The military has such colorful terms: collateral damage, bullet magnets, blowback, etc. The Guardian reports: The lead vehicle in the convoy has disappeared over the hill. The road ahead is flanked by two suspicious-looking car wrecks. In the back of the pick-up truck, the troops are getting twitchy. All six soldiers jump out of the truck and sprawl in the dirt, triggers at the ready. Minutes later, they clamber back in. Nobody thinks to look behind until a smoke grenade explodes three yards away. The buzzer sounds. "A grenade. We're dead, dude," says Private Tyler Franzen. They were wiped out within the first five minutes of their drill on convoy movement, and the implications register quickly. Days from now, Pte Franzen and the 319th Signals Battallion could be in Iraq. "This makes me more scared," he says. "I am preparing for the worst." Their trainer calls troops like these "bullet magnets" - army reservists or National Guard soldiers, weekend warriors with minimal combat training pressed into service. Tens of thousands are on the move now as the Pentagon carries out the largest rotation of forces in its history, relieving battle-weary soldiers in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait with fresh forces. By late March, 130,000 troops will be leaving Iraq and 105,000, including some of the 319th, will arrive. As many as 50% of these will be reservists or National Guard. Some units, like the 319th, will be raised virtually from scratch. The signals battalion, based in Sacramento, California, was barely at half-strength when it was mobilised, and reservists have been drafted in from as far away as Puerto Rico, Delaware, and Georgia to be sent off to what the troops call the "sandbox"