We head out to the night fire range. Rumor has it the presence of a first sergeant or an officer is mandatory during live fire exercises. However, on this particular eve neither had appeared. Ten pairings of rifles and helmets had been preselected for the exercise in an attempt to minimize wear and tear. Each pairing is equipped with proper night optic and accessory. A rifle jams. Drill Sergeant is unsuccessful in supplanting the jam. He throws the rifle down range and proceeds after it while live fire continues alongside him. Brass and ammo check is skipped in hopes of us being responsible drones. Some fuck wasn’t. Native gets his rifle back late as we march off. We settle into our gear expecting shuteye. A rifle discharge echoes through the trees leaving a still terrifying silence in its wake.