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2022 Legion Memorial Run N Gun: Sept 10-11, Spencer, TN


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The best place to learn all the details about this year's match is on the Facebook Event Page at  https://www.facebook.com/events/2216998515118725 - but I totally get that we have several people who (rightly) hate Facebook, so I'll repost what I think are the important points here for non-FBers.  Don't be shy if you have questions or if I've left anything out.

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Intro:
 
The 2022 Legion Memorial Run N Gun is a centerfire biathlon – competitors will complete a 5k-ish (day, night with NVGs, or night with white light) or 10k-ish (day only) run combined with a shooting competition. The event is a test of man and equipment alike. It is intended to give participants an idea of how being hot, cold, exhausted, and challenged by the environment affects their shooting, and to test the effectiveness of their gear under field conditions. This event is not intended for inexperienced shooters – all participants are expected to be familiar with the operation of their firearms, and to observe basic principles of firearm safety at all times. With the exception of emergencies, Range Officers (ROs) are not allowed to help participants in any way. Good attitudes are a must. If you are the type of person who gets upset when minor changes are made to a plan or when you don’t always get your way, this is not the event for you. 

Basics:
 
Participants will receive both a score for their run based on how long it took them to complete the course, and a score for their shooting based on how long it took them to clear each course of fire. The run score and shooting score will be equally weighted in determining the participant’s final score. This is true run-what-you-brung field-style shooting.  For the most part, if you want to carry it for 5 or 10 clicks, be our guest.  

There are three equipment classes to reflect the different ways Green Berets fight:  “Lightfighter” in which you can carry whatever you want, but are limited to one pistol and one rifle; “Operator” in which you must wear body armor with rifle-rated plates installed (front and back at a minimum), and are still limited to one pistol and rifle; and “Tier One” in which you must FINISH the race with a pack weighing at least 45 lbs (not including your main rifle and pistol) – but that pack may (and should) contain ANYTHING that can give you an advantage.  The only limit is that pistol targets must be engaged with pistol rounds, and rifle targets must be engaged with rifle rounds.  Want to carry a PCC?  Be our guest.  Think a scoped bolt gun or different upper in 6.5 Creedmore will give you an advantage?  Go for it. You can even carry a shotgun to engage steel pistol targets if you want (birdshot only).  Any weapons carried must be IN ADDITION to a primary rifle and pistol, and weight of the pack must be stand-alone (a plate carrier would not be included or required, for example).  Packs may be removed prior to shooting, as that is how 5th Group would generally do it as well – but this will be done on your run time and BEFORE any wait time starts.  Night matches will have only ONE "anything goes" division. 

Shooters are expected to have all their firearms sighted in and all their gear ready to go on the morning of the shoot. There will be no zeroing at the event. Think of this as a test of how you and your equipment would perform in a Second Amendment situation if you had to go take care of business at your current state of readiness, whatever that is. Run order will be more or less random. We will try to be accommodating to participants who wish to share firearms or equipment (we can have one person run in the morning and the other in the afternoon), or to partners who wish to run together.  Due to issues with back-ups and large groups in the past, only two runners can start together.
 
Equipment:
 
The only equipment that is strictly required to participate is a safe center fire rifle, a safe center fire pistol, enough ammo to clear the course (at least twice the minimum required hit count is recommended), eye protection, ear protection, and some form of stopwatch.  Rifle targets must be engaged with rifle rounds (no larger than 30-06), and pistol targets must be engaged with pistol rounds. In everything but the “Tier One” class, competitors must carry one rifle and one pistol.  Everything else is up to the participant.  Shooters may use any type of gear they want to carry their equipment with, the only requirement being that pistols must be carried in a secure holster that covers the trigger if they are to be carried loaded. Rifles may be carried any way you like, as long as they remain pointed in a safe direction.  You may not use tracers or armor piercing bullets that have a hardened penetrator core, as we will be using lots of steel targets that we don’t want to see damaged.  To be safe – if your bullet attracts a magnet or has a green tip, leave it at home.  

Rules:
 
First and foremost, all participants will be expected to comply with basic firearms safety at all times. If you demonstrate inability or unwillingness to follow basic firearm safety, you will be asked to leave, with no refund and no apology. Muzzles must be pointed in a safe direction at all times, and fingers must be off the trigger unless the firearm is pointed at a target. Long guns shall only be loaded when a shooter is at a rifle stage, after the RO has given the “fire” command. Shooters may leave their handguns loaded at all times if in a secure holster. However, loaded handguns must remain in that holster unless the shooter has been given the “fire” command on a shooting stage.  Some stages will be active, involving moving and shooting.  Firearms may remain loaded during movement, but strict muzzle discipline must be maintained. 

Shooters will be disqualified (DQ’d) and not allowed to finish the course for the following violations:  having a loaded rifle anywhere EXCEPT on a shooting stage after the “beep”, dropping a loaded pistol, pointing a loaded weapon at someone, or having a Negligent Discharge (ND).  It is solely the judgement of my Staff that I trust if these should occur, and if you argue with an RO you will lose.  

Procedures:
 
When a shooter approaches a station, he will be required to show the RO an empty mag well and empty chamber on his long gun(s). If another shooter is currently on the stage when he arrives, the one who just arrived will be instructed by the RO to start his stopwatch to keep track of his wait time (this will be subtracted off the participant’s run time when his run score is calculated). It is purely the shooter’s responsibility to keep track of his wait time. The ROs have no responsibility whatsoever to help you do this. Even if an RO offers to help you keep track of your time, you have no one but yourself to blame if this is not done. When the shooter is ready to shoot the stage, the RO will record his wait time if any. The shooter will be given a quick summary of the course of fire. The RO will ask if the shooter understands the course of fire. If the answer is yes, the shooter will be given the “fire” command, at which time he may load his rifle and/or draw his pistol and begin shooting the stage.  All stages will have a zone where the shooter must fire from -- either a particular hole in a barricade that you must shoot through, or a marked zone on the ground, in which every part of your body or equipment which touches the ground must remain inside of when you fire.  Hits made from outside the designated area will not count toward completion of the course of fire. Every shooting stage will have a 3 minute time limit.  This is to keep the runners moving and to prevent large backups of shooters waiting to shoot a stage.  At the end of that 3 minute period, the shooter will be stopped and time penalties applied to their score for any target not fully neutralized as per the course of fire requirements.  If for any reason the “cease fire” command is given, you will immediately cease fire, holster your handgun, and unload your rifle.  You will do likewise when you complete a stage, or time out. The RO should tell you your time for the stage. The RO will record your time on their iPad.  You may want to carry a pen and notepad to keep track of your score in there is a mix-up with the scoring. Every shooter must show the RO an empty mag well and chamber on his rifle before leaving each stage. The RO will give directions on where to go to continue down the trail. Shooters are NOT required to leave their rifle’s bolt open during the run… this is actually discouraged, as it will allow lots of that beautiful Tennessee red clay to accumulate inside the action. There will be ample opportunity for this to happen on the course.
 
The Run:
 
The path for participants to follow will be marked with brightly colored flags and/or tape. Shooters must stay close to the marked path. Do not cut corners.  Failure to follow the marked trail may take you into the impact area of a hot range!!!  If the trail takes you through some difficult terrain, this is on purpose!  Parts of the trail may be down a road.  Keep to the left edge of the road and watch for traffic.   
 
Your Fitness:
 
This event is in a remote area, and you need to be aware of over-exertion. We should have some folks with medical skills on hand, but your health is your responsibility.  If you start having problems, slow down... drink some water... listen to your body!  There is no shame in walking the course; know yourself and your limitations.  
 
Accommodations:
 
Dead Zero Shooting Park is in a remote area south of Spencer, TN, so lodging may be challenging.  Primitive camping will be allowed on-site for $10/night.  Call Dead Zero at 423-800-7758 to make a reservation to camp. A Hotel/Lodge, Cabins and campgrounds with full hookups are available at Fall Creek Falls State Park about 15 miles away, but the Mountaineer Folk Festival is being held there this weekend so most of these sites are booked well in advance.  The city of Dunlap is less than 20 miles to the south and has a couple hotels, restaurants, and a Walmart.  The cities of Chattanooga and Cookeville are within about 40 miles and have all sorts of nicer options for food and lodging.

There will be people on site all day Friday, as the ROs will be running the course.  Registration for the day matches open at 6:30 a.m. and closes at 7:30 a.m on the morning of the match.  The safety briefing begins at 7:30 a.m.  Anyone who does not get signed in by 7:30 will not be allowed to participate, so be on time.  The first runner will be sent out at 8:00 a.m., and another runner will be sent out in a uniform interval thereafter. The ROs will have run the course the day before. They will be scored along with all the other contestants. After the last runner has crossed the finish line, we will calculate the results. The winners will be announced, and trophies and prizes will be awarded as 5th Group sees fit.  Night matches will be similarly run with a start time TBD.
 
How to Sign Up:
 
The registration fee for the Legion 9/11 Memorial Run N Gun is $120 for the 5k (night or day) and $170 for the 10k.  Registration will be limited in number so all runners can finish the course before dark.  Registration will be handled through Practiscore, Dead Zero will have you sign a waiver the morning of the match, and we will collect full payment (CASH or CHECK ONLY – NO CREDIT/DEBIT CARDS WILL BE ACCEPTED AND THERE IS NO ATM ONSITE - Edit:  payment may be online, we're currently investigating this) the morning of the match.  Make sure you are familiar with all of our rules and procedures before signing up.  All participants must register under their true names.  Tickets are non-transferable.  Pre-registration is mandatory, and no walk-ons will be allowed on match day as space and time is limited.  

Several discounted slots are being held for active-duty 5th Group personnel.  If you are 5th Group, please email mstennett@twlakes.net to confirm your status and claim your reduced competitor slot.  

All proceeds from the match will go the Special Forces Association, Chapter 38.  Learn more about them here:  http://sfa38.org/

Cancellation Policy:

Please cancel your registration through Practiscore as soon as you know you can’t come.  We always have several people on the waitlist, and if you don’t cancel early enough not only can they not get in, but the Special Forces Association won’t max out the contribution we can make to them.  DON’T BE THAT GUY who just decides not to show up and doesn’t tell anyone.
 
Directions:
 
The start and finish line are both located near the Pro Shop at Dead Zero Shooting Park, 1195 TN-111 Scenic, Spencer, TN  38585.  Chattanooga, TN has a small airport and is less than an hour’s drive from Dead Zero.  Nashville International Airport is a little under two hours’ drive. 

Pictures, as always, by Lisa Stennett

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The big news this year is that we will be running a Legion Night Match! Ellis (from https://thegunrun.us/) has graciously agreed to MD the night matches and they will essentially be a simplified version of the daytime 5k course and 5 shooting stages.  Friday night will be NVGs only, and Saturday night will be for shooters who want to run white light. Much more to come on this - but I wanted to get it out there early to give people a chance to work up gear.

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Posted (edited)

The next new thing we'll have this year is a land nav portion of the match.  If you have land navigation skills you will have an advantage.  This will be "beginner level" land nav in that you will be given a bearing and distance and a portion of the course will NOT be marked - so I suggest you get a compass and some way to estimate distance travelled (ranger beads, etc.). If you show up without a compass and with zero land nav skills you will still be able to complete the course, but it's very likely you'll run a longer route or spend some extra time wandering in the woods.  The current plan is to have a very simple challenge in the 5k match (and night matches), and a second and more difficult challenge in the 10k match. 

The Gun Run is doing some very cool things with Land Navigation on a larger and more complicated/skilled scale than we'll do here, and would be an EXCELLENT place to learn more about the subject if you need some help.  Check out https://thegunrun.us/ to learn more.

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Edited by Matt in TN
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This will be the last "you may want to buy some gear" post this year:

Every Operational Detachment Alpha (ODA, the basic team unit of Special Forces) has TWO 18Es (Special Forces Communications Sergeant) - this is how critical comms are to SF.  They are the communication "specialists" on the team and make sure the team can communicate internally (short range comms), they can talk back to command/intel/whoever (long range comms), and even communicate with and provide basic air traffic control for supporting aircraft on a mission.

To try to give you JUST A TASTE of integrating comms into your match, we're adding a special bonus this year.  IF YOU CARRY A RADIO ON YOUR KIT AND KNOW HOW TO USE IT, YOU'LL HAVE AN ADVANTAGE. During the morning brief, you'll be given the "enemy radio frequency" (this will be somewhere in the 70cm UHF ham band) to monitor while you run.  If you know how to use your gear and pay attention, you'll hear the enemy transmitting information that can help you.  You DO NOT HAVE TO HAVE A HAM LICENSE to do this.  Anyone can listen to any frequency at any time - no license is needed for that.

Just like with the land nav stuff - if you don't want to fool with this at all you don't have to.  You can still run the course and complete all the challenges, but you may miss the extra bonus that comes if you know how to run comms on your kit.

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  • 3 weeks later...
It's always hard to get across what to expect at a "blind" match - and especially at a match as unique as this one. Anyone who has been before understands, but for those who are new: here's a 5 minute video summarizing last year's match to give you an idea what you might expect.
 
Everyone feel free to comment if there is anything you might warn a new person about!
 
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Registration will open in TWO WEEKS on Saturday, June 11th at 10:00am Central Time. This usually sells out in literally a few minutes, so if you want in you need to make plans to be near a computer or phone right at that time. To get as many different people in as possible, I’m asking everyone to limit their registrations to ONE DAY MATCH and ONE NIGHT MATCH at the most. If you really want to be nice, register for whichever one you want to do the most, then give it a day or so to let everyone else get in and THEN register for your second match.

There is a lot of room for confusion as we are running FOUR SEPARATE MATCHES on the same weekend this year. Be sure you sign up for the right match. Cash (or checks made out to Special Forces Association, Chpt 38) will only be accepted on match day to avoid any tax issues. Sorry – there is no online payment.

Here are the registration links:

Friday night, Sept 9, 2022: NVG Night 5k
https://practiscore.com/nvg-night-5k-legion-9-11-memorial-run-n-gun-2022-clone/register

Saturday, Sept 10, 2022: 5k Day Match
https://practiscore.com/5k-legion-9-11-memorial-run-n-gun-2022-1/register

Saturday night, Sept 10, 2022: White Light NIGHT 5k
https://practiscore.com/white-light-night-5k-legion-9-11-memorial-run-n-gun-2022/register

Sunday, Sept 11, 2022: 10k Day Match
https://practiscore.com/10k-legion-9-11-memorial-run-n-gun-2022-1/register

Staff has been contacted already, and I will be registering them ahead of time. If you think you’re staff and haven’t seen an email from me this morning, let me know.

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I'm thrilled to announce Spike's Tactical is returning yet again as a Title Sponsor.  They've donated a ton over the years and really support our cause well - be sure to check them out at https://www.spikestactical.com/ if you're in the market for a great rifle!

Or you can just win the match and there's a good chance you'll pick one up off the prize table.  That's about as easy as becoming a Green Beret though, so...

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You know what's crazy?  We have SEVENTY FIVE volunteers spending their own money, time off work, and a significant amount of sweat, tears, and likely a little blood to help put this on this year.  Coming from SIXTEEN different states all across this great country (as far as Oregon and Utah!).  That's more than some matches all together - in staff only.

All in exchange for a t-shirt, lunch, and a bunk in a bunkhouse.

But of course that's not why they're doing it.  They're doing it to be a part of something bigger than themselves.  To honor the men we've lost.  To cry with the Gold Star Families when they tell stories of their loved ones.  To thank the men still serving.  To help fund those who take care of these families.

I am humbled and overwhelmed by their commitment, but NOT SURPRISED.  We have the best people on the planet.  THANK YOU for being you, and for all you will do to help.  Be sure to thank them when you see them, as this quite literally wouldn't be possible without them.

Now I just have to figure out how to manage 75 crazy monkeys all weekend long and keep them all in the right place, at the right time, and pointed in the same direction.  God help me. 🙂

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  • 3 weeks later...

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BLUF:  White light WILL be allowed on pistols for the NVG match.

More details:  We've had some back and forth about this recently, and I was wrong in my assumptions.  It turns out that, until recently, 5th Group used white lights on their pistols almost every time they worked in the dark.  By the time they got to pistol distance, "sneaking around" no longer mattered and the improved situational awareness and target ID  were well worth the trade-off.  So this is what we'll do here. 

I know a couple of you said you would withdraw if white lights were allowed on pistols in the NVG match, and I'm sorry you feel that way but completely understand - just withdraw through Practiscore and I'll take care of it with no hard feelings.  Or you can always use IR on your pistol (what I do), and practice what/how you want to practice along the way.  I'm sorry this wasn't clear from the beginning, but one of the difficulties with doing new things is figuring out all the details along the way.

Interestingly, just recently with the higher likelihood of "near peer" enemies, the doctrine has changed.  They are no longer using white light OR IR light/lasers at night, and have gone to 100% passive aiming.  There's a good chance we'll have a stage using passive aiming to give everyone a glimpse of this (especially with a full moon forecast!), but having zero light emission of any kind for the whole course would just be too much to ask of everyone at this point.  Maybe in the future???
 

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  • 4 weeks later...

We are EIGHT WEEKS out from match day.  If you haven't already, NOW would be the perfect time to start a dedicated training program.

If you've never done anything like this before, google "Couch To 5k" and follow that program.  If you've done this for years, continue to tweak your training program to improve your weak spots and cater to whatever match you're about to run.  I, for example, am doing a modified version of this Intermediate 10k training plan (https://www.verywellfit.com/10k-training-intermediate-runner-schedule-2911612) in which I run intervals on Tuesdays, run with a metronome setting my pace on Thursdays, and do a weighted trail run on Saturdays.  

And of course shooting some kind of drills every weekend and a match once a month.

What is everyone else doing?  Share your plan here to give people ideas, or ask here if you have questions and want input!

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I'm registered for the white light 5k.

PT:  When we were 100 days out from this year's match, I set a list of target run times (3 miles, no load) and dates by which to hit them.  My ultimate goal is to do 3 miles under full load in 29 minutes by match day.  Anyway, here's the aspirations vs. ugly truth of how I stack up so far:

Target date/Time - Actual date/time

5/31 - 32:00         6/1 - 26:45

6/10 - 31:30         6/11 - 28:22

6/20 - 31:00         6/23 - 26:09

6/30 - 30:00         7/1 - 25:27

7/10 - 29:30         7/7 - 25:52

7/20 - 29:00         7/27 - 24:45

7/31 - 28:30         7/29 - 24:06

Marksmanship:  I committed to at least one range visit with rifle and sidearm every 4 weeks.  Still need to buy an optic and practice low light shooting - not up to snuff on that.  Any recommendations for an optic to use in white light nighttime shooting out to 50 or 75 yards?

Comms:  I committed to learning how to use my hand scanner effectively so I can quickly plug in the target frequency on event day and monitor.  On track so far.

Land nav.:  I need to recheck my pace count with full load and add ranger beads to my kit.  Also need to buy a good terrain map of Dead Zero.  

That's me for now.  Looking forward to this year's match!

Edited by Wheelgunner
Seeking recommendations on optic
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18 hours ago, Wheelgunner said:

I'm registered for the white light 5k.

At least one of us kept in shape after getting out of the army. 🤣

Hope it's a blast for you and everyone else attending.

Edited by btq96r
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This year I'm going to try to tell a little bit more about the men we honor with each stage.  Please do take the time to read about them.  Tell your friends about them.  Say their names out loud and remember them well.

Stage 1 of the 5k (and night matches) honors MSG Anthony R. C. Yost.  In this stage: Search a building for insurgents in Mosul, Iraq.  React to contact and neutralize the threats. (18Z – Operations SGT)

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Silver Star: Awarded For Actions During Global War on Terror
https://valor.militarytimes.com/hero/3876

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918 (amended by an act of July 25, 1963), takes pride in presenting the Silver Star (Posthumously) to Master Sergeant Anthony Ray Charles Yost, United States Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with 3d Battalion, 3d Special Forces Group (Airborne), while assigned to Special Forces Operational Detachment Alpha 381 (ODA-381), 3d Battalion, 3d Special Forces Group (Airborne), FOB 51, Mosul, Iraq, during combat operations in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, on 19 November 2005, at Mosul, Iraq. Master Sergeant Yost's personal bravery and selfless actions are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.

NARRATIVE TO ACCOMPANY AWARD: Master Sergeant Anthony Ray Charles Yost distinguished himself exceptionally valorous conduct while engaged in combat operations against enemies of the United States during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, 3d Battalion, 3d Special Forces Group (Airborne), while assigned to Special Forces Operational Detachment Alpha 381 (ODA-381), FOB 51, Mosul, Iraq. In the early morning hours of 19 November 2005, while serving as the Detachment Operations Sergeant, Master Sergeant Yost was called into action to respond to distress calls from elements of the Iraqi Police Service and 2-1 Infantry, 172d Stryker Brigade Combat Team (SBCT) that were engaged in a furious battle with heavily armed insurgents in northeastern Mosul. In a dense urban area against determined opposition, the Iraqi Police (IP) had suffered four KIA and many more wounded while the U.S. infantry had already suffered 11 wounded, two of whom would later die of wounds. Master Sergeant Yost responded to their urgent calls for assistance by rapidly assembling his detachment and elements from the 2d Iraqi Army Division that had been trained and advised by SFODA 381. After organizing this response force and moving to the objective area, Master Sergeant Yost was informed that U.S. infantry had been engaged from multiple locations and were unable to secure and clear the house. Even rocket fire from U.S. helicopters had been unable to dislodge this determined enemy force. Without regard for his own safety, Master Sergeant Yost volunteered to lead an assault to secure the house. He quickly assembled a group of Special Forces and IA soldiers, and led them into the target house where they were rapidly engaged by insurgents, both inside as well as outside of the house. As the firefight raged, Master Sergeant Yost, accompanied by a squad of Iraqi Army Soldiers, fearlessly moved forward and entered the enemy stronghold. Once inside the house, Master Sergeant Yost led his Iraqi Soldiers on a room to room search, once again with total disregard for his own safety, and eliminated the insurgents inside the house. As he was consolidating his force, an enormous explosion from a hidden demolition charge engulfed the house, instantly reducing most of it to rubble and fatally wounding Master Sergeant Yost and several of the Iraqi Soldiers accompanying him. The corpses of seven insurgents were recovered from the rubble of the house as well as a cache containing explosives, mines, remote detonating devices, and a scoped rifle. Master Sergeant Yost died leading a group of Iraqi soldiers from the front, soldiers that he had trained. Rather than simply have the Iraqi Army unilaterally clear the house, Master Sergeant Yost voluntarily and audaciously led the assault element, going far above and beyond what was required of him as a combat advisor. Master Sergeant Yost's exceptional courage and leadership inspired the inexperienced Iraqi soldiers to follow him and assault a determined enemy that had already inflicted significant casualties on friendly forces, despite the immediate danger they faced. His actions are in keeping with the finest traditions of military heroism and reflect distinct credit upon himself, the Command, Special Operations Command Central, and the United States Army.

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On 7/27/2022 at 8:52 PM, Wheelgunner said:

I'm registered for the white light 5k.

PT:  When we were 100 days out from this year's match, I set a list of target run times (3 miles, no load) and dates by which to hit them.  My ultimate goal is to do 3 miles under full load in 29 minutes by match day.  Anyway, here's the aspirations vs. ugly truth of how I stack up so far:

 

I love it!  With a plan like that, you should do well.  As far as optics for the white light match - most day optics work fine at night with relatively low magnification.  The higher the magnification, the more light you need to see what you're shooting at.  Does your rifle light have a long enough throw?

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@ Matt in TN - Thanks for your feedback.  It's a Streamlight Pro Tac Rail Mount 2.  I haven't measured at night with a known distance, but with new batteries the manufacturer claims 297m of throw and 90 min. running time on "high" setting - hopefully that will light up the distant targets enough.  I'm heading out this afternoon to look for low power 2x or 3x fixed magnification optics.  I've never used optics much, so this match will be a fun chance to learn.

Thanks also for sharing about MSG Yost. 

  • Like 1
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Stage 2 (5k) or 4 (10k):  SFC Eugene Ashley, Jr.

In this stage:  React to a machine gun attack, assault 5 different positions while dealing with high explosives, illuminating the sky with mortar rounds, and calling in airstrikes to free the Lang Vei Special Forces camp and rescue your teammates. (18F – Intelligence SGT)

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Congressional Medal Of Honor Citation
https://www.cmohs.org/recipients/eugene-ashley-jr

SFC Ashley distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity while serving with Detachment A-101, Company C. Sfc. Ashley was the senior Special Forces Advisor of a hastily organized assault force whose mission was to rescue entrapped U.S. Special Forces advisers at Camp Lang Vei. During the initial attack on the Special Forces camp by North Vietnamese Army forces, Sfc. Ashley supported the camp with high-explosive and illumination mortar rounds. When communications were lost with the main camp, he assumed the additional responsibility of directing air strikes and artillery support. Sfc. Ashley organized and equipped a small assault force composed of local friendly personnel. During the ensuing battle, Sfc. Ashley led a total of five vigorous assaults against the enemy, continuously exposing himself to a voluminous hail of enemy grenades, machine gun and automatic-weapons fire. Throughout these assaults, he was plagued by numerous boobytrapped satchel charges in all bunkers on his avenue of approach. During his fifth and final assault, he adjusted air strikes nearly on top of his assault element, forcing the enemy to withdraw and resulting in friendly control of the summit of the hill. While exposing himself to intense enemy fire, he was seriously wounded by machine-gun fire but continued his mission without regard for his personal safety. After the fifth assault he lost consciousness and was carried from the summit by his comrades only to suffer a fatal wound when an enemy artillery round landed in the area. Sfc. Ashley displayed extraordinary heroism in risking his life in an attempt to save the lives of his entrapped comrades and commanding officer. His total disregard for his personal safety while exposed to enemy observation and automatic-weapons fire was an inspiration to all men committed to the assault. The resolute valor with which he led five gallant charges placed critical diversionary pressure on the attacking enemy and his valiant efforts carved a channel in the overpowering enemy forces and weapons positions through which the survivors of Camp Lang Vei eventually escaped to freedom. SFC. Ashley's bravery at the cost of his life was in the highest traditions of the military service, and reflects great credit upon himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army. 

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Stage 3 (5k) or 5 (10k):  SGM Michael B. Stack

In this stage: React to a convoy attack near Baghdad, Iraq.  Assault the enemy position, evacuate casualties, and reinforce your position before a counterattack.

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Silver Star: Awarded For Actions During Global War on Terror
https://valor.militarytimes.com/hero/29117

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918 (amended by an act of July 25, 1963), takes pride in presenting the Silver Star (Posthumously) to Sergeant Major Michael Boyd Stack, United States Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as Company Sergeant Major with Company C, 2d Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), during combat operations in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, near Baghdad, Iraq, on 11 April 2004. On that date, Sergeant Major Sack's Special Forces team was traveling from Baghdad to Al Hillah, Iraq, when they came under enemy fire. His vehicle was pulling rear security for the convoy and Sergeant Major Stack immediately began to fire upon the enemy so that the others in the kill zone could escape from the hail of enemy fire. He then led a security force into the kill zone to eliminate the remaining threat and allow for the safe evacuation of casualties. After the casualties were evacuated, Sergeant Major Stack began preparation for a counterattack on the enemy position. He manned a .50 caliber machine gun to cover the elements movement toward the enemy position but, because of a damaged vehicle, the counterattack was abandoned, so Sergeant Major Stack directed a link-up with a nearby quick reaction Force and returned to Forward Operation Base 52 to refit. Knowing that the element was in danger of being attacked, he began leading the soldiers in reinforcing their position. That night, as their convoy moved toward Al Hillah, the Special Forces element was ambushed several times from several directions by a high volume of enemy fire in a multiple-kilometer kill zone. In the midst of the ambush, Sergeant Major Stack remained calm and continued to direct fire upon the enemy while keeping control of his element and allowing other vehicles to maneuver to covered and concealed positions. After seeing Sergeant Major Stack's actions, which helped to lead the Special Forces element out of the kill zone, the enemy began to concentrate fire on his vehicle. An explosion killed him instantly. Sergeant Major Stack's personal sacrifice and courage allowed the remainder of the attack t fight its way out of the ambush and ultimately, to survive the attack. His intrepid actions, at the cost of his life, exemplified the highest traditions of the military forces and reflects great credit upon himself, the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), and the United States Army.

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Stage 4 (5k) or 6 (10k):  SFC Nathan Chapman

In this stage:  As you approach a checkpoint in Khost, Afghanistan, react to the attack that mortally wounded SFC Chapman.  Eliminate the enemy, avenge Chapman, and gather intel about bin Laden and Taliban commander Jalaluddin Haqqani’s location in the mountains outside of town, then radio it in to HQ. (18E – Communications SGT)

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Born into a military family, Chapman was born at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland where his father was stationed. He graduated high school from Centerville High School in Ohio and was active with the wrestling team. He immediately joined the Army and went to Ft. Benning for Basic, Advanced Infantry Training and Ranger training before being assigned to the 2nd Ranger Bn at Ft. Lewis, Washington.

In December of 1989, Chapman participated in the invasion of Panama during Operation Just Cause and parachuted into the airfield at Rio Hato, where the Rangers seized the airfield and took down Manuel Noriega’s beach house which had a headquarters in the upper floors.

In 1991, Chapman would once again go into combat during Desert Storm in January 1991. Later that year, he volunteered for Special Forces training and attended SFAS, and the Special Forces Qualification Course at Ft. Bragg, NC. He graduated in December 1992 as an 18E (Communications Sergeant) and then attended the Defense Language Institute’s Tagalog course, finishing in June of 1993.

Chapman was assigned to the 3rd Bn, 1st SFG(A) in July of 1993 and served on ODAs A-185 and A-195. During 1995, he went with his unit to Haiti during Operation Uphold Democracy. In 1998, Chapman was assigned to 1st Bn, 1st SFG(A) on Okinawa and served there for three years. He returned to Ft. Lewis and the 3/1 SFG in 2001.

After 9/11 he volunteered for a special mission in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom. Before he left, he told his wife that his chances of returning were 50/50. They took a family photo and he gave her a heart pendant that they broke so that each could take half.

But after arriving in the country, his odds of surviving got better. The Americans with Northern Alliance allies and massive U.S. air support battered the Taliban and bottled them and al-Qaeda up in Tora Bora including Osama bin Laden.

On the fateful day of January 4, Chapman was with a group of 25 Special Operators, CIA men and their Afghan allies commanded by Zakim Khan Zadran. Team Hotel consisted of three Green Berets, two CIA Paramilitary Officers, and one CIA Contractor. When they arrived in Khost, they were met by Afghans loyal to Padsha Khan Zadran, who, although are unrelated belong to the same clan of Pashtuns who dominate the surrounding area.

In a story that goes back hundreds if not a thousand years, the two warlords were locked in a jealous struggle for power and prestige. With the Taliban on the run, the power vacuum opened the door for old rivalries to take center stage.

Padsha Khan Zadran ordered his men to fire on the Americans at their checkpoint in order to convince American commanders to ditch Zakim Khan Zadran and force their alliance to him. To Chapman and the other Americans, they were searching for information that both bin Laden and Taliban commander Jalaluddin Haqqani were holed up in the mountains outside of town.

After the Americans had met with both warlords they set out to inspect two sites where American airstrikes had hit Taliban targets about 3 miles away. One target, a bombed-out mosque, Chapman conducted bomb assessment damage and then drove to a fort where Taliban tanks had taken a beating from U.S. airstrikes.

As they approached a checkpoint manned by Padsha Khan Zadran’s men, Chapman was standing in the rear of the truck with a camera around his neck. Shots rang out, Chapman slumped in the back of the truck, severely wounded.  Before he collapsed, he emptied his M-4 in the direction of the enemy. By the time they got back to where they’d left from just a short time before, he was dead. A CIA Paramilitary Officer from the Special Activities Division was wounded.

The fighters loyal to Zakim Khan Zadran stated the fire came directly from the checkpoint but the other warlord disagreed. He claimed that the firing came from 50 yards away behind a half-finished mosque. He said his men had arrested a 14-year-old boy who claimed that he had fired the shots to avenge the removal of the Taliban and the bombing of the mosque. Conveniently, the boy escaped from confinement two days later and fled to Pakistan.

However, witnesses identified three men who fired the shots as fighters of Padsha Khan Zadran who then also, conveniently, fled to Pakistan.

Chapman’s body was returned to Washington state and he was buried about a week later in Tahoma National Cemetery in Kent, Washington. He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart. His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star with “V” device, the Purple Heart, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Army Achievement Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, the Humanitarian Service Medal, the United Nations Medal, the Kuwait Liberation Medal, the Southwest Asia Service Medal with Bronze Service Star, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal with arrowhead, the Army Good Conduct Medal (3rd Award), the Armed Forces Service Medal, the Joint Meritorious Service Unit Award, the Army Superior Unit Award, the Combat Infantryman Badge second award, the Master Parachutist Badge, the Parachutist Combat Badge with bronze service star, the Special Forces Combat Divers Badge, the Special Forces Tab, the Ranger Tab, and the Royal Thai Army Parachutist Badge.

He left behind his wife Renae and two children a daughter Amanda (2) and a son Brandon (1) who were too young to remember their father.

The CIA honored Chapman in 2015 by unveiling a star on their Memorial Wall in his honor.

https://sofrep.com/specialoperations/remembering-nathan-chapman-green-beret-cia-kia-afghanistan-2002/

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The post everyone has been waiting for: HIT COUNT!

The MINIMUM required hits are as follows:

5k: 50 rifle and 60 pistol
10k: 80 rifle and 60 pistol

The shooting at Legion is always difficult, so I highly suggest NOT skimping on the ammo you carry so you don't run out. I personally will carry 180 rds rifle and 126 rds pistol for the 10k when I run it - and I know exactly what is coming.

Night matches will use the 5k hit count as the MAXIMUM.  Ellis may simplify some of the stages once he sees them on the ground if he feels it's necessary - so you MIGHT shoot a little less at night, but you will definitely not shoot more.

And just because I'm a nerd, the pic shows how this year's round count compares to all the other Legion matches over the years. Keep in mind a basic Army load is SEVEN 30 rd rifle magazines (and a "double basic load" is 14!) - so while our round counts are a little higher than others, it's well under even a basic load.

I'm really excited for everyone to see the stages this year. We have a very balanced match with several unique challenges, all based around remembering fallen 5th Special Forces Soldiers. I hope you're ready! 

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Stage 5 (5k) or 7 (10k):  MSG Kelly L. Hornbeck

In this stage: Crawl to your hide position in South America. Engage guerillas from the hide. (18B – Weapons SGT)

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Special Forces Soldier killed in Iraq
https://army.togetherweserved.com/army/servlet/tws.webapp.WebApp?cmd=ShadowBoxProfile&type=Person&ID=34085

While in South America fighting drug dealers for the U.S. military, Master Sgt. Kelly L. Hornbeck flew a Texas flag over his camp. When asked by a friend, retired Command Sgt. Maj. Joseph Callahan, why the banner was chosen, Hornbeck replied: "When those guerrillas attack, I want them to know there's a Texan here."

Hornbeck, 36, was wounded Jan. 16, 2004, when an explosive device hit his vehicle near Samarraon, Iraq. The soldier, who was stationed at Fort Carson, Colo., died two days later. Born in Selma, Ala., Hornbeck graduated high school in 1985 in Fort Worth, and left Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas, after a year to join the military. "Dad was a great friend," one of Hornbeck's daughters, 11-year-old Jacqueline McCall, said at her father's funeral. "He died for his country and he was the best soldier because he was brave." Master Sgt. Kelly L. Hornbeck sent signals to his parents when he went on a classified mission. Once, through a vague letter, Hornbeck let them know that he would be out of touch for a while but that they should not worry and that he loved them very much.

"My training is not only limited to that which has been bestowed on me by the mightiest military in the world but also by the greatest set of parents in the world," the 36-year-old Special Forces soldier wrote to his parents, Jeff and Camille Hornbeck of Fort Worth. "I am who I am because ya'll made me that way, and for that I thank you." Kelly Hornbeck's parents learned late last week that their only surviving child had been gravely wounded in Iraq. The Defense Department later reported that an explosive device struck his vehicle on Friday while he was on patrol with his unit south of Samarra. He died two days later at a hospital in Baghdad. On Wednesday, his parents spoke about his life, their loss and their love of country. "He was doing a job he was called to do," Camille Hornbeck said during a news conference in the front yard of their southwest Fort Worth home. "We just want to celebrate Kelly's life as a hero and to let the world know he is a special young man."

Kelly was buried with full military honors. He leaves behind two daughters, Jacqueline McCall, 10, of Frederick, Md., and Tyler Rae Hornbeck, 7, of Lumber Bridge, N.C.

Hornbeck graduated from Paschal in 1985. He attended Tarleton State University for one year, playing on the college's football team, before enlisting in the Army in 1987. At first he trained as an infantryman, but he was eventually promoted to drill sergeant. He volunteered for duty with the Special Forces in 1990 and served as a combat diver, a free-fall parachutist and a jump master. It was a dangerous way to make a living, his parents said. "You knew you had to function, so you put it in another place," Jeff Hornbeck said about his knowledge of the perils his son faced daily. "There was a lot of denial that something may happen. "They were always where the pot was bubbling," he added.

In recent years, Kelly Hornbeck did one tour of duty in Afghanistan and was serving his second tour in Iraq when he was killed. His friends said he didn't talk much about his work during visits home.

Here is an undated letter from Kelly Hornbeck to his parents:

Dear Mom and Dad: 

If ya'll are reading this, then I am on my way to help do my part to ensure the future security of our great nation. I don't take this charge lightly or with a cavalier attitude, rather with a resolute heart and a clear conscience. I am strongly convinced that what we are doing is just and worthy of all that could be spent in the effort. I am not afraid and neither should either of you be, for I trust in my God (Psalm 23) and my training, two powerful forces that cannot be fully measured. 

My training is not only limited to that which has been bestowed on me by the mightiest military in the world but also by the greatest set of parents in the world. I am who I am because ya'll made me that way, and for that I thank you. 

If anything untoward should befall me please insure that the qualities you raised me with get passed onto my children. I love you both very much and intend to see you soon!-

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Posted (edited)

I am excited to announce Tomahawk Strategic Solutions (https://tomahawkstrategicsolutions.com/) has signed on as a Stage Sponsor. 

Tomahawk personnel include Special Operations Forces (SOF) operators, corporate security experts, SWAT/ESU/Patrol officers (retired and active) hand-selected for their specialized skills and experience, and medical professionals.

Tomahawk Strategic Solutions has a proven track record working with a multitude of organizations to improve their security needs.  Our experience stretches across a wide spectrum of industries, including law enforcement, healthcare, education, finance, and private security. We are passionate about our work and dedicated to helping our clients achieve their goals.

https://tomahawkstrategicsolutions.com/media.html?wvideo=5wpps841b8

Edited by Matt in TN
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Posted (edited)

Stage 1 (10k Only):  SFC Robert H. Deeks, Jr.

In this stage: Treat injuries in the vehicle to stabilize your teammates.  Exit the vehicle and assault the multi-story building in Somalia to clear the area. (18D – Medical SGT)

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True Hero
https://www.teenink.com/nonfiction/heroes/article/135328/True-Hero/

Sgt. First Class Robert Deeks was attached to the 562 Green Beret unit as a combat medic in 1990’s. When Sgt. Deeks and his unit arrived in Somalia they were assigned to patrol the Somalia’s disputed border with Ethiopia. The two countries had fought a savage, decade-long war and had only a line in the sand border to show for the bloodshed. On March 3, 1993 Sgt. Deeks was driving one of his team’s soft-top Humvees, following behind another vehicle. His left wheel drove right over a buried land mine, so his body took the full force of the blast. When his teammates saw his bloody, mangled body they thought he was dead, so they began giving first aid to the other wound men, one whom had his back broken in the blast. Sgt. Deeks had been the team’s only medic so the others treated the wounded to the best of their training.

As the men worked quickly to stabilize the wounded, one of them saw Deeks move. His face was covered in blood. The land mine had ripped his legs off and he lost one hand and an eye. But Sgt. Deeks was able to regain consciousness and began to instruct his follow soldiers on what first aid to give to the other wounded and him. He was a medic and his job was to save lives at all cost. The team frantically tried to contract Beledweyne, where the medical evacuation unit of the Canadian airborne was located. But their main radio was in Sgt. Deeks Humvee and was destroyed in the blast. But they finally got the backup radio working. After an hour and a half the helicopter arrived. As it lifted off with Deeks in the bay, he lost consciousness. He done all he could do for his teammates. He died as the copter landed about thirty minutes later.

No U.S. Army Special Forces soldier talks about Somalia with out mentioning Bobby Deeks. The Special Forces language lab located in Fort Campbell is named after him. And Fort Campbell’s simple memorial park where a tree is planted for each Special Forces soldier who has died in action or on a training exercise, there is a tree with a plaque for Bobby Deeks.
 

Edited by Matt in TN
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