Saturday, February 20, 2010

End of Basic

This past week was a full one. We spent the whole week down at the shooting ranges for Advanced Tavor Week. We literally shot from morning through the night for 3 days straight. We practiced shooting from the standing, kneeling, and prone position from a multitude of distances as well. We practiced switching from position to position, to clear jams as quickly as possible and to continue shooting. We practiced on shooting at moving targets, and at shooting on command. We shot at night, during the day, and after stress. We even practiced shooting with our laser to illuminate our targets. I believe I shot around 300-400 rounds in just 3 days.

The week did not start so great though our group at the ranges took a while to get into gear and to bring us up to speed the mifakdim punished us hard. At one point half of us were designated as wounded and the other half had to carry them to the 300m mark of the range and back, I was one of those people carrying. When we did get back we were put in matzav shtayim (the upright push ups position) for 5 minutes. I believe this helped us get into gear though as Monday morning there was a noticeable improvement.

But the most important part of this week was the end of basic training. To this end we had a fitness test. It started with sit ups and I knocked out 86 easily, much easier than I thought. Then came push ups, I was worried going in as last time I had only done 49 but I did the full 76 this time with ease. Then came the run. Here I did not perform as I wanted, but mostly due to me being sick and having my lungs and nasal passages filled with fluids. So I did my best but in the end I only ran a 7:15 which is 4 seconds less than my previous time. So at least I had an improvement.

On Thursday we had the official ceremony for the end of basic and each plugah (company) gave out best soldier awards. I received best soldier for my company and got a big congratulations from my me'm pe'ah (Company Commander). So now we move on to advanced training and all that fun stuff. This week we gurad the base and perform kitchen duty, and because of this we also will be in the army for Purim. Oh well.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

A question I get often is do you enjoy the army or like the army, I would like to answer that question: Yes. The army is an experience one can only experience in one place. when you are standing in full combat gear on the top of the largest hill in the area, knowing you just ran up it, and enjoying the spectacular view you also know no one else is experiencing this or capable. they might be able to stand there too but to know you ran up in full gear, after an exhausting day, and on a very short time alotment makes for a very different moment.

When you look at a blue sky and green, green, grass it does not look the same as when you look through your MARS scope and see the red dot sight over the target with a deep blue sky and green grass background. But when you do a masah the feeling is also different than a simple walk. When you are under a vest, an army backpack, a stretcher loaded full with gear and not allowed to switch out the whole trip is different. We did 3k this way, but this is nothing compared to the 16k+ which we will do just for the right to wear the jump wings.

But at weeks end I got a new toy, a Machpel. Its a scope which is mounted behind my MARS scope and magnifies by 3x. Each team leader received it. This week we will be shooting most of the week so it will be fun to see the difference. The included picture is me with my weapon including the brand new "toy."