All posts by Mike Lewis

Retired Senior Noncommissioned Officer of Infantry with 20 years of active service in the United States Army. "During my tenure, I was blessed to serve in some of the most storied units in the Army, including the 82nd Airborne Division and the 506th Infantry Regiment (AASLT) (Band of Brothers), and with some of the finest human beings one could know. I have deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan in support of combat operations, served on deployments to Egypt and Saudi Arabia in support of peacekeeping and stability operations, and served on the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). My final assignment in the Army was as the 82nd Airborne Division Small Arms Master Gunner, developing and instituting weapons training, conducting force modernization activities pertaining to small arms weapons and enablers, and consulting with the Maneuver Center of Excellence (Fort Benning, GA) on said subjects. I have attended both shooter and instructor level classes from some of the best trainers in the industry, am an NRA certified instructor, and have conducted firearms training on the civilian market for concerned citizens since 2007."

Battlesight Zero

Those who carry guns for a living know the world isn’t a nicely manicured flat range and threats will present at differing distances. You won’t have an opportunity to dial in your DOPE to take the shot when you need to. To counter this, anyone not using an optic equipped with a bullet drop compensator uses a battlesight zero or BZO. Before we really get into the BZO let’s look at what the Army and Marine Corps have to say in doctrine. “The term battlesight zero means the combination of sight settings and trajectory that greatly reduces or eliminates the need for precise range estimation, further eliminating sight adjustment, holdover or hold-under for the most likely engagements. The battlesight zero is the default sight setting for a weapon, ammunition, and aiming device combination. An appropriate battlesight zero allows the firer to accurately engage targets out to a set distance without an adjusted aiming point. For aiming devices that are not designed to be adjusted in combat, or do not have a bullet drop compensator, such as the M68, the selection of the appropriate battlesight zero distance is critical.” - US Army Training Circular 3-22.9, May 2016. “…In combat, the Service

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Slaughtering Sacred Linguistic Marksmanship Cows: Following up “Clickbait”

Author’s note: Context is important. The previous post here was intended for the military audience. Judging by things I’ve seen from others it may be applicable to law enforcement entities as well. Without experience based frame of reference it may be tough to get the reasoning in these posts. Nothing personal, just putting it up front. The intent was spur conversation. In that vein, the post seems to have been successful. Was the initial statement and title misleading? Maybe. Was it clickbait? Maybe. Did it get people to read, use critical thinking skills, and discuss? One comment answered that for me: “I shared this article on my personal blog FB page, which is populated by soldiers I served with who wouldn't normally read an article about the profession. Within an hour, it was read by multiple people who would otherwise not give a professional circular this sort of attention. Now they are thinking, and they've been exposed to a higher concept.  The "clickbait" worked. I'll take it.” Note to self- don’t make a habit of doing things that can be considered clickbait. There were a few comments saying it’s semantics. So let’s look at the definition of semantics. Source is

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Stop Marksmanship Training

Since this organization is very gun friendly and dedicated to knowledge I should now have your attention. I just said it and will reiterate. STOP MARKSMANSHIP TRAINING IN THE ARMY. Weapons proficiency training is just that. If you call it marksmanship training and that’s your focus you’re doing it wrong. I’ve used the terms weapons proficiency training and weapons employment in my circle for a while and gotten on my soapbox when friends and colleagues say marksmanship training. I’ve verbally bludgeoned young NCOs and company grade officers to change their vernacular and some came along, some didn’t. Why? It’s simple. My personal definition of marksmanship is the ability or act of using a ballistic tool to put a hole in something at distance. It’s that simple. You’re a great shot? Awesome. Can you reduce a complex stoppage, in the dark, with rain or mud slickened hands? It doesn’t matter how well you shoot if you can’t keep your gun running. Do you have the mindset to continue shooting until the threat is down and obviously out of the fight rather than firing that shot or pair and looking to see where your bullets went? Good job champ- you just got

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Institutional Inertia

“My greatest contribution as the chief of staff was to nourish the mavericks.” – GEN Matthew Ridgway, Commander, 82ND Airborne Division (1942-1945) and Chief of Staff, United States Army (1953-1955) Samuel Colt. Dr. Richard Gatling. John Moses Browning. Gaston Glock. These men are universally recognized as inventors of game changing items that swept the world and their names instantly recognized among many circles. But here's another whose invention was almost killed by members of the old guard with their set paradigm within the Army's Ordnance Department... Eugene Stoner and his AR-pattern rifle. Another example of an earthshattering development being resisted by the old guard is the repeating rifle- in fact it took President Abraham Lincoln interceding to force its adoption. Why? Institutional inertia. How do we break through this obstacle without presidential influence? First we have to define the problem. Institutional inertia is a term many of us have seen thrown around but what exactly is it? Who has defined it? I’ve searched the interwebz and found many articles that discuss it but no real definition. So let’s start by defining it, at least with the aid of the online dictionary and sprinkled with my opinion on the subject. Institutional

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