Friday, October 15th, 2300GMT

A lot happened today...

On the drive into work (late) I witnessed an attack on a small IT outsourcing company. It looked like a big chain store was assaulting. Poor little guys probably didn’t stand a chance. I was very cautious on the drive making sure to remain situationally aware of my surroundings. I felt like a small duck moving about a swamp full of gators.

I made it to the office and reported to SL Pyle. The president of the radio company entered the room. He looked like a tall version of Yosemite Sam! It was hilarious! I was barely able to keep my laugh under when I noticed that he had two six-shooters on his belt just as the cartoon character did. He looked at me and said in his best country twang, “Well go put your dress on boy! You got to escort me around.”

I armored up and grabbed some grenades. I met the president in the lobby and looked over his bright red armor before leaving. Company executives have to wear the same colors as security to make sure that the enemy knows that they are legal targets. This is also the reason why executives are allowed to carry handguns.

We mounted up into the SUV. I completed a full functions check before pulling away. I remember pondering on the idea that maybe HQ would assign our unit a TS so that us combat guys wouldn’t have to drive. I would rather focus on my surroundings than focus on the traffic. Thankfully HQ was only a two or three minute drive and there were no incidents.

Geoff was one of the door guards on the way in. We shook hands and said hello to one another. It felt good to see him. Maybe Amy would be in the aid station and I could see her as well. We walked down the hall to the elevators and made our way up to the 8th floor. I’m not exactly sure why, but the office of the HQ executives take up the ENTIRE floor. Rumor has it that there is an isolated data center, a gym, and a war room. I wish I could have seen it, but security personnel can’t enter without signed orders.

I waited outside of the entry doors for what seemed like a couple of hours. The two guards kept me company while I waited. Suddenly the entry doors flew open and out walked the CEO of the company. He walked right up to me and pointed a finger in my face and said, “Your unit is under heavy attack. They need all hands and requested that you bring two TS and a SM. Don’t worry about Yosemite Sam in there; we will take care of him. Now get moving!”

Running as fast as I could to the aid station I tried to call FTL Nabe over my radio. There was no answer, but I realized that I could have been out of range. I found Amy in full battle rattle at the aid station. She smiled and said, “The CEO called and said that you were coming to pick up a SM.” We ran to the TS ‘hangout’ close by and explained the situation. Two TS immediately suited up and grabbed some vehicle keys.

The two or three minute drive seemed like an eternity. My unit was in trouble and needed my help fast. Soon we were close enough to see the chaos. The assault was being executed by a very large broadcasting company. I could see at least two squads of OPFOR. It would be dangerous for our vehicles to just roll right into the middle of the action unannounced. I tried my radio again.

LRS Ramirez answered my radio call, “Yo man! Nabe is gone, I’m acting team lead.”
I was happy to hear his voice and asked, “Orders?”
Ramirez was quiet for a second. Finally he came back, “Mount your crow’s nest and have the TS get close enough for you to lob some flash bangs at these guys. Open fire and take out as many as you can while they are dazed. Then suppress them so we can get our CQS out there.
Swallowing the lump of fear in my throat I confirmed, “You want me to suppress two squads with one mounted gun?”
He came back, “Yup. Be happy dude; there were three squads before you got here.”
“Roger,” I complied.

I instructed the driver closer. When we were close enough I threw three flash bangs and hit all three marks. I knew it worked because ALL of the OPFOR cowered down and rubbed their eyes. I began firing the mounted M240B. I knocked down six of them before the others came to and took cover. I hit one of them as he lobbed a gas canister in our direction. I couldn’t stop firing to put on my mask, so I did my best to keep the rifle level as my eyes began to burn. Tear gas does just what the name implies. It feels like if someone threw salt in your eyes and they tear up uncontrollably.

Every few seconds one would poke their head around to try and assess the situation that I had put them in. I watched out of the corner of my eye as one of our CQS snuck out of the front doors and closed in on squad. He was within 10 meters when he hit them with a flash bang. I stopped firing and he moved in and took them out. I gave my SUV the all clear and they sprung into action. Amy worked on our wounded and left with them to the hospital.
Afterward I found out that we defeated a force of twenty OPFOR. I also found out that it cost us five KIA and four wounded. This means that we went from a platoon with four squads to only two and a half. The PS requested reinforcements, but was denied. HQ thinks that twenty men is enough to last us until a new batch of trainees come in. I hope they are right.

Our current structure is:

PS Davis

1st Platoon -
SL Pyle
Alpha Team -
FTL Aaron
LRS Ramirez
CQS (Me)
Bravo Team -
FTL Oliver
LRS Merritown
CQS Ennal
2nd Platoon -
SL Bishop
Alpha Team -
FTL Clark
LRS Yarborough
CQS Dimmer
Bravo Team -
LRS Roberts
CQS Harris
3rd Platoon -
SL Fry
Alpha Team -
FTL Stevens
LRS Lyons
CQS Culver

Thursday, October 14th, 2200GMT

Ever since discovering the recon team yesterday we have been on high alert. We did still go out on two patrols today, but we were in an SUV.

There were no incidents today. During final formation I was told that I would be on escort duty tomorrow and to come in late because I would be working late (we are paid hourly). Coming in after 9am means that I could come under attack (legally)  in-route to the office. Great!

Thursday, October 14th, 0115GMT

We had an incident today. While we were on patrol we noticed a car that had been parked in a spot about 100 meters from the building. It had to have moved even slightly because it was on a two hour parking spot and didn’t have any parking tickets on the windshield.

FTL Nabe had LRS Ramirez look it over before we stepped off for another patrol. Ramirez reported that someone was in the driver’s seat and was scoping out our direction with binoculars! At the same time we all spouted, “Recon team...”

When patrol time came we traveled a slightly different route. There was a large alley across the street that made a giant U shape that would take us to a spot in the road behind the car. (On a side note walking in that alley scared the crap out of me. It wasn’t under the control of our company, so I felt like I was cutting through somebody’s backyard.) I was on point again and was first out of the alley. Everything appeared clear and I signaled for the other guys to move up. Together we moved slowly toward the car. About halfway across the street I heard something...

Everyone hit the deck as soon as we realized it was gunfire. It was coming from down the street about another 100 meters from the suspicious car. An SUV had pulled into the street sideways and was firing at us drive-by style. The car fired up its engine and began to pull away. I fired a shotgun blast into the rear driver side tire from my M26 MASS. This caused the car to fishtail slightly, but it got away. My attention turned back to the SUV. Someone was climbing into the crows nest to operate the machine gun. We took cover behind a parked car.

Rounds bounced around and into the car we were using as a barrier. After a minute that I could have measured in lifetimes the firing stopped. The SUV was gone. LRS Ramirez and I ran back to the radio station. FTL Nabe sprinted.

The rest of the day was spent on high alert with everyone at the ready in their defensive battle sectors.

Tuesday, October 12th, 2345GMT

Completed four patrols today. No incidents.

Thank God...

Monday, October 11th, 2230GMT

We had our assignments given to us this morning during formation. Geoff and Amy are getting to stay at HQ. I on the other hand have been moved to ‘the suck’; otherwise know as first platoon. First is assigned to protect the newly acquired radio station.

I delivered my transfer papers to the receptionist at the radio station and was told to report to PS Davis immediately. Platoon Sergeant Davis looks as though he is at least forty, but is actually in his late-twenties. He is short and surprisingly chunky for a security guy. I gave him a sharp salute and reported. After looking over my equipment and drilling me on ROE (Rules of Engagement) I was assigned to third squad.

My squad leader is SL Pyle. I’m not completely sure if that is his real name or a nickname, because he looks almost exactly like the character Gomer Pyle. The only real difference between the two of them is their voice. SL Pyle has a very deep voice that almost sounds as though he exaggerates it. I wouldn’t dare think about bringing this up though. He instructed LRS Ramirez to show me around.

Ramirez showed me to my locker and did a quick check on all of my armor. We didn’t talk a lot about anything outside of work. He told me that he has been a PSS for the past year and was recently promoted. Afterward we toured the different areas of the building and met a bunch of people. Ramirez told me that a lot of the employees were the same ones that were working there during our takeover. I wonder how many security teams these people have seen?

So my first official assignment is as follows:

CQS, Bravo Team, Third Squad, First Platoon

And my first official task:


Even with the full body armor and weapons I was more nervous than when I patrolled as a trainee with only a knife and baton. Bravo team’s leader is FTL Nabe. I’m not sure how this guy became a leader, but then again I’m not that interested in finding out either. I just hope that Ramirez and me survive long enough to get out from under his control. Instead of taking point on the patrol as a FTL should he put me out front. Also instead of having us in a “V” formation we were forced into a straight line with him in the middle and Ramirez at the rear. I didn’t want to get shot, but if it did happen I hoped it would be a .50 caliber round that could travel through me and hit him as well.

Thankfully the day went without event. Without another platoon around for rotational support we will be on patrol for the whole week. Next week we swap with fourth squad.

Friday, October 8th, 2245GMT

The last week of shadow training came to a close without incident. While winning the assault was a positive thing it had a negative impact. Before I go any further let me break down our company combat security force. Keep in mind that these numbers don't include non-combat related positions.

Fire Team - 3 men (1xCQS, 1xLRS, 1xRTL)
Squad - 7 men (2xCQS, 2xLRS, 2xRTL, 1xSL)
Platoon - 29 men (8xCQS, 8xLRS, 8xRTL, 4xSL, 1xPS)
Company - 116 men (32xCQS, 32xLRS, 32xRTL, 16xSL, 4xPS)

Sure, we have a large number of fighters at the company level, but they are responsible for covering about one block worth of assets. After the assault one platoon was broken off to cover the radio station, one platoon guards our television station, one guards the newspaper company, and the last platoon was split up into two sections made up of two squads per section. First section guards the exterior of the headquarters building doing patrols and assault absorption. Second section has one squad on internal patrols, and the final squad as personal security to the executives of the company. If those numbers seem high to anyone they should check into Wal-Mart’s security forces of 73,000! That’s a Corps!

Back on-topic now. We had to move a platoon that normally supported HQ to the radio station; therefore leaving us with no backup. Rumor is that after paying the taxes and settling the lawsuits (a couple of civilians were hit in the crossfire) we have to wait a few months before funding comes in for reinforcements. I’d hate to be the SoS right now. He’s going to be playing the shuffle game a lot with teams in order to fill gaps when guys are KIA.

Something that weighs heavy on my mind right now is Amy’s prior SM that was kidnapped. On Thursday morning her lifeless body was dumped on the road in front of HQ. I dug up the investigation by breaking into the company’s personnel server. The autopsy showed that she had been tortured before she died. I remember feeling sick as I read the full report. What kind of a person could do that to someone else? How far will they go to get what they want?

I graduate in less than an hour. Geoff, Amy, and I will get our certificates and be sent home in our new company provided vehicles with the special full body company wrap. Our weapons and armor were checked out to us as well. We will get our assignments on Monday morning. I’m hoping for HQ internal patrol duty...

Friday, October 1st, 2030GMT

General Powell was right. I still can't believe that we didn't have any KIA. This is thanks in most part because of Amy and Marie. Marie Svoktiv was in her mid-twenties by my best guess. She was one of those women that you didn't pick a fight with because honestly she may knock you out. This tough Russian loves to be in the fight. Marie is one of the best SMs at the company and Amy is shadowing her. Watching them in action was like being able to see beautiful music in an orchestra. That is if the beautiful music contained blood and morphine.

We mounted the SUVs at 1345GMT. Target assault time was 1400GMT since government regulations stated that a full company assault couldn't happen before then. The convoy consisted of two SUVs. The first one carried the SL, both RTL, a LRS, and both CQS. If anything happened to that truck we would lose all but one of our whole combat team! In ours we carried the other LRS, SM, TS, Amy, and myself. Geoff had some sort of special duty and was never included in the planning.

The TS spoke with a sweet, yet authoritative voice, "Four minutes to landing point."

Arnold Roller was the LRS in our fire team on this mission. He was an older man; probably in his early forties. He was retired Army and spent 24 years in the Calvary. His overall demeanour was rough, but once you got on his good side he was very compassionate. I felt him looking at me and turned my head in his direction. He grabbed my shoulder with one hand and pulled me closer to him. Our faces were uncomfortably close and we were making full eye contact with one another. Then he asked in a very serious tone, "You don't want to die a virgin do you?"

I chuckled, but he kept the same serious stare. Just as my face turned from humor to disgust he let out a loud laugh and slapped me on the helmet, "I'm just messin' with you kid!" The rest of the ride was fairly quiet. That is until we rolled into the parking lot of the radio station. I don't remember the explosions.

When I came to Marie's face slowly came into focus. She was slapping me and yelling something that I couldn't make out. All I could hear was the sound of gunfire and an alarm. After a few seconds I got my bearings back and started to stand up. Maria grabbed me by the armor and shoved me behind our overturned SUV. I looked around and could see that the other SUV was also flipped over. The first fire team was already spread throughout the parking lot and trading fire with some OPFOR (opposing forces) on the roof.

I heard chatter from both fire teams on the radio. They were going to make a big push in toward the building. Both RTLs fired smoke canisters at the front entrance from their M203 tubes. Suddenly it was a mad dash toward the thick fog. I thought about it for a second and decided to follow. I don’t know if I was supposed to go as well, but I was a backup driver and there were no more vehicles to drive. I began to step from behind the SUV and the TS grabbed my arm. She looked me in the eye and said, “Don’t even think about leaving this spot without an order. You are on MY team right now and I say we start pulling the equipment out of the trucks.”

Although I wasn’t happy about it I helped her unload the equipment. She was the first tier in my chain of command for the mission so I had to comply. It was very quiet outside. The wind lightly brushed my face and I began to calm down. The fight must have been over inside as well since I couldn't hear anymore gunfire. Suddenly the sound of engines started to consume the area. The TS looked at me and said to get ready for possible attack.

Out of nowhere 4 SUVs sped their way into a parking lot across the street. Thankfully they were attacking some other office building. I didn’t read the wraps on their trucks to find out who they belonged to. Just as I began to relax again it happened.

An SUV came into the parking lot we occupied. We quickly ran around our overturned SUV to put it between us and the attackers. I peeked around and saw that someone had mounted the nest and was pointing the heavy rifle in our direction. The TS did the same and they must have seen her because our cover began to rattle and shake with spray from the nest. She clicked on her radio, “Reporting one enemy vehicle with mounted gunner! Unknown number of targets inside!”

Soon after the report an enemy came around the side of the other overturned SUV. The TS put two rounds into his chest. He was only wearing light armor so it took him down. The mounted gunner stopped for a second and another enemy came around our SUV. The TS and him traded some rounds with each other at the same time. Both were down for good. An object came sailing over the SUV and landed behind the dead attacker’s body.

It was a flash-bang. I remember seeing nothing but white and had a terrible ringing in my ears. This began to fade after a few seconds. Normally it would have lasted longer, but the flash-bang exploded a good ten feet away, in the open air, and behind a dead body. I WAS LUCKY! I picked up my baton and had my knife at the ready. As soon as I saw the muzzle poke around the side of the SUV I jumped into action.

I smashed my baton into the muzzle which caused it to dent and knocked it out of the attacker’s hands. Quickly I raised my baton for a hit to his head. He was fast at blocking with an arm grab and smashed his fist into my left eye. Everything went blurry and all I could make out was a fuzzy figure swinging at me. I’m not sure what happened next, but I think it was one of those sub-routines from my hand-to-hand combat classes. I realized that I had won the fight when I came to and my knife was buried to the hilt in his chest.

Arnold walked up and pushed the guy off of my knife and to the ground. He then slapped me on the back and said, “That was bad ass kid! I can’t wait to see what you can do with a rifle!” There were no more attackers or attacks for the rest of the day. Surprisingly the TS survived the four gunshot wounds and should recover completely after a good bit of R & R.

Later we provided cover to the HR team as they compiled information for the After Action Report that would be have to be submitted to the government. I have a pass tomorrow. It’s my birthday. I could get a cake made of dog poop as a present and it would still be the best birthday ever. Just in case you were wondering; everything does taste better after you come close to dying.

Thursday, September 30th, 1845GMT

I spent most of today getting everything ready for tomorrow's assault. I made sure all weapons were in good working order and that all magazines were full. Every knife was sharpened and every gas mask verified working. I went over the vehicles with the TS assigned to our team. I am the backup driver so she gave me an overview of the specific operations of my SUV.

I also got a chance to talk to Amy. She was now shadowing our SM since hers is MIA. Rumor has it that she was kidnapped on the way into the office the previous morning. This made me nervous. Someone was most likely trying to extract intelligence from her. I could picture her bound to a chair while some "specialist" spent hours "interrogating" her. The rest of the afternoon was spent loading equipment into the SUV with Amy helping me.

I found a note in my locker. It was from Geoff. He wished me good luck and told me to trust my gut. He ended it with a quote:

"No battle plan survives contact with the enemy." - General Colin Powell

I wrote a note back that simply read, "I'll stay on my toes!"

It is a big day tomorrow and I still need to meet up with the team before I go to sleep. There is some sort of ritual they do before each assault. I can't wait to see...

Wednesday, September 29th, 2350GMT

Back on patrol duty today. It was raining so probability of an attack was low. My nerves were still firing on all cylinders the whole time. I couldn't help but ask myself why there were so many people on our block. Are they prepping for an attack? Surely some of them were gathering intelligence for future attacks. Don't these people have jobs they should be at? One person even had the guts to run from his car behind us to a store ahead of us while wearing a bright red parka. I noticed Bobby flinch as the person passed us. We both looked at each-other and shook our heads. Only a moron would wear bright red out in public and not expect to have a muzzle pointed at him.

The rain began getting harder after lunch. It got difficult to view and listen to your sectors. At one point there was a loud crack that sent the patrol into the prone position. I still can't say if it was a gunshot or lightening. In the rain it took our LRS about two minutes to clear us 360 (degrees). The four of us hopped to our feet and quick stepped the rest of the route. We spent the "off" hour in heightened alert and had to assist with various ‘impending attack’ tasks.

The last patrol of the day had my stomach in knots. We still hadn't yet confirmed if what we experienced last patrol was lightening or gunfire. Luckily nothing happened. There was an emergency meeting notice for 1900GMT (5PM EDT). Bobby sighed when he read this. He looked at me as said, “Here we go again.” Later I found out what he meant.

Digressing for a moment I noticed that in earlier posts I never explained the patrol setup. Normally a team is composed of 3 men; a CQS, LRS, and RTL. I am shadowing the CQS so that made 4 men on our team. Geoff’s team is the same since he is shadowing Yuri. He does patrols on the opposite days of the week. Patrol is usually carried out on foot, but if alert is HIGH they can be completed with a vehicle. The RTL will drive while the CQS is in the "Crow's Nest" controlling the automatic rifle, and the LRS is in the back doing a constant 360 check.

The company I work for is in the media industry. We control almost all of the newspapers, magazines, radio, and television stations in our region. The meeting was about an attack that is to take place on Friday. We are going to complete a hostile takeover of the only other radio station in the city. Intel reports that the parent company is having to lay off half of their security force due to budget cuts. The SL said that the paperwork had already been submitted to the local government agency for approval; so the attack was definitely going to happen. Our squad will be the only attack force, but opposition is believed to be minimal (I sure as hell hope so!).

It's really funny how quick the government will approve HTs (hostile takeovers). They claim that it is to not stifle free enterprise, but everyone knows the real reason. HTs are subject to substantial taxes. The tax is calculated by some equation that would make Einstein scratch his head in amazement! In the end if the HT is successful the company and the government win, so why make approval a long drawn out process?

Tuesday, September 28th, 2100GMT

Used up a bottle of gun oil and a box of Q-tips during weapons cleaning.

Then I stood in the lobby for 4 hours straight.

Nothing... else... happened...

Good frigging night!

Monday, September 27th, 2330GMT

Today was one of the most frightful yet uneventful days of my life...

I have been assigned shadow to Bobby Park. Bobby is tough. He was born and raised in the Atlanta projects. This has given him a very strong will. Add to that the fact that he grew up in that area and he's half-black and half-white. He claims the only reason he survived is because he kept his mouth shut and did his best to be a ghost around his neighborhood. It makes sense now why he is so quiet. Intelligence is another one of his strong points. Bobby is the kid in high school that huffs and raises his hand when everyone else gets the answer wrong so the conversation can keep moving. I think Bobby is a good fit for me to shadow. He seems to have joined for the same reasons I joined up. His fiance is pregnant and he wants them to have a good life. He also hopes to make it into the Information Security section as soon as possible. Bobby is an E-2. The only reason he isn't an LRS yet is because a spot hasn't opened since his promotion in any of the platoons.

Of course the fire team that Bobby is on has patrol duty on Monday's which means I also had patrol duty. It was my very first and I only carried my knife and baton for protection. At least I can wear body armor. So if I get hit by small caliber rounds I should be okay. Well, okay in the fact that the rounds won't puncture, but I still may be left with some broken ribs. A fire team executes patrols around the nearby area to look for any suspicious or hostile activity. Patrols are randomized so as to not allow other companies to time your movements. Today we were scheduled at 1400GMT, 1530GMT, 1820GMT, 2000GMT. My nerves were on edge the whole time. I almost clubbed this one guy when he came rushing out of a shop right in front of me and almost knocked me over. For a split second I really thought I was being attacked!

Tomorrow is weapons cleaning and guard duty.

Sunday, September 26th, 2300GMT

I had a wonderful time on pass thanks to my wife. I just can't fathom what I would do without her support. I accepted one of the most dangerous occupations in the world and yet she is still with me. She takes it all in stride. She has been like that since the beginning of our relationship. Keeping both feet planted into the ground and thinking clearly is what she does best.

Still though; the thought of my child growing up without a father if something were to happen at work must scare her. I know it scares the hell out of me. This is why I know I need to do what I can to get promoted as fast as I can. Once I can lateral into the Information Security section my chances of work related death drop exponentially. Until then I will just have to keep my head down and not be a hero.

I'm keeping this one short. I want to try to get plenty of rest before I start my shadow training tomorrow. If anything happens I'll need to be on my toes.

Friday, September 24th, 1900GMT

Today was the last day of classroom instruction. I've learned so much in the last two weeks that I'm not sure I will be able to recall everything. I guess that is probably the point of the repetition in the classes. A lot of things are probably just programmed as sub-routines in my brain now; a developed instinct that I don’t remember until the time is right.

I saw Yuri back in ranks during the morning formation. He came up and said hello to me before it started. A CQS named Richard Cost was promoted to LRS in order to replace the one that was killed. This left a CQS position open. The SL looked at me and Geoff. He mumbled something about a transfer and the name Bobby. He then wrote something down on his clipboard and dismissed the formation.

Classes were tough today. We had a final exam in every single one. Luckily we both passed them all. If you fail one of the exams you have to start training over again from the beginning. I've heard horror stories of people going through phase one of training 3 or 4 times before deciding to quit. The ones that eventually pass don't have it easy either. The team they are assigned to will see their record and make life a living hell until you prove to them that you aren't an idiot.

Phase 2 starts on Monday. It is the shadowing phase. We will each be attached to a CQS and must shadow him for the next 2 weeks. This means weapon maintenance, battle drills, patrols, ride along duty, guard duty, etc. The only thing I won't shadow is an actual firefight unless forced into one by patrol or ride along. I am still a trainee so I don't get to carry a firearm. I am a little nervous because Phase 2 carries the highest death rate of us trainees (for obvious reasons).

Everything is okay though. We were surprised by the SoS with weekend passes before we start phase 2. I'm going home to be with my wife. Geoff plans on hanging out at his house and calling old girlfriends to see which will come over. My guess is that it will probably work. While we aren't in the military, most of society still views our kind as soldiers, and girls are suckers for soldiers.

This will also be the last time that I can drive home without worry. Once I'm certified I will have to 'fly colors' on the vehicle I drive. This means that I will be given a vehicle by the company with the logo wrapped around it. This also means that I will be susceptible to attack an anytime that I drive that vehicle. I guess that is part of the reason we get paid so well. The attacker also has to risk collateral damage as well; possibly costing his company more than the attack is worth. So public attacks are less likely to occur.

Gotta go and get fitted for my body armor now. I can't wait to see what I look like in bright red.

Friday, September 17th, 2210GMT

There was an attack today. The alarms sounded off during the morning push into the office around 1300GMT (0900EDT). Geoff and I were standing guard at the stairwell door with our knives and batons at the ready. I could hear rounds being exchanged back and forth across the parking lot. The radio sounded like we were listening to five talk shows at once. A short series of alarm wailing sounded off signaling that someone had hit the gas-in-use alert. Me and Geoff hadn't yet gone through gas training and had no masks. I thought it wouldn't matter because we were inside, but I was wrong.

All of the sudden a lot of yelling came over the radio. It was a good thing that I decided to pay attention, because the SL called us out to the battle. We exited the side doors of the building. There was a wall that ran up to the parking lot driveway so we had cover. I'm not sure how it happened, but I just automatically assumed leadership of our small fire team. I told Geoff to stay behind me and listen for my commands. Peaking around the wall I could see the squad circled around someone that was laying on the ground. One of them motioned me over. I hesitated for a second because of the cloud of gas that was hovering around them. Eventually I remembered that it couldn't be lethal (it is illegal to use lethal gas) so I ran up to the group.

One of the fire team leaders motioned at the motionless body and yelled, "Carry him around the side of that wall you just came from so the doc can fix 'em!" Geoff hooked the casualty's arms and I picked up his legs. The fire team leader chimed back in over radio, "You may want to move faster. Hostiles are still working there way in." I think we made it back to the wall carrying a body faster then we made it from the wall to the group without one. We took off his helmet and body armor. Both were bright red as per the government's separation of civilian and security forces policy. Civilians could wear blue body armor to help them feel safer if the felt inclined. Every class started with us repeating after the instructor, "No shooty blue."

After removing his face mask I realized that I knew this guy. Yuri House. We knew one another in high school. He was a grade below me, but we hung out in the same crowd. He was a good kid. All I could think was what in the hell was this guy doing here? I must have said it out loud because he let out a short gasp and replied, "The wife is pregnant. Want to make a good life." I grabbed his hand and told him who I was and that everything would be okay. He smiled and said, "Oh hell man. I didn't know. I was hit by a flash-bang so I can't see very well." He coughed hard. No blood came out of his mouth. No blood is a good sign when they cough like that.

Someone came bolting around the wall. I jumped up with knife and baton at the ready. The person stopped and I heard the radio click on. A female Russian accent came over the speaker, "Good reflex. Now get the hell out of my way before I shoot you!" I moved and looked back at Yuri. I must have zoned out for a while after I realized who he was because Geoff had since dressed some of his bullet wounds. The SM looked up at me while she was working on saving Yuri's life and said quietly, "Go get a litter (flexible body board) and get a TS set for a hospital run."

Luckily the Transportation Specialists wait for orders near the medical closet. I grabbed a litter and reported the situation to the lead TS. A young girl, probably just barely eighteen grabbed some keys and followed me. After loading Yuri into the SUV I was about to hop in when the SM stopped me. She must have been able to see the concern in my face. She looked me dead in the eye and said, "He's going to be fine." I'm not sure why but it made me feel a little better. She then pulled me closer and said, "I need you to do something for me. The LRS on the 7th floor of the parking garage was KIA. Go grab his ID tags and equipment and bring it to the PS.

When I made it to the LRS I almost broke down. He looked peaceful; almost smiling with a small red hole in his forehead. I bent down to grab his gear and heard a strange whizzing sound. The concrete wall about 10 meters behind me had a small chunk blown off by a sniper round! I was getting shot at! The attackers must have a very skilled sniper. I looked at the LRS. I forced all thoughts of family and friends out of my mind and took off with his gear. I made my way to the office of the PS.

He was hanging up the phone when I went in. He motioned to a chair, "Put his gear over there."
I complied.
"Did you get his ID tags?" I pulled them out of my pocket and held them up.
He held out his hand, "Great work. I'll take it from here." I put the tags in his hand and turned to walk out.
"Hey trainee. Congratulations on making it past your first fight," he said.
"Thank you sergeant. I look forward to being able to fire back," I replied. He grinned.

The battle only lasted a few more minutes. There were no more casualties on our side. I also heard that Yuri is going to make a full recovery.

Wednesday, September 15th, 2000GMT

So far training hasn't been too bad. We haven't come under any attacks yet. I hope we don't get assaulted by any other companies while we are still in training. Trainees aren't allowed to fight with firearms, so we will have to hold off an assault with a knife and a baton. Then again if the enemy pushes far enough to reach our guard station we are probably screwed anyway. Amy won't have to worry about that though. She was transferred to EMT training after the basic weapons class.

I'm learning more than I thought I could about our weapon systems. Classes cover everything from handguns to mounted machine guns. This stuff is awesome! I can see why someone would want to sign up for the military and join the infantry. The instructors tell me that I am doing very well with marksmanship. Growing up I never shot a single round so this surprises me. We were instructed on the sweet weapons layout for each position.

CQS - M4A1 with M26 MASS, Aimpoint M68 CC optics, flashlight attachment, and M9 Pistol
LRS - M16A4 with 4xACOG Scope, bi-pod, and M9 Pistol
FTL - M4A1 with Aimpoint M68 CC optics, M203 (Gas/Smoke Only), flashlight attachment, and M9 Pistol
SL/PS - M4A1 with Aimpoint M68 CC optics, RIS foregrip, and M9 Pistol
SoS - MP5, M9 Pistol
DoS - M9 Pistol

SM/Pilot - MP5, M9 Pistol
TS - M16A4, M9 Pistol

All positions have the option of carrying tear gas, smoke, and flash grenades. The helicopter has a few different mounted machine guns for a lucky guy’s enjoyment and our up-armored SUVs have a nest just like a military vehicle!

I don't know how I'll feel when I'm in my first real firefight, but right now I just want training to finish so that I can play with some of this in the wild.

Sunday, September 12th, 2350GMT

Processing sucked. I could tell that most of the people doing my paperwork and examinations were pissed off. Apparently the weekend is just tacked on to there normal routine of Monday through Friday when trainees need to be processed. There are only a few of us. Three to be exact. We learned a little bit about each other during a circle discussion with the councilor.

Geoff Gregory is twenty-one years old. He's not married and has no children. The reason he joined is to retire early so that he can travel the world. Like me he will start off as a CQS (Close Quarters Specialist). It'll be our job to bring the fight straight to the enemy's throat. When I think about this I can't help but to think about my wife and soon to be child and hope that I can make LRS (Long Range Specialist) soon.

Amy Rogers is twenty-three. She isn't married and has an eight year-old son. She hopes that getting a high paying job will allow her the opportunity to have him move in with her. Her parents have taken care of him since she was just a teenager when she had him. The courts gave her a list of things to do before she could be granted custody. Item number one is to get a job. She is a certified EMT, but can't afford to live off of that salary elsewhere; so she signed up to be a SM (Squad Medic).

The different positions and ranks were described to us in a class.

The chain of command:

Close Quarters Specialist - E-1 - Biggest layer of the pyramid. Brings the fight to the enemy.
Long Range Specialist - E-2 - Recon and snipers. They provide early warning and fire support.
Fire Team Leader - E-3 - Directs fire team and provides fire support.
Squad Leader - E-4 - Orchestrates battle plans and delegates orders. Provides fire support.
Platoon Sergeant - E-5 - Directs platoon positioning during battle. Provides fire support from air or ground.
Sergeant of Security - E-6 - Manages platoons. Reports to Director of Security. Females allowed.
Director of Security - No Rank - Executive manager of all security sections. Reports to CEO. Females allowed.

Non-chain positions:

Squad Medic - E1-E5 - Responsible for well-being of squad both on and off of the battlefield. Females allowed.
Transportation Specialist - E1-E5 - Responsible for company vehicle operation. Females allowed.
Pilot - W1-W5 - Rotary or fixed wing. Females allowed.

These don't include the Information Security section. I hope to have a post just like this for ISS one day...

Training starts tomorrow. I've got a bad case of the shakes right now. I'm going to try to get some sleep.