Day two. "This is what the army is all about," shouted Lt. colonel David Reid.
Time for the Texas Tech ROTC cadets to get down to business. "Lower yourself into the fox hole," booms a voice over a loud speaker.
|Texas Tech ROTC - Part 1|
Before target practice there is calibration. Making sure sights are true. "Put three rounds in the magazine," says the voice from above. With live ammunition, every movement is ordered. Safety comes first, a message sergeants drill home any way they please, as is illustrated with the smack of a soldiers helmet. Finally, it's time to unload.
After a momentary break to see where the bullets are landing. "I'm shooting down to the right," said Cadet John Parrish. And some advice from Cadet Rami Pechacek, "Basically its just breathing," she said. It's time to shoot again.
"You have perfect sight," said one cadet to another. "Things are looking pretty good, I moved my sight up and things are right on," said Parrish. Right on, and ready for the big time.
This is target practice. A massive range over 200 yards long and twice as wide. "Climb back down into the fox hole," boomed the voice. Here too, every movement is orchestrated, freedom coming only with the order to fire.
"I did ok," said cadet VanKleeck, "I hit 18 out of 40 targets, less than 50%."
"We're out here because this is what the Army is all about," said Lt. Colonel Reid.
"We deal in weapons and this allows the cadets to get familiar with weapons and learn those leadership skills," he said.
Next, the cadets will head to the grenade launching range, but not before..."What's this!," shouts Lt. Colonel Reid, picking up a spent shell. Every single casing must be accounted for, otherwise, if the Colonel finds one in an area you said was clean, it's a hundred push ups. "You're up to two hundred!," he barked. Fortunately, today he's feeling lenient. "Ok, your back even," he smiled.
At the end of the day, medals for marksmanship, and by the end of the weekend, a sense of accomplishment, of independence woven with teamwork. This is the Texas Tech ROTC.