Section Battle Drills are a fundamental part of a British soldier's basic training. They are, quite literally, 'drilled' into recruits until they become second nature. They are designed to teach the six phases of a battle and by so doing they maximise both the individual soldier's chances of survival and the section's chances of closing with and destroying the enemy.
This poem is based on an event which took place on a range in Brecon when my section corporal used a 7.62 Self Loading Rifle fired from just behind me to simulate enemy fire. Funny old thing; the second drill; 'Reaction to Effective Enemy Fire' (Dash, Down, Crawl, Observe, Sights, Fire) still rattles through my brain every now and again.
Water burst in the air,
stone split and spat at my feet
sharp staccato cracks filled my ears.
One thought, no time for more,
Down, crawl, observe, sights
Later as I checked my feet,
I found the hole
... in my boot's rubber heel.
John Carré Buchanan
27 December 2014