This video of 10th Mountain soldiers shows exactly what not to do when clearing a room

Flag city. Population: These guys.

A viral video showing soldiers conducting room-clearing training is being called hot garbage, appalling, and a “live-fire Army edition of 1,000 ways to die in a shoot house,” and it’s easy to see why: It’s a complete fucking tactical trainwreck.

The helmet-camera footage showing soldiers assigned to the 10th Mountain Division pointing their weapons at each other while going through a ‘shoot house’ spread across military social media accounts rapidly on Monday after it was apparently posted to TikTok. Set to the music of rapper DMX, soldiers can be seen clearing four rooms over a one-minute period in what is perhaps the most unsafe and scariest way imaginable.

“Flag city,” said one person on Instagram, referring to unsafely ‘flagging’ someone with a weapon. “Population: These guys.”

Watch:

If you’re not sure precisely what’s going on, let me break it down:

  • The door opens and both soldiers head into the room side-by-side. That’s not necessarily a problem, but the soldier on the left briefly pointing his rifle barrel at the soldier on the right certainly is. He’s one accidental trigger pull away from killing someone.
  • The soldier on the right, meanwhile, barges in and immediately fires at the target in the far right corner of the room and completely ignores potential threats from the corner behind him.
  • After plenty of rounds are expended into the targets, the soldiers get themselves set up to clear the next room, with two soldiers on the left wall and two others on the right. 
  • Two more soldiers standing next to each other move from the rear and kick the door open directly into the “fatal funnel.” If there was a machine gun on the other side, two soldiers would be dead instead of one.
  • That’s not to mention the soldiers behind them pointing their weapons directly at their backs. These are live rounds, and there’s a deadly serious reason why soldiers are instructed to never point their weapon at anything they don’t intend to shoot.
  • Notably, there are at least five soldiers standing on the catwalk above the shoot house, presumably monitoring the training for safety issues, though none apparently make any attempt to stop it.

So what is room clearing actually supposed to look like? Here’s an example:

After the 10th Mountain video made the rounds, the division’s top enlisted soldier weighed in and admitted that yes, this was in fact, his unit, and it happened sometime within the last few months.

“It is 10th Mountain Division. It is our folks. And it really, really hurts to say that,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Mario Terenas. “It is not the standard. It is not how we do business. It is not acceptable.”

Terenas vowed to “fix it,” which can be read in the sergeant major language as if you were anywhere near that shoot house you are so dead.

“That is not the 10th Mountain Division standard,” Terenas said. “It will never be the 10th Mountain Division Standard.”

Army officials were unable to provide further details on the video when asked for comment on Monday. 

“It is too early to determine what the circumstances were surrounding this video and we are working to get the facts,” said Maj. Harold Huff, a spokesman for 10th Mountain. “The safety of our Soldiers is always a number one priority during all training exercises. The 10th Mountain Division is committed to high-quality training ensuring readiness while enforcing world-class safety standards.”

Paul Szoldra

Paul Szoldrais the Editor in Chief of Task & Purpose and a Marine Corps veteran. Reach out via email or find him on Twitter at @paulszoldra. Contact the author here.

Do Not Sell My Personal Information