Good day Hard-Chargers!
So you’ve heard the term “firefight” however many don’t seem to understand what it truly entails. This is not an actual fire for those who take everything very literal, this is when enemy fighters are firing rounds at an infantry element.
From there the element returns fire, I’ve been asked a few times by friends and family what it’s like to get shot at, also what’s going through your mind during that current moment.
Now obviously the answer is going to very amongst grunts because we all have different experiences. I however get the feeling of excitement followed by a sensation of adrenaline and joy as the mind goes into attack mode.
I wouldn’t say that any Marine Corps Infantryman is scared, I’d more so say that you’re cautious of the unknown, as far as tactics that enemy fighters may use against American forces.
Even though adrenaline is high and your surrounding area is chaotic, you have to remember to remain calm and act as you’ve been trained.
I for one would maneuver my element and return fire, from there I’d give a POS REP to base giving them an assessment of the current situation. Most firefights last 30 to 90 seconds, during such incidents this can seem like eternity especially if you’re pinned down.
You train and train for months at a time, therefore when the opportunity presents itself you’re more than ready to capitalize and seize the moment.
(Of course once Positive Identification has been met)
You eat sleep and breathe this moment, hoping that it takes place in order to show what you’ve learned from seniors, team leaders and squad leaders.
Often wondering what it’s like to have rounds fly over your head and actually hear the zing, as it moves rapidly across the air. Of course that zing that you hear is because the round is spinning as it comes out of the chamber.
There are also times when you deploy to a combat zone and see no action at all, it’s relatively quiet and nothing happens as far as aggression from enemy fighters.
There are small instances where some infantrymen actually get very upset as they did not have the chance to fire rounds at enemy fighters.
When enemy fighters aren’t moving in the area, understand your individual patrol elements are doing a great job of displaying a show of force.
There are times when enemy fighters leave due your presence. Many go to combat zones without receiving the highly sought after combat action ribbon.No matter what you feel as far as emotions that take place, you have to react and either lead your element, or remain calm as the acting team leader is giving orders to close with and destroy the enemy.
Hope that clarifies a few things.
Isaac J. Hall II