Postcards from Tradocia


MOUT: Militarized Operations in Urbanized Terrain. Actually the new term is UO (Urban Operations), but all the infantry guys still say “mout.”

It rained hard while we stood in line outside the medical building, awaiting our third anthrax shot. Fortunately, it cleared up within an hour or so, and turned into another beautiful, sunny Georgia day – a great day to learn how to battle at close range!

First we learned the basics of cordoning off a building or a block, and special considerations of urban warfare. Then, we practiced reflexive fire – a technique of rapid, close-range shooting using only a general sight picture (and both eyes open) instead of a precise one. Finally, we learned the basics of using a 4-man stack to enter and clear a room.

The M16 is a decent weapon, but after the grueling course of fire on Sunday without cleaning, coupled with the natural unreliability of using blank ammunition, some of the fire drills were more about clearing malfunctions than shooting techniques. It was mostly *bam* *slap magazine* *bam bam* *slap magazine* …etc.

We broke for lunch – spaghetti with meat sauce MRE, baby – then assembled for the final exercise: entering the destroyed building and clearing several rooms.

I was the point man, leading the rush into the first darkened room. I charged in, weapon ready – straight ahead, a green target – enemy – I fired three rounds and moved to the right hand wall. The other three followed behind me, scanning the room. We stopped. The instructor pointed behind the first sergeant and said, “who’s back there?” We turned to find a green target in the corner behind us that we never saw. It was my job to clear that corner. We were dead. Oh well, on to the next room!

Stacking on the next door, Top (that’s what everyone calls a first sergeant) pulled the door open and we charged in again. Two enemies and a no-shoot target – pop pop pop I shot the left hand one, while PFC R, right behind me (and 12″ taller than me), shot the right hand one. Much better that time. We cleared a third room, then we were done.

A great day of training…hopefully we’ll get to do more of it. Today, mounted land navigation – drive around and find points on the ground.


  1. Steve

    SHOOT SHOOT drakken… so I sent off a package in your direction today… the CD I burned for you last week that was supposed to be sent via my parents was found hidden away in a pile of old mail yesterday… they sent straight out to Italy and just didn’t care I guess…

    kind of a sad weekend– my brother and I packed up much of the WH40k corner in the basement. The folks have ambitions of finishing the basement before the wedding… lol… In other gaming news, I picked up Axis and Allies Pacific– Schaus and I played the other night. I survived on victory points with the Japanese and one lucky kamikaze roll near Iwo Jima! Transport…RAMMED INTO! It was great… and I even had two space battleship Yamatos cruising the seas until the very end. Schaus has the Europe version, so we’re gonna try and have a linked-up-style ultra WWIII BATURU sometime…

    I start up a new class tonight: Holocaust Narratives! “So many… and they’re all dead?”

    -Commander Hargon

  2. Xteen

    So is M855 Ball Ammunition going to be your new cologne?

  3. kelly

    What a gorgeous photograph! You have the uncanny ability to frame a photo like no other. I never believed ammunition would look so good. I am in awe of your talent Alex. Tried to call you tonite, I do hope I can talk to you soon. The marksmanship truly sounds short of expectation. Concentrate on your mark, by the framing of your photographs I say you have no worries. YOU know what is of importance with a gun or through the lens.
    love you, kellyrae

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