Here's yet another weekly dump of entries from my diary, which I'm writing as I'm going through national service in the Swedish Army. For more background see my wu in this node. This write-up covers days 15-21, also known as July 1 through 7. Enjoy the read. We did some fun things this week, such as combat excercises that involved shooting my fellow soldiers with so-called practice rounds. Now I know what Counter-Strike is like in real life...

2nd of July, 2002 - 09:37
Life's been busy lately. We spent the better part of Monday marching four kilometers in full combat gear (including a very heavy backpack) - this was not quite as hard as it sounds but suffice to say all of us were pretty tired afterwards. The rest of the day was spent on basic combat excercises, as well as more medical care stuff. Nothing too exciting.

Later, we put our tents up, dug latrine pits and all that stuff. The night passed without anything really out of the ordinary. Today we've been doing more combat training, and after lunch we'll do some shooting exercises with so-called "loose" ammo. Right now, it's time for more theory. One minute left, better go ...

2nd of July, 2002 - 20:02
Starting to get more used to being in the field (as opposed to the relatively comfortable environment back at the base). After lunch we did a combat excercise where we ran around in the forest shooting at each other. It was exciting firing a real steel automatic rifle for the first time, and the feeling of taking aim for an enemy, who has not yet spotted you, in the middle of the forest, is wonderful. Good thing we weren't using live ammo. I'm starting to learn more and more how it feels to be a soldier, both the good and the bad bits of it. Tonight we're going to have a proper camp fire, complete with hot dogs for everyone.

4th of July, 2002 - 23:42
Another busy week is approaching its end. Yesterday (Wednesday) we packed our things and left our former home in the forest, one day earlier than originally planned. Apart from going "home", not too much else happened that day, apart from the usual boring excercises, which nonetheless took up enough of my time to keep me from writing. Today, however, we've done some much more interesting things: Before lunch, we learned how to properly assume good firing positions, and how to command other people to do so.

(Note: FYI, A "firing position", means a place where you can stand, sit or lie down somewhat comfortably, waiting for the enemy to walk into your field of vision so you can whack him with whatever weapon you happen to be carrying.)

The afternoon was spent practicing setting up perimeter alarm mines, little things with tripwires that give off a lot of light and sound whenever someone trips them. Very useful. We also used the shooting range for the first time, which also included firing with live ammo for the first time. Fortunately, there were no accidents, though my aim clearly needs a little improvement.

5th of July, 2002 - 21:40
Home again, and it feels good. Today was spent cleaning our weapons (fun) as well as our barracks (boring). We also got proper nametags, replacing the hand-written ones we'd worn before. Soon we'll get to hand in requests for what kind of jobs we'll get once basic training is over with. The coming weeks will be spent on guard training and similar stuff. Personall, I hope we'll get to spend more time on the shooting range...

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