Soldier Combat Skills

Archive for February, 2011

Army recruits fire first weapons as Soldiers

Bullets were flying when basic trainees learned how to fire the Mark-19 grenade launcher and the M-2 .50-caliber machine gun Friday at Patton Range.

The goal of the training was to familiarize Soldiers with the weapons and to teach them the fundamentals of operating them, said SGT Randy Woolford, primary instructor for the M-2.

“As Infantry Soldiers, this is their bread and butter,” Woolford said. “All of them will be behind (the M-2) at some point, and some of them will definitely have to defend their lives with this weapon. It’s one of their key tools.”

The Soldiers, in A Company, 1st Battalion, 50th Infantry Regiment, were in their first week of one station unit training. Friday’s training was the first time they had fired weapons as Soldiers.

“The idea is to shock them, so when you hand them (another weapon), they’re not afraid,” Woolford said. “This is the loudest weapon they’re going to fire, the most rounds they’re going to fire and the quickest they’re going to fire, so by the time they walk away, there’s no other weapon they’ll fire in basic training that’s going to intimidate them. It’s going to build confidence.” (continue reading…)

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