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 that element begins to fire back, 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.
The answer to this question can vary from grunt to grunt because we all have different mind sets, I however get the feeling of excitement. I also get the sensation of adrenaline pumping mixed with joy and my mind is currently in attack mode. I wouldn’t say anyone is necessarily scared, I’d more so say that you’re curious of the unknown, as far as tactics that enemy fighters may use as we oppose our will.
From there I began to assess the situation as far as how I want to maneuver my element, do I want to run skirmisher formation, echelon, or remain in a column. As I asses, I call the formation and return fire with certain weapons, it could be squad automatic, 203’s, M-4 rifles or even call for fire in order to have ordnance dropped on enemy target.
Even though adrenaline is pumping and you got a bit of chaos around you, 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.
Most coward enemy fighters will give a few pop shots and haul ass on their motorbikes.
Then again some fighters will stand their ground and duke it out until they meet their demise.
You train and train for months at a time, so when the opportunity presents itself, you’re going to capitalize on the moment and slay as many fuckers as you can. (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. You often wonder 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 goes on. In incidents like these do infantrymen act out as Jake Gyllenhaal did in the movie -Jar Head, when he never got his chance….
Some maybe, others understand there are times when enemy fighters leave the area due to our presence. Many go to combat zones and don’t receive 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 as the team leader, or remain calm as team leader is giving orders to close with and destroy the enemy. Hope that clarifies a few things.
-Isaac Semper Fidelis