Chief Knote: On Observation

Dear Warrior,
I was at your Best Warrior train up/selection range last week and I observed you do something that I felt was worth commenting on.


You had a Failure to Fire. I observed you smash the magazine violently into the magazine well with 3 good strikes. I observed you retract the charging handle like you were trying to RIP the handle off. In the process, likely out of muscle memory you locked the bolt to the rear and slammed the charging handle back forward. Remember this later. From my vantage point, I did not observe an ejection. I did observe you briefly flip the rifle sideways and cock your head in the general direction of the ejection port, at which point you slapped the bolt release, desperately smashed the forward assist, pointed the rifle in the general direction of the target, and ripped back on the trigger like an artillery piece…
And, nothing happened.


You, my Warrior, failed to Observe. You failed to observe the indicators of failure in the cycle of operation.
In this case, your first clue being the failed ejection. Apparently, you did not observe the lack of ejection, so, where is it? Is it still in the chamber? Is there even any ammunition in the magazine?


Failure to observe a failed Ejection will likely result in a failure to Feed, and definitely a failure to Lock. Failure to observe a failed Extraction will only devolve into an assortment of problems. If the magazine still contains cartridges, the bolt carrier will attempt to Feed another round into a chamber currently occupied. If you are lucky, it will end up tip up and simply halt, hopefully calling attention to itself and its buddy still stuck in your chamber.


Remember the point earlier about the bolt locked to the rear? With the bolt back and the charging handle forward you’ve created the opportunity for the cartridge to hop up and get caught tail up, in the underside of the charging handle and just atop the bolt lugs. Congratulations you’ve just given yourself a bolt override… easy enough to fix as long as you don’t panic, use a “something” like a sturdy pen, inserted through the ejection port, against the bolt face to move the BCG to the rear without pulling on the charging handle.


If you did observe the failed Extraction, you will need to recognize that you are done with immediate action, and now must execute remedial action.


You need to understand the cycle of operation, and you need to be observant during the Observe step of Immediate Action. Failure to observe which stage within the cycle of operation has failed will lead to more problems.
In your case, my Warrior, your bolt had not locked to the rear on an empty magazine. You were out of rounds. Fortunately for you, you had completed your qualification table.


Yours Sincerely,
Chief Knote
“Kan du alltid slå merke til deg (May you always hit your mark)”

SFC Brad Griffith: Training during COVID-19

Training during COVID-19
by Sgt. 1st Class Brad Griffith

As we move deeper into quarantine and further away from normal, there is a tremendous opportunity for growth and learning. We could spend this time to “Netflix and chill,” or we could look for ways to make ourselves more capable.

All Army Reserve Battle Assemblies have canceled for March and April. So much has changed in how we teach, train, and view basic Soldier skills that this is a perfect time for you to catch up on any the changes you may have missed. Below you will find a few ideas on how to come back from the break sharper than ever.
The ARMU Resources site is packed with content to stay sharp while you’re shut in. Spend some time getting smart on the new Individual Weapon Qualification (IWQ) that takes effect on 01 OCT 2020 or becoming more familiar with current doctrinal Preliminary Marksmanship Instruction and Evaluation (PMI&E). Still preaching Steady Position, Aiming, Breathing, and Trigger Squeeze, or SPORTS? You need to visit ARMU Resources ASAP!
https://www.usar.army.mil/Commands/Functional/ARMU/Resources/

The Army Reserve Marksman Newsletter also has helpful articles:
https://www.usar.army.mil/Commands/Functional/ARMU/Resources/ARMnews/

This is also a good time to plan a Postal Match:
https://www.usar.army.mil/Commands/Functional/ARMU/Resources/PostalMatch/
The transition from the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) to the Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT) has been one of the highest training priorities across the Army for over a year. The ACFT resources site has all the information you need to know about the test and tons of resources to stay fit while stuck at home. Come back ready to crush the test by visiting the ACFT resources site. The last day to take an APFT for record was 15 March 2020. So if you’re not ready for the ACFT, it’s time to hit up the ACFT resources site.
https://www.army.mil/acft/