Postcards from Tradocia

do not feed the animals

Well, they let us out of the cages this weekend for a little R&R. It was a success overall – nobody ended up in jail, everyone was back on time (though some were physically carried into the barracks, but they all made it in some form or another), and noone got beat up.

Today we finally cleaned our rifles – it was by far the filthiest weapon-cleaning experience of my life. My hands were covered in a black paste, a sexy amalgam of CLP and powder residue that coated every interior surface of my rifle. Despite all the crap that everyone talks about the M16, though, mine functioned flawlessly even without any cleaning. Which is good – I think Eugene Stoner (the designer of the M16) made many design decisions for the express purpose of making the weapon impossible to clean. Keeps the soldiers busy, you know.

I also discovered that most of these rifles are actually M16A1 lower receivers that were reconditioned to be M16A2s – the nomenclature on the receiver is stamped over, and where the selector switch would say “Auto” on the A1 it’s been milled down and “Burst” is put in its place. Sooo…I guess that means our lower receivers could be pretty old.

The internet here is pissing me off. I can hardly get a post in, let alone a picture, because it’s so damn slow.


  1. Mom and Dad

    Hi Alex – A splendid analogy with the National Zoo article.

    I mentioned that DU knocked out the Dogs. The Dogs had gone up 2-0, and DU eventually won 5-3!

    Maine beat Boston College.

    Maine and DU play for the championship tomorrow.

    Your video camera is in. We’ll ship it.

    Love, Dad

  2. kim lane

    hi alex-
    i am a friend of your dad’s. your site is so interesting–….you should think of writing….as a career, i mean. take care of yourself.

  3. Xteen

    What!? No action-filled gun cleaning story for the day?

  4. Bryce Barnes

    Hi Alex,
    It seems that you are going to get some good training now. Texas and California should be really interesting. I found your gun cleaning description enlightening. In WWII training we were going to fire blank 50 calibre ammunition with hundreds of rounds for each crew member, but the weather was extremely rough and our whole crew except for me and another gunner were air sick; even our pilot and copilot threw up. So we had about 10 boxes of ammunition to fire and proceeded to do so through the two waist guns. We just pulled the belts of ammo out of the boxes and fired them in long bursts. It was great fun until we landed and had to clean the guns. They were completely covered with carbon and other noxious stuff and it took hours to get them cleaned. ‘Very similar to what you described. Keep up the good work and learn all you can.
    Love, Grandpa

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