06 November 2011

Weapons Experts....?

                                                                     When you make a mistake with a gun....

From the Soldier side: I’m afraid after my last post about “our version of a real war video game”…some folks think I was joking.  Many of the ideas I had listed were based on real life stuff that happened when we were in Iraq….and I’m sure others have their own true stories. 

My biggest fear of getting killed in Iraq (and Bosnia for that matter) was getting shot by one of our own people…not because they wanted to shoot me, but, because they were not competent with any kind of firearm.  In both Bosnia and Iraq, we had to “clear” our weapons before entering a mess hall, PX and some other buildings.  That was where a lot of “empty firearms” went off.  The sad part was these gross acts of negligence (or mental retardation) didn’t usually happen with some young private, but usually happened with senior NCOs and officers handling the weapons. 

I got to where I would go up to the clearing barrel, clear my weapon, then turn around and watch for those coming up behind me.  In one case in Bosnia, I witnessed a Blackhawk pilot pull his M9 out of his holster a good hundred meters from the clearing barrel and start pulling the slide back while it was pointed in my direction. 

I just yelled: “God Damn it Sir, that’s not the way to clear your weapon!” 
                                         typical uniform of the day in Bosnia, circa 2003-04
He just gave me a funny look and walked on into the mess hall.  I decided the next time somebody did that, I’d pull my M9 back out of the holster and point it at them and start racking the slide and mumble about being a postal worker. 

In another case of weapons skills brilliance, I was getting onto an Army Stryker vehicle at Mosul, Iraq.  The deal on boarding those vehicles was we’d “lock and load” our weapons just before boarding.  I carried an M9 pistol and an M4 carbine.  As I stepped into the vehicle, I saw an Army Major walk up behind me, pull out his M11 (Sig 9mm) pistol, point it at me, and try to load M9 (Beretta) magazines into the pistol.  I looked at him and said: “Sir, them mags aint’ gonna’ fit into that pistol.”

The major looked at me and asked: “Can I borrow your M9 for this ride?” 
I looked at him and said: “Sir you’ve already demonstrated your weapons skills to me, I’ll keep my weapons, but in the event I should get killed before you, you can borrow whatever you like.” 

(you see, I could get away with talking to offices like that because I never wore my rank, unit patch or name tag, and I looked mean.) 

A few days after the Mosul ride, an “unknown major” was boarding a Stryker vehicle to go for a ride, when he locked an loaded his M16, started to step into the vehicle and put his finger on the trigger, letting a burst go inside the Stryker. 

Nobody was hurt, but everybody was staring at every Army Major they saw for weeks…”were you that guy?” 

…and you all remember the story(s) of our really stupid Sergeant Major who  decided he was going to man the “Fifty Cal” machine gun on a few convoys.  He had never trained on that weapon, but what the heck, he was a Command Sergeant Major and he knew everything…right? 

Nope..and to this day I suspect he still doesn’t understand that the M2 HB .50 caliber heavy machine gun does not have a safety….

So, when you go back and read my last post, I wasn't kidding about how to make a war video more real...just add some of the retarded shit some people do and alll the vets will say: "Wow, that's so real."


Paxford said...

Great Post CI-R.

And should I ever make it across the seas you are my Number One choice to learn weapons skills from (so long as you don't laugh when I utterly fail at lifting the slightly heavy ones :D)


Anonymous said...

1. Muzzle flags and accidental discharges.
2. That stuff happens in AO's -and, according to friends, to police officers as well.
3. Back at the beginning of time, that stuff would get you chewed out or an Article 15, depending on where you were and who you were working for.
4. The worst variety would be on patrol, setting security on a bivouac.
5. Getting dark and "Bang!"
6. Any hopes of spending a peaceful night are now gone.
7. If the leadership was good, we'd displace in the dark -which was a real pain and seldom happened anyway.
8. Calls from the six, 2 clicks away. "What the hell was that about?"
9. Would not like to have been the person explaining that.
10. It happened enough in exactly that situation, that the possibility was warned about with regularity.
11. Usually only the point and maybe the number 2 (if the point was gutsy or didn't care) would move with weapon off safety.
12. Saw lots of muzzle flags with VN -and other foreign troops, other places.
13. The troops would police that themselves.
14. Never served anywhere that troops had the least reluctance to call anyone, whatever the rank, on a muzzle flag.
15. And yeah, officers tend to be the worst offenders.
16. Amaze myself at my recall on this crapola.
V/R JWest

CI-Roller Dude said...

Pax, People can develope muscles, but there's no exercise to make them smarter or remove the "I know everything" approach some have.

Mr West, as usual, you have great comments... I do think the overall quality of the troops I've seen since 9-11 was much better than what I saw in the 1970's. It was the "Type A" folks who were the worst in both the Army and Police work.

el chupacabra said...

From the back of a 5 Ton during convoy live fire at Fort Hood Texas:

Some random remf hired to train us to go downrange: Whatsamattah sarge you scared? Whatchoo gonna do when you get to Iraq?

Me: *&((%@!, yes I'm scared. Are you kidding me? The only two jerks I was looking at when we locked and loaded had their weapons pointed at ME! One at my gut, one at my head.

Another loosely associated flashback: A very young Pvt2 cut a round loose into the clearing barrel from his M4. It should not have happened, but it did. That's what clearing barrels are for.
The word got around he was going to be burned- as an example. He wasn't even in my platoon, but I asked the platoon sergeant,"So ya'll are good with this?" After he hemmed and hawed for a few minutes I said,"What will they do to one of our guys if they actually do something WRONG? Are they going to take them out back to the berm and shoot them at dawn?"
After they stammered around for a few minutes I said,"Look, If somebody else doesn't go show their butt for that kid in the orderly room I will- I have to go pick up my radios for the AM patrol anyway."
Predictably it was,"No,no,no, Sergeant we read you and feel the same way..."
He ended up doing some minor extra duty- nothing on paper. I think he swept the orderly room and made coffee for a day or two.
My neck is still sore for sticking it out that day.

CI-Roller Dude said...

El Chu,
We did the convoy "live fire" at Ft Lewis. since I had been a combat engineer for 12 years, they asked me if I could drive a 5 ton. I had driven the old stick shift 10 speed 1968 versions...so I jumped into the newer model they had, drove it around the motor pool for a few minutes and they handed me a license for the beast. When they asked me if I could drive it up and down the live fire range all day, I said: "yep, with 2 conditions. 1- I get to shoot with each group. 2- I get to help give the safety briefing --- and they made me a "Safety Officer" because I'd been a range master for a hundred years.
Nobody had any mistakes that day---I told them if anybody shot me, they better make sure they killed me.

Saker said...

Most of our negligent discharges out here come from two places- National Guard or Reserve Army captains and Air Force MPs. Go figure.

CI-Roller Dude said...

Saker, Yep..some of the weekend warriors gave the rest a bad name... Funny thing is, when we got to Kuwait, the reg army unit a bunch of us got attached to asked some of us weekend warriors to help with the training... Others were ask to go wonder off into the desert alone.

Saker said...

I think our incidents here say more about the officer corps than the weekend warriors in general. The junior enlisted don't seem to have any problems with the concept of clearing weapons. :D

CI-Roller Dude said...

My suggestion with weapons clearing is for the "retards" they have their boss supervise them. In some cases, take the weapons away from them and give them a rubber gun--like in the police academny... in the case of our Local National Guard Command Sergeant major, he should have been left alone in the streets of Baghdad.
He went out to give one of his soldiers an Article 15 for a negligent weapons discharge...but the Sgt Major had is own on the Fifty Cal...and never got in trouble.

CI-Roller Dude said...

...and I don't think I've talked much about the poor kid they put on my team...he'd been treated really bad.
After he was on my team, I checked his M4 and found the bolt and carrier missing.
Well, since we were REQUIRED to have a weapon at all times, they'd do that to soliders who talked about killing themselves.
I spent a few months building that kid back up and making him a good solider...with a bolt in his M4.
He went on convoys and everything and did a good job.