I really miss being in the Army sometimes. Being a soldier is a dangerous occupation, but it does have its perks. I love shooting weapons. I find it fun, competitive, and sometimes challenging. I dont mind breaking down the weapons for cleanings.
I have fired many different weapons while in the military. Primarily the M16A2.
I did not mind waking up at 4 am for weapons draw. We could all be at the range by 0700 for zeroing and qualifying. I enjoyed the smell of carbon, hot CLP, chamber smoke, and spent casings. I enjoyed seeing targets come up and go down. I enjoyed coaching soldiers in their marksmanship skills in order to help them achieve a higher score. Having better markmen within the unit builds confidence in the units capability as war fighters.
There is an emotional attachment that soldiers have with their weapons assigned to them. Once the weapon has been zeroed and the soldiers has been qualified on small child sized targets up to 300 meters in distance, it makes him or her one of the deadliest soldiers in the world. No scopes are used, only iron sights.
If there were enough rounds (bullets) left over towards the end of the day, soldiers with low scores can go back on the range to improve their scores. Sometimes we went back to see how many times we can score expert against the other experts within the unit.
These are some of my fond memories while serving in the military. If I could go back and do it all over again I surely would. We had great mentors and trainers. We had excellent equipment. These skills we will never forget. It’s been 6 years since I last fired an M16A2. But put one in my hands today and I will know exactly how to use it and Maintain it. Once a soldier, always a soldier. Just because we Veterans are no longer on active service does not mean we forget our skill capable of killing.
If you like to know more or have subject ideas feel free to write me.
David Lee Martin
US Army Functional Veteran