25 September 2008

Things you really only see in the Army

(okay, well, maybe the other services, too)

The other day we got to run around do Advanced Combat Pistol (mostly drawing, weak-hand firing, etc) and transition firing (that'd be the transition from M4 to M9). This is good stuff. The first part was about 250 rounds of Uncle Sugar's ammo, and the transition fire was also a good armload of pre-filled magazines. Pre-filled mags, free ammo, and a sunny day. T'was fun.

And then it ended, and we did the Brass Police Call.

This is kind of like...an Easter Egg hunt that's not much fun. After you run four or five relays of twenty shooters walking up and down the range firing, you get everybody out to dig through the sand and pick up all the brass. You separate the brass by caliber, and collect the live rounds in another pile. You can use boxes, or hats. Either way, it's a hoot. Extra fun bonus points if you do it at night.

It hasn't all been fun shooty goodness, of course. The vast majority of military activity is routine and dull. And nothing is more routine and dull than a chow hall that is serving eight bazillion mobilizing people a day.

The food's not awful, but it's not very good, either. They really hit a new hit in crappy and weird the other evening, though.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is fried ravioli.

I know. I was not aware that such a thing exisited. Here's a hint - if you ever have the opportunity to enjoy military-issue fried ravioli - don't. I ate half a piece, then shared up another hunk with the guys at my table. We all eyed the plate suspiciously.

It's like a cheese stick, one sergeant said, but with no flavor.

No, corrected another. There's some flavor. It's bad, but it's there.

But the sauce, I asked. It doesn't have any flavor, does it?

In the end, I enjoyed some red jello and a cup of coffee. Thank god for jello and coffee, and the reserve of candy I keep in my cargo pockets.