I'm Proud of the Boy!


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20cows
May 3, 2005, 11:00 AM
I had a visit with my nephew this week end and I just had to brag on him a little. This is the lad that I took rabbit hunting every time he came to visit. This was most of the shooting he did growing up. After three years of college, he decided to go into the military. This came as a suprise to the family as there has not been anyone in the military since WWII. There is no anti-military sentiment, but Dad was too young for Korea and too old for Viet Nam. I was too young for Viet Nam and so on.

I have great deal of respect for his descision, because he has volunteered to go in harm's way when he doesn't have to. And he didn't just join to further his education. He chose to be in a rifle squad and is now part of a Stryker brigade which is a rapid deployment outfit. He will see combat.

Any way, back to the visit. His unit was involved in some training exercises that involve the fancy "laser-tag" eguipment so you know when you get "killed". He said his company was not expected to do well as most of the company leadership was temporarily off at other training schools. Though he's an E3 he was in the role as squad leader for the exercise.. (I'm not real sure what all the numbers mean). When I asked him if he got killed, his reply was a confident "no". He said that although the command had apparent low expectations, his company has a reputation for aggressiveness and they "kicked @$$". They did quite well.

When I asked how he was shooting he told me that he was the DSM, or the Designated Squad Marksman. Though not exactly a sniper, but if there is a need for precision shooting out to 600 m, he's their man. Did I mention he was the only one in his basic training group (250) to qualify expert marksman with both open and optic sights? (I taught the boy to shoot, you know!) :D

I know there are folks on this board with a lot more military experience than I (I have none) and I hope my rambling does not sound silly, but I am extremely proud of this young man voluntarily standing up to be counted in trying times. We need more like him.

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Keaner
May 3, 2005, 11:34 AM
We need more like him.

Darn straight! He sounds like a great kid, and I am proud to have him fighting on our side. I wish him all the luck, and pray for him to come back safely.

I hope he keeps his training in mind.

Also, good job training such a good shooter!

Phantom Warrior
May 3, 2005, 11:43 AM
My hat is off to your nephew. I'm joining the infantry after I finish up college here (one more week) and I hope I do HALF as well as your nephew. Pass on my congratulations.

FYI, E3 is his paygrade. That is how much he is paid. The enlisted ranks are divided into nine paygrades, E1 through E9, with E1 being the lowest and E9 being the highest. These are generally equivalent to their rank, though sometimes two ranks will share the same paygrade. First Sergeant and Master Sergeant are both E8, for example. A lot of people use pay grade as a short hand for rank. Your nephew is an E3 or a Private First Class. Most soldiers are not placed in noncomissioned officer positions (squad leader) until they make at least Corporal, E4. So your nephew obviously has his head on straight and is being entrusted with responsiblity a little bit ahead of time. Well done.

20cows
May 3, 2005, 11:45 AM
You know, as I read your response and reread my post, it occurs to me that this "kid" is 22 year old MAN. I must learn to see him through different eyes.

jobu07
May 3, 2005, 11:48 AM
Good on ya cows! So just think, in a way, it is your skills that are gonna be over in the sand box making a difference in the world! ;)

20cows
May 3, 2005, 11:48 AM
He just joined last August. With his college experience and his test scores they started him as an E3. I don't know how unusual that is, if at all.

Smokey Joe
May 3, 2005, 11:50 AM
Good on you, 20 cows, good on yr nephew! Yes we need more like him! We were at one time a nation of riflemen--just our reputation kept Japan off our western shores in The Big One.

All the people who lawfully exercise their First Amendment right to complain, crab, and cavil regarding our military, need a strong reminder of the quote about you sleep tight tonight because rough men stand ready to do violence on your behalf.

Please God that we always have a supply of those essential rough men--and women!

rcm
May 3, 2005, 11:53 AM
My hat is off. There is nothing but to be proud and humbled. He has steel...

critter
May 3, 2005, 12:00 PM
You have every right to be proud! We are too. Best wishes to him and we know he will represent the USA well. Hope he returns safely.

BTW, the military might make a great career for a young man like him.

20cows
May 3, 2005, 12:09 PM
BTW, the military might make a great career for a young man like him

I believe that is his goal, perhaps even OCS. He believes officers who started as enlisted, have earned more respect.

Phantom Warrior
May 3, 2005, 12:11 PM
He just joined last August. With his college experience and his test scores they started him as an E3. I don't know how unusual that is, if at all.

Right. I'm in a similar position. My point was, everyone makes E3 sooner or later. NOT everyone gets assigned the role of acting squad leader as an E3. As far as I know, at least.

Leatherneck
May 3, 2005, 02:00 PM
I believe that is his goal, perhaps even OCS. He believes officers who started as enlisted, have earned more respect. That's quite common; I think it's because some enlisted time sears into their memory what NOT to do, leadership=wise. Sounds like nephew is mature beyond his years already, and the challenges his Army tour offers will add to that for sure. I'd say he'd be anexcellent candidate on re-enlistment to get the Army to pay for the rest of college and send him to OCS.

Tell him thanks for serving his country, and to stay safe.

TC

wmenorr67
May 3, 2005, 02:22 PM
Myself having served both on active duty and in the guard, has placed more respect on the officers who have done their time as an enlisted puke.

psyopspec
May 3, 2005, 02:23 PM
:D

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