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Soldier in the spotlight

By Cpl. Diego Bunuel
First published in
SFOR Informer #95, August 30, 2000

The relentless sun didn't prevent Cpl. Viljar Kurg nailing 15 targets at 200 meters in less than five minutes.
With 40 bullets, he managed along with his teammates of the Estonian contingent, to beat the 15 other teams participating in the multinational Falling Plate Competition at the NORDPOL HQ last month. His shooting was so accurate that the Estonian Minister of Defense, on a recent trip to the base, presented him with a silver plate as a reward for his skill.
"We were the only team to hit all the targets," Kurg said. "We were afraid because another team had optical sights and we were really surprised that they didn't win."
But this is not the first challenge that 30-year-old Kurg has overcome. Trained in the Soviet Army for two years, he was posted in East Berlin during the Cold War and left the city a couple months before the collapse of The Wall.
"What made it hard is that you could feel that people didn't like the Soviet soldiers," Kurg said. "The training was not any harder than what we have now, but we had no vacations."
After the break up of the Soviet Empire, Kurg enlisted in the Signal Corps of the new Estonian forces and that's when he started to learn how to handle the M-16.
"In Estonia we shoot quite a lot. I've had my weapon for three years and know it pretty well," he said. "British Marines taught me to shoot and they were good."
When Kurg is not outshooting other soldiers he lives in Tallian, Estonia's capital, where he lives with his girlfriend of seven years.
"I miss her but I must say that the weather here is better," Kurg said. "At home it's always cold and wet."

Related link:
Nations of SFOR: Estonia