Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Oyb Got vil, shiss a bezem

Oyb Got vil, shiss a beyzem - "If God wills, a broom can shoot." My Dad taught me that expression when I joined the Army, and now that I think about it, I'm not quite sure how to take it. I never did have a knack for shooting when we went to the range in ROTC, so I was excited to get a little extra instruction and practice in the AMU's Squad Designated Marksman Course, which I was basically awarded a spot in because of my repeated failures to get into Airborne School.

The course focused on hitting targets between 300-600 meters (well, the range was actually the one range in the Army marked in yards, but close enough). We learned about how to adjust our weapons for distance and wind so that we could promptly ignore those lessons when we got to the range (it's fabulous to know I need to aim 10 inches to the left if there's a 7 mph wind ... if I owned an anemometer). I was rather proud of being able to hit a moving target at 600 yds - though I'll give you my honest assessment that if I take a shot at you from that distance, you've got about a 50% chance of escaping, or simply surviving while standing in the exact same place. A 300 m target now seems like nothing, though, and I'm excited to qualify at IBOLC and see how well this beyzem can shiss.

P.S. One memorable feature of the course was that the students who were not shooting were manually moving the targets from behind a berm, with rounds flying, snapping, and zinging (if a round hit something other than a target) overhead. Does that count as being downrange?