Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Militiaman's Pop Quiz, circa 1995.


Back in 1995-1996, I developed the "Militiaman's Pop Quiz" and posted it on the Internet discussion groups. I ran across a copy yesterday and thought you might get a kick out of it.


Militiaman's Pop Quiz

1. Which of these is the current-issue infantryman's anti-tank rocket launcher in U.S. service?

a. The M20 3.5 inch bazooka.

b. The M72 Light Anti-tank weapon (LAW)

c. The AT-4

d. The RPG-7

2. In the middle of a firefight, you jump up on an abandoned Humvee with a pedestal mounted .50 caliber M2 Browning machinegun to try to make like Audie Murphy. The weapon is unloaded, so you have to break open a box of ammo. You pop the top cover and lay the first cartridge of the belt in place and close the cover. How many times do you have to pull the cocking lever?

"Ma Deuce": M2 Browning .50 Caliber machine gun on tripod.

a. 1

b. 2

c. You don't have to pull the cocking lever.

3. You grab the grips of the .50 and swing it into position and begin firing using:

a. your left hand trigger finger.

b. your right hand trigger finger.

c. one thumb.

d. both thumbs.

4. You're the end man of your section (making you the furthest to the left of your squad). Your squad leader tells you to shift left to a better firing position for the entire squad. As you lead out, you notice you will have to pass another militiaman, not of your squad, armed with a LAWS rocket who is just about to fire. You,

a. Pass behind him.

b. Pass in front of him.

c. Stop your leftward movement and seek best available cover.

d. Ask your squad leader what he wants you to do.

5. Your squad is occupying some shellholes and building rubble with some overhead cover. You notice a mortar shell ground burst about fifty meters to the left of your position. A moment later, another ground burst erupts fifty meters to your right. You should:

a. Stay put and keep your head down.

b. Retreat to the rear as fast as you can.

c. Shift to the left.

d. Shift to the right.

e. Pray.

6. What is the most vulnerable spot to anti-tank fire on an M1A1 Abrams tank?

a. Right front side.

b. Tread bogies.

c. Turbine engine compartment.

d. Top of the turret.

e. There ain't one.

7. What is the caliber of a Bradley Fighting Vehicle's main gun?

a. 20 mm.

b. 25 mm.

c. 30 mm.

8. You have been called up for riot duty by your Governor to assist the National Guard, which has been weakened by Clinton administration budget cuts. You are about to be issued gas masks at the armory. There is a box full of M17A2 masks, a box of M25 masks, and a box of M40 masks. Which type mask should you pick?

a. M17A2.

b. M25.

c. M40.

d. Any of the three as long as there are sufficient replacement filters for it.

9. Someone gives you a box of loose ammunition. It is 7.62 NATO caliber and has white paint on the bullet tips. You have:

a. Armor piercing ammunition.

b. Tracer ammunition.

c. Incendiary ammunition.

d. Practice ammunition.

e. Armor piercing/incendiary ammunition.

10. Bill Clinton announces that he is nustering the unorganized militia into Federal service. Should you report for duty:

a. Yes, fully armed and accoutred.

b. Yes, but unarmed.

c. No.

d. Are you out of your mind?

Bonus discussion question:

Elements of the 24th Mechanized Infantry Division are still taking orders from the Clinton Administration. It is D plus five and the 24th (-) is advancing to support an airmobile attempt to secure for the Clintonistas the assets of the Anniston Army Depot which is being held by a composite force of regulars, National Guardsmen and militiamen under orders from the Governor of Alabama.

The 24th (-) is driving west out of Georgia, having first secured the Atlanta area. Your unit has been assigned the task of harassing and delaying the enemy as much as possible. At this precise moment, you find yourself cut off from your squad after some particularly intense street fighting in downtown Anniston.

You are on the third floor of a brick office building in a corner office looking out on the intersection below. You are alone in the room except for a dead 24th Mech trooper, whose buddies you can hear clearing the rooms below you. You search the dead man and strip him of an AT4, a Claymore mine and two fragmentation grenades.

You are armed with a semiautomatic AK47, a .45 caliber pistol and a LAWS rocket. You have about fifty rounds left for your AK and one magazine for your .45. The dead trooper's rifle, an M16A2, has a broken stock and is useless.

In the intersection below, three armored vehicles pull to a stop. A man gets out of vehicle A and jogs back to vehicle C. You realize that from your perfect vantage point you can nail two of three vehicles with your AT rockets. You have maybe a minute or two before the hostiles below start up that last flight of stairs to you.

What do you do? Specifically, which vehicles, if any, do you target woth which weapon and in what order? What use can be made of the Claymore? What can you do with the frags? How did you get into this mess in the first place? Why did you vote for Perot in '92?





drjim said...

VERY interesting. I *think* I could score a "passing" grade on this (75%), but rather than spending 10 hours looking stuff up to confirm my answers, are you going to post them?

Loren said...

The only ones I'm sure of are the rocket, the M2 questions, and the Bradley main gun.

There are a number of quiz sites, I'm sure someone could put on together for you. I might be able to find someone who knows flash, if all else fails.

ParaPacem said...

And you incorporated some of the replies to the final scenario into Absolved, right? Just kidding - but that is the most interstign of all the questions to me because it seems to more closely approach the type of situation in which one must OODA with no advice, direction, orders, chain of comand or backup. That nightmare moment when the mindless, repetitive exercises done in the past must coordinate with the hyped up, adrenalized, heart pounding observations of the moment and put forth the plan most likely to destroy or incapacitate enemy and maybe, as a bonus, allow the good guy to cheat death.

rexxhead said...

My answers to the 'pop quiz':
Life is not perfect and we make mistakes.

Do what you can with what you've got. Stay alive and fighting as long as possible given your imperfect knowledge. Trust that things will work out as they are supposed to. Know that you will not be forgotten.


Anonymous said...

Alright, alright. Some I know, some I don't. I need to test my memory. Where do I send my answers, so they're not plastered all over the comments? And when will we get the right answers?

B Woodman
SSG (Ret) US Army

Mark A. Taff said...


How 'bout a link to answers, so we can check our results?


Dutchman6 said...


Understand, most of these questions were designed to get you to think. There may be one or more (or no) satisfactory answers. The quiz was designed to do two things: First, to get guys who figured that they had their rifle and could hit targets at 100 yards and who thought that was all they needed to know, to realize the folly of such thinking. Second, it was a message to the OPFOR in the federal establishment, who tended then (and still do today) to think that all their problems are solved by the linear equation Perp Identified + door kicking = problem solved.

1. c. AT4, although the LAW was at that time still issued.

2. b. You pull the cocking handle twice.

3. Either c. or D. is correct. To quote more or less from the manual, the v-shaped "butterfly" trigger is located at the very rear of the weapon, with a "spade handle" hand-grip on either side of it and the bolt release in the center. The "spade handles" are gripped and the trigger is depressed with one or both thumbs. (When firing while traversing, you generally maintain a full grip on the opposite hand of the direction of the traverse. That is, if you are traversing to engage targets to the right while firing, you use all four fingers and the thumb of the left hand to pull to the left while maintaining pressure on the trigger with your right thumb.) When the bolt release is in the up position, the weapon is in single-shot mode. The bolt release must be pressed each time the weapon is fired to close the bolt and reload the weapon. The bolt release can be locked into the down position resulting in fully-automatic firing.

4. c. And resume moving after the weapon goes off.

5. The trick part of the question are the key words "ground burst". The idea was, if you are under fire and you are "bracketed" there are no perfect solutions. Mortar fire is often used to flush people from cover so that they can be dealt with by direct fire weapons. Also, the addition of the words "some overhead cover" with point-detonating ground bursts suggests that the safest option would be to stay put. Now if the shells were of the modern type, that is, they sense distance from the ground and BLOW DOWN, killing everything underneath, the only option, I think, would be to displace as fast as your legs can carry you consistent with cover and concealment available. Point detonating mortar shells go off when they hit a hard surface and the blast cone goes up and out from there pretty much in a Vee. This fact saved my son on his first tour when the 82mm shell that went off ten feet in front of him did so while he was kneeling down and stowing his bootlace, thus placing him below the blast cone. He was merely concussed instead of blown in two. A trooper twenty meters away had his head blown off and two others were wounded.

6. e. There ain't one. There ARE points of vulnerability, but I'm not going to discuss them here.

7. b. 25mm.

8. d.

9. Trick question. There is no 7.62 NATO white tip in US service. White tips denote tracer in several other countries, including Portugal and Mexico. Folks who want to know about surpkus ammo should download and print out this manual:

10. Either c. "No." or d. "Are you out of your mind?" are correct.

More on discussion question presently.

Larry said...

Bonus Question. Use the AT-4 to take out the first vehicle, which presumably is open since a man just got out of it. Take out or incapacitate vehicle C to leave vehicle B trapped in the middle. Use the fragmentation grenades on the guys in the floor below and get out as fast as possible.

Now, my more fundamental question is where do we find our unit to begin with? Are there any militias left? How do we organize one?

Dutchman6 said...

Larry sez: "Use the AT-4 to take out the first vehicle, which presumably is open since a man just got out of it. Take out or incapacitate vehicle C to leave vehicle B trapped in the middle. Use the fragmentation grenades on the guys in the floor below and get out as fast as possible."

Larry, the key is the guy who gets out of the Bradley (A) and runs back to the M577 (C). The M577 is a command and control vehicle. The man who needs to run from a Bradley to an M577 in the middle of a fight is someone who is a larger unit commander of some kind.

Your priority therefore becomes killing him. Accomplish his death and his unit, whatever it is, is headless for the time being. I would accept using both AT weapons on the M577 to make certain of it, or the AT4 on the M577 and the LAW on the M113 top armor. The LAW is uncertain to penetrate the Bradley defenses, but the M113 is an easy mark and likely contains some portion of the headquarters element. My bet is that with the death of the M577, you accomplish killing the commander and the unit XO or S-3. The Bradley's guns, while formidable, cannot elevate enough to get you on the third floor, although if you get lucky and the vehicle reacts blindly to the sudden loss of their commander, they might blast the building's lower floors, killing the men who are searching for you.

The Claymore, properly sited down the stairs, can nail a stack coming up. Follow it up with the two grenades and you can either break through them to the street level rear and escape, buy time to get to the roof or fire escape, or even escape down the side through a window.

As Hal Moore said, "Three strikes and you are NOT out. There is always one more thing you can do."

Larry said...

I was afraid the claymore would get me too. Noted to hit the command vehicle first, though.

Can you help with my last two questions?

Tom Austin said...

I love the Praxis series. Thanks for the education.

Anonymous said...

Pretty much concur with Dutchman6, but for slightly different reasoning. But same end results (that's what's important).

1-Use the AT4 on the Bradley (vehicle A). More heavily armored & therefore needs a heavier weapon to punch it.

2-Use the LAW on the M577 Command & Control (vehicle C). Less heavily armored, a LAW can do the trick. Plus all the "cut the head off the snake" mentioned.

3-Use the AK47 (too bad it's only semi-auto) to riddle the M113 troop track (vehicle B). Those vehicles (M113 & M577) with their thin aluminium side "armor" were notorious for NOT stopping bullets. And with vehicle C behind them on fire, those troops inside vehicle B aren't going anywhere in a hurry, even if the tailgate does drop.

4- "Cook" & use the two frag grenades to stop the troops coming up the stairs.

5- Walk out with the Claymore. Use the .45 to finish off any troops left alive after the frags. Pick up any usable weaponry and ammo from the dead troops on the stairs.
As you exit the building, set the Claymore as a boobytrap, pointing at the entrance of the building. Rejoin your platoon.

Did I leave anything out?

B Woodman
SSG (Ret) US Army

Anonymous said...

I didn't cheat, USArmy 82-89
1. b put probably c
2. 2
3. d
4. c
5. e your already dead, fo has you nailed.
6 e but if I had the firepower b
7. b a best guess
8. d but I would prefer a because that is what I'm used to.
9. c a best guess
10. d
Bonus. How did you know I voted for Perot?

hazmat said...

Not bad, I got 8 out of 10 right. As to the bonus question, I would take out the Bradley first with the AT4, being as it's the bigger threat overall. The LAW would then be used on either the M577 or M113, depending.

I was thinking the same thing in regards to the Claymore. Set it up as a boobytrap for those coming up the stairs. One or both, depending, of the frags could then be used to clear the remainder of the stairs.

If escape is not possible, use the remaining x39 ammo and .45 ammo to hold off the remainder of the team working its way up to you. Keep in mind that even though the A2's stock may be mangled, as long as the action and barrel are clear and undamaged, you have another weapon (and more importantly the ammo) with which to use to try to effect an escape.

Anonymous said...

HAZMAT, if the M16A2's stock is broken doesn't that mean no recoil buffer/spring = useless M16A2.

Anonymous said...

Just one comment. The APC has a .50 cal machine gun mounted on the top. If we are talking about self preservation, I would take out the bradley then the APC with the .50. If you decide the fella running is a commander, toss a frag and let that take him out.

Others make pretty good sense and it was a pretty good quiz, even for us old guys that are pretty rusty and too old to make a difference anymore.


triptyx said...

Excellent post/quiz. I think too often non-Military (or Veteran) people thinking through a what-if situation don't really realize there is so much more to warfare of this nature than "jump on the back of that hummer and go to town with the machine gun". This is not the movies, weapons aren't always ready to rock and roll already (or never need reloading).

I am pleased to say that I tracked very closely with Dutchman's thinking on the bonus question. Being inexperienced, I didn't know which weapon to attempt to use, but knew that vehicle C was very important due to the consultation going on. I also knew to attempt destruction of the front and rear vehicles to force immobility on the center vehicle. I had also planned to use the claymore on the stairwell, those little guys are nasty in a confined environment.

I'll admit that I didn't think about rolling the frags down the stairs too, but doing so would make a lot of sense, perhaps in concert with the claymore detonating?

Anyhow, excellent thought exercise, and I think I have a few operations manuals I need to find and read.

Anonymous said...

" old guys that are pretty rusty and too old to make a difference anymore"

This is not correct. Old and creaky (or just looks old and creaky) is good camouflage to blend in with the sheeple. The young and able are going to be focused on as obvious fighters, and will be needed for their strength and speed on the ground, but grandma and grandpa have eyes/ears (optics and miracle ears) perfectly good for determining when a button is to be pushed or a call made.

As has been noted, old people are full of knowledge and may have loading/building/reloading skills that don't depend on good knees or the ability to hump 110 pounds in the sun.

Cunning and devious old folks can often overcome youth and strength.

A 78 year old with a treatable cancer that the dot-gov monopoly medical system has refused to treat (too old, low odds of work payback, insufficient capacity, no you can't pay cash for treatment) may consider a one-way mission a good deal.

In an insurgent war, every time an irregular fighter destroys some OpFor property/distracts or delays a force on their way to do something else/helps some regular people/steals some OpFor supplies and that irregular escapes to fight again, the irregular has won a battle. Survival is victory for the irregular, where the big army has to achieve its' ends in a particular way at a particular time to actually win (they always declare victory, but how come the dot-gov chow hall is serving 16 year old MRE's and not hot/real-food meals? The propane trucks and fresh food failed to arrive. That sucks if you are working for the man and you are short of munitions, clothes, fresh water, and fresh food).


drjim said...

Thanks for reminding us old/creaky/cranky guys we *can* help!

Anonymous said...

The overpressure from shooting an AT4, LAWS, or RPG inside a room would have very negative results for the shooter...

Anonymous said...

Thank you for touching on the overpressure. In all likeliness the overpressure would kill anyone in the room, so I'd say "very negative" is more like "ultimately negative" unless you're a jihadi.