Stars Earn Stripes - tactical exercises

                                            Celebrity cast top; Olympic skier Picabo Street getting tips

This post really doesn't have much to do with Alpha Asian issues. Well, maybe tangentially. Anyway, the much maligned reality TV game show concluded. In case you are unaware, this show takes celebrities and pits them in competition against other teams in tactical and operations-like assignments. Each celebrity is paired up with a military/law enforcement counterpart for training and guidance and they work in teams. The show has taken heat because critics think it glorifies war and trivializes what real military folks do. And I have to say that the critics do have a point about the trivialization and all and hearing the celebrities talk about their experiences is kind of goofy at times.

But I don't wish to delve into the merits of the show. Rather, I watched most of it because I was interested in the tactical assignments and marksmanship. And also, it's cool to blow shit up and kick down doors. I can't even remember the different rifles they used throughout the show. One of the guys I used to work with early on in my career was a firearms instructor and a few times I'd go with him to Quantico and we'd shoot. First, let me say that I am not a marksman at all and I'm also operational support. My job doesn't require me to carry. My vision is pretty crappy as well so my eye sight isn't exactly sharp.

Target shooting and marksmanship is a perishable skill. I haven't gone to the range bust some caps in well over 10 years and my groupings would probably be all over. And the quarterly firearms qualifications are hard. If you're a federal agent, you HAVE to pass your qualifications. And these are timed--firing with strong hand and weak hand, etc.... But what was interesting is that the female celebrities seemed to do pretty well at the shooting, both long arms and sidearms. But particularly the pistol shooting. Long arms are a little different because you do have a scope to help you line up. One of the guys I used to work with was a fire arms instructor and he made a comment about that as well. Or at least he observed something similar with the female basic agent trainees. This seems to happen with females who've never shot before. He wasn't sure if it was because they were easier to train or what.

He did say he had a hard time with guys who had previous law enforcement experience because there's a tendency for them to think they know it all. In addition, he had to break them out of their state and local trained shooting habits and train them the way MY agency wants them to learn how to shoot. But for some reason, there are always some female first time shooters who have great groupings, are dead accurate and they have the mechanics down. To be fair, though, there are a number who fail at firearms and are kicked out of the academy if they can't pass.

So in the show, Picabo Street was just killing it on the pistol shooting. Same goes for Eve Torres, the WWE diva, who actually won the competition. Actor Dean Cain was the last male celebrity left in the competition and both Street and Torres beat him out. The show also switched up all the firearms; from the Sig P229 to H&K....I can't even remember the numerous sidearms they used, so their proficiencies were with various types, not just with one firearm. i don't know if it's because both of the ladies had athletic backgrounds or what, but they did great in the tactical drills, especially the pistol shooting.

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