Where we lay on our backs in this cornfield shoulder to shoulder we grasped our muskets tightly with our hands and held them close to our bodies across our chests. The volume of Union fire just barely above our heads was so great … I contemplated that if I were to extended my finger straight up, just how long it would take for it to be shot off. — Unknown Confederate soldier during the Battle of Sharpsburg, Maryland

Battle of Antietam by Unknown artist; Kurz & Allison, Art Publishers, Chicago, U.S.A. / Restored by Michel Vuijlsteke [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

I cried because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet” — Hellen Keller

Person hiding face and showing posture of shame (while wearing a Sanbenito and coroza hat) in Goya’s sketch “For being born somewhere else”. The person was shamed by the Spanish Inquisition. | [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
A leapfrog pattern best describes the bounding forward of our teams in this scrub clearing on this day: an overwatch team laid out a coordinated high-volume of suppressive fire down range to keep the adversary pinned down low and inactive while another team of us rushed forward. We in turn would provide the same volume of fire to protect our team as they moved to catch up.

It’s an age-old basic infantry drill really: half your force moves while the other half protects and rotate. It’s not rocket science. Well, unless you use rockets in your suppression, then it does become rocket science, right Einstein?

It was common place in the Unit in those days to train in close quarters with tight shots taken in and around teammates. There was an understanding among men that through good solid realistic training, a hand shake and a promise that we would not shoot each other.

“Remind me again why we are doing this shit,” my bro begged.

“The old man wants us to shoot live stuff over each other’s heads and save each other’s lives by not shooting each other; builds team cohesiveness, he says …”

“I get the team cohesiveness part, but why the basic infantry tactics?”