Saturday, July 9, 2011
Milsim Paintball Phonies, Part 2 - Rant Week
In Part 1 of this rant, I complained about people in the Milsim Paintball community who exaggerate or lie about their occupations to make themselves appear to be real-life, active top-tier tactical operators, and get "tactical street cred". I talked about their motivations in doing this, and how to spot when they're full of crap.
I also asserted that REAL operators are the least likely to give a rat's ass about Milsim Paintball. Take these guys for example. These are photos of members of the Canadian Special Operations Regiment (CSOR), taking part in "just another day at the office" at their Dwyer Hill facility:
These operators do for real what we do as make-believe. Now if you were a full-time professional motorcycle racer, riding a monster sport bike at insane speeds around the track all week, would you spend your weekends riding little motor scooters for a thrill? Hell no!
Well, someone who spends all week in high-speed military training, fast-roping from real helicopters, carrying real weapons, and wearing real gear, doesn't bother playing Milsim Paintball, a mere shadow of what they do for work, on their own time off. Especially when they could spend that time with family, or on other hobbies.
Now before someone jumps on me, I have to specify that I'm talking about "Milsim" Paintball here, the style of play where you get all dressed up like a soldier and go on simulated missions. I'm sure everyone with CSOR or JTF2 has played Paintball recreationally at least once, like with a bachelor party, or even with their squadmates for fun. Maybe they've even played many times. But I can assure you that when they do, they're horsing around and having as much fun as they can, not lying prone in the woods calling in "enemy" positions to each other over radios.
And before anyone jumps on me again, I'm talking about "top-tier" military operators here. I'm well aware that many military reservists, REMFs, excited and eager recruits, and former military members get involved with Paintball on the Milsim side, and often get really into it.
In fact, I'm one of them! I got into this hobby full-time because I missed my old days in the Infantry. Days where I got to fire everything in the Canadian Forces' arsenal, days where I went on night patrol exercises, and did cool training like the FIBUA/CQB course at Fort Drum, NY, and taking part in IFV- and helicopter-borne assaults. Unfortunately, those were also days where I got paid $50 for 18+ hours of work, so I had to discharge when I needed a real paying job.
Participating in Milsim Paintball is a way to recapture some of the thrills from those glory days, although it still doesn't really compare to "The Life" back then. A lot of guys in my position though would probably still find Milsim Paintball corny, but I don't take myself too seriously, and don't care about being corny as long as I'm having so much fun.
Anyway, all this to say be wary of anyone in the Milsim Paintball or Airsoft world claiming to be a real-life "operator" and doing it as a hobby. In real life that term is only used by someone at the cutting edge in the combat arms of the military or police, at the top tiers, and these guys have no time or interest for Milsim Paintball. REAL operators don't like to spend their time off "simulating" their 9 to 5.
Another dead giveaway is that when someone is in these kinds of positions for real, it's also a necessary part of the job to be discreet about it, for operational security and the safety of themselves and the team. Whether they're part of a military special ops team, or an elite law enforcement tactical unit, there are people out there who want to hurt these guys. They wouldn't break this cardinal rule, and openly announce and flaunt their credentials to gain the admiration of a group of Paintball players. Don't believe me? Check out the lengths this news crew went to to disguise this former Delta Force guy so that they could get him on camera for an interview (skip to 1:15):
So when you see someone outright BRAGGING in the Milsim Paintball community about being some sort of elite operator, either outright or subtly, rest assured you're dealing with a world-class tool!