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May 12, 2005

Basic rifle marksmanship

Over at Heartless Libertarian, Dave, who is the Officer Commanding (just like the way that sounds) of a Basic Training Company at Fort Jackson, has just completed training himself and his Drills on the recently approved changes to BRM, Basic Rifle Marksmanship. As an idea of how long it's been since we changed - what Dave and his Drills were doing prior to this change is exactly what I and my drills did back in 1978, when I was the XO of a Basic Training Company at Fort McClellan. These changes are important - because you fight as you train, so you should train as you fight - and that means adaptation - so you can stay true to Patton's Dicta: And make sure it's the other PDB* who dies for his country.

These are possibly the first significant changes in BRM the Army has introduced since we adopted the current form back as a result of Brigadier General S. L. A. Marshall's book, Men Under Fire, came out. There were two major changes - this is when the Army moved *away* from what the Marines still do, and shifted to shooting at man-shaped sillouhette targets, in an attempt to 'desensitize' soldiers to the act of killing a human, and moved away from 'classic' target shooting positions to "combat" shooting stances. This was in response to BG Marshall's contention that very few soldiers actually fired their weapons in combat - not because they were afraid to expose themselves, but because they were reluctant to actively kill in a direct and personal sense. He observed that artillerymen and machine gunners didn't suffer from this - which is one reason we went to automatic weapons for everyone, vice semi-auto. Marshall's methodology and conclusions have, over time, suffered some severe tarnish - and at the same time, have been the basis of Dave Grossman's theory about how we are brutalizing the soldier -and his making a living of extending that idea to kids -(also the subject of some disagreement). Then, what the heck, there's this pretty fascinating read, just realize that there are biases in *all* of these bits, though really not much with Dr. Spiller's critique of Marshall. Marshal is still a worthy read for the younger leader, regardless, as long as you have your eyes open.

In regards to what Dave has to say on the matter, I'll say that I agree with Dave. So, go read his bit and see if you do, too. And if you want to comment on it - don't just do it here - do it over there, too! (That's a blog-fact I find bemusing - linked posts are almost always commented on over at the linking, vice linked, site. I just find that dynamic intriguing.)

Now to mix apples and oranges. Ry sent me a link to a proposed New Jersey gun law that would allow the state to confiscate all property (we're talking buildings and businesses and houses here folks, not just cars) when an illegal firearm was found there - EVEN IF THE OWNER WAS UNAWARE OF THE PRESENCE OF THE FIREARM. Leave aside the issue that, as written, the state could seize the 7-11 that was robbed because it was robbed with an illegal firearm (as written, that could happen - not likely, right? The prosecutor wouldn't do that, right? Heh. They might if they had a different beef with the store owner and they couldn't get to him directly...)

This is part and parcel of taking your car because you loaned it to someone who (unbeknownst to you) smoked a little dope in it and got pulled over, and suddenly that's *you* at the Sherrif's auction, trying to buy your car back, becuase *your* insurance won't pay for it and the note holder wants their money... or their security interest back. Anyway - like Dave says in one of his posts, other people have covered this, like Ravenwood and Say Uncle.

*Poor Dumb Bastard.

John | Permalink | Comments (18) | Observations on things Military
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