Monday, August 29, 2011

Mule Go 'Round

Here's a bit of video I took as we circled the mules one day before stepping off on another leg of our 6-day field excursion:

Once the Mules and Marines were in proper train order, we moved out.

I Got the Mountain Feevah, and the Only Cure is More Mule Sketches!

I was going through my sketchbook this morning, and found some more sketches I'd done in the Animal Packers Course at MWTC out in Bridgeport, CA. I figured it's always best to post them:
Sketches of the Sawbuck saddle & notes from class on the Basket Hitch

Mule with a Mantee Load tied using a Basket Hitch

 Jimmy the Mule

 Saddlin' Up and a sketch of Panniers in a Box Hitch

 Saddlin' Up!

 Race! Marine rushing to get his .50 Cal tied up and then put on the mule during a squad competition (and me, rushing to draw him before he ran off!).

Marines talking while in bivouac out in MWTC.

Sunday, August 28, 2011


More sketches from the rifle range...

Saturday, August 27, 2011


Here are a few moments from ART 6-11, the Rifle Range I was a part of recently... This is Target Point 27, 2nd Relay (I was Target Point 27, 1st Relay):
This is during the "Stage One, 200 Yard Line Slow Fire (Sitting Position)..."

Table 2 Course of Fire was completed Thursday and Friday. This entailed a different type of shooting, to make the Marine involved a more well-rounded and competent shooter, capable of firing the weapon accurately and confidently in combat.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

"Rapid Fire" Sketches on the Range

Marine in the 200 yard Slow Fire Kneeling Position

Here are a couple more dashed-off ink sketches I did on the rifle range during ART (Annual Rifle Training):

They're a bit rough, as I was using pen without any preliminary pencil lines to denote shapes, edges and proportions (and the Marines would move every several seconds), but they turned out OK...
Marine firing in the 200 yard Slow Fire Standing Position (we used to call it the "Offhand"position)
 I had originally planned to spend more time sketching Marines firing, but my mind seemed more focused on what I had to do to score well on the range (I got a 221 Expert today, and now have to qualify Friday on the "Table 2" course of fire in order to see if I maintain my Expert qualification).

Saturday, August 20, 2011

ART of a Different Kind

You've probably heard the phrase,  "Every Marine is a Rifleman"...

Well, this is not just a phrase with the Marine Corps.

Each Marine is required annually to train with his most important and necessary piece of gear-- his rifle.

It's been a year since I last qualified with the M16A4, and so it's my turn once again to attend a different kind of "ART" class-- Annual Rifle Training, that is.

ART 6-11 (Annual Rifle Training class #6 of 2011) began this week. We began Thursday and Friday with classes in how to handle the rifle, the effects of weather on shooting, what to expect during the course of fire next week, and "snapping in". We also BZO'd our weapons, to make sure our sights were well-aligned.
A PMI (Primary Marksmanship Instructor) gives a class in firing positions (Prone position shown here) 

A Marine demonstrates proper variations of the Prone and Sitting positions
I was able to do a little sketching Thursday during the class in the basic firing positions (always difficult because the "model" moves in a few short minutes, and shifts positions as the instructor tells him to!).

Stay tuned, because all next week I'll take my sketchbook, pencils, and art stool-- as time allows I'll sketch my fellow Marines as they live up to their obligations as well-trained riflemen.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Mule Train!!

I just returned early this a.m. from the Mountain Warfare Training Center near Bridgeport, CA, where I attended and passed the Animal Packers Course.

I am now a certified Animal Packer(!)

The course required us to learn several basic and necessary hitches and knots, equine anatomy, loading various types of gear on mules, movement considerations, CASEVAC,  etc.

The apex of the course required a week-long excursion out into the wilds of MWTC, over the several ranges and training areas, stopping at certain LZs for nightly bivouac.

 GySgt Hutton gives instruction on how to tie a Mantee Load of MREs onto "Norman" using a Basket Hitch.
 Sgt Dahl teaches students how to load a rocket launcher to a mule using a Barrel Hitch.
 Sgt Southworth teaches the Marines how to tie and load a casualty to the mule ("Rescue Randy" was the mannequin casualty)
 "Ozzie" is loaded for bear with two .50 Cals and a 5-gallon water bag.
  SGT Withrow (USA) volunteers to demonstrate how to sit on an improvised saddle for transport of wounded .
The train comes over the hill, headed for the last bivouac area near Poor Lake.

(Note about mules-- they've earned their reputation!)

Here are some sketches I did while in the course: