Today we threw hand grenades (they didn’t let us throw real ones, just some training versions that made a little firecracker sound and released some smoke upon impact.) The point was to get us used to the weapons and the techniques to use them.
Most grenades are thrown like a baseball. We each took turns lobbing the grenades at targets. I patiently waited for my turn without worry, as I had done this before (albeit back in the 1990s.) It was simple, really. Just pull the pin and toss.
Or so, I thought. I pulled the pin and tossed it … but I guess my pitching arm was a bit rusty, because it didn’t go as far as I’d like. Luckily, hand grenades is one of the few times where “close enough” actually counts. (Remember that saying?: “Close enough only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades!”)
The Staff Sergeant teaching the class, who could see that I was, um, a bit rusty, gave me some advice: “Sir,” he said, “Don’t throw like a girl!” (NCO’s love to get their jabs in whenever they can. They figure if they say it respectfully enough, they can get away with insulting officers to their face. Most of the time, they’re right.)
I tried it again. This time, I put a lil’ “oomph” into it. I hit the target just fine.
Like hand-to-hand combat, I can’t imagine a scenario where a Public Affairs Officer would be required to lob grenades at the enemy. But, as I’ve already learned, my job isn’t to just be a PAO. My job is to survive. And if I need to learn to throw hand grenades (and not like a girl,) then I’ll be ready to do my job.