Rifle practice for the Army?


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Phantom Warrior
October 3, 2004, 11:30 PM
I'm going into the Army next June, as anyone who's been following my thread in RT knows. For those of you who don't, I'll be an 11X, Infantry Recruit. I'm interested in going to sniper school, among other things. From what I've gathered it sounds like part of selection for that depends on your marksmanship at basic.

Is it or is it not a good idea to practice with an M-16 type rifle before basic? I've wanted an AR for a while, so I wouldn't mind buying one and if I could practice for the Army so much the better. If you thing it is a good idea what type of AR would you recommend? 14.5" M4gery or 20" A2? I've had my eye on a 16" (solid barrel, no flash thingy) carbine, probably w/ a removable carry handle. Would that fit the bill?

Former Army people, your input would be appreciated.

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Dbl0Kevin
October 3, 2004, 11:36 PM
Well I haven't been in the Army, but I will say this about the subject. While in the police academy we were told numerous times that those who had prior shooting experience were harder to train, wouldn't do as good....blah blah blah. Well come range week all that turned out to be complete BS. I had been shooting since I was 14, and did not require any instruction and was one of the few people shooting perfect scores. Whereas the people who never touched a gun in their life were far behind the curve and had a lot of catching up to do. Some could not catch up fast enough and got kicked out cause they couldn't learn to shoot in a week.

I've always found it stupid when people say that you shouldn't try to learn anything prior to formal training. Familiarity with something prior to training is always a plus in my opinion as you won't be as nervous, and can pick up more advanced tips and persepectives if you already have the basics.

That's my .02. :)

Trebor
October 3, 2004, 11:48 PM
The Army is going to want to teach you the Army way. Personally, I think your time would be better spent on physical conditioning. Even if you are already in shape, I'm sure you can be in better shape and conditioning will help you much more than any marksmanship practice.

The only marksmanship work that might help is to work on squeezing the trigger smoothly without disturbing the sight picture. It really doesn't matter what firearm you use for this. Even practicing with a .22 pistol can help you develop good trigger control.

You'll train with the standard M-16A2 service rifle.

The army will attempt to teach you everything they want you to know. Pay attention, even if it seems redundant at the time, and keep your mouth shut and your nose clean. A positive attitude will help you get selected for any future special training more than any self-taught familiarity with the AR that you brought with you.

Good luck.

Redlg155
October 3, 2004, 11:52 PM
Phantom,

It wouldn't hurt to practice. If you do, get the 20" A2 version.

I would also like to add that if your heart is set on being a 11B, then so be it, but I'd highly recommend that you go for something that has a civilian equivalent in the real world. There isn't much of a need for grunts in the real world. I found that out when I got out as a 13B. Not much of a need for cannon cockers. I got lucky and got out on disability, so I'm going through college for something better. A lot of guys weren't as lucky and are having to start from scratch when they got out. Shoot for a job as high as your GT score will qualify you for.

Also, whatever you want, get the recruiter to put it in writing for you. If you want Airborne school....then get it in writing. Air Assault. Get it in writing. If it isn't in writing then it isn't valid. Sniper school is a bit different since the selection is from line units and not recruits. However, getting Airborne or Air Assault will definitely help get you into a unit where you can attend sniper school.


Good Shooting
Red

threefeathers
October 3, 2004, 11:55 PM
As a retired 19D with half my career as an 11B I have to say to get in perfect condition. It is how you will be judged. Go online and study map reading skills. You have to be a PERFECT infantryman before they will even consider you for sniper school.

OEF_VET
October 4, 2004, 12:01 AM
Well, I've been there, done that, so my opinion might have some weight. In fact, I've been thru the U.S. Army's Basic Combat Training twice. (I was out for 5 years, so when I went back in, I had to redo BCT.) Of course, you can always disregard my advice, afterall, you aren't paying for it.

In my experience, those people who haven't shot a rifle before and who pay attention to what the Drill Sgts tell them, will do better than those who have previously shot a rifle, developed bad habits, and are too stubborn to listen to what the Drill Sgts are trying to teach them. Now, those with some weapons familiarity who haven't developed a lot of bad habits and are willing to learn from those who know more than they do, are going to most likely excell at Basic Rifle Marksmanship.

If you're dead-set on getting a jump-start on BRM, do it right. Get ahold of the proper Army Field Manuals and find yourself an Army vet who is both willing AND capable of teaching you the RIGHT way. I say again, capable of teaching you the RIGHT way! Just because your neighbor down the street spent a couple years in the Guard and now plays Airsoft on the weekends, he may not be capable of teaching you.

When I first went to Ft. Benning as an 11X, I thought I knew everything there was to know about shooting. Heck, I'd hunted deer in Montana with my old .30-30 and had even handled an M16A2 at a DEP function once. Boy, was I in for a rude awakening. One thing that sticks in my mind was the day at the zero range, when I went to wrap my sling around my forearm as a way to steady the rifle. Drill Sgt. Harris was quick to tell me to stop what I was trying to do. Using a sling in such a way is great in competition, but it's not a good thing on an Army qualification range. Think about it, you're training to use your rifle in a combat situation, you most likely won't have time to wrap the sling around. You can't tell Hajji to stop shooting them RPG's so you can get your proper shootng stance.

Besides, unless you have access to a Kevlar and Load-Bearing vest, you won't even be really replicating the way the you'll be shooting in Basic. Also, you'll most likely get some strange looks when you start digging a hole at the firing line of your local range in order to practice for the foxhole-supported position.

In short, if you're willing to forget everything you think you know when you get on the plane to Ft. Benning, and to shut your pie-hole and open your ears once you get to Sand Hill, go ahead and practice now. (Although, I wouldn't recommend it.)

However, if you know you're the type of person to assume you've already learned the right way, so what could that 10-15 year veteran with 2 combat tours teach you, then don't do it.

Frank

PS - What others above have said about practicing PT instead of BRM is great advice. The Drill Sgts will be much happier having a PT stud around than having a expert rifleman around.

Phantom Warrior
October 4, 2004, 12:25 AM
Hmmmm...interesting. If the finances are really good maybe I'll look into it, but it sounds like a good pair of running shoes might be a better investment. :D Thanks for the advice guys.

Regarding the other comments, I covered most of this in my other thread, but here's the thumbnail. I will graduate in May w/ two B.S. degrees and am probably planning to go to law school when I get out of the Army so I'm not really in for the vocational training. I couldn't get any training written into my contract because of my vision, because my initial medical rating is too low to put anything in my contract. It's good enough to get in and will be good enough for me to do Ranger or anything like that ONCE I'M IN, but I guess the initial exam is the one that governs the enlistment contract.

However, if you know you're the type of person to assume you've already learned the right way, so what could that 10-15 year veteran with 2 combat tours teach you, then don't do it.

I'm aware of my limitations and if I do some shooting before I go in I'll be sure to remember to go to basic w/ an open mind. Thanks for the advice.

444
October 4, 2004, 12:32 AM
This is just repeating what has already been said, but buying a rifle and taking it out plinking isn't going to do you any good.
On the other hand, going to something like a CMP match where good shooters teach you the basics of marksmanship can never hurt. I went through basic over 20 years ago, so I don't know if this applies, but the shooting was not difficult at all and didn't require any extrodinary skill to shoot expert. But good quality instruction is never a bad idea. But it needs to be someone who really knows what they are doing or you are only learning bad habits.

JamisJockey
October 4, 2004, 01:33 AM
Skip the M16 practice. Of course, make sure you're up on your good habits like not flinching shots, breathing, and saftey.
It wouldn't hurt, however, to know some of the nomenclature of the M16 and how to take it apart/reasseble.
Neither should be a priority. Instead....
Spend most of your prep time on getting in top physical shape. Make sure that you are well within your allowed weight range. Pullups, pushups, situps, and running should be your top priority. Being in good shape will help with your shooting, by the way.
Try and get your sleeping patterns adjusted to 6 hours, up by 0500 (5 am).
Spend time with your family, you won't see much of them for the next few years.
Good luck, and thanks for your service!

goalie
October 4, 2004, 01:48 AM
If you have not been shooting highpower for years, it is too late to do much about the shooting before you go, although you have plenty of time to develop bad habbits.

On the other hand, being in great shape when you go is an advantage that is hard to put a value on.

Buy the running shoes.


(FWIW, I was a Marine (infantry), not in the Army. I think the advice is still good.)

haynhogdogger
October 4, 2004, 02:15 AM
Yup some good advice. Just a repeat but... Basics like breathing, slow steady squeeze, sight alignment, sight picture etc etc. would probably be the best thing to do and familiarity with the weapon of choice. like someone said earlier get some good manuals and someone to teach you the right way. make the first shot count one-shot one-kill...

"PT PT EVERYDAY" just having a flashback hehehe!!! Oh Yeah buddy get in some PT work on your weaknessess whatever they may be running,pushups etc. not sure about the Army I was in the Corps but im sure it wont hurt any.

And Yes, Thank You for your Service Good Luck and Godspeed!!!

" I FEAR NOT FOR I AM FEAR ITSELF!!! "- USMC

schromf
October 4, 2004, 02:52 AM
I don't know about others but my rifle skills didn't improve any in basic.

My first firing on the range, I grouped 10 on a quarter which my DI immediatly noticed. I spent the rest of the day sighting the rifle in and didn't repeat that group, as I was playing with my sights.

All of this payed off and I did KP during every other range practice session in basic. My next day I shooting was qualification day. I had never done the quick fire portion of training, due to KP commitments, and blew my first shot, and remember to this day my DI saying slow down, look how much time you have left. I listened, and shot the next 79 right. Top score in my company. The guy who took number 2 was a and ol county boy from Louisiana, he scored a 78. Bringing the skillset with you pays off.

I attribute my rifle skills to my father who was a hard nosed ol Colonel, who taught me right from the age of six, and had me spend many hours of my youth practicing riflemanship skills.

Being exposed to shooting before your military training is good, but the quality of the training is very important. My father was a excellent marksman, and taught me the correct way, with no shortcuts. I was very familiar with military rifle ranges and technics thanks to him, it was top notch training, and yes folks gruelling for a 10 year old. Later it paid off when I won State Guard matches, and although my father had passed away by then, I can honestly say he worked as hard for those trophies as I did, and I wish he had lived so I could have given them to him.

But my advise is if you know how to shoot before you get to basic, don't show it usless you like KP. And unless your training was very formal teaching all of the shooting disciplines listen and pay attention to what your being taught, your odds of success are a lot better.

Langenator
October 4, 2004, 08:30 AM
Holy smeg, I might actually be something of an authority on a subject, seeing how I actually command a basic training company at Ft Jackson.

Ditto what everyone has said about PT. PT, PT, PT. Pushups, situps, and 2 mile run. That's the PT test. When you practice your pushups, have someone watch you to check your form. Keep your back straight, and make sure your upper arms are parallel to the ground at the bottom. For running, the current PT program for IET (Initial Entry Training) consists of two ability group (soldiers grouped according to how fast they can run) runs and one sprint session per week, plus 2-3 sessions of muscle strength. So practice on both distance (for cardio vascular) and sprints (for speed.)

As far as basic rifle marksmanship goes, familiarity with how to shoot helps, but just this cycle I had a female soldier who'd never fired a gun before in her life qualify expert (36 out of 40). She listened to the drill sergeants.

The 4 Fundamentals you will be taught:

Steady Position
Sight Picture
Breathing
Trigger Squeeze

Pay attention to what the drill sergeants are teaching, and don't spend your training time before you start on the ranges-and there's a good bit of it-dorking around. Use the time you're given.

That being said, sniper school selection will be done by your unit. In 7+ years in the Infantry, I've never seen anyone less experienced than a senior E-4 with at least 2-3 years in the Army sent to sniper school. Units will screen really hard, because sniper school has a pretty high fail-out rate.

Things you CO/1SG/PL/PSG will look at:

BRM score (duh)
PT score (ditto)
Overall smarts (which you seem to have plenty of)
Motivation and general stick-toitiveness. Have to be willing to work hard fo it.

Most soldiers who go to sniper school are already part of the unit sniper team(s), and will get plenty of training in things such as stalking, target detection, range estimation, and sniper-type shooting, which is very, very different from shooting pop up targets at ranges of 330m or less with an M16/M4.

Good luck.

Greg L
October 4, 2004, 09:06 AM
I couldn't get any training written into my contract because of my vision, because my initial medical rating is too low to put anything in my contract.

You should find out if there are any vision requirements that might disqualify you from sniper training before you get your heart set on it (see if you can find the phone # to the sniper school & call them directly. Your recruiter already knows the answer that you want to hear....). A sniper who is out in the boonies with one other guy is in a much bigger world of hurt than one who is part of an entire platoon when your glasses break.

As was mentioned above, the school is probably looking for the best infantryman who is a decent shot rather than a great shot who gets lost on his way to the bathroom. Your extra time now would be well spent out in the woods learning how to read a contour map & how whats on the paper translates to what you can see right in front of you. If you can get a local one with military grids on it great, but the grid system is easy to pick up on if not. The important thing is to get a local map (1:50,000 preferably) so that you can physically see what all those lines are.

This is a good time of year as well to work on walking quietly while you are out in the woods. If you can move quickly and quietly through the woods (while not getting lost on the way to the bathroom ;) ) you will be noticed.

See if you can pick up a Ranger Handbook somewhere. There is lots of good information in there that you will want to be at least somewhat familiar with. Also the requirements for the EIB (Expert Infantry Badge) will give you a very good idea of what you need to know.

Learn a lot about camoflage, both how to use it & how to spot it. A sniper spends more time hiding than shooting.

Just some random Monday morning thoughts from someone else with bad eyes who wound up being a REMF ;) . However it turns out though, thanks for at least stepping up to the plate.

Greg

Shawn1
October 4, 2004, 09:35 AM
In basic they will most likely make you touch your nose to the charging handle while shooting like they did in my company. Are you going to Fort Benning? nThats where I was, Sand Hill, do some physical conditioning before you get there, it is hard work. I was in 1st Battalion 50th Infantry Alpha Company 1st Platoon.

WT
October 4, 2004, 11:04 AM
In a recent issue of PROCEEDINGS OF THE US NAVAL INSTITUTE (August 2004, p. 2) US Marine Corps Major Stanton S. Coerr of San Diego, CA said "the National Rifle Association's right-to-bear arms mantra is a joke ....."

The September and October issues of PROCEEDINGS contained letters to the editor from other Marine officers taking strong exception to the misguided major. Personally, I think Coerr is a disgrace to the Marines and he would do well to review the Constitution that he swore to protect and defend.

Anyway, some of the letters noted that active duty Marines, Soldiers and SEALs were seeking small arms training from NRA certified instructors. Others sought specialized sniper training in civilian schools. They did so, spending their own money, because they felt that their military firearms training was not adequate for the unconditional warfare they were fighting in Iraq.

One letter noted that NRA instructors cared more about training our trigger pullers than did some "active duty leaders."

Summation: you have time before your induction. Go get the extra training. Find a qualified instructor or a qualified school and use the time and instruction to make yourself a better Soldier.

God bless you and stay safe!

OEF_VET
October 4, 2004, 12:43 PM
Find a qualified instructor or a qualified school and use the time and instruction to make yourself a better Soldier.

Before you try to make yourself a BETTER soldier, it's probably a good idea to concentrate on BECOMING a soldier first. It's kind of like that whole crawl, walk, run theory. Don't start out trying to learn all the high-speed, low-drag, this-is-the-way-the-Navy-SEELS-Delta-Rangers-do-it stuff. Instead, allow the Drill Sgts to do their job. Afterall, Basic Combat Training is called Basic Combat Training for a reason - it teaches you the BASICS! No one has ever said (at least no one who knew wth he was talking about) that BCT was the end-all-to-end-all about combat training. Once you've figured out the basics (crawling) and are through with BCT/AIT/OSUT, then take some classes if you desire at Front Site, LFI, Thunder Ranch, etc., or learn from the NCO's in your unit (walking). Then you'll be ready for the two-way live fire (running).

No, you don't need to be an MOS-qualified soldier to learn things at FS, LFI, TR, et al. However, that's just another opportunity to pick up those habits the Drill Sgts don't want or need you to have. The Army has been in the business of turning civilians into soldiers for a long time. Do they offer the best marksmanship training during BCT? No. But they do teach you enough to prepare you to go to a line unit and learn your job from your NCO's.

Thumper
October 4, 2004, 02:19 PM
PS - What others above have said about practicing PT instead of BRM is great advice. The Drill Sgts will be much happier having a PT stud around than having a expert rifleman around.

+1

'Course, you don't need an excuse to buy an AR...go ahead and do that anyway.

Nice to have a CO's input, Langenator.

ScorpioVI
October 4, 2004, 04:19 PM
Heh, nice to see other Benning Alumni posting on this board. I chuckled when I read the words "Sand Hill", haven't read or heard those words in a while. The irony is that I'm currently working on another "Sand Hill", i.e. "Sand Hill Rd." in Menlo Park, CA.


Anyways, I don't have any advice that these wonderful vets haven't already given. From my experience though, I went to Benning with hardly any shooting experience (lots of BB guns and paintball, but only a couple of "????-around" trips to the range with my brother). I came out shooting expert, just by listening to the instructors. So like the rest of these people have been saying, forget shooting and do PT instead.

"More PT Drill Sergeant, MORE PT!"

"Ex-11C" #246, Alpha Co./2-54INF "Hells Kitchen" 1996

wmenorr67
October 4, 2004, 05:24 PM
Ditto what everyone else has already said. But I will add that if you already have two degrees and are looking towards law school I would check into going thru OCS and the Army may even pick up the law school tab. I do know that the National Guard is really short officers and I would guess so is the active side.
Keep your head down and your mouth shut and you should go far.

Sleeping Dog
October 4, 2004, 05:50 PM
A good way to simulate an M16: Get a length of broomstick and tie a brick to each end. Hold on to that while you run a couple of miles.

If I remember the "army" method of teaching marksmanship, it involves a heck of a lot of talking and yelling, and not much shooting.

My impression of the rifle range: nobody really cares if you can hit the broad side of a barn. But you WILL account for every piece of spent brass. This was in the mid-'60's when the army wanted to create a mass quantity of soldiers fast.

So, not much shooting, but a lot of running.

By the way, go ahead and get the AR, it's a lot of fun.

Phantom Warrior
October 4, 2004, 06:16 PM
But I will add that if you already have two degrees and are looking towards law school I would check into going thru OCS and the Army may even pick up the law school tab.

I came with in a hair's breadth of doing an OCS packet, but decided I wasn't happy w/ my resume right now and that I'd rather try as a prior service applicant. I will definitely try for OCS, the only question is how much stuff I want to try and do as an enlisted rank first (sniper, Ranger, jump school, walking AND chewing gum ;) ,etc). There is indeed an Army program that pays for law school and then commissions you in the JAG Corps. It entails a committment of 3 years for school and 6 afterwards, so that wouldn't be something I'm looking at unless I want to do 20 years active.

Regarding vision in sniper school, the requirement is 20/20 correctable, which my eyes are. The advice about not getting my hopes up is still good, and I won't. I'll probably be quite happy just to be an 11B and blow stuff up even if I don't get to be a Ranger, jump out of planes, shoot little things far away, or whatever.



Most soldiers who go to sniper school are already part of the unit sniper team(s),

What are the unit sniper teams? Is that something I could be a part of without going to sniper school first? Sounds interesting either way.


Thank you to everyone for the good advice, both about marksmanship and about the Army in general.

Langenator
October 4, 2004, 06:25 PM
You can get the Army to pay for you to go to law school, but you have to be an officer first. The program is called FLEP-Funded Legal Education Program. The best part is, you're on active duty-and drawing your active duty salary and housing allowance-while you attend school.

Info found here: http://www.jagcnet.army.mil/JARO . Just follow the Funded Education Program link on the left hand side.

If you already have your degree(s), you can go to OCS, then do the FLEP stuff. IIRC, you have to have an offer of admission from a law school in hand when you apply to FLEP.

JamisJockey
October 4, 2004, 06:50 PM
In my experience in life being an enlisted puke, if you have a degree be a freakin officer. Nothing is more annoying than educated enlisted guys, especially bullet-stoppers (grunts). Your pay will be higher, and life is just better as an orficer....You're doing yourself a huge disservice by not going to OCS. Consider that when you're in the 'real world' afterwards, that being an Officer will look better on any resume'.

Phantom Warrior
October 4, 2004, 07:06 PM
In my experience in life being an enlisted puke, if you have a degree be a freakin officer. Nothing is more annoying than educated enlisted guys, especially bullet-stoppers (grunts). Your pay will be higher, and life is just better as an orficer....You're doing yourself a huge disservice by not going to OCS. Consider that when you're in the 'real world' afterwards, that being an Officer will look better on any resume'.

I will definitely try for OCS...

;)


P.S. Langenator, thanks for the link.

Jake
October 4, 2004, 07:07 PM
Take the advice on the PT training. You may be able to shoot the wings off a fly at 600 yards and be they greatest military mind since Napoleon but if you suck at Pt in the Army you will be in for all kinds of crap.

jerryd
October 4, 2004, 07:34 PM
Get in top shape and go to warrant officers school,great rank after Special Forces!

ScorpioVI
October 4, 2004, 07:41 PM
What are the unit sniper teams? Is that something I could be a part of without going to sniper school first? Sounds interesting either way.




I don't know how it is in Mechanized Infantry, since all my duty was with Light Infantry or Armor. But in Light Infantry divisions (10th Mountain, 101st Airborne, 25th Infantry, 82nd Airborne, etc.) the HHC (Headquarters and Headquarters Company) in Infantry Battalions have a bunch of specialized platoons (medics, commo, supply, mortars, etc.) One of these specialized platoons are the Scouts, responsible for recon for the entire battalion. Supposedly the "cream of the crop" of 11Bs, they pull soldiers (who have distinguished themselves through PT and marksmanship) from line companies and stick them in this platoon where they function on a scout/sniper/observer role. A platoon-ful of snipers, if you will.

People who go to Sniper school (or Ranger/Airborne/Air Assault/etc.) typically come from the Scout platoon since they get dibs on all those schools. NOBODY, repeat, NOBODY, goes to Sniper school after Basic & AIT. Well, I went to Sniper school while in Basic but only to fill sandbags and clean up the range for them (cushy detail). Airborne is likely, and I had a few guys in my basic platoon go to Airborne school afterwards. I only know of one guy who went straight to Ranger school and only because he was a PT stud (scored 300+ in every test).

So that's what you shoot for if you become an 11B. Get to a regular unit, show that you're a hard-charger and hopefully make it into your battalion's Scout platoon or maybe the brigade's LRS-D unit.

Being a mortarman (11C) had it's perks but I would have much rather preferred being just a plain old leg 11B. Just hope you didn't score high enough in your GT to qualify as 11C.

JamisJockey
October 4, 2004, 08:26 PM
the only question is how much stuff I want to try and do as an enlisted rank first
My point is carpe diem. If you wait to become an Officer, I think you're making a big mistake. Although Officers that rise from the Enlisted ranks usually have a little better perspective on how Enlisted pukes should be treated, speaking from a career sense you're wasting time being Enlisted first.
You can still become alot of those things (Ranger, etc) as an Officer....And you'll be a leader of men instead of a follower.
Just my opinion.

goon
October 4, 2004, 09:47 PM
If you want to learn the army way prior to getting there to help give you a head start, get an army marksmanship manual and teach yourself.
Having an AR would be even more useful after you are in though. On average, we only really shot during qualification. I don't know about infantry, but that is how it was for 12B's.
Having your own AR might allow you to get in extra practice with a very similar rifle. It would depend on where you get stationed as to whether or not it is feasible, but it might be workable.

Also, start on PT now. If you aren't in shape, get in shape.

Phantom Warrior
October 4, 2004, 11:04 PM
Just hope you didn't score high enough in your GT to qualify as 11C.

Well, fortunately or unfortunately, I scored high enough to do anything in the Army. So if the Army says I'm an 11C, I guess I'm an 11C. But I'll do my best to look mortar challenged. :D Thanks for all the first hand advice on infantry stuff. That's exactly what I need to hear.


Atc1man, I see your point. And it is a valid one, careerwise. But the Army is not something I plan to make a career of. I'd like to stay on in the Reserves, but I don't see myself doing active much past 6-8 years tops. And I'm sufficently credentialified to get a job out of the Army, so the money issue isn't a big one. I would like to experience some of the enlisted stuff and maybe see if I can get promoted to E-5 or E-6 before OCS. Bottom line, it's not a huge deal to me. But thanks for your input.


So, do ya guys think I should do some PT before basic? ;)

Dorian
October 4, 2004, 11:24 PM
I have a few questions for you Phantom.

First of all, let me say that I recently(3 weeks ago) went through Army Advanced Marksmanship Course. I am now certified to teach the course. I am a PFC and a Radio Operator in the Army.

I went through this course with two infantry guys who were about to go to Sniper school at Ft. Benning. So you CAN go to sniper school after you get out of basic. It depends on several things. Like how many slots your unit has to send people to sniper school, and your qualification to go. The only thing you must have to go to sniper school is expert marksman qualification. That's 36/40 targets hit during qualification.

My questions to you are these:

How old are you?

How long have you been shooting?

My reccommendations are this. If you have been shooting rifles for a while, I can't possibly see how familiarizing yourself with the ar-15 would hurt. Any "bad habits" you've alredy formed are going to stay with you no matter what platform you've been shooting from. Also, it is mu understantding that infantry basic is now using M-16A4s, so if you do get yourself an AR, get a 20in barrel with removable carry handle and standard buttstock.

Additionally, if you have been shooting rifles in the past, I have the entie classroom portion of the AMU Advanced Marksmanship Course in power point presentations, and would be happy to send it to you via email. It's about 5 megs for 7 sections of instruction. It basically takes the most important stuff for precision shooting from the Army Marksmanship Manual.

Additionally, if you have AIM or ICQ, I would be happy to awnser any questions you may have about army marksmanship. Send me a PM with your user name, and ill send you a PM with mine.

Hope this information helped, and I'll check back on this thread to awnser any more questions you may have.

Oh, one last thing. Here's a link to a post I made about the Advanced Marksmanship School:

http://sigforum.com/eve/ubb.x?a=tpc&s=674608412&f=9666031561&m=30710407

Dorian
October 4, 2004, 11:30 PM
I would like to experience some of the enlisted stuff and maybe see if I can get promoted to E-5 or E-6 before OCS. Bottom line, it's not a huge deal to me. But thanks for your input.


So, do ya guys think I should do some PT before basic?

That's exactly what I'm doing right now. Doing 3 years active duty(I already have several years in the guard), then I'm going to get out and go to college. Wether I'm going to become an officer has yet to be decided.

As for PT before basic, you have to run 1 mile in 8:30, and do something like 35 push ups and 40 sit ups, otherwise you are put in "Fat Company". This is a company that you go to before you're allowed into basic to get you up to the minimum. And trust me, by the end of Infantry Basic training, you'll be in shape.

Oh, and the requirements may be higher for Infantry. I only know what the requirements at Ft. Leonard Wood are. Not Ft. Benning.

Basically... Wether you're in shape or not when you start basic, you'll sure as hell be in shape when you're done with basic!

Phantom Warrior
October 4, 2004, 11:52 PM
Dorian, check your PM.

Langenator
October 5, 2004, 07:01 AM
Sniper sections-what exactly these look, and how many in a given unit size, like depends in a big way on what kind of unit you're in. It varies even among different types of infantry.

When I was in Germany (1st Battalion, 6th Infantry-Mechanizeed) in the late 90s, my company had an M24 sniper rifle. However, we weren't authorized specific personnel slots on the org chart for a sniper. We had one SSG who had been sto sniper school, and if we needed a sniper for a mission, he did the job. But most of the time we didn't have a sniper team per se. There were no snipers in the battalion Scout platoon (scouts in tank and mech units are 19D-Cav Scouts-in any case)

The last unit I was in before I came to Ft Jackson was 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division-also known as the Stryker Brigade. Stryker Infantry battalions are awash in snipers. Each company has a two-man sniper team, and there is also a 6 man sniper section that works for the battalion commander. They're totally separate from the Scout platoon, although they sometimes work/train together, and they do recruit guys from there.
Actually, on training missions at least, the snipers tend to spend most of their time doing recon-further forward than the scouts-and not nearly as much time shooting 'BGs'. But I hear sniper business is good in Iraq and A-stan.

I can't speak to Light/Airborne/Air Assault, because I've never been there.

If you want pretty much guaranteed chances to go to Airborne and Ranger schools, become an Infantry officer. Every brand new (active duty) Infantry LT gets the chance to go to both right after the officer basic course. Personally, I've been to Ranger School 3 times so far-flunked out once, got hurt the last two times. And I'll go again if they let me.

ID_shooting
October 5, 2004, 07:37 AM
"I couldn't get any training written into my contract because of my vision"

Anyone find an answer to this yet. All of this maybe a moot point if he doesn't qualify because of his sight. IIRC, had to be 20/20.

OEF_VET
October 5, 2004, 07:38 AM
If you want pretty much guaranteed chances to go to Airborne and Ranger schools, become an Infantry officer. Every brand new (active duty) Infantry LT gets the chance to go to both right after the officer basic course.

Not only are they offered the chance to go, they are 'highly encouraged' to go. It's not exactly a requirement for promotion, but it's definitly a step in the right direction to success. Being Airborne and Ranger qualified makes an Infantry officer a lot better looking to promotion boards and to those who choose their assignments, in fact, there are a lot of assignments which can only be filled by ABN/RGR qualified officers.

moa
October 5, 2004, 01:53 PM
I may be wrong on this, but I think the AR rifle that is closest to the M16A2 is the Colt AR15 Heavy Barrel (HBAR). I think it has some of the same specs as the M16A2, but is probably heavier.

They are supposedly tack drivers.

sundog
October 5, 2004, 02:37 PM
Physical conditioning, and get your head screwed on good, Mister. Foster teamwork among your peers. Get all the schools you can and use that training to better yourself and your unit. Be there when you're needed. Field craft. Leadership skills. Listen to the ones that have been there. One other thing on the reality of being a sniper - they kill people. Do it right, and your passage will be a life altering experience. sundog (US Army, retired)

Mad Man
October 6, 2004, 08:54 PM
1. Have you considered the Marines?

2. I second, third, fourth, or whatever, the recommendation to concentrate more on physical training than learning about the M-16.

3. Memorize the general orders before you go to basic. You can (and will) be asked to recite any order at any time.


General Order 1

To take charge of this post and all government property in view.

General Order 2

To walk my post in a military manner, keeping always on the alert and observing everything that takes place within sight or hearing.

General Order 3

To report all violations of orders I am instructed to enforce.

General Order 4

To repeat all calls from posts more distant from the guardhouse than my own.

General Order 5

To quit my post only when properly relieved.

General Order 6

To receive, obey and pass on to the sentry who relieves me all orders from the commanding officer, officer of the day, and officers and noncommissioned officers of the guard only.

General Order 7

To talk to no one except in the line of duty.

General Order 8

To give the alarm in case of fire or disorder.

General Order 9

To call the seargent of the guard in any case not covered by instructions.

General Order 10

To salute all officers and all colors and standards not cased.

General Order 11

To be especially watchful at night, and during the time for challenging, to challenge all persons on or near my post and to allow no one to pass without proper authority.


4. Get a copy of the Enlisted Soldier's Guide. (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0811728226/qid=1097110387/sr=1-8/ref=sr_1_8/103-7789989-8140662?v=glance&s=books) Learn the rank system, how to wear the uniform, etc.


Granted, this advice is not as tacti-cool as learning how to shoot an AR-15. But it will help you be way ahead of the curve when you get to boot camp.

Phantom Warrior
October 6, 2004, 10:41 PM
Granted, this advice is not as tacti-cool as learning how to shoot an AR-15. But it will help you be way ahead of the curve when you get to boot camp.

Oh no, I'm studying that stuff too. Believe me. I've got a a shiny packet w/ all the info on rank, general orders, and stuff. I used to read the encyclopedia article on the Army when I was little, so I have a lot of stuff in my head already (ask me to recite the rank structure ;)). I just asked about rifle practice because someone suggested that in another thread and I wasn't sure if it was a good idea or not.

Regarding the Marines, I think it actually would be awesome to be a Marine. That was one of my first choices. But I looked at it and decided on the Army instead. In my humble opinion, being Army infantry is no job for a wussy either. If I'm super duper tough I'll try for Ranger school or Special Forces. I'm not, but my point is that I don't think the Marines have a monopoly on toughness and discipline. And there were some other considerations. I got a nice little bonus from the Army (and some other financial stuff). More importantly, I'd like to stay on as a Reservist and I think it will be easier to stay active in the Army Reserves than in the Marine Corps Reserves.

So yes, I have considered the Marines, but decided against it ultimately. Thank you for the advice though. It's good advice for any branch.

SunBear
October 7, 2004, 12:22 AM
Website for Sniper School. Click on this site, then FY04 or FY05 for course curriculum. www.infantry.army.mil/29thInf/courses/sniper/index.htm

The Army will soon begin T&E competition for their new semi-auto 7.62 sniper rifle. :evil:

Sand Hill '81.....ROK-DMZ '83..... 11C and Sniper. :D

fistful
October 7, 2004, 02:41 AM
Phantom, my son,

I wish you'd tell us about your prior gun experience.

If you are not already a good marksman, save your money, and buy a good, semi-auto .22, like the Ruger 10/22 and find competent instruction. I guess NRA programs vary, but the Basic Pistol course I took was very instructive, and cheap, so you might find a good Basic Rifle course in your area. The Army supposedly trained me to shoot at Sand Hill (infantry OSUT), but it would have been hard to tell. I never really started to learn until I got my own rifle. I still don't know how the rear sight elevation works on the 16. Some people learn to shoot well in Basic, some don't. I wouldn't take the chance, if I were you.

If you're already a good shot, then buy any old kind of AR you want. If I had one of those stupid things, I'd sell it you cheap. If I wasn't flat broke, I'd give it to you. I would think an AR with a real stock would be easier to shoot, but some people feel otherwise. Of course, adding a lot of bells and whistles, like a bipod or a front pistol grip, might throw you off a bit. Just practice with standard sights, cause that's what you'll qualify with. Practice from the bench and from the prone. I'd imagine a semi-auto AR would have a better trigger, so you'll have to adjust to the varying trigger pull of the select-fire version.

Definitely find out what it takes to max the PT test for your age group, and do the best you can to beat the requirements. I've never done more than 43 consecutive push-ups in my life, but if you want to be high speed, you need to aim for the maximum as if it was the minimum.

God bless ya,

Fistful

Glamdring
October 26, 2004, 11:24 PM
So what would it take to max Marine PT?

What is longest running distance you get timed on?

***
I went to wrap my sling around my forearm as a way to steady the rifle. Drill Sgt. Harris was quick to tell me to stop what I was trying to do. Using a sling in such a way is great in competition, but it's not a good thing on an Army qualification range. Think about it, you're training to use your rifle in a combat situation, you most likely won't have time to wrap the sling around. You can't tell Hajji to stop shooting them RPG's so you can get your proper shootng stance.


That was funny, I haven't laughed that hard in weeks. Shooting slings (vs carry straps) used to be part of basic training back when marksmanship mattered. And modern HRT and such all seem to use carry straps.

I would have gifted the DI with my copy of "A Rifleman Went to War" by McBride. And shown him how to make a loop with carry strap. Some of the riflemen that McBride mentions made loops out of their carry straps by hooking both ends to front sling mount, only good for shooting that way not for carrying, to use in the trench warfare of WWI.

The CW Sling was based on this concept AFAIK, and the Ching Sling is just an improvement on the CW.

But in the military you have to do it their way especially when it isn't the best way. At least when they are watching :)

http://yarchive.net/gun/courses/gunsite_rifle1.html

Phantom Warrior
October 26, 2004, 11:49 PM
So what would it take to max Marine PT?

I'm not sure. Like I said, I decided Army instead. In the Army 100% for 22-26 year old males is 75 pushups, 80 situps, and 2 miles in 13 minutes flat. I'm long and skinny, so the only thing I'm worried about is pushups. The other two I could _probably_ do today.

I would have gifted the DI with my copy of "A Rifleman Went to War" by McBride. And shown him how to make a loop with carry strap.

I'm just a humble DEPer (not even Regular Army yet), but I'm extremely skeptical of anyone who says they'd attempt show their drill sergeant something DURING basic. :scrutiny: But hey, it's your head, not mine.

Glamdring
October 26, 2004, 11:51 PM
You missed this part But in the military you have to do it their way especially when it isn't the best way. At least when they are watching

Thumper
October 26, 2004, 11:53 PM
Remember, PW, that "Glamdring" (snicker) is the same guy that called those who serve stupid in a thread awhile back.

Keep that in mind when reading his advice.

Yeah, he'd be out there teaching his Drill Sergeant to shoot. :rolleyes:

Glamdring
October 27, 2004, 12:11 AM
Thumper: You are incorrect sir. I was stating in idiom that most new recruits are young and male and full of testosterone which in most ways equals young and full of foolish behavior. I was quoting the saying that goes "young and dumb and full of XXX" but leaving off the part that would offend Art's Grandma. I thought everone would get that part and share a few stories from that time period in their life.

A moderator requested that I not post to that thread anymore, and didn't respond to my email of clarification so I have not posted any more on that thread.

I believe I understand more than most here about the structure of military training. Google Operant Conditioning, Classical Conditioning, Aversive Response, Conditioned Response and follow a few of the related links.

Then review in your mind what basic was really like. How you are required to do every little thing, such as storing toothbrush and toothpaste, in a specific way. The reason for that isn't to get you to keep your toothbrush just so, it is to teach you to do what they tell you to do (ie Shoot and Salute).

One key to military organization is getting a group to act together, 10 people working as a single unit can defeat several times their number. The incident in Mog is a well known fairly clear example of such. Were organized units held out against large numbers of unorganized opponents.

Phantom Warrior
October 27, 2004, 12:31 AM
Most soldiers are young and dumb...if they weren't they wouldn't be soldiers. Or if they weren't conditioned (brainwashed, disciplined, whatever word you want to use for it) when they were young and dumb it wouldn't stick at an older age.

Glamdring, I'd like to believe you, but quotes like the above from the other thread make it hard. Saying that being a soldier results from being young and dumb (or conditioned when you were) is HARDLY the same thing as saying "Yeah, we were all young and dumb and did stupid stuff one time too." Either you are talking out of both sides of your mouth or you have a real talent for picking a poor choice of words. Giving you the benefit of the doubt, it might be wise to think carefully about how you say things from now on.



P.S. The continuing attempt to link training w/ brainwashing is really hurting your cause. It is in the very loosest sense, they both attempt to achieve a desired behavior. But you aren't claiming training someone to flip burgers at McDs or repair cars at an auto shop is brainwashing either, just the Army. So that tack sounds even less plausible.

P.P.S. Where did you gain your knowledge of military procedures? Some detail on that issue could help things out.

Glamdring
October 27, 2004, 12:38 AM
Okay. Would you agree that the most important thing for an Army (military) is discipline?

If you agree to that point I can explain what I mean in a way anyone can understand (not saying agree but understand).

If discipline isn't most important thing what would be?

Phantom Warrior
October 27, 2004, 12:58 AM
Okay. Would you agree that the most important thing for an Army (military) is discipline?

For discussion sake, yes.

Glamdring
October 27, 2004, 01:11 AM
Defintion from http://www.freesearch.co.uk/dictionary/discipline+%28training%29
discipline (TRAINING)
noun {U}
1 training which produces obedience or self-control, often in the form of rules, and punishments if these are broken, or the obedience or self-control produced by this training:
- parental/military/school discipline
- There should be better discipline in schools.
- I don't have enough (self) discipline to save money.

2 (good) discipline the ability to control yourself or other people, even in difficult situations:
- Maintaining classroom discipline (= control of the students) is the first task of every teacher.

http://www.freesearch.co.uk/dictionary/condition+%28influence%29
condition (INFLUENCE)
verb {T}
to train or influence a person or animal mentally so that they do or expect a particular thing without thinking about it:
- a conditioned reflex/response
- {+ to infinitive} Pavlov conditioned dogs to salivate at the sound of a bell.
- Women were conditioned to expect lower wages than men.
conditioning
noun {U}
- Conditioning starts as soon as boys are given guns to play with and girls are given dolls.

***
I used the word conditioned in my statment because that is the word used in psychology [neutral emotional loading of word] I included "brainwashed" & "disciplined" in () as acknowledgement of negative and positive loading of words. I did this to show my word choice was deliberate and that I was trying to avoid emotional spin to the words.

see next post

RKCheung
October 27, 2004, 02:02 AM
If you want to scare the enemy, join the Army.

If you want to hit them, join the Corps.

:D

Glamdring
October 27, 2004, 02:24 AM
You have agreed, for sake of arguement, that discipline is most important part of military.

Most of discipline is established in basic, after that it is mainly re enforcement.

As part of this process they set things up so that you will "fail" (by fail I mean give DI a reason/pretext to give you grief). They put you under a fair amount of stress (ie the running, the push ups, the yelling, etc) this is designed to lower your resistance (for fun some day compare standard interogation techniques with basic training) so that your more open to the direction they provide.

If they were interested in maxing your physical condition they would be doing things much differently (you would get more rest for example, you get stronger in recovery phase not when you are actually doing an exercise).

BTW this is one reason why being in shape before you go will help, it will be less stressfull for you that way. Both because it takes less effort to do the PT and also because a fit body handles stress better than unfit.

Same with if they were trying to teach you skills. Are gunsmiths or EMTs trained the way people are treated in Basic? Can you think of anyone who trains for skills vs mindset the way basic is done?

So what are they trying to do?

Now police go thru some of the same stuff at the police academies, for some of the same basic reasons.

They also place you in a groups and punish the group (or leader of group) for screwups that individuals make. Besides wearing the same uniform as the rest in your group you also have the same haircut, same glasses, etc.

One of the goals this acomplishes is to switch the way you view yourself, to an extent, you start looking at the things you do thru the lens of the other people in the military. And not so much from your own internalized goals. When your young it is harder to resist this even if your aware of what is going on. Because your personal identity is still forming. Also your personal time horizon is much shorter, everything happens now. You have a hard time thinking 10 years ahead (why would anyone think 10 years ahead).

If you study violence outside of War (ie Murder) you find same basic demographic seems to apply. Most of the people involved with it are young and male.

Older people are still affected by military discipline, but to a smaller extent. Because their beliefs and personality are less flexable, and also because they are more likely to go with the flow and not fight it. In other words they will give in to outward discipline, but internally still keep their personal structure.

***
The above still isn't very coherent. I don't have enough time to smooth it out anymore. But I think it is enough of an outline for you to get at least a small idea of what I am talking about.

Only source I could find off the cuff on demographics of military http://www.dod.mil/prhome/poprep99/html/appendices/A_2.html

Basically, you can figure out goals of a program by studing the structure. Basic training isn't structured to maximize physical conditioning, or specific skills. It seems to be optimized for changing the behavior and to a lesser extent the mindset of indiviuals.

You get rewards (medals, rank, leave, ribbions) for doing things the way they want. And you get punishment when you don't.

Big difference between military and normal jobs is that at least in basic training in military they will give you lots of flak over smallest things that don't conform to "the Army way". They emphasize conformity over excellence, like the rifle training I mentioned (a sling will help, if you don't have time to sling then your probably in CQB and should be using a SMG type stance).

Glamdring
October 27, 2004, 02:33 AM
Here is better link http://www.dod.mil/prhome/poprep99/html/chapter3/c3_age.html
quote is from underneath table 3.2 Note this is active enlisted, not recruits.

Although 46 percent of the enlisted force was in the 17–24 age group, approximately 15 percent of the civilian labor force fell in this range.At the other end of the distribution, just over one-fifth of the civilian labor force was 50 years old or older, compared with two-tenths of one percent of enlisted members.

***
http://www.dod.mil/prhome/poprep99/html/summary/executivesummary.htm
87% recruits 18-24

Age. The active duty military comprises a younger workforce than the civilian sector. Service policies and legal restrictions account for the relative youthfulness of the military. Eighty-seven percent of FY 1999 new active duty recruits were 18 through 24 years of age, compared to 29 percent of civilians within the military age range of 17-35. Almost half (46 percent) of the active duty enlisted force was 17-24 years old, in contrast to about 15 percent of the civilian labor force. Officers were older than those in the enlisted ranks (mean ages 34 and 27, respectively), but they too were younger than their civilian counterparts (mean age 36), college graduates in the work force 21-49 years old.

bdiesch
October 27, 2004, 02:39 AM
I guess my input cant compete with all the experiences DS's and CO's here.. but heres my take. Before we even went to the range at Fort Jackson (1994, D Co, 1st/61st ha.. I still remember that) we spent .. oh at least two days doing dime drills. There is a little piece of metal that clips onto the flash suppressor of the M16. That little upside down V has a *small* table on top where a dime lays. We stayed on the ground in the prone fighting position until we could repeatedly fire the weapon without the dime falling. It is harder then it sounds, and I think it was one of the best things I learned. The best shooters have flinches... if you dont believe that, take a revolver, and stagger the shells.. throw in an empty chamber, and watch yourself flinch.

See if you could find that metal piece. Maybe that Drill Sergeant could send you one....

and BTW who is this GlamDring ?? What are you getting at? Half of your post seems to be bashing the Army? Yepp, you hit the nail on the head. The biggest part of BCT isnt physical fitness, marksmanship, Drill and Ceremony, History.. any of the things we lerned. It is discipline. Are you trying to say that is a bad thing?

Glamdring
October 27, 2004, 03:32 AM
bdiesch: Not bad. But like fire or knifes or guns. Something very powerful that can do a lot of damage. How it is used matters a lot.

Not trying to bash, just trying to get people to realize discipline isn't all good, and care must be used in deciding to use or submit to it.

Was responding to some comments that originated on another thread.

Thumper
October 27, 2004, 08:07 AM
Glamdring,

Trying to characterize your comments in the other thread as referring to a simple youthful foolishness of recruits is disingenuous. A cursory glance at the other thread gives lie to your protests.

I won't comment on someone claiming in depth understanding of military heirarchy due to their google proficiency.

I'm dropping out of this thread for the good of the board, but I'll leave PW with a final comment.

Discipline is an important component of any army, but your brief "disciplinary indoctrination" wont get you through some situations a soldier may find himself in.

The most important attribute of a good soldier is a carefully considered belief in something higher than self combined with loyalty to that cause.

A thinking soldier is the desired end result. That's the most dangerous weapon any enemy will face.

Good luck with your service and Godspeed.

bdiesch
October 27, 2004, 04:58 PM
*I PITY people that either tries to sound super intelligent (read the lonely 15 year old on mom’s computer) and people who say offensive things merely to get a reaction (see same 15 year old, this time however, with bad acne). Only slightly less obnoxious are people who talk of things they obviously know very little (less obnoxious, but no less pitied).

Glamdring – “If you agree to that point I can explain what I mean in a way anyone can understand (not saying agree but understand).”
Anyone can understand? Exactly what are you implying? Don’t worry, it’s a rhetorical question, we all saw though your thin one liner. And by the way, no one is debating that discipline is fundamental to a solid military. People are telling you that the *slick* way you keep substituting words like brainwashed (Vietnamese methods?) and conditioned response (Pavlov’s dogs?) degrades the intelligence of the person doing the training and the person receiving it.

Don’t use a British dictionary to define American English words. Anyone who is as educated as you pretend to be would recognize the difference between American and British English as a different language (or at the least, different dialect).

“You get rewards (medals, rank, leave, ribbons) for doing things the way they want. And you get punishment when you don't.”

Don’t belittle me, or my beloved Military. And please get off of the whole over used and tired word “they". Is this the "they" that drives super secret black helicopters, the "they" that hides alian bodies or the "they" left a glove at the OJ crime scene? Now to details. You get Medals for specific accomplishments (a few of mine: NATO Medal for service in Bosnia during Joint Endeavor; Merit Unit Commendation for service during Enduring Freedom), Ribbons for lesser accomplishments (weapons qualifications, Sea Service, overseas service), rank (specificall advancement) is determined on a sliding (Bell) curve that advances a pre-determined number of selectees to fill needed billets, and leave is accrued at 2.5 days per month, DOD wide. And yes we get punished for breaking rules and regulations, just like in any civilized society.

I wish I cared enough about your opinion to ask you to justify the statement “Discipline isn’t all good”. Discipline to not over eat and get fat? Discipline to not lie? Discipline to go to work on time, in clean presentable clothes and be productive while you are at work (whether in an office environment or in the field)? Discipline to exemplify values of honor, courage, and commitment? Hooyah!! You little turd. Now go set the table, your mother is calling.

bdiesch
October 27, 2004, 05:12 PM
And yes, I apologize for calling you a turd.

walking arsenal
October 27, 2004, 05:43 PM
buy the AR cause if kerry gets into office you might not be able too get one when you get back out. .02

Thumper
October 27, 2004, 06:00 PM
buy the AR cause if kerry gets into office you might not be able too get one when you get back out. .02

Cashwise, one built out AR = seven stripped Bushy lowers. Something to keep in mind.

Phantom Warrior
October 27, 2004, 06:30 PM
I am considering the brainwashing/discipline discussion closed. Please keep comments on topic. About life in the military, etc. Reread the first post if you have questions. Thanks.

PW

Phantom Warrior
October 27, 2004, 06:33 PM
RKCheung,

Someone mentioned the Marines a while back in this thread. Like I said then, I was originally considering the Marines. But I chose the Army for some financial reasons and because it looks like it would be easier for me to continue on as an Army Reservist than a Marine Reservist. if I'm tougher than everyone else I'll go try out for Ranger School or Special Forces (not likely).

P.S. Plus we only have THREE general orders. :D

Mr. Mysterious
October 28, 2004, 12:11 AM
All right, here is my background...then I'll give you my $.02.

I am an 11b, was a NG Split Op did my basic in C 1-50 @ Ft. Ben in 2000, and did my AIT the following summer B 2-19. I was an E5 before I decided to become an officer. I receive my commission this next summer and will most likely not continue as an infantryman any longer. I'll be aviation or MI. I love the Army and feel that it has been a great experience, hell, I can believe that I'm rolling up on my 5 year anniversary!

Ok, not to my advice...take it for what it's worth....

1) PT before you go even if you think that you are in shape.

2) If you smoke quit today. Non-smokers are a leg up both with the extra lung-capacity and that they don't have to quit cold turkey while in basic.

3) Make sure you personal situation at home (bills, family, gf, etc) is straight before you leave. It seems that more people went AWOL, or had psych problems from what was going on at home than anything else.

4) Don't go into basic thinking that you know everything, or even a lot. Those soldiers that entered thinking that basic training was a waste of time and thought that they should just skip it and go right to ranger bat were setting themselves up for failure.

5) If you want to be an officer get an OCS contract, don't worry about being enlisted first in order to garner respect as an officer. Your respect is earned by what you do in your unit, not the fact that you were enlisted (although it does help sometimes).

6) Relax, basic training isn't hard, even at Ft. Benning the home of the infantry. Just go with an open mind.

7) You said that your resume isn't good enough for OCS? As far as I know all that you need is to pass MEPS, Security Clearance, and Basic and you are fine as long as you have an OCS contract. It's a contract specifically for OCS, you go right after basic.

8) If you don't have it in your contract, chances are you won't see it. They do give Airborne after basic to reward those that excel, but if you are just an average joe and don't have it in your contract you probably won't see it. This doesn't mean that it is out of the question in the future, but just wanted to give you a heads up.

9) Did I mention making sure that your situation back home is squared away? That means that mom and dad doesn't call to check on you.

10) Don't do anything stupid at basic. Any ideas that you have to sneak something in, or do something you shouldn't has been done before. If you get caught it's bad news, just don't do it.

11) Be careful before you leave...that means stay healthy, and don't take any chances.

12) Do not drink in the hotel before you ship...you would be astounded at the number of people that get in trouble with this.

13) Don't plan on any passes while at the Ben. Infantry is OSUT, so it is one big basic training...there isn't a clear divider as to when basic ends and AIT starts.

14) When you go down range don't do anything that sets you apart from the other Joe's. Yes, excel at PT, but don't be that one soldier that wants to correct a Drill SGT. You put a big target on your back and you don't want that.

You'll have fun, and learn a lot. Infantry in the Army is such a paradox, you get the smartest high speed soldiers along with the ones that barely passed their ASVAB. It seems that there is no gray area...

Langenator
October 28, 2004, 06:36 AM
bdiesch-

You did you BCT not 100 yards from where I'm sitting right now (C/1-61). And we still do dime/washer drills. Only the thing that you stick in the flash suppressor is now plastic. And we use pennies, because they cost less.

You can also do the drill with a washer, one about the size of a nickel or just a bit larger, placed directly on the barrel. That's how I learned in ROTC back in 1993.

davec
October 28, 2004, 07:43 AM
7) You said that your resume isn't good enough for OCS? As far as I know all that you need is to pass MEPS, Security Clearance, and Basic and you are fine as long as you have an OCS contract. It's a contract specifically for OCS, you go right after basic.

As a civilian candidate, you need to be accepted by a review board 1st, which has a rather competitive criteria. And be a graduate of a 4 year college. If you get selected then you qualify for a OCS contract, then away you go. But its not quite the same as asking for air assault school.

http://usmilitary.about.com/library/weekly/aa021702a.htm

I find it interesting that the Army is the only service that sends its civilian officer candidates to plain old boot camp 1st, while the Marines, Navy and Air Force skip that and have a self contained officer program.

Mr. Mysterious
October 28, 2004, 09:01 AM
Davec, I stand corrected. I just read 601-91 which is the recruiting reg on OCS and WOC.

bdiesch
October 28, 2004, 11:21 AM
You a DS there? I am ashamed to say I wussed out and joined the Navy. *shrug* They love me here though, I do less and run slower and I am a 1 of 40 in my evals LOLOL

Langenator
October 28, 2004, 11:51 AM
Not a DS. CO. I do have 12 Drill Sergeants who work for me, though.

red_devil1469
October 28, 2004, 12:21 PM
Ah Sand Hill I remember her well :). A co 1/50 End of '96 here.My experience is if you have high GT score be prepared to be 11H not 11C.When i was at Bragg, 1/504 PIR, we had HHC scouts with sniper teams.They got spots to sniper school every so often, but not regularly.Why not try SF.They will accept e-3 and e-4s now with good scores.

dog3
October 28, 2004, 12:40 PM
What a great thread!


My 2cents;

Things I wished I would have done prior, (I joined up right away, late in life, because
I was getting old [27] and I thought we were on the war-path, this was the early 80s)
But you have a lot of time.

I admire you going infantry, 11B all the way, every day!

Many folks are scared of going infantry, because it isn't a good post-military "career path"
I say, don't discount the military as a career path. Infantry is what it really is all about.

As everyone else has said, physical conditioning. First and foremost. Run, alot.
The run some more.

Nothing in the civilian world is going to make you fully competent with a light machine gun,
like the M249 (which we didn't have) so don't bother. My marksmanship skills atrophied during training, we didn't get to shoot NEARLY enough, but that was then. Modern times it seems you have more access to combat veterans, so all of this may be different.

The run some more.

Check out the specs of weight for a full combat load in different theatres, you can look most
of this stuff up for the regular leg infantry. Build up a curling bar weight set to mimic the M249,
and some kind of rucksack and bags of sand to mimic a combat load, and run with it, then run with it a lot more, then run with it some more.

Get some proper military issue boots that fit, and wear them, a lot, get your feet used to them.
Do this on your own time, no one likes a wannabe, don't be a wannabe.
Eschew civilian sunglasses and such.

If you play organised sports in school, learn to scream, A lot, scream all every chance you get on the playing field. This will help keep you from loosing your voice after a week of basic. If you don't play team sports, start playing team sports, and train, train hard.

Study armor, get as familiar as you can with all armor and battlefield weapons systems. Build models if you have the time, had a fellow in my squad at my first duty station who was a nerd,
kinda useless who knew EVERYTHING about any piece of equipment likely to be encountered
on the contemporary battlefield. He built models and studied them. Knew what kind of terrain
could support what kind of stuff, and what the supply requirements and threat levels were for nearly everything. Damn handy knowlege.

Pushups, sit ups, running, more running. Drink lots of water every chance you get. Stop with soda and coffee, and anything other than water. push yourself hard.

learn as much general knowlege, (David McCauleys "How Things Work, V1,V11, the New How Things Work) as you can. If your math sucks, square it away. Learn to print fully legibly,

If you have any bigotry, or prejudical attitude towards others, square it away. EVERYONE
to some degree or another is a bigot, learn to sit on it. Practice being humble, work on it until
it becomes second nature. Study being level headed.

When you start training, you are going to be tossed into a big vat with every kind of person
"they" can find. Then they will dog you. Learn to choke down getting angry, learn to suck it up.
Work hard at being a friend to everyone. This is really important, the more prickish your comrades are, the harder you need to try to accept them. You depend on these pricks to
watch your back and to drag you out of harms way, and they depend on you for their lives,
their mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, wives, husbands, children are all relying on you to bring them home. It's a heady responsibility. If you like them, it makes it easier to shoulder.

On the one hand, don't be a show off, if you know stuff they don't, (because you studied your armor, for instance) don't be a jerk about it. Don't argue. On the one hand, be humble, on the other hand, grasp at every opportunity at leadership. If you fail, try again.

Contrary to what others might say, Volunteer for EVERTHING. Regardless of how p*ssed off, how tired, how demoralised you are, stick your hand up as soon as you hear words like "I need some, , , " Don't be a slimeball and wait until you hear what the mission is, just DO IT.

Any chance you have to get the much loathed and universally despised kitchen duty, take it.
Watch the cooks, learn to do what they do. They may come a time, when you might be able to quicky whip up a hot meal for your comrades, and boy, is that a really welcomed skill when it
is needed.

Listen carefully to your Drill Sargents. They care about you, and their job is to do their best
to make sure you can accomplish the mission and get home alive. Do as you are told.
Me personally, I have a hard time doing what I am told for the most part, I never had a hard
time with this in the military (in a training cycle) because I knew the point was to save my
life in combat, and to save my comrades lives.

A lot of what you will do won't make a lot of sense, but the point really is to save your life
in combat. Right now, you may not think that finding that last bit of filth under the rim of
the latrine has anything to do with anything, but you'd be wrong.

If you are at all squared away, your comrades are going to look to you for clues as to what they
should do when things don't add up, or make sense. Folks, by and large, are herd animals. When
things go a little nutz, they look for folks to take charge, so they don't have to. Take charge in training as often as you can. Try everything you can, screw up in training as much as you can, so that you don't screw up on the battlefield.

When i say do as you are told, I don't mean be a little b*ttkisser, I mean listen to your orders, and
execute them. When possible, or even when not possible, make mistakes, in the vein of raiding
other training units and other mischief. Accept your punishment when caught,

and NEVER EVER EVER EVER give up your comrades after you have been caught.

Go to this page: http://basic.armystudyguide.com/general/code_of_conduct.htm
and LEARN IT BY HEART, study on it, meditate on it.

Have as much fun as you can, don't be afraid to make mistakes, the time to make mistakes is
in training, your drills will square you away, don't worry, they will take care of you.

If you are a person of faith, any faith at all, go to your church, or place of worship, seek out
your elders for counsel. There will be church elders who are combat veterans, there always are.
They will have some tips for you.

You will never be able to get along with everyone, no one can. But be professional in disagreements and NEVER take it personally. A lot of fatal mistakes on the battlefield
result from anger based decisions, or are based in disrespectful conduct.

Do not fear your enemy, but do respect your enemy.

Some of your drills will try to be your buddy, and some of them will be unfreak'n believable
bastards. Listen to all of them. Respect them, they work harder than you do, and they
are really tough, and no one is on the drill trail by accident. They are there, because they care,
and they want to save your life.

I've been alive long enough to be called granpa, and one of the most proudest moments in my life
was during graduation from infantry school, when a drill that I simply couldn't stand, that I (and
many others) had had a terrible time with, during the final inspection, told me "Dog3, I'd be
proud to serve with you anytime". He didn't say than to anyone else. Though I couldn't stand
this guy, to this day, I'd follow him to the gates of hell itself, and I have some idea what
that really means.

bdiesch
October 28, 2004, 12:57 PM
A CO. My bad LOL

Well, looking back over the whole thread, I feel I can offer a little advice. (Ignoring my little digression earlier). I am not a CO, nor have I been in for 15-20 years, but unlike most people I have been through basic twice (once in the Army, in 94; and once in the Navy, in 99). Heres my take.

You are gonna have two choices for your 8 weeks. (Well, 3, if you count being a dirtbag and doing lots of pushups as a viable option).

Choice 1: (This was me in Army BCT). Fly low. Stay under the radar. I made the mistake of being noticed (in a negative way) on the second day by a female DS. I was a ???? boy for the first 4 weeks. If something happened, I was *involved*. Thats not a fun life. So after that I maintained a low profile. I was squared away, yes, but I tried to not be noticed. Do what you have to do, even excell in somethings. But as my senior RDC (Navy) said on the third day, "If graduation day rolls around and I dont know your name, thats a good thing!"

Choice 2: (This was me in Navy Basic). This is a more rewarding option, but much MUCH harder. In Navy basic, I stepped up and was the RCPO (Recruit Chief Petty Officer - the recruit in charge of the division, same as the platoon leader in BCT). I enjoyed it, it was challenging and rewarding. But on the flip side, if you mess up youre gonna get smoked. If someone in your platoon messes up, youre gonna get smoked. You are responsible for that platoon, and all those individuals on theyre way to becoming soldiers and that can be tough. But, if you excell in that position you can be meritoriously advanced (at least in the navy, i think in the army too), and advancement is KEY in the military.

Phantom Warrior
October 28, 2004, 05:38 PM
My experience is if you have high GT score be prepared to be 11H not 11C.

How is your eventual MOS (11B, 11C, or 11H) determined? I'd prefer to just be 11B, since mortars and mechanized don't particularly interest me. Is it based on your GT score or something else or what?

Sleeping Dog
October 29, 2004, 07:28 AM
I'd prefer to just be 11B, since mortars and mechanized don't particularly interest me.

Sgt Knuckledragger: Private Phantom! Pick up that mortar and hump it 20 klicks to the next objective.

Pvt Phantom: I'd love to, Sarge, but I'm 11B, not 11C, so I don't have to hump no stinkin' mortar stuff all over the freakin' boonies!

Sgt Knuckledragger: I take your point, private, so before you pick up the mortar, give me a thousand push-ups, then hump the mortar, then report to the mess sergeant, he can use your help.

Pvt Phantom: But sergeant, it's not that I don't want to help, but all I like are light weapons; mortars and mechanized don't particularly interest me.

Sgt Knuckledragger: Private, does my boot in your butt interest you? You WILL be interested in every piece of equipment and every tactic that keeps you alive.

Sometimes, your MOS just doesn't matter :)

Regards.

Langenator
October 29, 2004, 07:59 AM
FYI, the 11H and 11M MOS's were partially phased out a couple of years back. Now, up until E-6 (I think, maybe E-7), there's no differentiation. Every Infantryman who isn't an 11C is an 11B, at least until you reach the senior NCO levels.

So 11Bs drive, and ride around in, Bradleys. And 11Bs work TOW missiles.

SGT Knuckledragger probably wouldn't tell PVT Phantom to hump the mortar. 11Cs usually hump their own toys. But they have no problem getting everyone else in the unit to hump their ammo for them. In a light unit, that means you'll usually be carrying a round or three or four for the company (60mm) mortars. Bradley and Stryker units have vehicles to do this.

Captain Langenator
U.S. Army Infantry

red_devil1469
October 29, 2004, 08:07 AM
I guess I'll have to take your word for that Lang.I know right before I got out (early 2000)the newbies had to do 11b training then 2 weeks of Hotel school.The same as 11mikes used to do.I think they still have the 11h identifier though.On a side note today is my last official day of IRR.I should be getting my actual discharge soon. :)
EDIT*
Its true
http://usmilitary.about.com/library/milinfo/arjobs/bl11b.htm
I dont understand why they would do away with the MOS since once you start doing the job of 11M or 11H you arent going any where :cool:

4v50 Gary
October 29, 2004, 09:22 AM
There is a selection criteria for sniper school and even if you qualified as "Expert" in rifle marksmanship, you'd still have to take a psychological. If the Army Shrinks don't think you're suitable or there are enough candidates and you don't rank high enough, then you're out.

Try to keep an open mind as to what the Army will train you for. Think of it as acquiring job skills & experience first.

walking arsenal
October 29, 2004, 11:27 AM
PVt Phantom, bullet sponge first class and mortars HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!:D

Phantom Warrior
October 29, 2004, 02:29 PM
Try to keep an open mind as to what the Army will train you for. Think of it as acquiring job skills & experience first.

Of course. Just wondering if there is anything I can do to tip the odds in my favor.

WA, :neener:

Cosmoline
October 29, 2004, 02:41 PM
There isn't much of a need for grunts in the real world.

I don't know about that. There's an enormous need for civilian contract security guards in the real world, and these days the security folks are being put right on the front lines and are hard to tell from the soldiers. Ex-special forces and ex-grunts are the prime candidates for such positions.

It looks like we may be fighting the "future war" with a large percentage of well-paid contract soldiers. As more and more special forces start comparing paychecks with the paychecks of their buddies who just retired and went to work for Yoyodyne Security Systems, expect to see an exodus towards the money. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Frankly it's about time front line grunts started getting paid what they're worth.

8Balls
October 30, 2004, 05:33 AM
I applied to FRDF (Finnish rapid deployment force, unit is marked ase "special forces", but nothing special yet. Better equipment and very good officers and instructors, and the training is good but tough.) in 2003 february. My basic training period started in july 2004. Last week i was promoted to corporal and sent to sniper school. Only six of us were selected, and i've heard that we dont work as sniper/spotter teams but as one-man teams.

What you should do:
Run. Fast. A lot.
Read about shooting.
Practise makes you better. Check out the army basic rifle training course and practice things beforehand.
Keep you mouth shut.
Do what they tell you to do.
Dont make enemies with fellow recruits.
Shoot well and dont be too modest. :D

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