Summer Cam... err... BCT: Part One

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    Dec 21, 2012 8:39 PM GMT
    Hey all! I am on leave from Basic Combat Training because I am a luck asshole who went to basic right before Christmas. As such, I am able to give you all a midway status update and share some hilarity that is the Army's Summer Camp Program.


    First off, for those who missed it, I decided to enlist on October 31st. I got shipped to basic on November 14th. As such, I am 5 weeks into the 10 week basic program so I am doing an exact midpoint.

    If you care to look at the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pages/1st-Battalion-13th-Infantry-Regiment/209023825781335
    I am in Bravo Company so my photos will be there. I'll post relevant hyperlinks when I get to that part of the story.

    Week 0: Reception
    OH MY FUCKING DEAR CHRIST IN HEAVEN THIS SUCKS! Reception Battalion is quite possibly the only thing I have hated about Summer Camp. Wake up at 4am on the 14th to process at the intro station in Houston. Swear in at 2pm. Get on a plane at 4pm. Land at 7pm. Get on a second plane at 9pm. Land at 10pm. Get on a bus at 11pm. Get off the bus at 11:30pm. AND THEN...! Begin paperwork all night. Finish the basic intro base paperwork at 4am. Start day to paperwork. Process all day. Go to bed at 9pm.
    For those following along at home, that means I woke up at 4am on the 14th and did not stop paperwork, save for plane and bus rides, until 9pm THE NEXT DAY. This went on until the 18th. I had exactly 10 hours of sleep from the 15th to the 18th. I wanted to cry. And I wanted to poop. Pooping happened around the 20th.

    Week 1: This is my Riffle
    Day One:
    Getting on the bus from Reception to my real battallion (Bravo CO 1-13! BLACKHAWKS!) was a special occassion. We sat in the middle of the courtyard with HUGE duffles with all our stuff. Then ran around with our huge laundry bags with all our other stuff. After sprinting with the laundry bag to the bus, we got to take a ten minuet nap to as Drill Sargent Velociraptor (all names will be changed for hilarity) tells us to clear our minds. Bus stops, he stands and shouts "You have exactly thirty seconds to get off this bus or you run a lap around the Company with BOTH bags! NOW MOVE, PRIVATES!"
    One quick sprint, one baggage inspection, and one more long day of paperwork, we are finally settling into our bay.
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    I am somewhere in that line in that photo. You probably won't see me. I don't see myself. I just remember what line I was in.
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    In this one I am on the far left. Phase one of baggage inspections.

    Day Two: Thuckering Thucatath
    Apparently I have a lisp. My speech therapist when I was six told me I have a very sylabant "S", which means I hiss on ever "s" sound. But okay, Drill Sargent Uzie, this 5' nothing, 97 pound fiery latin woman, has decided that I have a lisp and need to be fucking proud of my fucking lisp. Those are her words. So...
    "Private. Every time you see me you will sound off with 'Suckering Suckatash'. Say it for me now."
    "Suckering Suckatash, Drill Sargent."
    "NO! Say it right, be proud of your fucking lisp, Private."
    "Thuckering Thuckatath, Drill Sargent."
    "THAT IS NOT PROUD ENOUGH PRIVATE!"
    "THUCKERING THUCKATATH, DRILL SARGENT!"
    "Much better. Now sit your ass down, I am tired of smiling."
    Now I am latched with the nickname of Sylvester...

    Day Three: "So, I have to hold this all day?"
    We got our M16A2s on day three. Much terror to me, much excitement to most of the company. Clocking in at 7.76lbs unloaded and rather long, quite bulky... and they want us to eat with it. It goes on our bed when we sleep at night. The ONLY time you can leave the bitch alone is when you go to the restroom. That took some getting used to. Otherwise... it was uneventful.

    Day Four-Seven: "FrontLeaningRestPosition - Move."
    By this time, we are starting to see the quirks of the DS (Drill Sargents). Not all of them are comedy gold, but some of them are pretty darned funny. Here is the list so far.
    FrontLeaningRestPosition - Move: Yes, it is one word. It is a "modified" position of attention where you are leaning forward with your hands feet on the ground and your back is a straight line from shoulders to feet. Your arms run perpendicular to the floor. Yes, it is the pushup start position. When said as one word, it means get down and start pushin'
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    Dec 26, 2012 7:40 AM GMT
    I can't decide if I find this funny, sad, or aggravating....
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    Dec 26, 2012 8:10 AM GMT
    I'm sorry...
    This is not intended to be offensive. I am actually enjoying Basic more than I probably should. It may be because the Drill Sargents I have are relatively nice. It may be because they are taking it easy on me in particular. It may just be because it really isn't awful. But some of the stuff that goes in is pretty funny, and to be fair, none of it is exaggerated.

    But...

    Day Ten: "And he's got a PT shirt on!"

    Uniforms are important in basic. We have exactly two, so they are pretty hard to mess up. But somehow, the privates in my platoon manage to do that. One of the best examples is what Private Bravo (His name changed at his request) did on his fourth night of Fire Guard.
    Fire Guard is where a battle buddy pair wakes up each night for one hour at a time in shifts to watch for emergencies. It is actually good practice for when in the field we would have to do guard duties. But some of the Privates don't really understand that just yet.
    On this particular night, Bravo didn't get into his full set of ACUs. He decided to take it easy and didn't bother to tuck his pants into his boots, hide his laces, and wore a PT shirt underneath his ACUs instead of the ACU undershirt.
    He was unlucky that night; he got inspected on his watch.
    Charlie's Company Commander and two of our Drill Sargents ask him who the Post Commander is. Private Bravo is unable to answer accurately. In response, Drill Sargent Whiskey moves around the desk to inspect his uniform:
    "Private, why are your laces out and your pants untucked?"
    "Uhhh... because I just got up here for my shift..?"
    "Private, this shift began twenty minuets ago. Either you are late or you are lazy. And... is that..? AND HE'S GOT A PT SHIRT ON!? Everybody wake the fuck up and start pushing!"
    At which point, Drill Sargent Whiskey turns on the bay's lights and begins to roam around the bay inspecting everyone for incorrect uniforms for sleep. While we are pushing the fort up. Upon finding 5 of us in the wrong uniform, she demands we do Physical Readiness Training for ten minuets per each Private in the wrong uniform. That means sixty minuets of a smoke session. At 2:20 AM.

    Now every time Private Bravo messes up, we just start shouting at him. "And he's got a PT shirt on!"

    Day Twelve: Victory Tower
    Not so much funny as fun. Victory Tower is the rappelling tower. They taught us how to secure our ropes and had us rappel down the tower. That was actually really awesome! I also had fun doing the climbing drills that we were made to do that day.
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    This is the baby rappel tower. We did not get a picture of the big one for some reason.
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    This is Private Anthony doing my favourite drill from that day.
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    This is me studying after I had finished the drills and the rappel.
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    Dec 26, 2012 11:17 AM GMT
    I'm in AWE of you. God Bless You. icon_neutral.gif
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    Dec 26, 2012 6:25 PM GMT
    It actually isn't very impressive. Many of the guys on here do much more than we have done so far. The only difference is that they do it on the weekends for fun. I get paid to rappel.


    But...

    Day Thirteen: Confidence Course / Teambuilding Activity 1
    And this is officially where I start calling Basic Summer Camp. Not because it is easy, but because... yesterday we went jumping down a building. Today we are going to not one but TWO different parks with jungle gyms!? This is the best summer camp EVER!

    As to what we were actually doing. The Confidence Course is a 20 item obstacle course that includes variations on wall jumps, hanging bars, rope ladders, and low crawl areas. We were racing the other platoons on the course. 200ish privates running balls to the wall cray-cray along a track with bumps curves and twists? This is the best PE class ever! By obstacle 10 our platoon was barking (we are the Spartans, so we don't have a natural battle cry outside of "For Sparta!"). In short, it brought us together and made us excited to be a team.

    The Teambuilding Activity 1 was actually frustrating, but it may have been how they executed it and not because it was bad. Six tasks set in order of increasing difficulty that, unlike the Confidence Course, were geared towards actual team manipulation. This course required us to lift each other over 15 foot walls and climb over in sequence with balance certain areas. It sounds great? Until you realize they had our group start on Task Six and move backwards. Task Six was crossing a bridge with no bridge and a litter and only 6 planks to maneuver over the posts. In relation, task one was CLIMB A WALL. So we were kinda demoralized when we could not do Task Six, Five, or Four... But Three, Two and One were mega easy. But now the moniker was stuck in my head. If this day was supposed to be a hard day for us, I am now thoroughly convinced I am going to have SOOOOOO much fun at Summer Camp.