Friday, June 12, 2009
ARMY ADVENTURES --HOW TO USE A RIFLE
Upon my release from the base hospital, I was assigned to an 8 weeks basic training company, heavy weapons. They were all heavy as far as I was concerned. But these were the 81mm mortars, instead of the 60mm, for example.
But this story is about rifle training. How to shoot from various positions: prone, kneeling, sitting, squatting, and standing. This particular day it was dry run practice -- getting into position, aiming properly, and squeeeeeezing off the shot. It was impressed on us to squeeze slowly, as a quick jerk would pull one off target.
I was okay (sorta) through the positions until we got to squatting. There I was, s l o w l y squeeeeeezing the trigger, when my knee popped, and I flipped over backwards. The knee didn’t go out completely, but if there had been ammunition in the weapon, I might have shot someone. I quickly mentioned this to my platoon leader, saying that flipping backwards when down on the rifle range might not be a good idea. He said he would get back to me.
When we got to the rifle range, he told me that when the call came for the squatting position, I was to use the sitting position. Fine. And the time came. That day was extremely windy, and the officer in the tower had to shout into his mike in order to be heard. Our company was down to the right of the tower, so that when I sat down, I had my back to the tower. Safety was a key factor, and there was a whole procedure that was followed between each shot (or type of shot, I think). I remember the “Ready on the right, ready on the left” bit. So the tower officer went through the safety procedure, and then “READY ON THE RI....WHAT’S THAT MAN DOING ON HIS BUTT?” I put my rifle down and turned around in time to see my platoon leader running down to the tower, up the steps, and talking to the officer. “AW RIGHT, AW RIGHT!”
But that wasn’t the end of the day for fun. Out where the targets were was a deep pit where other GI’s ran the targets up and down. We took careful aim when the target was up, fired a shot, and the target was pulled down. Then it came back up to show where the bullet had hit.
There I was, flat on my stomach, squeeeeeeeeeeezing off a shot, when the target went down. I had not yet fired. Target up. BULLS-EYE! Turned out the guy next to me accidently aimed at my target. I got the credit -- he didn’t! Yeah, life isn’t fair.
I must say that this is doggone funny, even if it is a cat-astrophe.