News: Marines aim for heads during Zombie shootout
Story by Pfc. David Walters
IWAKUNI, Japan - “When there is no more room in hell, then the dead will walk the earth.” This quote comes from the 1978 zombie classic, “Dawn of the Dead.”
Junior Marines participated in the Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron Zombie Shoot at the Indoor Small Arms Range here, June 18-20, 2013.
The first day, Marines attended a safety brief on the nomenclature, weapon carries and remedial procedures for the Beretta M9 pistol, followed by a weapons handling test and picking out their zombie target.
The next day, Marines performed dry firing.
On the third day, apocalypse day, 16 Marines stepped up to face off against their zombie targets as if they arose from the earth, threatening the station.
With blood packets attached to their zombie targets, participants fired away in a friendly competition to see who was the ultimate zombie slayer.
When participants landed a successful headshot, fake blood poured from broken blood packets. This gave shooters extra initiative to sight in properly between their zombie's eyes.
“I didn’t know they had the blood packs,” said lance Cpl. Coleman B. Harrelson, H&HS aviation ordnanceman and Zombie Shoot participant. “One of (the blood packets) popped, and I thought to myself, ‘oh, where’s mine?’”
During the last course of fire, another surprise was in store for the Marines: not only did they have to shoot as the targets closed in from the 25 yard to the seven yard line, but the room's lights were replaced by red and blue strobe lights, reducing visibility.
Maj. Elizabeth Pham, H&HS executive officer, said she organized the event for junior Marines as an opportunity to have an event of their own and to introduce them to the Beretta M9.
The mission of H&HS is to train and prepare Marines for combat, and Pham said she wanted to reinforce that mission in a fun, competitive environment.
“We are training ourselves to be ready for combat at all times,” said Pham. “So what do we have to do besides training with our normal (Military Occupational Specialty)? We also need to know how to shoot a new weapon.”
According to Pham, events like this help build confidence that Marines have in each other by allowing them to see what each other’s strengths are.
“You see people out there that you never thought could shoot and they're shooting right next to you and they’re pretty good,” said Pham.
Pham said she would like to extend her thanks to the Marines who work at the ISAR for their hard work and professionalism, which helped make this event happen and run smoothly and efficiently.
Pham also mentioned another zombie shoot is scheduled to take place in the fall.