Several weeks ago I got to spend an afternoon at the range with a group of ROTC cadets. We ran the range and provided the weapons. The cadets had the opportunity to fire smooth bore flintlock muskets, percussion cap rifles, 1903 Springfields, and M-1 Garands. There is a sense of reaching back and touching history when you get to fire these old rifles, and you wonder where they have been and what stories they hold. There is also the sense of seeing the future when you see a young cadet in a modern uniform and helmet firing a Garand into a target at 100 yards.

History is a guide to navigation in perilous times. History is who we are and why we are the way we are.
–David C. McCullough


3 thoughts on “ROTC

  1. Didn't get to spend time with Cadets but our youth day was a blast.

    What struck me was how uncommon it was to see an older generation mentoring a younger generation like they did that day.

    It really is becoming out of fashion to do things like that. Only a few places still do, certain industries (automotive for example) certain organizations (Scouting) and certain hobbies (shooting).

    I think that shows the difference in value systems quite well. On one side we have gangs acting as mentors and on the other we have responsible men and women doing so.

    Great job in passing on the skills, abilities and traditions to another generation.

  2. And I'll bet they will remember it for a LONG time… Thanks for taking the time and helping them learn their history by touching and shooting it!

  3. We had our club's annual “Tribute to Fallen Heroes” shoot yesterday. Any US service rifle is permitted and it uses the Garand Match format.

    A majority of the participants are Vets and we had a small number of active duty guys come out too.

    I had to work the bolt quickly to get my 10 shots off in 1 minute with a reload stages. The bolts usually win the match and it was true again this year. Though a Garand made it into the top three. The AR's stumbled at the long range but did well during the close (100 yard) range rapid fire. I think it suprised some of the younger guys well those old 30 caliber rifles do.

    One of these days I'd like to show up with an 1873 Springfield. It would be interesting to see if I could get all my shots off within the time limit during rapid fire. One thing for sure is that the holes would be a lot easier to see.

    Great fun. Enjoyed your post.

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