Journey of a PR Rookie 12

Iron Eagle

Brutal. Didn't like taking APC because we were responsible for the asset and just like last night, I wasn't quite sure how I was supposed to use it. Defnitely more comfortable being on foot as infantry. Defended Bijar but squad wasn't organized. I hadn't set up any kind of fireteams or established how we would move as a squad (maybe because we were in vehicles so much). SMs started to scatter and do their own thing because I wasn't being vocal. I was shell shocked; completely frozen. In a completely new map and not knowing the best ways to approach objectives or where to defend, I stayed quiet and this wasn't good. I was very fortunate though to have BoogeyLoh in my squad. He was in TeamSpeak coaching me and even though our team didn't do so well, he supported me for the whole round. He and I talked after and I learned a lot.

Two things I learned from this round:

1. Need to get organized in the very beginning of a round and set the tone for your squad-- in how you speak and what you expect from them and what kind of squad you will be running. Without doing that, like on Iron Eagle, I saw how quickly the cohesion of the squad can disintegrate. Once that happens, it's really difficult to get it back.

2. Boogey's advice to have simple objectives-- things the squad can focus on. An example would be when we were defending Bijar and I wanted to regroup. There was also a tank driving through the city (which made it hard for my squad to regroup) and enemy contacts in the area. Boogey suggested I focus on one thing and think what has the highest priority right now? In that case it was the tank. So what I could have done is tell the team that we're going to take the tank down first. Next I would get the HAT up and have a riflemen go with him to hunt it. Simple objective: kill the tank.

Another example would be when we were making our move into Bijar towards the end of the round. The Havok spotted our firebase in the SW, on the outskirts of the city and was gunning everyone down. We also had enemy infantry to our north just over a hill, and in the city, there were two snipers on a building overwatching us. So I panicked, frozen again, not knowing what to do. My mind kept racing through all the different threats and trying to figure out how I'm going to deal with ALL OF THEM.

What Boogey advised was this; take care of the biggest threat and focus on that. That will be the objective for your squad right now. In this case, we needed to take care of the Havok. There was no way for us to enter the city with it overhead. So the simple solution is to get the AA kit up. Then you can tell your squad, "Alright guys, we're going to take care of the Havok. Boogey, get to the side of the north hill and wait for the Havok. When you see him, take it down. The rest of us hide and watch north."

Things became a lot clearer in my mind. When you set an objective, even a small one, it gives your squad focus and allows the squad to be working together towards something. That's how you have cohesion.

WIth a round like Iron Eagle and being beaten to the ground, I thought my night was done. But you know what? It was far from over. Something about squad leading draws you back for more. I took Boogey's advice and tried to apply it in my next round.

Jabal Al Burj

MEC. I started a squad and was alone, unable to get an Officer's Kit. Fresh air. Peace and Quiet. Time to think and go at my pace. It was nice after Iron Eagle. Two squads were in Jabal defending. I knew there wasn't a lot of people unassigned so I figured that I would be a sort of recon squad, perhaps I could spot enemies or sneak into places and be a nuisance. I spawned at Main and started walking to the north bridge that heads into Jabal. Saw Hippo's squad heading to the north bank of the river. I followed. My plan was to link up with CR8Z's squad in the city and see what help I could give. I moved to the bank and got prone. Spotted a lone US soldier on top of the water tower. Took some shots at him but doubt I killed him. It was nice, just taking my time and looking through my scope. Then we lost the city and it seems like the entire US side had fortified the north end of Jabal and were shooting at us from the other side of the river.

Someone joined my squad, "PB." I asked him to take the medic kit. Tried to keep it simple. I placed a marker at our end of the north bridge and told PB that we're going there. "I want to get back into Jabal." We crept up to the river back and made sure it was clear before we swam across. Hippo's squad was also swimming across to our west. Sporanix joined up and told me that the enemy is all in front of me, really close. I could hear them too. Another guy joined my squad. My basic objective now was for PB and I to hold at the riverbank and get Sporanix and the new guy across. So I informed my squad, "PB, we're going to stay here and wait for Sporanix. Stay low. Sporanix, I crossed here on the left of the bridge. See if you can cross." I set a marker where I crossed and Sporanix made a break for it. As he swam he was shot and never made it across. So now I thought, what to do? Well, I want to keep the same objective-- rally across the river. So I told Sporanix to move farther east and try crossing there. In the meantime, I told PB that we would go east and we'd all meet on the enemy's side of the river. Sporanix moved out. I headed east with PB. That's when the JDAM hit.

I checked the map and saw that we still had a firebase up south of Jabal. I told my squad to spawn there. PB and I were the first ones at the firebase. Soon we had two others. Here my objective was simple. I wanted to move to the hills south of Jabal with the goal to "get eyes" on the city and see what's going on-- see if we can see any enemy movement, positions, etc. So we moved out. Another guy spawned at the firebase. "alright guys, we'll hold here and wait for him to catch up." Simple objectives. It was becoming a little easier. I adusted my move marker so we could get to the hill faster. We headed up. And then by some miracle the round ended and our team had won.

Jabal was a nice round to get after the hammering and demoralizing round of Iron Eagle. Not much happened but I was able to focus on simple objectives for my squad and that helped a lot. Things were a little easier.

Was my night done? Hell no. My goal for the next round was to take a break and be a squad member again. Little did I know that sometimes Squad Leaders have to leave and you might find yourself with an Officer's Kit.

continued in Part 2...
(had to separate it because got a message my post was 5000 words to long lol)