I shot the Air Marshal qualification course today. This is actually supposed to be the old "Sky Marshal" course, which is harder. After Sept 11, they had to make the course easier because there weren't enough people who could pass it to become Air Marshals.

There were about 15 or so shooters and it was quite fun. But with little practice, we all did pretty poorly. At least I thought. I knew without a doubt that I wouldn't "qualify." (We were shooting for fun, I don't wanna be a fed).

This is a very fast and unforgiving course. The seperate drills are short, just a couple of shots each one, but you have a very limited time in which to do them and they're not designed to be easy. If you go over on the alloted time during a single stage you fail. However you do have a certain allowance for accuracy because you only have to score 135 out of 150. With no forgiveness for time, I shot fast, hardly even aiming any shots, and hoped they'd land somewhere near where they were supposed to be.

I got the results via email just now. Let me quote part of what it said:
For this month's match, there is good news and bad news.

First the good news: no one was shot, injured or sustained property loss. That is the end of the good news.

Now the bad news: we (except perhaps MY NAME) aren't ready to quit our present jobs in anticipation of running off to join the Air Marshals.
I quoted that exactly as it appeared except for changing my name for anonymity. This is all a bit of humor. What he is saying, more or less, is that it was a hard course and we all sucked, but he mentioned, by name (sorry you aren't going to get to know my name), that I had done well? I apparently sucked less? No way.

It turns out that I shot every drill in the time alloted. I thought my accuracy was terrible but it must not have been as bad as I had assumed because accuracy-wise I came in second with 124. One of the range officers got a 130 but he was over on time in a couple of drills, so technically, I guess I won, though I still wouldn't qualify as an Air Marshal with a 124. (I don't understand how this course was scored because a center-mass shot=5, anything else=2 and maximum possible score is 150, but my score wouldn't add up to 150 by adding 3s. I dunno)

At any rate, I was quite surprised! I think what helped was that some of the best shooters got fumble fingers trying to reload and if you even screw up a little on such a fast stage, you've completely failed. I was lucky, that's all I can say, but I'm still chuffed that I was mentioned like that in the results that were sent to all the shooters! I'm like famous or something.

Here is the course description:
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