On The Most Dangerous Missions, It’s Good To Know ‘Arty’ Is Behind You

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I was not in an artillery unit, but I know the power and the saving benefits of “arty” in the battlefield personally. As a Navy Corpsman with a Marine Recon unit (Bravo, 3rd Recon, 3rd Mar. Div.) in Vietnam, the knowledge that we had artillery at our back truly gave us confidence and a sense of security when we were out in the bush on patrols.

Here’s why.

When you find yourself in the thick of enemy contact, nothing gets to your defense faster than “arty.” You can call in air-support, but they have to take off from a base often a long ways away, or from aircraft carriers out at sea. You can call for reinforcements, but they have to gear up, get on the helicopters and then get out to you. But get on the radio and give the coordinates of where you are and where you need the rounds to be inserted and how much you need, and it is coming in a few short seconds. That is comforting.

Source: YouTube/Field Artillery Redlegs


The sophistication of the artillery today with and the rounds they can fire, or the rockets they can launch, and they “eyes in the sky” that drones make possible, makes artillery units that much more valuable in the modern battlefield environment. When you need help and need it fast, you call in the artillery. The accuracy and the intensity of fire and the force they bring to bear can keep the enemy off of you until the cavalry arrives.

Source: YouTube/Field Artillery Redlegs


This video has no words, only visuals, and is backed by the real sounds of artillery guns firing and of the shells landing, along with music that adds to those visuals. You will see how those who serve in these U.S. Army artillery units use a variety of intellectual and physical skills and training to be able to rain down fear and devastation on the enemy when needed.

Source: YouTube/Field Artillery Redlegs


To be an artilleryman, to be a team, takes lots of training and intelligence. The mathematics and the technology that are involved in achieving the right angles, to calculate the amount of powder to send the rounds to their targets, to estimate the distance and the necessary accuracy, is very sophisticated.

Source: YouTube/Field Artillery Redlegs

You will see the teamwork that is necessary to aim, load and fire these big guns, as well as the logistics and the mobility that brings these modern artillery weapons to the battle. You will get a sense in the video as well of the awesome speed, accuracy and power that “arty” brings to the battlefield. You will also see the massive effects that arty can have on the battlefield environment.

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The Veterans Site sends its respect and thanks to all who have served and those who continue to serve in artillery units with the U.S. Army, the Army National Guard and the Marine Corps. Those of us who have benefitted from your skills, accuracy and power, can’t thank you enough. Hooah!

Read more from Veteran Dan Doyle: Click “Next” below!

Dan Doyle is a husband, father, grandfather, Vietnam veteran, and retired professor of Humanities at Seattle University. He taught 13 years at the high school level and 22 years at the university level. He spends his time now babysitting his granddaughter. He is a poet and a blogger as well. Dan holds an AA degree in English Literature, a BA in Comparative Literature, and an MA in Theology, and writes regularly for The Veterans Site Blog.
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