Posts Tagged ‘M-16’

I know I haven’t posted a full blog update since two weekends ago, but let’s be serious here, I work on about 5 hours of sleep a night. I need to catch up on sleep during the weekends, not write a blog. That being said, If you haven’t already, become a fan on Facebook – DO IT! There are much more frequent updates there since I can send updates from my phone during the week! Also, check out photo’s from throughout the week at my Flickr Page, it’s updated every time I get some wifi access.

I’m going to try to quickly summarize last week since it wasn’t all that much different from the first week with a few big exceptions. I got switched to a different tzevet (unit) at the beginning of the week. I felt terrible about it at first and was in a REALLY bad mood the first couple days. I’m still not happy about it but I’m dealing with it – mainly because I’ve already argued a lot with the higher ups and don’t think they’ll switch me back. assholes.

I wouldn’t have minded the switch so much if they had switched me to another good unit. The unit they switched me to though has a horrible mefakedit (commander) and some of the guys are pure jackasses. One of the Russian’s in the tzevet is currently in jail for the week because he doesn’t listen to ANYTHING that they tell him. He clearly doesn’t want to be there, and he makes it very known. Another of the children (and that’s what he is, a child) in the group is named Tal. I would hate Tal even more than Euvgeny (the Russian) but he’s just too dumb to know any better. He clearly either has something wrong with him or he was just dropped on his head as a baby a few too many times…

I remember writing in a previous post that my original tzevet (tzevet tesha) wasn’t that great, but they seem like pure gold compared to this one. I still haven’t fully decided whether to join in the buffoonery or just to be better than them – right now I’m doing a little of both. I’ve sorta joined the ranks of two other kids in Tzevet Chamesh (unit 5), Yaakov and David.

David and Yaakov both know a bit more Hebrew than I do and I don’t understand why they’re in this unit either. We’ve come to the conclusion that they placed us here to “babysit” the others (my adopted dad suggested the same). We yell at the others to do things so that we don’t get in trouble. If one person is late, we’re all doing push-ups. As much as I like exercise, I really don’t appreciate being punished for what someone else screwed up. I’ve begun to drag Tal around, sometimes physically pulling and pushing. He really is just a dumb oaf, he acts like he’s 4, so I treat him as such.

The one high point of the week was when we had “sport time”. We had some competitions with the other Tzevet’s in our Machlakah (platoon?). Let’s just say that we completely dominated the opposition. We ran faster, did better push ups and to put it quite frankly: we kicked their asses. I guess the hard work pays off a little bit. Our mefakedit was actually smiling (we’ve been keeping track of how many times we get her to smile – currently at 37 [that’s for 3 weeks 24/5]).

Enough of that week. It wasn’t worth a whole blog post anyways – no wonder why I didn’t write about it. Onto this week which was a whole lot more interesting!

The first day at Mikveh Alon was a lot like any other, run here, run there, do pushups because we messed something up, eat for 10 minutes somewhere in between. The day after that we left for the “shetach” (outdoors). After checking on my cellphone (thanks google maps!), I found out that we were right next to the Golani Brigade‘s base. It looked like we were in the middle of no where. And we really were. We set up “oileem” (tents) and put all our stuff inside them. We learned a lot about our guns again and finally had time to eat. Our tzevet got handed a small, sealed cardboard box and a loaf of bread. Hmmm, what could be inside this box?!?!

The campsite

Inside that box is what we’d be eating for three meals a day for two and a half days straight. Three cans of tuna, a can of beans, a can of corn, a can of pineapple, a few ketchup and mustard packets and a little bar of halava. YUM! Let’s just say I had the most disgusting farts of my life for two and a half days. gross! It wasn’t great food, but it was filling – and I’m sure that’s what it’s supposed to be. Cheap, nutritional and filling: who care’s about taste?!?!

Our stomach’s all full of this disgusting concoction we headed over to the shooting range. The first time we shot all we did was shoot at a target meant to help us zero (calibrate) our guns. Mine was a bit down and to the left (that’s what she said) and so some guy helped me to reset it even though I already knew how… pretty self explanatory for someone with an above 5th grade education.

After zeroing my gun, let’s just keep it simple and say I’d make a great hitman. Every time I shot I was within a 3 cm spread from 25 yards, and about 4 cm from 50 yards, and that’s with a plain iron sight – no scopes here. All day long we ran around and waited to shoot again. We shot a lot while in the shetach, usually only 5 rounds at a time, but we got to go around 10 times or so. It was a great introduction to the gun. I think I’ve gotten a little addicted to the smell of gunpowder in the air.

Each bullet that exits the barrel you get a little whiff of gunpowder, and I can say from experience that it definitely stimulates that killer instinct within. A slight burning sensation in your nostrils, it’s like injecting a shot of espresso into your veins. Shot after shot, I re-aimed and fired – only after breathing out all of the air in my lungs to stabilize my body. Bullet after bullet hit the target – even though I couldn’t see the bullet holes (my sight isn’t anywhere near perfect) I knew they all were grouped together.

Sharpshooter?

We shot at night as well learning how to use just the end sight and the handle of the gun to aim instead of aiming through the main sight. It’s much less accurate when shooting like this, but it’s impossible to aim the same way as you do during the day due to the lack of light. Even with shooting like this I still managed to hit the target every time – not a nice grouping, but it would get the job done.

After sleeping in our tent for the night packed in like sardines since we had to squish three of us into our tent (there weren’t enough tents for everyone to have two-to-a-tent) we arose to a wet morning. It had rained a bit, not a crazy amount, but enough to get some people’s stuff wet through the tent. Another day of shooting and eating crappy food. It was fun shooting again, we got to shoot from a crouched position and standing instead of just a prone position. Good stuff. Towards the end of the day everyone was getting worried because of the ominous clouds gathering overhead. It was gonna be a storm… and a big one. As our mefakedit’s were wasting time as usual I was getting impatient and telling her we had to run. Sure enough, on the way back from getting our stuff out of the tents it started DOWN-POURING. It was like standing under a waterfall. I sprinted as fast as I could to cover and other people slowly started showing up soaking wet. I was happy I had sprinted as fast as I could since I wasn’t as wet as a lot of people.

it got a little wet...

I wasn’t very happy with the commanders and I let it be known, they had us stacking our wet stuff together instead of hanging it. They had us lining up in formations instead of separating our dry and wet clothes. The Israeli’s don’t get much rain so I guess I can’t blame them for not knowing how to handle it… Eventually the MM (head of the platoon) came and yelled at us and basically called us little girls. Either way, they knew they had screwed up and took us to the Golani Brigade’s base to sleep there for the night. We all slept in the gymnasium.

Golani Brigade's Gym

The next day everything was absolutely soaked. We took down our tents and for the rest of the day we sat around cleaning and reassembling our guns. I’m sure we were supposed to be doing something else if not for the rain because we’ve already learned how to take apart our guns a couple times. Nevertheless, it was just more practice.

1 1/2 minutes to take apart and reassemble - I'm a beast I know.

Finally we got on a bus to head back to base which everyone fell asleep for the whole hour and a half ride. Upon our return I had the pleasure of experiencing some of the thickest fog I’ve ever seen, it was quite surreal. The base didn’t seem like the same place, it was as if we had entered into a fairy tale landscape. Everything with it’s halo’s of light around it and soft tones created a magical view.

Thursday morning we found out that we would be heading home that afternoon! Great news considering we also would be having off Sunday. A real full weekend off!!! We did the same as normal the rest of the day other than one good speech that our MM gave us. We went over basic protocol’s of dealing with a suspected terrorist/enemy. As I’ve said repeatedly, Israel is the friendliest of armies in the world until you get on their bad side. They really give you the benefit of the doubt. We learned that while dealing with someone while on guard duty, you must follow this protocol:

  1. Tell them to stop in both hebrew and arabic
  2. if they don’t stop you say three times in hebrew and arabic “STOP STOP STOP, OR I WILL SHOOT”
  3. If they still don’t stop, you cock your gun twice without a magazine in place which makes a loud distinctive clicking noise.
  4. if after this they still don’t stop, you fire one round into the air.
  5. after this you shoot them in the leg. seriously,  if you’ve been given that many chances you deserve to be shot.

The only time when it’s valid to shoot them before telling them to stop is if they have a weapon. Gun or Knife and they’re running towards you, you shoot them in the leg. If they’re still aiming a gun at you while they’re down, that’s the only time you’re allowed to shoot-to-kill. Hopefully this will dispel any crazy stories that people have of soldiers just wildly shooting.

On a softer note, I’ve had two great nights of sleep and tonight I’ll be heading into Haifa to hang out with a girl I met a couple weeks ago. Tomorrow (Sunday) I’m going to Tel Aviv to buy some things and get my bank card. I’ll also visit the Hayarkon 48, the hostel I stayed at before the army to see the people I know there.

Till next time – peace out homeslices.

p.s. there won’t be a blog update next weekend since we’re not getting off… two weeks on base ugh. Keep updated through Facebook!

Advertisements

So after a little over a week of being in the army and having two weekends off (since we started on a Wednesday) I’ve finally begun to get into the groove of how everything works. Bakum ended up being EXACTLY like what everyone told me it would be like. Four shots of who know’s what immunizations that made my arm sore for two days, lots of pictures, X-rays and fingerprints. All the imaging was for in case we get some random part of our body blown off – which is pretty much the exact words they used when I asked what it was for… very comforting. We received ID card’s and dog tags, but obviously only after a bajillion more questions that I’ve already answered numerous times before. Bakum was just a long day of BLAAHHHHH. Beyond all the tedious tasks, I did meet some cool people that day that I still see around and talk to at the base, so the time there wasn’t a complete waste. The next week, starting on Sunday morning, was when everything really started up.

My Hebrew obviously isn’t anywhere near sufficient to be a soldier but it’s growing by leaps and bounds everyday. Knowing that the little area in my brain called the left temporal lobe is terrible at comprehending language I’ve been surprised by how quickly I’m picking up words and sayings. From a young age I’ve always been terrible with language; I couldn’t tell the difference between a “b” and “d” – true story. The schools also told my parents to stop teaching me Swedish because I couldn’t tell the difference between Swedish and English – true story. Knowing this, I still jumped off the high dive into the Israeli Army instead of the US Army. I’m what you’d call a “mefager” in hebrew – a damned retard.

I'm too sexy... I'm too sexy... I'm too sexy for my beret?

Speaking of the US Army – I realize now that I would completely dominate it. Other than my lack of Hebrew skill I’m excelling beyond nearly everyone else at every other aspect of the Army. Our first physical test I maxed out the push ups and sit-ups. I came in 4th in the 2 km run. 76 push ups, 88 sit-ups and about a 9 minute run later I felt like I could do it all over again. Taking apart our M-16 A1 I had no problem taking it apart and reassembling it in under a minute and a half. Clearly I realize I’m tooting my own horn a bit, but for those of you who know me – that’s not something new. The Army has humbled me quiet a bit however, mostly due to my lack of language skills. I need to listen more than speak and I rely more on my skill of understanding than my skill of smack talk. Smack talk is reserved for Adam – my friend, army pal and blog nemesis. Adam if you’re reading this, your blog sucks – come to the dark side.

The M-16 I took apart is an old piece of crap from the Vietnam War that the US basically handed to Israel during the Yom Kippur War. Apparently the US sold them for a buck a piece. Hell I would have bought a couple hundred myself for that price. We’ve had to lug the old thing around the whole past week – you forget it somewhere and you’re screwed. I like my M-16 though, her names ShaNayNay – she’s big and she’s black (meh, I thought it was clever when we were all naming our “neshakeem” aka weapons). Apparently the “onesh” or punishment for forgetting it is automatic shabbat – basically meaning you don’t get the weekend off. Considering next weekend is New Years – I’m holding onto that thing like a fat kid to his cake this week.

man I wish this was an M-16!

ShaNayNay is heavy and a royal pain in the arse to run with but she/it’s also the coolest thing we’ve gotten our gritty hands on so I guess it’s worth it. This coming week we’ll be doing target practice with lasers??? Whatever, I guess I came to the army just to go to a high tech LazerTron. Apparently we’ll be doing live shooting in two weeks though – I’m really looking forwards to that, mostly because I know I’m gonna be awesome at it and it’ll make up for the fact that everyone else in my unit knows more Hebrew than I do.

ma baby girl

Tzevet Tesha – or Unit 9 is my unit. A bunch of freaks, but I love em. Tzevet Tesha is made up of: a couple of Ruski’s that speak barely any English, a Ukrainian kid Demetri who’s speaks English and quite a bit of Hebrew, a chill Venezualan named Josh who speaks English, Spanish and Hebrew, a Brasillian, and a few Americans. I get along with everyone pretty well even though some of them can be complete idiot’s sometimes. I just don’t think they’ve realized they’re in the Army yet. I’ll update on my unit more as I get to know them better. I’m trying to keep an open mind… key word is trying.

“Trying” is the name of the game during training in the IDF, as I’m sure is the same in most other civilized armies in the world as well. They don’t really care if you’re number 1 or not – they’d rather see that you’re motivated and putting your effort into the game. I call it a game because that’s really all that “tironut” or training is. Tironut is glorified pledging all over again.

I pledged a fraternity in college (won’t name which one, but you can probably guess) which didn’t have an “I’m gonna beat the shit out of you” hazing process – but it also wasn’t all rainbows and sunshine either. Eating gross stuff, push ups, sit-ups, wall sits, running, getting yelled at – that sort of harmless stuff. And I say harmless because although I recognize that it technically is hazing I really don’t think it affected me adversely in any way. What I do believe is that it made me a stronger person mentally and physically. It also prepared me for how I’d be treated during the Army.

All day long we get barked at by 20-25 year old women who clearly have some inanimate object stuck far up their asses. EVERYTIME we move somewhere we have to count down from 10 in Hebrew the last 10 seconds of the time we were allotted. Otherwise it’s pushups and running. Or maybe it’s just running for the sake of running. Or maybe it’s pushups because they purposely didn’t give us enough time to get to where we were supposed to be going. I think you can understand where I’m going with this. If you don’t get it, it’s probably because you haven’t pledged or haven’t served in the Army. I won’t say you’re better off, because I know pledging was interesting and the Army sure as hell seems entertaining enough.

More entertaining is what happened this weekend. This weekend I went to another kibbutz with one the soldiers from my kibbutz called Maagen Michael which is supposed to be the nicest in the country. The stories are true. This place was amazing. It’s made all of it’s money off of some plastic factory that makes toilet parts – random. Whatever they do, they do it right. They’re a 10 minute walk from the beach, there are crazy exotic plants growing everywhere and the food is FANTASTIC. Best thing is, if you live there – you don’t pay for didily squat, it’s a kibbutz. Long story short Elan (my friend) and I passed out cold before we went to the party were were supposed to go to there. We slept around 14 hours – I really needed it. Shit happens, oh well. I met some more cool people though and Josh from my Tzevet lives there so I got to meet up with him. I met a Jewish, Swedish girl who just made aliyah and speaks Hebrew… WTF? For friends of mine, you know It was like seeing myself but in hot girl form. All in all, a relaxing interesting weekend even though I missed out on a party – there’s always next weekend that’s already in the planning…

Maagen Michael

I have to wake up in about 5 hours to get back to the Army tomorrow so I’m gonna cut this entry a little short. I have some other things written down that I had wanted to write about but I guess they’ll either just have to go on Facebook or wait till next weekend. I created a Flickr page for my phone pictures so check that out in the meanwhile (there’s only a few for now). Sorry guys I know how much you want to read about my awesome 19 hour pledge fests, but I have another one to prepare for tomorrow so it’ll have to wait.

L’hetraot” (See you later)