any of the information I learned here. The good thing is, if I need it, watch out! I’ll be a trained combat killer.

Lastly, if you have any stories or related combat training tips or snipits of information you’d like to share, drop a comment my way and I’ll see about posting it. Also, if you’ve deployed, feel free to comment on what helped get you through your deployment and how it could benefit other military members heading downrange.


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