Returning Enemy Fire: The Two Way Range (Part Two)


– Hey TFB TV, welcome to another episode. Today I’m here with my
friend Draga-douche– I mean, Dragomir. So (laughing) we served in the same unit in the Marine Corps, 1st
Battalion 9th Marines. And I wanna try to talk about some of the effects of small arms, down range of the gun. I mean usually on TFB TV, we’re all about shooting
stuff from behind the trigger and behind the fire line. However, in this case, I wanna talk about some of our experiences
down rage and actually in gunfights and getting
shot at and stuff like that. Now obviously, me and Dragomir aren’t the most operator in the world, you know, I’ll let the DEVGRU and CAD guys tell their end of the story as well. But what we’ve been through is, significant to us in our own lives and we’d kinda like to share some of that because it’s always fascinating, as small arms enthusiasts and people who are interested in firearms, what’s happening down range, what’s happening on the other side, especially for young
Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen. I just meant Soldiers
and Marines, actually. (laughing) – Not too many Airmen– – No, no, but for any of
the young guys who are going down range or may be in a law
enforcement capacity as well. So, Drag, let’s first take this off. So what were some of your
perceptions and ideas like in training, before you enlisted, that sort of thing. – [Dragomir] Initial
training was, with the Navy, Navy basic training and
then Corpsman “A” School, both which I did in Chicago at the time. I mean, we all assumed that
we would go to Afghanistan, and you know, there’d be
like hoards of Taliban, like, riding their horses with
like scimitars towards us. – [Miles] Yeah. – [Dragomir] And we just engaged targets and they would just drop
like they did at the range, you know? So we didn’t know what our concept of, what it would be like was very skewed. I had friends in other units though, friends in 3/6 that had
been through Marjah, and they came back and told
a completely different story, like the way they were
saying that combat was, was completely unlike
anything that I’d ever seen in a movie or thought
about in my own head. So I would say that like, even if you have some kind of a mindset prior to going into combat, but you’ve never been to combat or if you have been to combat in a different type of scenario, let’s say you were doing jungle warfare, or like close-range combat, like a lot of guys did in
the early days of Iraq, you know, house-to-house stuff? – [Miles] Mm, hm. – [Dragomir] Afghanistan’s
completely different, at least the part where we were at. – [Miles] Mm, hm. – [Dragomir] It’s a
completely different ballgame. So, it’s never good to go in
with a preconceived notion because you really don’t
know until you get there, and that’s the message that I wanna relay to people is that, no matter what you have in your head, especially if you’ve never been in combat, about what it’s like to be in a firefight and what it’s like to be
in a particular scenario, you have no idea what
you’re talking about. Like, if you have any kind
of preconceived notion, or, “my buddy from Special
Forces told me this” or, “my buddy was a Navy
Seal, told me that.” That doesn’t mean anything to me, doesn’t mean anything to veterans
that have been in combat, it means absolutely nothing. – [Service Member In
Video] We gotta a sniper! – [Dragomir] You might as
well have been telling me that you’re playing Call of
Duty, like, good job, bro. – [Miles] So, how did that
perception just fall apart the first, your first firefight? (shooting firearm) – [Dragomir] So, you
know, our biggest fear was I’m not gonna lie, like, our biggest fear was that we would get our private parts shot off, that was the biggest fear, biggest concern we had at the time. (shooting firearm) Which is in a way, it’s an
infantile, self-preserving kind of feeling. But I would say the first
time we got shot at, we were in the back of a seven-ton, and we were moving from our
original FOB to a company FOB, we did a lot of ops
with different companies throughout deployment, we assisted them. If you’ve ever been to a gun
range and you’ve pulled pits, aka Marine Corps, because
no other service does that, you know the sound a
bullet makes when it cracks over your head, like, it’s very distinct, it
sounds like a firecracker, it’s very loud and it’s
not that booming sound that it makes at the muzzle, that comes a couple seconds later because (service member in video yelling) the crack that the bullet
makes is actually the bullet breaking the speed barrier
as it goes over your head. – [Miles] The sound barrier. – [Dragomir] Yeah, the sound barrier, and then a couple of seconds later, you hear the boom that
comes from the muzzle. ‘Cause the sound travels
slower than the bullet, the bullet is supersonic
so it’s gonna get there before the sound that it
made at the barrel does. – [Miles] You know something, so people have pointed out that, well yeah, I haven’t been shot at before, you know, before my second deployment. And then said, “Well yeah,
you have, like in the pits.” And I thought about it, and it’s like, “Yeah, it’s true, I’ve had hunter’s rounds fly over me in the pits.” But I think the difference
there is the stimulus– – [Dragomir] Right. – [Miles] Because when you’re in the pits, like you know it’s all safe,
you know it’s all secure. – [Dragomir] Right, yeah, absolutely. – [Miles] So you can literally hear like, an M134 minigun just blasting overhead. – [Dragomir] Yeah, you’re fine. – [Miles] And you know
for a fact you’re safe. But then, when it’s in
an actual firefight, you’re hearing the exact
same sound from the pits. – [Dragomir] Yeah, and it’s not the pits, you know it’s not the pits. – [Miles] But you know
you’re not fine, you know? – [Dragomir] I think it’s important to be exposed to that sound because you know immediately what it is, and I mean I hate to say
your training kicks in, but instantaneously your
mind goes to like… return fire, seek cover, return fire. That’s the most, at the
core, the most basic facet of how you go into a firefight, especially in Afghanistan
because it’s so open, in order to be effective, you have to seek cover, ’cause otherwise you’ll
get shot out in the open and you’re no good to anybody. – [Miles] Mm, hm. – [Dragomir] You have
to find effective cover, and provide effective firing, so– – [Miles] But where, where are you gonna provide effective fire at? Half the time, you know– – [Dragomir] I’m getting, I’m getting to that part, I’m
getting to that part, so– – [Miles] Half the time,
we didn’t even know. – [Dragomir] So we just heard rounds going and we saw tracers go
over the patrol base, and I look over to my guys and I’m like, “Dude, are they getting shot at?” it’s like, “Dude, I think
it’s going down, like,” and there’s another burst and then the guy I’m post to wasn’t even a post, it was a guy on the roof with a 240 like, he’s returning fire, so he’s like, “Da-da-da-da-da-da-da!” So the emotional response
that I had at the time, was that of extreme elation, like it was unbelievable like, it was one of the most intense feelings I’ve ever had in my life. It was so powerful, like
the rush is so powerful, I’ve never experienced that
same kind of rush with anything, and I’ve gone bungee jumping, so that wasn’t even close
to the kind of feeling that I got from– and it wasn’t even directed at us, it was just the notion that, “Oh my God, we’re so close to combat now, “I can taste it, I could hear it.” When it’s your first time,
your first couple times, the excitement takes over
and you don’t really think. You just rely on your basics, like your basics are telling you that you need to kill this guy. That’s what they’ve been teaching you in the Marine Corps this
whole time is kill, you know? So you want to just kill and you’re not really thinking very much, you’re not using your cerebrum, it’s a very emotional response. – [Miles] Mm, hmm. – [Dragomir] So there
were rounds impacting just you could see the dirt kick up where the rounds were, you knew right away what it was, like it wasn’t a kid throwing rocks, I’ll tell you that. – [Service Member In
Video] Let’s go, let’s go! It was rounds impacting, some were hitting the wall behind us, and you know… I mean you could hear the snaps and it was kind of chaotic. And then the trucks that had staged right outside to our left, the MRAPs pushed out and I could hear, they were about 100 meters away, and I could hear the
gunner on the lead MRAP, yell, like scream, like, “Get some!” (laughing) As he racked to .50
cal and just opened up, like just, I mean it wasn’t even if like, some of his rounds were hitting 50, 60 meters in front of the truck, ’cause he was just, like, going, I mean, he was just
shooting in the direction of where the fire was coming from. – [Miles] Yeah. You mentioned stuff to me before about, how just the realization? When you’re taking rounds,
the realization that, there’s somebody on the
other side of those rounds, and they’re trying to kill you. – [Dragomir] To kill you, yeah. – [Miles] And you’re trying to kill them. – [Dragomir] Yeah. – [Miles] And it’s just
this very primitive, like- – [Dragomir] It’s a very, yeah, it’s almost serene in a
way I would say because, people think that like, when you’re under those
kinds of circumstances, most people would panic. But, I don’t know how else to describe it, because I’ve never felt
it again afterwards, and it’s in those moments
that you feel like, everything makes sense, almost. It’s like everything is connected, everything connects, your brain is like, all the
senses are working together. Just this feeling of interconnectedness. And… it just clicks. It clicks in, and your
purpose becomes very clear in that moment and your
purpose is to kill that guy before he kills you. – Mm, hm. – And there is no other
thoughts in your mind beyond that, there is nothing,
nothing except for that, this guy’s shooting at me, I’m shooting back. – Mm, hm. I would also add that, I wasn’t, a lot of the
times, I experienced fear, doing a lot of the firefights you’re in and a lot of the skirmishes. But, it wasn’t fear of, oh crap, something’s gonna hit me, it’s gonna hurt a lot. It was more fear of, if I get hit, somebody else is gonna have
to carry me out of this place. – Or one of your buddies is gonna get hit, the fear of like, “Man, one
of my guys might get hit.” that is a real fear, I’ll tell you that. – Yeah. – These are the guys that
you sleep in the same tent, or hooch or under a tarp, or wherever you may find yourself. Under the stars, in a hole. – [Miles] Yeah. – [Dragomir] You eat with
them, you fight with them, from time to time, you know, they’re closer to you than your brothers so you feel for these
guys more than you do for your own family members. So the thought of one of them taking one in the dome piece, and like being gone, really
rattles at you, you know? – [Miles] Especially
if it’s because of you. – [Dragomir] Yeah, if it’s your fault, like if you hesitate, if
you don’t pull that trigger, if you don’t run out
there, expose yourself, return fire or do
whatever needs to be done, one of your guys is gonna not come home. – [Miles] Yeah. – [Dragomir] So that’s a big fear, self-preservation, I mean I think that’s almost instinctual, which is
why you try to seek cover. But like, you know that you’re gonna have to expose yourself
at some point in time, you’re gonna have to
put yourself out there, and return fire, give
people time to egress, or maneuver, or do whatever it may be in the circumstance that you’re in. – Mm, hm. – So you know that
knowledge stays with you, after your first firefight, that becomes like, “Oh, shit,” like that clicks in, like, this is gonna happen again, this is the first time, it’s awesome. But it’s gonna happen again, I can’t wait for it to happen again, but at the same time, it’s like, “Oh, shit,” you know? – Yeah, yeah. – You know? But… (“Stars and Stripes Forever”)

100 thoughts on “Returning Enemy Fire: The Two Way Range (Part Two)

  • We rolled into a market one time that had a few hundred people in it and after about 10 minutes it was empty then the fucking mosque started playing the call to prayer at the wrong time. To me, things like that are worse than getting shot at.

  • I had boots looking at me sideways my first time pulling pits after coming back from Fallujah. I went ducking for cover first rounds after we sent up the targets for 200 yard rapid. I couldn't help but think how surreal it was to be spinning a lollipop instead of peeking over the berm to return fire.

  • had a buddy of mine got his goggles literally shot off of his helmet by a sniper. whole fireteam got cover and returned fire. smoked the fucker from around 400 meters. not hard as the dumbass was silhouetted against the skyline.

  • I remember one time after about a 12 hour patrol in Baghdad, a burst of fire went over my head(I was gunner in a M1114) and I had the same thought of "Nope. Fuck you, I'm hungry and tired and you can find some one else to fuck with"

  • I really appreciate vets coming out in the comments section and sharing their accounts, whether it mirrored ours, or were completely different. It just shows how people go through things differently. In addition a lot of you guys, especially Iraq and early Afghan vets went through much more than myself and Drag did in comparison. Seriously, power to you guys, I could never fill your shoes.

    He won’t say this for himself but Bresh, whom you guys have seen in previous TV episodes, is a hard dude. Sangin and Marjah Vet from 2/9.

  • Take a public speaking annex or a PME – but fuck, learn to quit saying LIKE every few seconds.

    "…and I look over at my buddy Thompson and I'm LIKE, dude, we're…we're about to get hit, LIKE I just had this feeling LIKE, I had this feeling of… dude, we're gonna get hit, LIKE and it's gonna be LIKE, it's gonna be big. LIKE it's not gonna be… not gonna be a regular LIKE pop shot or burst, we're LIKE gonna be here a while."

    Jesus fuck. You're prohibited from the word from this point forward. Like, got it, like?

  • Looking back some of the shit I laughed about civilians would say is fucked up but you get used to shit over there. 
    It's crazy the shit you laugh about in war.

  • So, not knowing where rounds come from is still a problem?

    Sound like a new project for me. High pass filter on MEMS might do the trick.

  • Nice and thanks for sharing your video. Thanks for your service. People who’ve never been shot at or experienced war, have bullshit stories.

  • Normally I would dislike Miles videos because . . . well . . . because I don't like him.
    In this case I won't because of the topic.
    Thanks for serving.

  • As far as the not knowing where people are and the combat training, of course that does depend on the type of war if, especially who you're fighting (insurgents, or a professional army), so its not like the training is for some fake sort of combat, just, well, not the type of there is.

    Though they almost certainly know that and I'm spouting for no reason

  • Afghanistan looks like a beautiful country, shame its a war-zone. Also its crazy how those guys didn't react to the first mortar until the second one hit.

  • This is important stuff that I think everyone really should sit down and listen too. Thank you guys for making these videos and thank you all for your service.

  • Fuck me with a rake sideways. I don't know what's better- Dagomir in the video, or Dagomir ripping assholes in the comments.

  • Nice perspective. Big contrast with video games. Normally in a video game, you have no problem seeing the bad guy, but reality is very different. No one wants to be shot, so everyone is doing their best to remain in cover and hide (as opposed to jumping and running around which is what you see in most video games.)

  • With all the confusion about not knowing where rounds are coming from why don't the insurgents only take pot shots? I would think one accurate shot would be a better idea than staying and fighting or shooting enough until everyone knows where you are.

  • The reason these ROEs are as they are is because of the huge number of civilian casualties in Iraq. Sure, RoEs kill soldiers, but they save the lives of hundreds of civilians for every soldier killed.

  • No matter what. When Hadji starts shooting at me everything was always a fucking surprise. The cock suckers know where you are going an they always set us up. Fucking adrenalin rush.

  • As someone who has never been in a combat situation, hell even in a potentially lethal fight, it's really good to see videos like this. Rather than all the armchair commando videos you see everywhere on youtube. Good to keep everything grounded in reality.

    Also @TFB TV just curious, does having all the head gear on make it really difficult to piece together where shots are coming from or is hard regardless?

  • I was stationed in Helmand Afghanistan in 2010. I recount one episode where we were sleeping in a FOB and as we took rounds during the night guys didn't even bother get out of bed. Too exhausted to respond to harassment fire from the greenzone. The ANA soldiers that we were sharing camp with was just mindlessly shooting back into the greenzone with no rime or reason.

  • Lol this is trained paid army fighting militia men. And you call them"vets" lol. veterns of what exactly ? killing armed civilians ?

  • I find this really fascinating. I complete see how it is better to use humor as a coping mechanism as opposed to being scared or sad. I find it hilarious that it seams the Taliban are all terrible shots. They probably hip fire out at 400 yards.

    The comment you made about training soldiers to determine where the enemy fire is coming from really stuck with me for some reason. It's something one wouldn't think about until your out in the field getting shot at. I guess the old saying "never fire twice" because it gives away your location is not always so true. I would think that at least the squad leader would have training to spot the location of incoming fire. The people at the top have been running the US Armed Forces for a long time and I am astounded that this is an oversight. I would think there would be some type of technology that could assist and at least narrow it down.

  • Hey TFB TV,

    Interesting video. I served with Ranger Regiment and participated in a number of missions in and around Helmand in 2010 during the surge. Helmand was the place where we ran into the most well armed and trained fighters…or possibly they were just more experienced. This was my first deployment and had only been with my unit for a few months before I deployed. Most of the time I had no idea what the hell was going on. We almost never did traditional patrols, but we did a lot of missions that were one or two days long, and would get into fights during the day a lot. If you know anything about Rangers in the GWOT then you know we are afraid of the daylight. 

    Anyways, I completely agree that after experiencing combat for a time you come to gain a sense of impending danger. It is different than the feeling of walking in a dark parking lot and sensing the possibility of someone trying to attack you. I don't know if it's some sort of poorly understood human psychology, but there is something much different. It feels like a cascade of small events and choices made by each side that is heading towards an explosion of chaos and mayhem. I always felt that the way combat worked was that, first, there was a chess match of maneuvering and most of the time we placed the enemy in check mate before we ever pulled a trigger. Once the pieces were set, then the dice were rolled. I believe in the saying that professionals are predictable and amateurs are dangerous. You never knew what the enemy was going to do, but I certainly felt like there were times they predicted our moves. Hate to say it but we came out on top a lot of the time because of air support. That's just the truth. Not that I feel like fairness has any place in war. Another reason we came out on top a lot of the time is because of crew served weapons. And the times when we became engaged in night time firefights put the enemy at a heavy disadvantage. I was still amazed by the tenacity and sheer resolve demonstrated by the enemy during night engagements. They were practically fighting based off of noise and instinct, and maybe one or two pairs of stolen NODs. It's also no surprise it usually didn't go well for them.

    Anyways, much respect to the Marines for what they did in Helmand and other places in Afghanistan. Nice videos.

  • So ROE's of that time got soldiers killed. I am non-military, but who the fck didn't know that at the time? We all knew, and now begins a new, hopefully stronger era.

  • This shit is WAY more intense than any war movie I've seen, guys. Just watching the footage and hearing you guys recount it really brings it home. Thanks again for sharing.

  • I think I heard of some device that Chicago uses with their robot cameras that tells them where gun shots are coming from so the camera can zero in. why wouldn't the military use that tech. ?

  • Just a question how feasible is it to have a drone with a really good thermal camera follow a patrol for their extended "excursion". My thinking is if its high enough it could be able to spot a potential ambush. I know Predator Drone could be up 24 hours. But maybe this is the way to go. If its not been done already.

  • Amazing…PID! It got guys killed in Nam and in this war as well. So glad our guys have Trump and Mattis at the helm now. Thanks KS guys for the stories and your service.

  • This video was hard for me to watch fully. Lot of emotions and memories flooding in. But it was a good one.
    To those still active stay safe and get some.

  • I wonder why they can feel when they’re about to get hit… i wonder if it’s a natural human trait where when you can sense when your about to be in a firefight

  • I totally respect you guys but only have shit to say about those politicians who forced those rules of engagement on you. I normally don't comment like this but am so pissed off after seeing what you guys went through. Trader Mo Fcker Hussein Obama obviously cares more for his muslim brothers in Afganistan than you who are fighting under his command. If they got the women and children out of there first, then those women and children and that whole damn villiage is in on it and they had preconceived intent. Otherwise, those women and children would have told you guys to get out of there too. The truth is, that SOB trader should be put up on the front line and following his own BS rules of engagement rather than out golfing and lining his own pockets as proven by his unlawful spying and fake dossier to get that wicked witch of Arkansas in to office.

  • And for you Brothers in the military, Trader 44 did not/does not give a shit about you either. Trump is not a racist. Haiti is shithole and if you don't think so, goto the US embassy there and turn in your passport. I'll give 1000 to one odds not one single snowflake or Down with the Cause Brother will. Just because Husain Obama's father is from Kenya, does not mean he has your back. He only has his own back and Trump cares more for you than that trader from Kenya with his fake Hawaii birth certificate. Think about it. A fake Birth Certificate. How Fked up is that?…..so he can protect the guys that are trying to kill you. Imagine how many guys must have been killed there because he wants to convince the US of his BS. And Don Lemon…he's the real racist. Listen to the shit he says. Sorry guys. seeing your video really pissed me off. Your lives matter! America owes you.

  • Wow. Genuinely, thank you ALL for your service; but even more than that, your sincerity. It's the only way civvies like us can even get a glimpse of what you all went (and continue to go) through. Thank you.

  • now I'm not so sure if i want to join the military :p jk
    I want my GI Bill (give me your money feds) I'll just go be a pog giving the real men all the support they need. Thank you all for your service.

  • Hey guys.. former Taliban here, now safely at home in Scottsdale, AZ. You put up a good sporting fight over in Afghanistan. Maybe I'll see you and your family at the mall sometime!

  • The feeling you feel when the shot cracks off is the same! The emotional level right after that is different every time. Air cover already being above can create a calmer level, etc etc. Good stuff. Miss it.

  • Hi, good day sorry to take your time may I ask are you a Marine Force Recon or just the Conventional marine? Im just curious because your weapon are customized, can a marine customized his weapon?

  • This channel is nothing but a pog poser and the same dumbasses in the comments are the idiots with fake uniforms on veterans day trying to get a free meal

  • All of this talk about "situations" is lost when we have no idea of the reason behind the missions. For me it just sounds like you guys are talking about paintball battles in the desert with real guns…. What were the missions? What was the objectives during those confrontations? I understand most of this is "confidential" but give us something to understand.

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