USRA BOOT CAMP 2014 AAR
This year’s Boot Camp schedule was modified somewhat in that the One Shepherd segment was moved forward to Saturday. This coincided with their “Zombie Attack” event. Since their event was open to the public, integrating it into our boot camp proved very successful. Approximately 25 people overall participated (plus a few zombies to start off with) which made things “interesting” out in the field.
Six teams, utilizing the One Shepherd Mil-Sim laser units, allowed force on force encounters between humans and zombies and some not so pleasant human on human encounters. In the end, it was a great time. Lessons learned, experiences gained, and options explored. I understand that Jason will be developing the scenario for next year and it may provide for a base camp defense so more people can be involved without tramping around 220 acres. So if you didn’t / couldn’t join in this year, plan on it for next year. Bring your chair, control your field of fire, and wait for them to come to you! I encourage you to look into One Shepherd for leadership training. They are on facebook.
Sunday Missouri USRA had a Tactical Carbine event scheduled and since we had enough instructors present, we also did an impromptu Introduction to Defensive Handgun class. This proved to be a nice warm up for the coming week.
After the guns were put away, we had our pig roast followed by the annual meeting. As always, our roaster Darin had more than enough food prepared and it was delicious. Lots of talk at the tables as folks caught up with old friends, making new ones, re-hashing the zombie attack, etc.
At the annual meeting, Doug Finke was elected as our new Vice President while Steve Schnurbusch was retained as treasurer. We went over the successes and shortcomings USRA faced in 2014 and some of the plans to correct same in 2015. An obvious fix we can all help with is promoting our events. Talk it up at work, with friends, a free ad in the local shopper, etc. If you have the best widget in the world, but no one knows….it sits on the shelf. Let’s start getting people to our shoots and expose them to some training that may make a difference in their lives.
Monday Derek ran a “train-the trainer” class for Tactical carbine while Karl and Chris worked with a group on the Defensive Handgun course of fire. Monday night Fred ran the 1st portion of the NRA Range Safety Officer class. Eight USRA members took him up on the offer and after a long day shooting, grabbed a quick bite to eat and headed for the classroom.
Tuesday was Carbine on Range#1 and Handgun on Range #2. Instructors got some time teaching out front as well as some much needed trigger time. Again, after chow, Fred put on the 2nd half of the NRA RSO class. USRA is proud to have 8 more certified Range Safety Officers within its ranks.
Wednesday is always a fun day. Competition day! We started out with the assault rifle match. Lots of friendly trash talk flying around as friends joked with each other as to their abilities, or lack there-of. In the end, KR took home the honors which he says proves 2 points: (1) Old age and treachery will overcome youth and skill; and (2) You can’t miss fast enough to win. Congrats to KR for a solid run!
Moving on to the handgun match. Dave set up a couple awesome IDPA-ish stages that tested your ability to move keeping cover in mind, hit targets rapidly but accurately, engage multiple targets and manipulate your pistol. These were timed events that also utilized scoring to arrive at a final score. Speed wasn’t everything! A big thanks to Dave for setting these stages up for us! Congrats to EEL who just squeezed past Justin and took the handgun match!
A new addition this year was the clay pigeon shoot. USRA heard the request of our members that we only did handgun, assault rifle, and precision rifle competitions. In typical USRA fashion, many of our members stepped up and brought enough throwers so that we could run this event without a lot of down time. It was a huge success! It came down to a shoot out between Doug and KR. In the first round, Doug was able to hold off the challenge by KR and win the event. Congrats to Doug and his scatter gun!
The 400 yard one shot was very impressive! Last year it wasn’t even close as Karl walked away with it. This year was an entirely different story! People have obviously been working on their distance shooting. Just as Cherie, shooting irons, thought she had the winner with a shot right on the 9 ring, Justin drops down and drills a bull at 1 O’clock! Then Erik graciously allowed about everyone to use his scoped M1A and things got really interesting! Chad put one just outside the bull at 11 O’clock, EEL then lands one about the same distance but at 2 O’clock. Looks like a measurement will be called for. But wait…Doug manages to edge them both out with a shot at 3 O’clock for the win! Three (3) shots all within about ¼” of each other! A huge thanks to Karl for running a great event and the use of his camera system that, just like the multiple throwers, provided for minimal down time! Congratulations to Doug for taking home the honors. Special award to Erik for his winning rifle / ammo combination!
The Turkey shoot was won by Brian Bird. While it may sound easy, putting 1 round on target closest to the center of the star is not an easy task when you have this many quality shooters around! Brian took his time and put his round where it needed to go. Congratulations to Brian! The Bird brothers, Bruce and Brian, have been long time supporters of USRA and are a staple at Boot Camp. If you need any promotional items, (pens, shirts, can koozies, you name it) see Bruce!
Thursday and Friday were open range days. Some worked on polishing handgun skills, some worked with their carbines, still others worked with their scatterguns on the pigeons, while others spent the day on the distance range getting solid dope on their rifles (getting the jump on next year’s 400 yard 1 shot no doubt!) Yes, the bowling ball mortar made its appearance, much to everyone’s enjoyment! Thanks Mike, Chad, and Zeb!
Saturday was tear down day. USRA and One Shepherd have an agreement that is beneficial to both. They allow us to use their tents and we help store them away for winter. Simple arraignment by 2 like minded organizations. We got the jump on things by capitalizing on good weather Friday and tearing down the 2 medium tents. With the assistance of the One Shepherd people, the remaining 2 tents were stowed in short order. Many hands make light work!!
So the 2014 Boot Camp came to a close. But wait! No camp fires!? No side stories!? No new phrases!? Oh YEAH! The camp fire burned 24/7 from Sunday night until Saturday around 1400 when we departed. Not 1 deuce and a half, but TWO! Bowling balls whistle. New phrases? How about “Don’t Ginger my truck!” ….. “Safety is the other guy’s problem” (Sorry Fred! You know they’re just joking!)…. “You can’t miss fast enough to win”…. “Will someone PLEASE take that stick away from her”….and….”Quit attacking my chair!”
Next years Boot Camp is already on the schedule—October 17-24, 2015. Put it on your schedule now!
The USRA Board members want to thank all of you that attended. I hope it was all you expected and more! Thanks to all the individuals that gave 110% to make Boot Camp a pleasant experience for everyone. Not an exhaustive list so if I missed anyone….sorry: George, for getting up every morning and helping with breakfast, Fred, who came down just to teach the RSO class, Dave, Karl, Derek, Mike, Chad, Cherie, Zeb, the Birds for the “Jitney”, Jason for the range and all the improvements, One Shepherd for shelters and the zombie event, and, well, everyone. If someone saw something that needed doing, they did it.
And that is what boot camp is. That is what USRA is. That is who we, all of us, are.
Family, Friends, Community.
See you all next year. Bring a friend. They’ll be glad you dragged ‘em along!
Photos from Boot Camp 2014.