Thursday, July 28, 2005

The General, Part II

Six months ago I wrote of my friend, Michael R. Jones, who had passed away and who had left a legacy which will long be remembered by all of his friends.

This week another of his friends, Randy S., announced the First Annual Mike Jones Memorial Classic Battle Rifle Match. This well be held August 13, 2005, at Tri-County Gun Club.

Rather than clutter up the announcement with my own proselytizing, I'll just present the entire email message. You will find that it not only describes the match and sets the background, it includes many accolades the the United States Marine Corps. Well deserved, and thank you, Randy, for including it. jB)

[NB: the following is the entire, unedited text of the announcement]

Sent: Thursday, July 28, 2005 12:08 AM
To: practical-rifle
Subject: [Practical-Rifle] Classic Battle Rifle Match August 13th! (Modern rifles welcome, too.)

Classic Battle Rifle Match

This match is intended to honor the memory of our friend and warrior, Mike Jones.

The Marines I have seen around the world have the cleanest bodies, the filthiest minds, the highest morale, and the lowest morals of any group of animals I have ever seen. Thank God for the United States Marine Corps!

Eleanor Roosevelt, First Lady of the United States, 1945

Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don't have that problem. Ronald Reagan, President of the United States; 1985

Marines I see as two breeds, Rottweilers or Dobermans, because Marines come in two varieties, big and mean, or skinny and mean. They're aggressive on the attack and tenacious on defense. They've got really short hair and they always go for the throat.

RAdm. "Jay" R. Stark, USN; 10 November 1995

On August 13th, 2005, Practical Rifle will have the first annual Mike Jones Memorial Classic Battle Rifle Match. As you know, Mike Jones was a former Marine and was active in practical pistol, tactical and practical rifle shooting at Tri-County Gun Club for decades, actively competing until his death at age 76 earlier this year. He was truly an inspiration to all shooters who begin to feel the effects of aging.

The Marine Corps was very important to Mike. Every year, on November 10th, Mike organized a get-together of former Marines to celebrate the Marine Corps birthday. In a movie, R. Lee Ermy once said, "Marines die, that's what we're here for, but the Marine Corps lives forever and that means you live forever."

Mike was a man of incredible depth, intelligence and experience. I remember once when we were having lunch together at a Chinese restaurant when Mike struck up a conversation with the restaurant owner in Mandarin Chinese! Mike will live forever in the memory of all of us who knew him well. If you are connected to the Marine Corps in any way, contact me so we can continue the birthday tradition that Mike Jones organized for so many years.

You may shoot this match with either a classic battle rifle or with a modern rifle. A trophy will be awarded to the top battle rifle, and plaques awarded to the 2-5th place battle rifles and top manually operated rifle. As usual, certificates will be handed out for the top ten, regardless of rifle type.

The Classic Battle Rifle is a military rifle that was manufactured and in service between the years of 1900 and 1945. For the purpose of this match rifles will be in unmodified service rifle configuration. There will be two categories: manually operated rifle and semi-automatic rifle.
NOTE: Modern rifles are welcome to compete in the Classic Battle match, but will be scored separately from the classics.

Examples of manually operated rifles are U.S. Springfield 03 or 03A3, Lee Enfield #1, #4, #5, any Mauser, Mosin/Nagant, Schmidt/Rubin K-31, etc. Examples of semi-automatics are U.S. M-1 Garand, 30 carbine SVT-40, G-41, Johnson Automatic, etc. I believe the SKS fits this description but the AK does not.

This match will use only cardboard targets. Therefore, our usual ban against steel-core or steel-jacketed ammo will not be enforced, as there are no steel targets to damage.

This match requires 76 rounds to complete if you don’t miss. Bring 84 if you plan to miss any shots. I don’t think anything will be over 50 yards.

Below are the stages as I envision them so far. They are subject to change, but I thought you’d want to see them in their draft form.

Classic Battle Rifle Match stages:

All targets are cardboard so steel core ammo is okay for this match only.

Stage One – Eight cardboard targets are 25-50 yards out. Two “step” barricades are placed 10 yards apart, with one 5 yards ahead of the other. Each barricade has five possible shooting ports. You must take at two shots only from only four different shooting ports at each barricade. Each target must have two scoring hits to be neutralized.

Score is your time, plus 10 second penalty added for each target not neutralized, plus 10 seconds for each procedural (less than four ports, or less than two shots from a port, or more than two shots from a port, etc.)

Stage Two – A table will be set up near the starting point so the next shooter can load and make ready while facing the rock wall (with the supervision of an auxiliary range officer.) On signal, you will run to each of 12 shooting areas and engage one target from each area. You must use any available cover. Each target must have two scoring hits to be neutralized. Extra shots are okay.

Score is time plus 10 seconds added for each target not neutralized and 10 seconds added for each failure to use available cover. (To avoid penalty for failure to use cover, do not expose your nipples to the targets.)

All targets will be quite close (5-15 yards). RO and scorekeeper will score and tape while returning to start position. Next shooter will be loaded at prep table, waiting for RO to return.

Stage Three – Eight targets face you at about 35 yards away. From standing, you will hit each target one time only from a standing position, move to a kneeling position, reload, and hit each target once more, then move to a prone position, reload again and hit each target a third time.

Score is your time, plus ten seconds for each target that has more or less than three scoring hits. Failure to reload when required is another 10 second penalty added to your time. If you have a bolt action, or any gun with a capacity less than eight, you may reload only when necessary, without penalty.

Stage Four – Start position is standing, fully loaded, behind a large barricade with six different shooting ports, numbered 1-6. On signal, you will pick up the two dice from inside a box, and roll them, inside the box. You will shoot the single target that faces you with one shot from each of the shooting ports designated by the dice. Repeat this sequence for a total of six times, shooting only 12 shots at the target.

Score is your time, plus penalty of ten seconds added for each hit more or less than twelve hits on the target, and each procedural, such as shooting from the wrong port, shooting more than one shot from port (unless you roll doubles), failing to remove finger from trigger guard while moving, etc.

The Marine as seen by.........


A Stout, Handsome, Highly-Trained Professional Killer and Female Idol, who wears a star sapphire ring, carries a finely honed K-Bar, is covered with a crisp cammie cover, and is always on time due to the reliability of his Seiko Diver's Watch.

His Wife:

A stinking, gross, foul mouthed bum, who arrives home every 6 months or so with a seabag full of filthy utilities, a huge ugly watch, an oversized knife, and a filthy hat.

Headquarters Marine Corps:

A drunken Brawling, HMMWV stealing, women corrupting liar, with a star sapphire ring, Seiko watch, unauthorized K-Bar, and a screwed up cover.

His Commanding Officer:

A fine specimen of a drunken Brawling, HMMWV stealing, women corrupting bullshitter, with a star sapphire ring, fantastically accurate Seiko watch, finely honed razor sharp K-Bar, and a salty cammie cover.


An over paid, over-rated, tax burden, who is however, indispensable since he will volunteer to go anywhere, at any time, and kill whoever he is told to, as long as he can, drink, brawl, steal HMMWV's, corrupt women, kick cats, lie, sing dirty songs, wear filthy cammies, big sapphire rings, over-sized knives, Seiko watches and really screwed up covers.

Ronald Reagan, former President of the United States:

"Some people live an entire lifetime and wonder if they have ever made a difference in the world, but the Marines don't have that problem. "

General Douglas MacArthur, U.S. Army:

". . . these Marines have the swagger, confidence, and hardness that must have been in Stonewall Jackson's Army of the Shenandoah. They remind me of the Coldstreams at Dunkerque."

Admiral Chester Nimitz, U.S. Navy, of the Marine Corps battle for Iwo Jima:

"Uncommon valour was a common virtue"

General Douglas MacArthur, US Army:

"I have just returned from visiting the Marines at the front, and there is not a finer fighting organization in the world!"

Lieutenant Colonel T.R. Fehrenbach, US Army in "This Kind of War":

"The man who will go where his colors will go, without asking, who will fight a phantom foe in a jungle and mountain range, without counting, and who will suffer and die in the midst of incredible hardship, without complaint, is still what he has always been, from Imperial Rome to sceptered Britain to Democratic America. He is the stuff of which legions are made. His pride is his colors and his regiment, his training hard and thorough and coldly realistic, to fit him for what he must face, and his obedience is to his orders. As a legionaire, he held the gates of civilization for the classical world... today he has been called United States Marine."

An Anonymous Canadian Citizen:

"Marines are about the most peculiar breed of human beings I have ever witnessed. They treat their service as if it was some kind of cult, plastering their emblem on almost everything they own, making themselves up to look like insane fanatics with haircuts to ungentlemanly lengths, worshipping their Commandant almost as if he was a god, and making weird animal noises like a band of savages. They'll fight like rabid dogs at the drop of a hat just for the sake of a little action, and are the cockiest SOB's I have ever known. Most have the foulest mouths and drink well beyond man's normal limits, but their high spirits and sense of brotherhood set them apart and, generally speaking, of the United States Marines I've come in contact with, are the most professional soldiers and the finest men I have had the pleasure to meet. "

General Pershing, U.S. Army:

"The deadliest weapon in the world is a Marine and his rifle! "

General Mark Clark, U. S. Army:

"The more Marines I have around the better I like it! "

General Johnson, U. S. Army:

"I can never again see a United States Marine without experiencing a feeling of reverence. "

Richard Harding Davis, war correspondent (1885):

"The Marines have landed, and the situation is well in hand. "

An Anonymous U.S. Marine:

"I recently attended a Kansas City Chiefs football game at Arrowhead Stadium. It was their annual Veteran's day salute so members of all the services were asked to participate in the festivities.

A color guard for the National Anthem was provided by the Buffalo Soldiers Association. They looked very sharp in their 1800's era U.S. Army Cavalry uniforms. Following that the U.S. Navy parachute team put on an impressive display that brought great cheers from the 78,000 football fans in attendance. Shortly after that we were treated to the truly awesome sight of an Air Force B-2 Stealth bomber flyover as well as a few other aircraft. All of these sights were truly appreciated by the crowd (especially the B-2) who let it be known by their cheers. I expected that was all that we would see of the Military that day.

I thought we would see a high school or college marching band during halftime. Few watch these shows anyway because they have to use the head or grab another beer (or two) during the intermission.

Shortly before half time, however, I looked down on the sidelines near the end zone and saw the Silent Drill Platoon forming up. As the halftime started the players left the field and the announcer came on the public address system and advised us of the Platoons performance. Many of us Marines have seen these performances in the past and they are always awe-inspiring. I did not expect that the large "civilian" crowd of football fans would be as appreciative of the Silent Drill Platoon as they had been of the high-tech B-2, or the daring of the Navy parachute team. I however was on the edge of my seat. As the Platoon marched onto the field it was very noticeable that the crowd was growing quieter. Soon the Platoon was fully into their demonstration and the stadium was silent.

From high in the stands upper reaches where my seats were I was able to hear the "snap and pop" of hand striking rifle. Both big screen scoreboards displayed close ups of the Marines as they went through their routine. As they completed their platoon demonstration and lined up for the inspection the crowd began cheering as the Marines twirled their rifles in impossible fashion. Then came the inspection. Again the crowd fell silent and watched intently as rifles were thrown, caught, twirled, inspected and thrown some more. Each well practiced feat brought a "wow" or "did you see that?" from those sitting behind me or next to me.

I sat there in my silent pride as I watched my brother Marines exit the field. A young girl behind me asked her mother a question about how the Marines learn to do the things they just did. The mother replied "They practice long and hard and they're Marines, so they're the best."

Semper Fidelis!!!

I hope to see you all at the range!


An Armed Society is a Polite Society

No comments: