Tuesday, February 23, 2021

War Film Review and More Pineland Rules

Before I get into more sniper posts, I wanted to point out some real-world shit to review. There is so much video of 4GW online these days and we do not take advantage of it. We need to review the documentation like football film. For whatever reason, no one does. It is kind of weird. I think it is because then people might be held accountable? Maybe, but we must get better. Ask yourself, what would Tom Brady do? Anyway, let us have a look at how effective the RPG sniper can be in 4GW. (As usual, you will have to switch to the web version at the bottom of the page to see the video. If you are too lazy or just a cherry, click this link: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=F-6SkviB3Hs&t=2s )

Oh, shit. That is some fire power right there....First, as we discussed in my sniper big four, we do not know what experience the shooter has in this video. We only know the amount of confusion/chaos he causes. There are two lessons there, consider them rules of Pineland. First, know how to operate every weapon system you could possibly have to operate with, including the enemies. Also, confusion/chaos is your friend.


This video is a prime example of the ghosts we fought in Afghan and Iraq. It is a prime example of Pineland rules. I am not going to say what the 502nd did was right or wrong in this video because that is irrelevant. Plus, I am a Rakkasan so it will be biased because my brigade was the best in the 101st, maybe the Army. I digress, my goal is to point out some advantages the enemy has against occupying forces while highlighting the ineffectiveness of that occupying force which really does not care about the mission anymore. A few notes as I watched:

·         Don’t wear uniforms. No borders mean no uniforms.

·         Don’t drive big, dumb vehicles down linear danger areas no matter how safe and up armored they seem.

·        Don’t invade countries/cultures that you don’t understand. Don’t invade the world/invite the world. Seems obvious.

·        Occupying forces talk too much and do too little. It also shows the difference in the generations of war. The guy talking a lot on the radio is the LT. He is doing a great job communicating back to higher that he was just hit by an RPG. In fact, I would say that he has been in more than a couple of fights because of how calm he is. Or, he has been trained on how to communicate under stress. They do train for that now. You see, once the leader starts getting excited over the radio and yelling, everyone gets excited and starts yelling. You either train yourself or learn through experience to always stay calm. Anyway, to the point, the fact that the LT had to immediately go on the radio to tell higher up what happened is the problem here. Do you think that the shooters called to ok it with Daddy before blowing up a MATV? Micromanaging is the number one problem in western armies.

·       RPG nets work pretty well. But not always. The ones that penetrate armor still make it through sometimes. Trust me, I have a friend without an arm and another who is dead that will back that up.

·         I forgot about the MATV beeping when it backs up. Safety retards being retards. Fuck safety fags, they will never win a war. Plan, take precautions, but without balls to go outside safety nonsense…you will lose. Don't listen to them.

·        Chaos and confusion dominate in 4GW. Look at that platoon react to one RPG hit from a shooter who was probably old, fat, and slow. Yet he had the courage to fight for his country against overwhelming forces. As for the Americans, there is a lot of panic there. Imagine what would happen in a deliberate, linear ambush that attempts to gain fire superiority. Also, note to self, I am going to have to teach deliberate, linear ambush, lol.

·        Alright, let us discuss the negligent discharge that happened at roughly the 2:15 minute mark by Mr. Afghani. I know it is bad… But you must keep moving forward. I was a professional soldier. I do not expect the people I fight next to in the future to be as professional as I am. I expect them to be cherry as fuck like the Afghans/Iraqis used to be. I like to compare war to football because I was successful at both. What would happen if the QB fumbled the snap from the center and half the offense turned and yelled at the QB instead of fighting on? That is another Pineland rule. Be adaptive and resilient or else dead.

·         On the American side, there is nothing but confusion, confusion, confusion….in the defense of course. There is the lesson. Be the hunter, Not the hunted. Be true light infantry. Rangers and snipers in the current US Army. I think the Prussians called them Jaegers, as in J├Ągermeister fame. Unless I am confused that means master hunter. Line infantry is not light infantry. Learn the difference.

·       The guy yelling, “There was a firefight!!” at 3:12 is awesome. However, I agree with CSM Purdy here. When shit hits the fan, my privates better shut the fuck up and be ready to possibly die to win. When it is time to fight, you fight. When it is time to joke, you joke. Joking during a fight only leads to more confusion which the insurgent loves. When shit hits the fan, leaders talk, joes shut up unless it is something important. 

So, there you go. Watch the video and learn a thing or two about warfare. Even if you disagree with everything I say. It is that important. Also, more important, think outside the box. I know a lot about warfare, but do not have all the answers. Nor should I. War is unpredictable. As war always is. It is war. The winners adapt and are resilient. The losers die. Consider this famous quote from our 26th President, Theodore Roosevelt titled, The Man in the Arena:

It is about the man in the arena who is fighting. He is cold, wet, hungry, and tired and shit on by everyone, with the media broadcasting it these days. The media is the number one enemy of the people and they have made it about themselves for a generation or two as though they are the ones dirty and fighting. They are not. Yes, they have been through college and they will claim that is the arena. But it isn't. I have been there. Shit is weak. Neither is their careers, where all they had to do is say the right things and kiss the right ass to get promoted. Don't stir the waters and you'll be fine. Been there too. Fuck all that. I don't want thirty pieces of silver, Ill keep my soul. Raptor 2, out.


Saturday, February 20, 2021

If Only We Knew...


          I do not know who came up with this but it is great. Soldiers and Marines will get it. Is it funny or sad that I think the the VA should be combined with whatever college you choose to attend with your GI Bill? Perhaps now there should be an even bigger monster/dick declaring the soldier a terrorist and demanding his weapons. More later. Enjoy the cartoon for the moment. Raptor 2, out. 

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Ranger School Promotions!

Need a laugh?

          Any soldiers from yesteryear remember these? They are still hilarious. The end of yesterdays post was rather dark. I needed a laugh tonight. I bet you do too. These was huge during the height of the Iraq and Afghan wars. Back when YouTube was cool still. Sadly, you would be kicked out for this today. Seriously, everything has changed... 

Part II:

Update 4/1/21...I did not even know there was a part three...


Enjoy. Raptor 2, out.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

The Sniper Big Four


I write a lot about the big five when it comes to a Ranger. Quick review, they are the five pillars which create the foundation that hold up the modern Ranger or (historically) light infantryman (Rangers are the only true light infantry unit left in the Army. The rest are line infantry). These pillars are physical training, marksmanship, medical, mobility (includes land nav), and small unit tactics (includes land nav). Failure to continue to improve or maintain these skillsets regularly will result in erosion and eventual collapse of that pillar. As I reviewed those articles it got me asking myself what are the pillars which hold up the modern sniper? Snipers must have core skills that need to be maintained like the Ranger pillars. These pillars are probably separate and built atop the Ranger big five. Yes, I think that snipers should be selected from a pool of soldiers who have mastered the Ranger big five. (Thinking…changing mind.) That might be true for state-backed armies, it’s probably not true in 4GW. More on that later.  

So anyway, I set about to thinkin and rememberin from back in my school and not so school days and came up with the Sniper big four. Here they are in no particular order: target detection, range/wind estimation, stalking/blending, and obviously marksmanship. A few quick reasons for each:

Target Detection: Target detection is a critical sniper task. To shoot your target, you must see your target. This is not always easy. Understanding target detection is all about understanding the eye and how to train it. To fully understand and accomplish the principles of training the eye, the sniper must know its capabilities and limitations.  It takes much more than proper sight alignment to justify shooting. Clearly identifying a potential threat is the most critical thing a sniper in a hide site can do.  Much of the current sniper training focuses on the physical and mechanical aspects of shooting.  Not enough emphasis is placed on the ability to spot targets by looking for target indicators.

Range/Wind Estimation: Believe it or not, most misses are due to incorrect range estimation. Because of this fact, the sniper needs to have multiple tools in his mental rucksack to create levels of backups to mitigate errors in RE. A combination of techniques, both high tech and no tech is imperative. There have been great advances in technology with laser range finders and kestrel wind meters and those are great to have. But the tried-and-true methods, like bracketing and the football field method should be practiced regularly. Additionally, reticle assist methods, like the mil-dot formula or the ACOG BDC method, should be practiced every time one can get to a long stretch of open area. In my opinion, range and wind estimation with the eye is the most perishable skillset of the sniper.

Stalking/Blending: The gathering of battlefield information also plays a major role in the execution of the sniper’s mission.  Based on the visibility level in the area, sometimes you need to get closer to your target area.  To do this, you must possess field craft knowledge and skills to stealthily move into, through, and around the area of operations undetected.  This skill is traditionally called stalking. I am going to add blending as well because the sniper must blend into the background, or the white noise of any situation. It takes a level of artistry, innovative thinking, and acting; art in designing a ghillie suit, acting in an urban environment with whoever is around you, and innovative thinking because to repeat patterns is to die in that life. This is my favorite fundamental and will be the subject of my first article in this new series.

Marksmanship: Snipers are renowned for their marksmanship abilities. The delivery of well executed shots with surgical accuracy makes the individual an asset in today's politically sensitive arenas by having the ability to eliminate key select targets without endangering innocent bystanders. The moral level of war is the strongest. This pillar is obvious and should be studied in depth. Everything from Internal, external, and terminal ballistics to how they relate to the four phases of firing. But in the end, it is all about fundamentals and practice….and in this time of ammo scarcity, that means dry fires. Man, my soldiers used to groan and grumble when I said that. But trust me it works. One of the best snipers I’ve even known used to sit in his chair all night doing holster work, over and over, feeling for the exact break of his trigger. Oh yeah, people like that really do exist and you do not want to fight them. Luckily, all the ones I know are out of the Army and on this side of the divide, minus two. Anyway, we used to make the students do 100 dryfires a day before they even fired a single round on the range. Old school drills like dime/washer drills are still some of the best tools to teach and practice your fundamentals. Do them.

 That is going to be my new series because I loved being a sniper. The unfortunate thing about it is that you rank yourself out of it after a while. They do not want senior NCO’s or Officers crawling around in the mud. Me, I loved the mud. Officers are not even allowed to be snipers. They are supposed to be pretty and clean. Fuck that. Unfortunately, after E6, you will not be operating teams anymore, in the Army anyway. It was the primary reason I never cared to make seven. So Ill be writing about that.  I cannot promise a schedule because of my workload, but I’ll try a couple of times a week. I miss going to the range. I immensely miss being around other shooters. A few years ago, I considered putting together a 3–5-day long range marksman course based on an extremely shortened sniper school. It received a lot of support, but I was still working for a contracting company. Now that I am free, I am kicking around the idea again. We shall see.

I discussed earlier that snipers should be selected from the best of the soldiers who have mastered the ranger big five skills. Perhaps in other generations of warfare. But the more I think about my own experiences fighting against insurgents in the fourth generation I must say that is the wrong. Consider the three types of snipers you will face on a battlefield:

The Armed Irregular:

·         The armed irregular has little to no formal military training, and no formal training in long range marksmanship. This might be a good thing in 4GW. It makes them extremely unpredictable.

·         He is usually a member of an irregular or paramilitary force and may or may not carry his weapon openly. He also may be operating on his own initiative, again, making him extremely unpredictable. Because of this, he may go to great lengths to avoid detection as a sniper or combatant.

·         His fires are normally not accurate, and he seldom deliberately targets specific individuals. Targets of opportunity on his “block” are his forte; he lets his enemy come to him. Sounds like one of them Rogers’ Rangers Rules to me. 

·         The armed irregular is intimately familiar with his area of operations and uses it to his advantage. The guerilla swims in the sea of people comes to mind here because he is in his own backyard. With his people.

The Trained Marksman:

·         A trained soldier who is an above average shot and has some knowledge of field craft. This soldier is usually armed with a standard issue weapon or scoped version of the standard issue weapon.

·         Standard former military member/gun owner who shoots every weekend.

·         May be employed individually or in teams to create confusion, cause casualties, or harass and disrupt the flow of operations. Operating in his own backyard, he is extremely deadly.

·         Do not underestimate the trained marksman, he is a formidable foe.  Every engagement he survives against you only makes him more experienced and more difficult to kill the next time.

The Well-Trained Sniper:

·         Specially selected, trained, and equipped with a modern scope-mounted sniper rifle in a modern military. Could be privately funded or self-funded for the sniper in 4GW.   

·         Expert shot and is trained to engage selected targets with precision rifle fire.

·         Capable of hitting targets at extended ranges (out to 1,000 meters),

·         Skilled in avoiding detection. 

·         Used to be rare in an irregular insurgent force but as countries fall apart it will be more common.

·         May be employed alone, as a team, or as part of a small kill team element. Best employed operating off their own initiative and intelligence. Do not try to micromanage, you will only get in their way.

·         This is the most dangerous adversary to counter, and requires an extensive amount of planning, coordination, and support to eliminate.

There are your three different types of snipers. That is important knowledge to learn for anyone. You should always assess the threat and react accordingly. That being said, when we, as occupying forces, moved through neighborhoods overseas and were shot at with a single shot, well, it didn’t matter what level of training the shooter had. It did not matter what equipment they had. That “sniper?” tied us down, created confusion, and sometimes caused casualties regardless of their experience.

To close, you should master the ranger big five, but sometimes the play goes off script in 4GW. Sometimes the “insurgent” getting involved might be a 55-year-old veteran of the military. What branch, it does not matter. He just loves his nation. He might be diabetic, older, and slower than he used to be at eighteen, but he knows stuff now. He is a former welder who lost his job and is sick of watching his people be replaced. The government, now his enemy through their own declarations, not his, steal what little money he has left. The rest of his money barely pays for the insulin and pain meds which grow more unaffordable by the day. All this while the government calls him a terrorist; an enemy of the country he doesn’t even recognize anymore. He is not allowed to go to church because of Covid, but it does not matter. There is nothing but weak, effeminate men there anyway. To prove the point there is a rainbow flag out front. His church has been captured. He has no one to talk to. His parents are dead. His wife left him years ago and his son died in Iraq. His daughter does not talk to him because he is a racist. He sits in his apartment, looks at his rifle and wonders what the fuck happened. He has nothing left to lose. 

Picture that on a mass scale in the US because that is what the government is pushing through their actions. I don't want it, but that doesn't mean its not reality. Sometimes we overthink it in the west. Keep it simple, stupid. Raptor 2, out.


Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Ranger Handbook Downloads (Pineland Handbook)


The Raconteur Report recently came out with a post on the .mil and their field and technical manuals. He brought up an interesting point which I immediately looked up. I have talked about the Ranger Handbook being a must-have. It is, but he made me question which version is the best. So, I looked up the current RHB to see if there is a huge difference between todays version and one from the early 2000’s, when I joined the Army. 

Today’s version, APR 2017: https://fas.org/irp/doddir/army/tc3-21-76.pdf

Yesterday’s version, APR 2000: https://www.clemson.edu/business/departments/army-rotc/files/pdfs/rangerhandbook.pdf  

Analysis:  Holy hell! 370 pages today compared to the 234 pages from the past? What the hell could have been added that was so important? (Scanning…) Ok, an entire chapter on machine gun employment. That is very important. Read, read, read! Effective machine gun fire can change the outcome of a battle tactically and operationally. Strategically in 4GW, I do not know. We are learning that as we go. What else?

A chapter on mounted patrols, which is largely irrelevant for light infantry operations except FOR RECON PURPOSES. You don’t want to be sky lining yourself in a convoy on a linear danger area with drone’s present. Linear danger areas, like roads, mean something different depending on METT-TC. The insurgent fighting in his backyard looks at roads and paths vastly different than an invading and occupying Army. What else?

Looks like expanded Demolitions and First Aid chapters. That is great. Keep up with the times. Also, all light infantryMEN should be experts in demolitions. The US military has taken that away from the light infantryman, but one must look no further than the implementation of IEDs on the battlefield to see their effectiveness and why the US government is afraid of those tactics. More on that later, back to current RHB. I see better pictures throughout. This will help with the knots. Especially for the man just reading this stuff and not applying it under instruction. All of this is good though.

A few bad things…  

Unfortunately, there are more word salads, and they are sporadic. For example, the first chapter on leadership is more confusing in the new version compared to the simple, Be, Know, Do from the earlier copies. This violates the KISS rule. The KISS, or Keep It Simple, Stupid, rule for military operations is the best way to plan. This is not because soldiers are dumb but because the plan changes as soon as you hit the ground. You know, when the enemy has a say against your “well planned” mission. Because the enemy is unpredictable, you must fight the fight and not fight your plan.

Some thoughts...

We saw this with the use of IED’s as a weapon in Iraq. At one point 70% of casualties in Iraq were from IED’s. Instead of changing those convoy tactics, the US stubbornly stuck with them. As we, expensively I might add, stacked armor on armor to both personal and vehicles, the enemy made cheaper and more effective homemade bombs, bigger and bigger. Consider that. We spent more, they spent less. These bombs started as remote detonated and evolved to victim initiated. Basically, Taliban/Al-Qaeda could build a 300-pound bomb using HME (homemade explosive) and make a simple electrical circuit where the soldier would blow themselves up by completing the loop. It was fourth grade science vs. Ph. D structural and scientific engineers. Fourth grade science won. The most effective I saw was two long, thin metal plates separated by two sticks to keep the metal from touching. This was then buried with a battery and viola! You drive or walk over it and it went boom. Then they developed the EFP (Explosively Formed Penetrator) which won the arms/armor race. EFP diagram below is not the same as the IED video. (If you can't see it, switch to the web version from mobile at the bottom of the page.) (The IED at 1:57 is my favorite. They buried it too deep but you can see the power of it in the earth it moved. You won't find this in the handbook but they are the perfect defense weapon against occupying forces.)

My scout/sniper platoon changed our tactics. We got out of our vehicles. We conducted search and destroy missions along MSR’s (Main supply routes) looking for IED teams. MSR’s were roads which the US consistently drove convoys over to resupply the FOB (Forward Operating Base) network. We discovered the enemy was not ghosts. They just fought on their home field. We would patrol until night, pretend to exfil, then set up small kill teams to ambush the ambushers. To be honest they were sloppy in the field. We brought home more confirmed kills than the rest of the battalion combined. That is because we had great leadership with years of experience who cared about their men and changed their tactics to the reality of the fight. We loved this. It is something fake Americans will never understand. We were truly HOGs, or Hunter Of Gunmen.

I'll close with this. I think Mike Tyson said it best, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth”. That is wisdom from a man who has been through some battles. Plan, but change your plan or lose when you get hit. That is the lesson of military leadership, plan, and when everything goes to shit, change your plan. As for which RHB is better? Download them all, fucking cherry, and get caught up. Read them. Figure it the fuck out in your AO (Area of Operations). No one is coming to save you, least of all any Rangers these days. Become the Ranger you want to see. In other words, be a fucking man. Raptor 2, out.



Sunday, February 7, 2021

Learn Support by Fire

 “I see ‘em! I fucking see those mother fuckers!” My assistant gunner (AG) could not contain his glee as he spotted our enemy. “Bradley, 300 meters to our front. They are in a waddie (also known as a trench or irrigation ditch). Fuck, I don’t know what the fuck it is! Just scan out 300 meters to the cut in the ground and light those motherfuckers the fuck up!

     Specialist Bradley peered through his M145 and apparently spotted haj because he let loose a twenty-five-round burst from his M240B machine gun. He shouted back to me, “They are about 300 meters away, Sergeant! Geez they are standing up and everything. How did we miss them before? I can even see the dust coming up every time they take a shot! I’m gonna light them the fuck up, Sergeant!”

     “FUCKING GET SOME!” The AG, Private First-Class Glen Kinney shouted.

     Gun One let go another long twenty-five-round burst. He was getting ahead of himself. The last thing we wanted right now was to run out of rounds.

     “You’re a bit right. Come to the left a little!” shouted Kinney.

     I rolled my eyes. It didn’t matter how many times I told them to make corrections in simple commands of right and left, up or down in feet and yards. “A little bit over” and “a cunt hair right” always found its way back into the lexicon.  

     “GUN ONE, SIMPLE COMMANDS AND TEN ROUND BURSTS!! GUN TWO, HOLD YOUR FIRE! LET YOUR AG SCAN AND ENGAGE WITH HIS M4!” I had to yell to be heard over the crack of the bullets coming in and machine gun fire going out. “If you can achieve enfilade fires on groups of people, then engage on bipod! Otherwise, conserve ammo; let the pea shooters have the individuals!” I yelled. I don’t know why I yelled about the bipod. Habit I guess. Carrying around a heavy-ass tripod just slowed you down. We were fighting dudes on dirt bikes in man dresses who only carried a few mags. They could disappear into the sea of people around them in a second. Speed was security and extra weight was deadly.

     These guys always got buck fever. Most young soldiers did. I didn’t care about killing those motherfuckers. Whether it was me, my guys, or someone else, it made no difference. The best Taliban were good and dead; hopefully ripped apart enough they couldn’t reach for that last grenade. They always had three or four swinging from their vests, though they rarely used them. I wondered sometimes if they were symbols to signify status. Anyway, it was my job as weapons squad leader to make sure we had the ammunition available for the possible assault on the enemy’s position. We had to find the enemy first; this part always proved hardest.  Real fighters never showed their fighting positions. The sound waves from their gunshots just bounced off everything in the area, including the shithole mud huts they lived in. By the time it reached your ears, it seemed to be coming from every direction, which meant it came from no direction. Imagine fighting an enemy who was nowhere and everywhere at the same time.

     I reached into a pouch on my vest and pulled out a small pair of my M24 binoculars. I wanted to see the enemy. I was excited because you rarely could find them fuckers. Once I could see the enemy positions, I would designate the objective to give out interlocking sectors of fire to my teams. Then the symphony would begin.

     War is a symphony. There is a beauty to combat that is just as potent as it is ugly. It is no different than the symphony Four Seasons by Vivaldi. The orchestra is our squad/platoon and our weapons are the instruments in which we conduct our masterpieces. As you listen to Four Seasons, you can hear the musicians manipulate their instruments to mimic the various seasons.  Just like a trained musician, an experienced warfighter can hear the difference between a disciplined firefight and a chaotic one. And just like an orchestra, a warfighting unit needs a leader to control the various weapons/instruments that it is using. To the experienced soldier, a disciplined firefight sounds like a beautiful symphony. Let us see, the SAW’s should be placed here…perfect…and let us get them talking back and forth…. yes that sounds great. Now to add some percussion to this, get me the grenade launcher; I want a 40mm round on my tracer every twenty seconds. Absolutely beautiful. It is missing something…. I think we need the big guns. I need weapons squad and a mortar team, then I can begin my assault. That is how a good squad leader thinks; he thinks like a conductor organizing the Boston Pops. The only difference in my world is the enemy has his own orchestra and death is in the air while they compete.

     I peered through my binos to where my soldiers had directed me and nearly shit my pants. What the fuck, I thought, this never happens. I SAW THEM! What the fuck? There, in all their glory, my enemy was shooting at me. I was literally watching a Haj, who wasn’t even looking through his sights, shoot a fifteen-round burst through his AK. For a second, I didn’t know what to do. I just wanted to keep watching them. FUCK THAT, let’s kill these little bitches. My eyes widened. My enemy did not know it yet, but I was about to unleash hellish rain upon them in the form of seven point six two-millimeter bullets. My blue eyes turned black. I was now death; whomever I wanted to destroy would be destroyed. Wherever I pointed, destruction would follow.

     CRACK, SNAP, CRACK, CRACK. FUCK! A burst of machine fire almost found home as the dust exploded around my position. SHIT, I thought. Am I dead? I checks my pants, no shit so I wasn’t death yet. I fought the urge to push against a wall. How could I lead my guys if they saw me cowering against a wall? Fuck that. If I was going to die, I’d do it staring down my enemy. For whatever reason, I looked at my watch, a titanium Casio G-shock. It read 1124 hours. I pulled out my tin of Copenhagen Long Cut out of my back pocket. For whatever reason, the familiar thumping noise when I packed the tobacco made me feel better. I opened the can and took a huge pinch, packing it into my bottom lip with my tongue. Hell, we could kill these guys and still make chow, I thought. Let’s waste these motherfuckers, then go eat. The symphony began…

“GUN ONE AND TWO, OBJECTIVE TO OUR FRONT! NEW SECTORS OF FIRE!!” I had to yell to be heard above the rounds cracking past. “GUN ONE, LEFT LIMIT. FROM THE EDGE OF THE LARGE QUALOTTE OUT THERE…NO, NOT THAT MUD HUT, THE OTHER ONE…THE BIG ONE AT YOUR ELEVEN O’CLOCK. FUCK, WATCH MY TRACER ROUND…” I carefully aimed at a corner of the mud wall about 300 meters away and fired a single shot. A bright red bullet shot out of my rifle, flying down range until it hit where I aimed. I didn’t like to shoot tracer rounds- sure it showed your guys where to aim, but it also showed the enemy where to shoot….  

     “GOT IT!” Gun One AG called out.

     “RIGHT LIMIT….” My voice wandered as I scanned down the irrigation canal until I found a reference point. I decided upon an intersection between two canals. I thought I saw a puff of dust come up that could have been a fighter tossing salad, or in this case, tossing sand “RIGHT LIMIT, WATCH FOR MY TRACER…” I fired a tracer round right into the intersection.

     “ROGER, SERGEANT!” the AG yelled. He turned to the machine gunner and talked him onto his sector of fire.

     “GUN TWO, GUN TWO! LEFT LIMIT IS THE LONE PALM TREE TO YOUR TEN O’ CLOCK!” I had seen the tree when I was scanning for the right limit for gun one.

     “ROGER, SERGEANT! LEFT LIMIT, PALM TREE, TEN O’ CLOCK!” Came the reply from Gun Two, loud and in unison. I smiled. Gun Two was always better than Gun One. Maybe my training was paying off, or maybe they were just naturally better. Who knows.

     “RIGHT LIMIT, WATCH FOR MY TRACER…!” I fired the tracer round into the corner of a building. The reality of urban warfare is that non-combatant’s homes will become objectives. It is what it is. Americans, take note.

     “RIGHT LIMIT! CORNER OF BUILDING TWO O” CLOCK!” Came the response in unison. I smiled again, despite my situation. A few single shots snapped by my position from my right flank. Fuck, I hoped they weren’t maneuvering on us. One more came by from the front. Ok, so there were at least two elements now. One to my front and one to my right flank. I had to call out TRP’s (target reference points) quickly now and let my PSG know what was going on.   

     SERGANT MARTIN!” I called out. I was calling him to tell him the objective I had just created. No response. I tried again over the radio, no response. Oh, well. Got to keep moving forward.

     “GUNS ONE AND TWO! FOUR TRPs. WATCH FOR MY TRACER ROUNDS. TRP ONE…” Judging by the terrain and the irrigation canals, I figured that the assaulting element would maneuver to the right. Thus, the TRP’s would be numbered one through four, from right to left, allowing me to “lead” the maneuvering element with a wall of lead. I could always reverse them once my guys knew where they were. Assaulting these irrigation canals were like assaulting a trench line. The TRPs would act as guides for the machine gun fire, or obvious points of concentrated enemy positions. In World War II, this might have meant a bunker. Now it means a civilian house (or even a Mosque). Not that I cared. I called out my reference points, and the gun teams echoed my commands. My machine guns would keep the enemy’s heads down so our guys could get closer to destroy them. It was all part of the symphony of destruction. Music to the infantrymen’s ears.


     There was a flurry of activity as the AGs opened their spare barrel bags and began to frantically link their belts together. The gun teams were excited, we rarely got this far before the enemy disappeared. A burst from an AK came in from our right flank. Fuck, I hoped they weren’t maneuvering further down that canal. The guys were ready to go on cyclic. Cyclic was to gain fire superiority and rapid was to maintain it. I could always go back to cyclic if needed. I reminded them one last time the importance of lead on target.


     I didn’t need them slaughtering families by the dozen here. The goal was to keep the enemy in that trench as we maneuvered on them. With the objective set, and my guys ready to slaughter, I really needed some leadership. Where the fuck were the PL and PSG? I hoped they weren’t shot or dead. All of this was for naught if we weren’t planning some sort of assault. I couldn’t wait any longer though. I was sick of getting shot at and doing nothing. I was sick of being frustrated. I just wanted some dead enemy bodies stacked up from my machine gun teams.


     In that moment, hell was unleashed. The noise of mechanical thunder filled the small bullet riddled half house we were seeking cover in. We became a thundercloud and the cones of fire acted like lightning rods striking back and forth, punishing those foolish to stand up to us. The cyclic felt like it lasted for an eternity. I loved every second of it.


     “RAPID RATE OF FIRE!” Both gun teams echoed my command.

     Gun one fired a ten-round burst, and when it ended, I could hear gun two begin their three second count.

     “ONE THOUSAND, ONE, ONE THOUSAND, TWO, ONE THOUSAND, THREE! SHOOT!” yelled the AG. He was struggling to feed the gun while looking through his binos at the same time. The struggle is real. Three seconds later Gun Two "talked back" firing their ten-round burst. Gun Two didn’t have to count out loud, they went off a series of pats so they didn’t have to yell. It worked for them, and that is what is important. I learned a long time ago to not meddle with something that works. A leader’s job is really to train and then let the squad run itself. You only interfere when there is a breakdown in the machine. Then you fix it and move out. I let the guns talk back and forth for a few more bursts and then dropped them down a rate.

     “SUSTAINED, I yelled, SUSTAINED RATE OF FIRE” I screamed.

     “SUSTAINED!” gun teams echoed.

     A barrel change was needed or else it would begin to melt. That wouldn’t be too good.  I liked to go off feels for this, and I felt the need now. “GUN ONE, BARREL CHANGE. GUN TWO, RAPID! TRAVERSE BETWEEN TRP ONE AND TWO” Gun Two had to work alone to maintain the rounds down range. I liked to raise the rate of fire whenever I did anything that might remotely cause the element to lose fire superiority.

     “GUN DOWN…. GUN UP!” My guys got the barrel change down to about three seconds. They waited for Gun Two to fire before jumping into the fight.

      “GUN TWO, BARREL CHANGE! GUN ONE, RAPID.” It was Gun Two’s turn for a fresh barrel. They finished a bit quicker than Gun One.

“GUN UP!” They waited for a burst and then rejoined the fight. My blood was raising with every burst. I was risking getting caught up in the excitement. Luckily, my platoon sergeant showed up right then to calm things down.

     “HEY, CALM THE FUCK DOWN! What the fuck is going on in here?” Sergeant First Class Martin came sauntering in like he owned the place. He didn’t even flinch as a bullet cracked past and hit the mud wall behind him right. Right in front of the medic’s face.  Sergeant Martin was our platoon sergeant, aka platoon daddy. “CEASE FIRE!” he yelled.

     “CEASE FIRE!” I called out.

     “CEASE FIRE” my gun teams echoed. The guns went silent. The enemies had as well. An eerie calm settled over the field. I noticed my hands were shaking. That was the adrenalin working through me. I spit out my old dip and grabbed my can from my back pocket. I needed a new dip to keep my hands busy.

     I rattled off some orders. “Round count AGs. Disperse remaining ammo to even the load. Gunners, look for people getting out of the canal. Watch the doors on those buildings behind the canal.”

     I looked over at the PSG. “Where the hell have you been?” I asked with a smile. I was glad he wasn’t dead.  “My guys spotted Haj out to our front so we decided to light ‘em the fuck up and lighten our loads a bit.”

     He shook his head no. “We are pulling back. Our support platoon flipped a vehicle coming out to join the fight. We gotta go provide security for them while they recover it.”

     “400 rounds per gun, Sergeant!” Gun two’s AG called out. I didn’t respond.

     I stared at SFC Martin from my position, kneeling between my two gun teams. It didn’t register. A single round snapped through our position. It had come from our right flank. They had changed their position. They were probably responding to the rolled vehicle. News traveled faster on their side because they didn’t worry about a chain of command or have frequencies that went down all the time. They just called each other on their cell phones and told each other what was up. We had better get over there quick.

     “The rest of the platoon has already started their withdrawal. Get your gun teams back with them.” He said.

      I stared at him for a second longer before coming back to reality. It wasn’t his fault, he was just following orders. The other platoon needed us, and it was important to be adaptive. But still what a kick in the dick. I tried making myself feel better by thinking, Hey, maybe we would slaughter them on the way over. I doubted it, they tend to disappear in situations like this because they knew air support would be arriving shortly. Too many troops on the ground and a roll over means Apache overwatch. They weren’t stupid.

     "Gun teams, break it down.” The AG’s snapped the belts at about 75 rounds and packed up their gear. “Gun One, overwatch Gun Two as they withdraw. Gun two, follow Sergeant Martin.” As soon as they left, I told Gun One to move out.
                  As they ran by me, I saw the gunner had a dark burn on the side of one cheek. Either a bullet had grazed him, or he had burned himself on the barrel. I would make sure to get him over to the medics when we got back to the FOB.

      With both gun teams gone, I turned to look at my position one last time. Two piles of brass and links glinted in the sunlight, the only evidence that there was a fight there. That would be gone as soon as we pulled out of this village. Did all this mean anything? In Shakespeare’s play, Macbeth, Macbeth states that “life is a tale told by an idiot. Full of sound and fury. Signifying nothing.” I couldn’t help but think of that line right in that moment. I don’t know about life, but the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were full of sound and fury. A beautiful symphony of destruction which played out daily across multiple countries in the Mideast. In the end though, after the firefights and bombs, bullets and explosions playing like percussions, strings, and brass, what did it really signify?

     I turned to catch up with my guys. Living to fight another day, I guess.

     Beauty and terror. Life’s extremes in a thirty-minute firefight. I loved and hated it. Or something like that….

Friday, February 5, 2021

Pineland Rules for Ranging


Or else shit like this happens to you and your buddies. Fifty percent of the American public will cheer it on. They are not Americans. Do not forget that the American Government designates who is a terrorist and who isn't. And our government is occupied by a foreign enemy. Tough times for real Americans. Be ready to move out with a purpose. Speaking of which...

Why 120 and not the standard US military combat load of 210? Because you can easily fit 120 into your pockets and move the fuck out. We used to have a saying in the 82nd Airborne: you live out of your rucksack, fight out of your LCE (or FLC these days. Look it up, civi's...and cherries.), and survive out of your pockets. Bottom line, one must be ready to move always. Get used to living life as a nomad. No more than twenty-four hours in one position at a time. Do not use the same position twice. Keep your shoes on at all times unless showering. It is a hard life; not for the weak or faint-hearted. But...what happens if you use the same position twice? This. In America that is a SWAT team moving in. Remember that they will treat your family the same way they treat you. Better to be invisible.

This does not just include the jungle. Consider this next photo: 

Can you spot the terrorist? No? That is because there is none. We used to say that you have to find the actor in Iraq. It was the same in Afghan and Vietnam. There is a reason the Vietcong could disappear and that is because they knew the local pulse. It wasn't just the jungle they could flit in and out of. In fact, most troops claim they were awful in the jungle. They were completely undisciplined when operating in the bush. But they could disappear among the local villages just like the Iraqis could. A quick lesson on this... 

On my second tour I learned that there were two warring Sunni tribes in southern Baghdad, the Kharguli's and Jenabi's (spelling for either unknown and still don't care). I spent a fifteen month tour in that AO, also known as the Sunni Triangle of Death. It was my second tour in that AO. I have one more since then. I still can't pinpoint the exact differences between the tribes, but I know they still hate each other and believe me, they know who the actor is. That is the point of rule number three. Federal forces do not know the local pulse. They do not know the differences in the tribes or cities. Even as atomized as the US cities have gotten with an invasion of foreigners, I can still walk around my hometown in Massachusetts and know the pulse. That is what our elites are trying to end completely and they are doing a good job. A better job than we did in Iraq anyway.

Women are women. Men are men. The link. This weirdo is not a Kurdish warrior. But she might be some sort of spy though. Can you resist the vagina? I'm sick of everyone trying to make woman badass infantryman. They are not. As we have seen with the Chinese, women may not make good warriors, but they make good spies. Vaginas are hard to resist for weak men who do not usually have access to them. But that is all woman are good for, combat wise anyway. They will not be able to hold the line with shield in hand. They will not be able to keep up. Accept reality. Stop being a white knight. Stop enabling the weakest of our tribe. You are just going to get your daughters and wives raped and dead. Once you accept women into your unit, your unit will get weaker. This video is the reality of biology and hilarious. The black guy even smiles and laughs after he beats her. And he should, it is hilarious.

Fuck it. I am done for tonight. The first four rules of the Pineland Rangers break down to this:
1. Don't remember nothing.
2. Clean your shit and be ready to go.
3. Blend into the background.
4. Accept reality. Be truthful about your current situation. 

Raptor 2, out. 

Wednesday, February 3, 2021



Is there any doubt our country is under occupation? Every high point in our culture has been captured. Churches, universities, media, art, literature, technology, courts, politicians, and the military have all fallen one by one like hills or cities to an invading army. Washington D.C. has more soldiers in it now than the Green Zone did in Baghdad after the invasion of Iraq in 2003. The American flag has fallen across the nation. An invisible and insidious enemy has invaded and conquered our lands. This enemy has used Western/Christian empathy as a foothold into our lands and risen a new flag. One that thumbs its nose at God’s mercy.

It really is time to admit and assess the current situation. As I stated, all our cultural high points have been captured. We, fewer and fewer real Americans have been abandoned by our leaders and are cut off and surrounded. We can shout “Nuts!” all we want at our oppressors on the internet, but that accomplishes nothing. The entire might of the occupiers; their courts, media, technology, etc. have turned their guns inward and down upon us. They look to end our lines. If you think I am being dramatic then answer this question, what do we have left which is ours? What is your child's future? I was going to post their shit to prove the hypocrisy, but it is not worth it anymore. I want to save my energy for the future.

History seems to indeed repeat itself, especially to humans filled with pride and arrogance. In the Old Testament, the Israelites under Moses wandered the desert for forty years after their continued disregard and disobedience to God. God loved us so much that he still gave us the promised land through battles led by Joshua. God told Joshua,

“Moses my servant is dead. Now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that I am giving to them, to the people of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you, just as I promised to Moses. From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites to the Great Sea toward the going down of the sun shall be your territory. No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you. Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success[a] wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

And they went forth and conquered the lands because they were courageous and followed the word of God. Does that sound familiar? It mirrors Christian persecution and flight from European lands almost verbatim. It also mirrors the conquest of America over the heathen tribes of non-believers who occupied these lands before us. God gives to those he deems worthy. He also takes away.

It is in the very next book in the Old Testament where we find the people miserable and unhappy. You see, the people had done evil again by not following the word which was written by God and given to their ancestors.

The people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and the Lord gave them into the hand of Midian seven years. And the hand of Midian overpowered Israel, and because of Midian the people of Israel made for themselves the dens that are in the mountains and the caves and the strongholds. For whenever the Israelites planted crops, the Midianites and the Amalekites and the people of the East would come up against them. They would encamp against them and devour the produce of the land, as far as Gaza, and leave no sustenance in Israel and no sheep or ox or donkey. For they would come up with their livestock and their tents; they would come like locusts in number—both they and their camels could not be counted—so that they laid waste the land as they came in. And Israel was brought very low because of Midian. And the people of Israel cried out for help to the Lord.  

Does that sound familiar? Foreigners in their own lands. Lands they rightfully conquered through the will of God for a group of people are then lost due to their own evil ways. Now consider the current American culture. After years of fighting the Muslims and talking against the rhetoric that we are the great Satan, I must admit that we truly are. Gays, transvestites, a one world, Babylonian culture; we are Sodom, Gomorrah, and Babel all wrapped in one neat package with a nice rainbow flag to further thumb our nose at God. We have lost our way and are being oppressed due to our own evil ways. 

But there is always hope. Even to those who worship false idols and laugh at God. There is hope for everyone who repents. Once the people have hit rock bottom, they will always cry out to God to help them. God always comes through. America will be the same. In the case of the Israelites oppression at the hands of the Midianites, God choose Gideon, a most unlikely of heroes to lead his Army. Three times an Angel appeared to him to proclaim that Gideon was a mighty warrior who would lead the Israelites to freedom from oppression. Gideon did not believe and kept doubting. But God had other plans.

The Lord said to Gideon, “The people with you are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hand, lest Israel boast over me, saying, ‘My own hand has saved me.’ Now therefore proclaim in the ears of the people, saying, ‘Whoever is fearful and trembling, let him return home and hurry away from Mount Gilead.’” Then 22,000 of the people returned, and 10,000 remained.

And the Lord said to Gideon, “The people are still too many. Take them down to the water, and I will test them for you there, and anyone of whom I say to you, ‘This one shall go with you,’ shall go with you, and anyone of whom I say to you, ‘This one shall not go with you,’ shall not go.” So he brought the people down to the water. And the Lord said to Gideon, “Every one who laps the water with his tongue, as a dog laps, you shall set by himself. Likewise, every one who kneels down to drink.” And the number of those who lapped, putting their hands to their mouths, was 300 men, but all the rest of the people knelt down to drink water. And the Lord said to Gideon, “With the 300 men who lapped I will save you and give the Midianites into your hand, and let all the others go every man to his home.” So the people took provisions in their hands, and their trumpets. And he sent all the rest of Israel every man to his tent, but retained the 300 men.

Why is it always 300? I can answer that.

The truth is that most men who make up a military unit are not true believers. They will quit as soon as they get a little bit uncomfortable or it gets a little hard. I know I keep coming back to this but it is important for you to understand. You can teach anyone how to change a magazine quickly, but you can’t teach a man to believe in his principles, have faith, and not quit even when it gets hard. There is a reason for Cole Range week during Ranger Indoctrination, Hell Week for Navy SEALS, and SFAS for Green Berets. It is to separate the 300 true believers from the 22,000 who talk a big game. And with those 300, Gideon won his land back. All glory went to God. It always should.

            So, why am I saying these things? I am saying this because I am not only a student of war, but I am a student of history. I recognize patterns. The Bible is our history, and it is all but forgotten in our teachings and studying these days. I am tired of writing about my military experience and thinking it will make a difference. It won’t. I can teach you to do a great mag change in under a second but what does it matter if you do not have the will to put it into action. Yes, people might get a kick out of the stories I tell and the knowledge I share. But it won’t matter until the masses have lost their pride and arrogance. Maybe then, we can look to the Bible for answers. In it we will find our principles which have been lost many years ago. Our principles will give us conviction and belief again. Belief will give us faith and faith will lead us to courage and action. Jesus's own brother, James, wrote about this in the New Testament. He wrote,

14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good[a] is that? 17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

18 But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! 20 Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; 23 and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God. 24 You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25 And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? 26 For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.

Faith without works is nothing. Prayer without action is dead. It is a dead, dying community. Just like the former USA.

To conclude, you must have faith to have a will to defend what you love. You must believe in something other than the nebulous philosophies of man. I can teach you how to be the best sniper since Carlos Hathcock, Adelbert Waldron III, or Chris Kyle. But what good is it if you, as a man, do not have principles? Think about it. Deeply. That is really all I have for tonight. Trust me, I have my demons. I am only a man, so I  tend to go to the dark. That is our nature. It is hard to live in the light. Ill go back to posting about light infantry tasks tomorrow. Stay hard. One shot, one kill. Raptor 2, out.