Steph's Friend

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Marksmanship

Marksmanship: A man skilled in shooting at a target. (From www.dictionary.com)

It was Thursday, 190505. Everyone was getting ready for SOC (Standard Obstacle Course) training while an individual from Platoon 3 Section 2 prepares to be a marksman. That guy is none other than Stephen. The Company's best shooter was not from Platoon 3 with a score of 30/32. Hence, the hope of Platoon 3 getting the Company's best shooter rest solely on this individual. Knowing the great task at hand, he prepares himself for the live range. Our hero is attached to Orion Company for this great task...

Upon reaching Orion Company, he was attached to Platoon 3 Section4. There he met with nice people. The recruits there like him and were friendly to him (this is of no surprise to our hero). He board the tonner and went to the 100m range.

It was time to zero everyone's rifle. Our hero's Detail was called and he went forth to zero his rifle. However, the officer in charge of his firing lane - lane 4 - said that he need to re-shoot as his rifle was not zeroed yet. Hence he went for the second zeroing exercise.

The second zeroing exercise went well. Our hero looked at his rifle's promithium tip and thought of the task that he had to accomplish - getting Company's best shooter for his platoon. It was not easy nor was it impossible. He will try his best for this event.

When Orion recruit's went for practice shots, it was our hero's test. He didn't have any practice after zeroing his rifle and was already given the test. Will he make it?

He went to his lane, lane 4 (not a very nice number for the Chinese) and got ready for the test.

The Day Shoot had 16 targets. 4 for each position. The first position was "foxhole with support at 100m", second was "proning at 100m", third was "kneeling or squatting at 100m" and last was "standing shoulder at 50m".

As he held his rifle, his heart beat faster as he was nervous. Then suddenly, the target came up. There was only 4 seconds for him to make the shot. For after the 4 seconds the target would go down. He focused onto the target, slowed his breathing rate and fired the trigger...BANG!! The strong scent of burnt carbon came out as the empty shell was ejected out of the chamber. Did he made it? The target immediately went down after the shot. This means that he had hit the target!! Sadly, he missed one of the targets. This meant that he got 15/16 for his day shoot.

When he went back to the resting area, one of the Sergeants from Orion came over and said, "Hey! You want to be a marksman?" Our hero just smiled at him. The other Orion recruits seemed surprised at his score. Even the Mohawk (this is where our hero was from previously) recruits were surprised. Our hero just smiled :)

Then came the Night Shoot. 16 targets in total. 4 targets for each position. The first position is "foxhole with support at 100m", second is "proning at 50m", third is "kneeling or squatting at 50m" and last is "standing shouldet at 50m".

This time he could not afford to make any mistakes. If he didn't miss any in the Night Shoot, he would get a score of 31/32 which is higher than his Company's best shooter who had a score of 30/32. So he focused his eyes on the target...kept his breathing rate slow...and he fired the trigger...BANG!!. It was a hit!! He was so happy. Now for the second shot. He aimed and fired. It MISSED!! ARGH!! Now our hero is on par with the Company's best shooter. He was flustered. But there was no time to think as the target is still in front...waiting to be shot (weird phrase huh?) He fired the third shot. MISSED!! AAARRRGGGHHH!!!!!!!. It's the end of our hero, or should I say our recruit. Now his score is 29/32 (assuming that he will get his other 13 shots on target). He waited for some time for him to cool down. After a few seconds, he fired again. It hit. He was encouraged by the fourth shot and continued on with the other 12 shots. He went to the next position...took aim...and fired...BANG!!

In the end, our recruit scored a total of 29/32 without any practice. He board the tonner and went back to Company line. He saw his Platoon Sergeant there and told him his score, disappointed as he could not get Company's best shooter for his platoon. However, his Platoon Sergeant was very encouraging. He said, "29 is actually quite good. Not bad." Our recruit's section mates were also very encouraging, trying to console him.

Before our recruit went back to sleep, he thought, "Maybe it's not that bad at all. Even though I could not get Company's best shooter for oue platoon, at least I am marksman with a score of 29/32." With that our recruit consoled his troubled soul and went to sleep.

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