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December 25, 2010 12:25 pm

The Lone Soldier Week 8 – Raw and rugged from Israel’s front lines.

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The Lone Soldier.

Sunday morning found us promptly packing our kitbags, ephods (guns) mattresses and sleeping bags into the back of the truck, heading out of the base that we had been staying at for the last three months. This time, it was for the last time.  We were to be moving to the base down the road to start our advanced training.  What was to follow has gotta be  the most fun weeks I had had yet.

The next day everyone was to find out what their specific job, or specialty, was within their kita.  These include either being a ‘negevist’ (machine gunner), ‘magist’ (even heavier machine gunner), ‘cala’ (sharpshooter), radio man, ‘metador’ (rocket launcher), you get the idea.  I was given ‘cala,’ which means I was chosen to be one of the sharpshooters. Later that day, a bunch of us go down to the local arsenal to sign in the new guns we’d be recieving.  The M-4 with a trigicon scope with night vision.

It was a great scene, the lot of us walking back to the barracks with our new pieces.  The ‘negevists’ with their huge machine guns, and the ‘matolists’ with their M-4 with a grenade launcher attached.

This week we each had to master our weapon of specialty.  Later that day we headed back to our old base where all the shooting ranges are.  We would be sleeping barely twenty feet from the ranges under a ‘tzilia’ (material suspended by poles) on a sleeping bag on the bare ground.  Before the practical training, us ‘cala’s had an intense rundown on everything we had to know about shooting with a trigicon and a night scope.  We studies how to measure how far a target is from you, at exactly what distances the bullet travels up and down so you know where to aim, how to adjust the scope to your eye, and how to shoot moving targets.

Early next morning, we hit the ranges.

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We shot at targets up to three hundred meters.  With considerable ease, as we had a trigicon with a 4x zoom.  We could shoot balloons blowing in the wind.  We shot targets with balooons attached to them while trying not to shoot the balloons.  We shot at targets while our friends held them as they walked.

But, don’t worry, they where walking in a trench.

‘Best was when we brought tables and benches out to the shooting range and just sat and shot.

Of course, every exercise done at day we had to do at night, as well.  And let me tell you, the night vision is incredible.  Only a little different as here you have to put your eye right up against the scope, but you’re in massive trouble if you lose that piece.

So we were shooting all day for a week straight; eating field food and sleeping outside under the ‘tzilia.’  And at the end of the week we were tested, both in theory and practical.

Returning at the end of the week to my room, I couldn’t help feeling like a trained killer.
What does that feel like?

I can’t explain.

Lone Soldier

The Lone Soldier column is a weekly diary of a new recruit to the Israel Defense Forces following his time in service and beyond.

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