Monday, May 31, 2010

Sunday (Basic Training) Day 54

These entries are from the letters that Brandon has mailed to me. His writing at times can be a bit difficult to determine his words... bare with me, I do my best, especially with army terms.
It’s Sunday again, a day of rest, at least from training and PT. My body is sore, so I’m looking forward to the recovery. I had no guard duty, which was nice; I got to sleep 9 hours! I think that’s a first in basic. 
Our cool DS was talking with us the other day about what to do in the regular army. He’s done exactly what I’m planning to do. He’s spent time going to school while in active duty and the army pays for it all. He actually had two bachelors degree… all paid for. I plan on at least getting my bachelors degree. 
Evidently, our APG sat-up in his bed last night as the guys next to him were getting ready for their fireguard shift. Our APG thought he was clearing rooms. He said, “Stack on PG” (line up behind the PG to exit the room), and then he said, “Ah, I’m cut.” Then he woke up and looked at the guys next to him who were laughing.  He then told them to wake him up for his shift and went back to sleep. LOL.
More picking up leaves today, one by one. Isn’t it spring? All these freakin’ leaves should be down already!
I guess someone from our platoon told 4th platoon about our chow formation plans. 4th platoon stole it and used it. Now our PG is pissed and doesn’t want to do it, so I guess we’ll be just doing the same ol’ same ‘ol. 
After cleaning up the CTA our cool DS turned on some music in the bay. Even though it was R&B and rap, it was still nice to hear music. Then it got even better… he pulled down the projector screen and starting playing music videos for all genres of music. Very cool! 
Went to church and lunch, then everyone just chilled in the bay. It can get pretty boring. Guys are passing the time with their homemade deck of cards, sleeping under their beds, sleeping in their lockers, playing hangman on the white board and running around pulling people’s shorts down. I’ve been watching them all, while reading and writing. 
There seems to be a bag bug going around. Perhaps the same thing that 2nd platoon had. We have 3 guys that had a fever and have been sent to the infirmary. One guy also had bumps all over his upper body; it’s all red from him scratching. Lots of hand washing and sanitizer for me. 
We got a phone call today finally around 20:00 for about 50 minutes. Which was awesome! I was able to talk to my kids and my wife, which was perfect because it’s our anniversary today. Now it’s time to get some rest for FTX-3 tomorrow. 
Overheard Quote: “I’m not getting in that… it’s too homo.” (PVT GG’s response when asked if he wanted to join the conga line some of the guys were doing around the bay.)

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Seeing Red Again (Basic Training) Day 53

These entries are from the letters that Brandon has mailed to me. His writing at times can be a bit difficult to determine his words... bare with me, I do my best, especially with army terms.
This morning we had our PT test for the record.  I believe I improved at least a little in each event. I lost count near the end of both push-ups and sit-ups. I’ll find out for sure when they post the scores.
At the end of our run, one of our guys (I call him PVT Big Black because he’s the biggest black dude in our platoon) got into a little altercation with DS A-Hole. PVT Big Black left it all out there on the run. He was totally out of breath and exhausted. DS A-Hole was asking everyone for their time, so he could record them all. When he go to Big Black, I guess he didn’t hear him or he spoke too soft. DS A-Hole got pissed and started yelling at him. I guess Big Black gave him a look or rolled his eyes, which pissed off DS A-Hole even more. Then Big Black stood up. DS A-Hole later said that Big Black was getting ready to fight (total BS).  You see, Big Black was the guy who almost fought the DSs on the first day. He also got an article 15 for not wearing the correct underwear… multiple times after being warned. Now he got his rank stripped from E2 to E1. He also has extra duty now. DS A-Hole was so pissed he smoked us all once we got back to bay. Everyone was already tired from PT test, so it really sucked. He did a bunch of yelling and screaming and said our platoon is now back in red phase… timed showers, no personal time, DSs in our ass every minute. FML!!! All for one guy! I was so pissed. I’ve been looking forward to a phone call tomorrow. Our cool DS will be here and I was holding our hope that he give us extra time because of what happened last Sunday. (the five minute phone call).
We then marched to Cashetown for some more room clearing drills. We did it without ammo the first time and then used blacks the second time. After that the DSs started moving around the targets and even acted as occupants when we entered. It was cool; except I hate shooting those blanks, they jam all the time. 
We marched back for lunch and did a quick heat dump before we ate. We were in a rush to get down to formation and PVT Wal-Mart left his rifle in the bay… a big no-no. He realized it and ran back up to grab it, but it was gone. When we got back his rifle was in the middle of the bay. It was covered in foot powder and sun screen. It looked like it had snowed on it. The chamber was open and everything! Lots of cleaning for PVT Wal-Mart.
After a brief talk about the importance of keeping your rifle with you at all times, DS A-Hole said, “I’m going to do something I never do.” He said our platoon did so awesome in the PT test that he’s not going to take us back to red, we’ll stay in blue. We had a 90% pass rate and took over 1st place again by a long shot. Everyone improved their scores, including yours truly. I scored a 57 in push-ups (+5), 45 in sit-ups (+3), and a 14:44 2-mile (25 seconds faster). What’s crazy is everyone did so much better I dropped from 8th in the platoon to 13th place with a total score of 232. (13 higher than my previous.) 
So I am happy again! No red phase!!! Our senior DS was then complaining about not having AA batteries and asked if we had seen any. I raised my hand and pointed out that were two next to his butt. (He was sitting on the desk.) Everyone laughed (he was actually looking for 4 boxes of AA batteries). He smiled at me and said, “start pushing”. D’oh, my arms were still dead from the PT test and the smoking we got. When I asked how many, he said, “one for each battery I’m missing… 96!” After about 15 other people started asking if they could do some of them for me. The DS then said “OK, everyone do 20 and get up”. It was funny, but you may have had to been there. 
The next few hours was packing for our FTX-3. We got a packing list of all the required items to stick in our ruck. We also got to go to the PX and purchase anything we need for the FTX. I only purchased bug repellent. I was eaten alive at FTX-2, so I’ll be prepared this time. We were also allowed to get milkshakes while we were there. Now that was awesome! This day may have had some ups and downs, but it sure ended on a positive note!
Random DS Quote: “Oh… it’s in your mouth?” (our senior DS was keeping count of PVT Cock’s sit-ups and he farted. He then asked PVT Cock if he could smell it yet. PVT Cock said “I’m breathing through my mouth drill sergeant.)

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Saturday, May 29, 2010

Cover me while I move (Basic Training) Day 52

A small clip from the DVD I purchased at basic. This one shows the
first covered position we lined up at during the buddy team movements at
this range. Unfortunately it doesn't show the entire range and all of us bounding
to the end and releasing the rest of our rounds, but it does give you a picture of what
the range is like.

These entries are from the letters that Brandon has mailed to me. His writing at times can be a bit difficult to determine his words... bare with me, I do my best, especially with army terms.
PT this morning was very light, only stretches and some very minor exercises. We found out that our PT test for the record is tomorrow. This is the real deal, the one that your score actually counts. I’ve passed all mine so far, but there are 11 or 12 in our platoon that still haven’t. Hopefully they can step it up. If you don’t pass, you will not graduate.  They will recycle you. I’m not sure if there will be a chance to do to the PT test again for the people that don’t pass, but they will be pressed for time to get in shape.  Our platoon has a guy that quit (PVT Jacket), the guy who went AWOL  (my bunk mate who did come back, but then got discharged), and we also have a few guys who are sick.  PVT Diesel has been in the infirmary for the last 5 days. He hasn’t passed a PT test yet, so I doubt he’ll be able to before we graduate. I wonder how many in our platoon will make it and how many will not. We started off with 35 and had one addition and two are officially gone leaving us at 34.
After breakfast we were transported to a new range for our buddy team movements… this time with live ammo. Each lane has 4 barriers that you get behind for cover. We ran through once pretending to shoot saying “bang bang”, then once using blank rounds (these really suck they cause everyone’s rifle to jam) and then we did it with live ammo.
Me and a buddy each start and run up to two different old beat up cars for cover. We shot at pop up targets down range. (We have to be safe because this is a “hands on” range. This means if we do something unsafe the DS can hit us, tackle us, or do whatever to us if needed).  After we are both set I yell “cover me while I move” (have to scream it because we have ear plugs in and we are shooting). My buddy yells, “got you covered” and I ran up to my next covered position about 20 meters away. Once I’m there and have my rifle set back to semi  (off of safe, always on safe when moving) I yell, “set” and start shooting at targets. The process starts over with my buddy moving and so on.
When we reach our last target we were allowed for the first time to switch our rifles to burst (automatic fire). That was cool! When finished, the DS gave everyone an AAR (after action review). The only thing he criticized me on was that I could have run a bit faster between covers. (I was concentrating on safety and form).
The whole event was pretty cool. Your adrenaline gets pumping when you have live fire all around and you’re running down the range. 
It was hot as usual and with our full battle rattle everyone was heating up. We got done early; so our senior DS decided to transport us back via the supply truck.  Our platoon was packed like sardines. Lots of moaning and groaning…I think each of us probably lost 5 lbs. in sweat alone.  Good thing it’s laundry night tonight.
When we got back, our DS had us all clean our weapons. This was fine, but we had to do it for over 4 hours. DS A-Hole came out and even gave us a mini smoke (because of our PT test tomorrow) because he saw some people not cleaning. You can only do so much.
Our bathroom has become the favorite hang out spot in our bay. It’s not uncommon to walk in there and see 4 or 5 people sitting on the sink. (We’re not allowed to sit or lay on the beds in bay… only the floor). The bathroom is also out of sight when a DS comes out of his office into the bay. It’s never a good thing to be doing nothing when a DS comes out. 
Random DS Quote: “Listen up men…lump on my butt crack and hole” (DS A-Hole reading PVT GG’s sick call description to everyone.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Clearing Rooms (Basic Training) Day 51

These entries are from the letters that Brandon has mailed to me. His writing at times can be a bit difficult to determine his words... bare with me, I do my best, especially with army terms.
Today started off with a pretty good PT session.  Now that we are further along in basic, they said it will pick up. We did a number of push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups along with a number of other stretches and minor exercises. Worked up a good sweat and our senior DS even said we did a great job! We did more and we did it faster then all the other platoons. 
After breakfast, we marched to “Cashetown”. This is a training area for urban combat. We practiced clearing rooms with a four-man team. We got to kick down doors and basically swarm a room. Each member has and assigned area to cover. I guess we did a good job because our senior DS said we were doing great…much better than most at this stage of basic. Two compliments in one day by our senior DS, that is a major accomplishment. 
We went to Cashetown with 2nd platoon and about half their platoon was at sick call. Our DS said to stay away from them. LOL. 
We marched back to the DFAC for lunch and back to Cashetown after. We then learned some “non-lethal” techniques to use. One is a “muzzle thump” or “barrel pinch”. This is where you basically thrust your barrel of the rifle into the chest of someone. When this happens, they go down quickly. We did practice a few times on each other (while wearing body armor). After that we moved to judo throws and practiced them on each other. All in all, it was a fun day.
Laundry lately has been crazy. It’s hot here of course, but we have also been wearing “full battle rattle” everyday since NIC at Night. Full Battle Rattle consists of our normal ACUs, body armor (a big heavy vest with plates in the front and back that can stop multiple bullets), helmet, our Flick, and our camel back. When we have all this on it just seems to trap all the heat inside. Everyone sweats like a pig. When we got back to the bay I think I could have squeezed my ACUs and had a puddle of water. To combat the heat our DS encourages (and sometimes forces) everyone to hydrate a lot. 
After training we came back to the CTA and ended up having duty food with the rest of the company. 3rd & 4th platoon did live fire buddy team movement, we will do that tomorrow & they’ll do what we did today. The rest of the night was pretty chill, just cleaning and hanging out.
Random DS Quote: “Privates… do not hump in front of me and not expect to get kicked in the ass… You’re not even in the bay!” (During our judo throws one of the privates took down another and started dry humping him. The DS then put his foot on his ass and pushed him off).

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Fancy Pants Uniforms (Basic Training) Day 50

These entries are from the letters that Brandon has mailed to me. His writing at times can be a bit difficult to determine his words... bare with me, I do my best, especially with army terms.
After breakfast today we (or I should say some of us) had to get more shots. Not even sure what it was, but I got it. I thought I was immune to all known diseases, but I guess they found more they had to vaccinate me for. 
We then went back to reception, (we did half walk, half run at times) to get fitted for our class A uniforms. It’s amazing how good everyone looked. When it comes time to wear them for real, everyone is going to look sharp!
By the time we got back it was time for lunch. MREs in the CTA. No candy in mine…bummer. The senior DS then said we were going to get haircuts. He said while were there we could stop at the PX and also get milkshakes! Woohoo!
When we got to the PX it looked like an entire company was in line for milkshakes, so the DS said no milkshakes today privates…bummer. We got our hair cuts and I got some detergent, soup & an organizer for my letters and such. When we got back to the CTA we cleaned our weapons and we were allowed to purchase Gatorade from the vending machine. 
The DS finally posted our PT scores from the last PT test. Our platoon fell to 3rd place and he wasn’t very happy. Personally, I did as good or better in each event. 52 push-ups (+2), 42 sit-ups (same), and 15:09 for the 2 mile (10 sec better). My score is 219 and I moved back into 8th best in the platoon. 
We were given a lot of free time after dinner. Time to put away all the new uniforms and such from reception, clean everything, start laundry, and read mail. We had some really late nights, so there has been no time to do much of anything when we got back.
Random DS Quote: “Step on his dick so he cannot contaminate the gene pool” (Our senior DS talking to another platoon’s DS about a private of his that wasn’t listening).

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Night Fire - Day 49

These entries are from the letters that Brandon has mailed to me. His writing at times can be a bit difficult to determine his words... bare with me, I do my best, especially with army terms.
We were able to sleep til 6:00am today! After we got ready to go, transport took us to a range where we had duty food breakfast. We then had a briefing from the 1st Sergeant on the importance of drinking water and watching out for one another. (Because of the incident last night with the guy from 3rd platoon…we heard he’s going to OK). We also heard that one of the DSs from another platoon got into a motorcycle accident.  He got a little road rash, but is doing OK, which is good, I think he’s a pretty cool DS.
We also found out that Private Home School actually did not qualify on the rifle. He was given another chance today, but missed it by two. If he is unable to qualify he will be recycled. He said if he gets recycled, he would quit.  I don’t blame him; I would not want to do all this again.
We did a bunch more shooting with our scopes. I used PFC Metal’s scope (& rifle) because mine suck’s butt.
The “gut truck” came and out of the blue and our senior DS said we could purchase a candy bar! That was big; I got skittles…mmmm a rainbow of flavors in my mouth. LOL. I’ve said before that our senior DS is like Jekyll and Hyde. He was being real cool…candy bars and all, smiling… then when 3rd platoon didn’t move fast enough he flipped out. Started yelling at everyone. Had the whole company form up and yelled at us all…we suck, if he had his way we would all be in red phase…we are all weak. Then he made the whole company do some push-ups, a modified version of sit-ups called “the rower” and then V-ups.
The weather here is a little crazy. When it decides to rain it really comes down. Today it was sunny and warm, then all of a sudden it got dark and it just started pouring. Everyone got under cover for about an hour while it just poured and poured. Then as quickly as it started, it was done. It was sunny again. 
Everyone is just kind of hanging out waiting for it to get dark. PVT Home School is still trying to qualify. He has been shooting for an eternity and shortly before it got dark (20:00) PVT Home School finally qualified! The whole company let out a cheer.
Once it was dark enough we lined up for night firing. We wore the night vision lens and the rifle had a laser on it that would show up on the target (only visible with the night vision). It was basically all for fun. All the targets were up ad the DS told us to shoot controlled pairs bang bang – don’t call it a double tap though. Every fifth round was a tracer. It was cool, but our laser wasn’t zeroed, so it didn’t matter if it was on target or not. It was still fun to shoot off so many rounds so fast. I emptied my magazine in seconds. 
We also found out that the story they told us about the DS dying at NIC at Night was told just o heighten everyone’s anxiety about the event. A DS said it did happen but it was a long time ago. Finally made it back to the bay at 23:20 – shower, clean up a bit and lights out at 24:00. I took a “nap”, I had fireguard from 1-2am. Fun.
Random 1st Sergeant Quote: “If you fall down and start doing the fucking kickin’ chicken and die, you will not graduate.” (The  1st Sergeant trying to motivate everyone to hydrate and keep an eye on each other.)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

NIC at Night (Basic Training) Day 48

Sorry Folks,

While migrating my journal to blogger, I realized this post was an exact duplicate of a future post. Somehow my wife put up the wrong post from the letters I sent her, but she did get the right title. Not sure how that was done, but such is life. Unfortunately we were doing some spring cleaning within the last month and actually threw away all the letters I sent her from basic training, so I cannot even put up the original content.

I remember from the title that this was the night we went out to a special range during the night. This was a while back, so I don't remember all the details of the entire day, but the range was quite a bit different. It had a few mini guard towers at the front and the NCOs in these towers would be firing live rounds. We were all at the back of the range in a deep trench. When we were told to go, we had to climb up and low crawl all the way to the front. During this process there were obstacles we had to navigate, while staying as low as possible. There were logs, barbed wire, and sandbags. Explosions were going off (or at least the sounds of explosions) and the live fire was above.

The low crawl made the process take a very long time. Everyone stayed as low as possible during the event, even though in hindsight I'm sure the live fire was about 15 feet high so I'm sure there was no chance of anyone actually getting hit. It was pretty funny because not everyone made least one guy ended up making a slow turn as he was low crawling and didn't realize it...he ended up off the side of the course.

So move on to the next day and you'll pick up where I last left off...

Monday, May 24, 2010

A Blue Sunday (Basic Training) Day 47

These entries are from the letters that Brandon has mailed to me. His writing at times can be a bit difficult to determine his words... bare with me, I do my best, especially with army terms.
Today we were able to “sleep in” until 5:45am. I also had no guard duty so the uninterrupted sleep was just awesome. I slept like a rock the entire night.

After breakfast we cleaned up the CTA. PFC Metal and I cleaned up the “day room” (aka the DS lounge). I really had to go pee, so as I was cleaning their bathroom, I let loose and used their urinals. I like living on the edge. LOL.

Went to church again and was a little overwhelmed with emotions as we were singing. I felt the tears roll down my face. Crap! Had to hurry up and wipe them off before shaking everyone’s hand.

Didn’t do much except hang out in the bay until 3:00pm. Our DS came in, brought out 3 machine guns and said clean them, then he left. We have one of the 240s that we’ve been cleaning for 2 days. After we came back from dinner we heard the supply sergeant came in and inspected it. He said it was still dirty.  I don’t  think there is any way we can get these clean enough for his standard. We cleaned the shit out of it. 

We found out that for some reason we only get 5 minutes on the phone today. It was awesome to talk to my wife, but 5 minutes really sucked. The DS on duty for the company doesn’t want to be here and I think he was taking it out on everyone. He’s with another platoon and he’s just a freakin' ass all the time. What a great reward for making it to blue phase! (sarcasm). I’m really pissed right now. This is something everyone looks forward to all week. Grrr.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Blue is Beautiful (Basic Training) Day 46

These entries are from the letters that Brandon has mailed to me. His writing at times can be a bit difficult to determine his words... bare with me, I do my best, especially with army terms.
This morning we found out something funny happened last night during fireguard. You see, there is always a DS on duty all throughout the night. They will at some point check each platoon by doing a walk through counting the people and the weapons. They also check on the Fireguard to make sure they are awake and posted. Sometime in the middle of the night our APG (Assistant Platoon Guide) must’ve heard the DS come in, although only in his subconscious or dream state. The APG jumped out of bed and ran in front of the DS.  The DS said “Private…what are you doing out of bed? Where are your shoes?” Our APG said, “Drill Sergeant I’m giving a LACE report” (A LACE report was part of a battle drill that we had to do over and over again. The team leader checks his team and their equipment and reports to the squad leader.) I guess the DS was a little dumb founded he just stared at the APG. It was then the APG realized he was out of be and a DS was in front him. The APG said, “Sometimes I do stupid things in the middle of the night.” Then he went back to bed. The DS came back in the morning and told our DS what happened and they both had a laugh. 

We had a good PT workout this morning, then breakfast. After breakfast we had a little company ceremony to make our transition to “Blue Phase”!!! So we are officially now in the blue phase. Not sure what that all this entails, but it will be better than white phase…which has been better than red phase. There are rumors that we will get our cell phones longer. It that’s true, I’ll be super excited.

We got scopes for our rifles today and then went to the big computer simulator to train on rifles with scopes. I was a sharp shooter…well a virtual sharpshooter. Now if only I can do that with the real thing. 

We had our peer counseling results review with the DS. Mine was as I expected, for the most part good. Areas of improvement communication, sounding off, and confidence. All but one said they would go to war with me – the one said he was afraid I wouldn’t be able to kill the enemy. LOL. If someone is shooting at me don’t worry, I’ll have no problem shooting back.

We were given the opportunity to get milkshakes again! I had a large Oreo shake. Wow that was good. I was going to go to the PX as well, but the place was so packed, they ran out of shopping baskets and wouldn’t allow anyone in until someone left with a basket. I hear we may be able to go tomorrow, so I’ll wait. Now that we’re in blue phase we were allowed to walk back to the bay when we were done as long as we were in a buddy group.

Not a whole lot going on today. Lots of hanging out in the bay. It can get a little boring at times. Lots of letter writing and people trying to take catnaps without getting caught by the PG or APG. Some can even get in their lockers and sleep.

The platoon has decided to spice up our chow formation. (During chow each platoon sounds off and enters the DFAC, it’s somewhat of a competition…for pride only. Somehow I have been made the star attraction. They have me walking up to the PG looking all pissed, then I flex and scream. We’ll see how that goes. 

Overheard quote: “It sounded like you have a live duck in your ass.” (PVT Lurch describing our APG’s farts.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

I’m a pretty princess (Basic Training) Day 45

These entries are from the letters that Brandon has mailed to me. His writing at times can be a bit difficult to determine his words... bare with me, I do my best, especially with army terms.
I had staff duty last night with PFC Metal. It was the 2:00-3:00am shift.  We had one phone call that we took a message and then used the walkie-talkie to send it to the DS on duty (DS AHOLE). I had a headache and my knees are a bit sore. I guess I didn’t drink enough water yesterday. We also had to kneel a lot yesterday during every block of instructions. We were only allowed to use one knee at a time (because if we were on both knees that means we’re "sucking dick". We had to repeat this). Even with my knee pads it still was a painful experience. All this lack of and interrupted sleep is starting to catch up with me.  

I asked our assistant PG about our PT scores, why they were never posted. He said the last one wasn’t official PT test and they would not be posted. I don’t care if it’s official or not, I want to see my progress. We were all required to weigh ourselves. I am at 182. Eight pounds lighter then when I started. I feel like I’m eating a ton of food though. I guess I’m burning a lot of calories. 

This morning we had a surprise group ability run. I was still so sore and tired I decided to run in the “C” group. I would have ran in the “D” group if they had one. Hell, I would of went to sick call if I would have known in advance. Running is the last thing I wanted to do. I did it...and made it, but it was tough. 

After breakfast we headed off to yet another range. Ft. Benning has so many ranges it’s mind boggling. Everyday it seems we go to a new range. Anyway – today we got to shoot some big machine guns. The M249 and the M240B. It was pretty cool. About every 5th shot was a tracer round, so we could tell where we were shooting. To be honest, I suck at hitting targets with these big guns. I was able to hit the closet two, but after that I was no good. We are suppose to fire in bursts. They would have us yell “Die Terrorist Die!” and hold the trigger the entire time. It was a fun time. No qualifications, no pressure, just shooting. The guy who shot after me (we did it in pairs so one person could feed the ammo) kept shooting really short bursts. The Cadre said there is no way you can be saying “Die Terrorist Die”. From now on you have to say, “I’m a pretty princess” and do not let go of that trigger until you are finished. Pretty funny…a black dude, firing a big ass machine gun, saying "I’m a pretty princess" over and over again. 

For lunch today we had MREs. We had almost no time to eat them, the DS made us stop halfway though and then we went off to fire again. When we were done we saw we had duty food for lunch. So we ended up having two lunches…odd.

During one of our formations at the range a guy in our platoon gave the PG a little attitude. I’m not even sure what he did, but it pissed off the PG enough to tell the DS. When the DS was addressing it with the guy, he rolled his eyes. (This is something you should never do in front of a DS). This pissed the DS off pretty bad. He did some yelling and promised this guy a negative counseling statement. He also mentioned even more punishment if he didn’t straighten his attitude out. By this time in the game you need to really know when to swallow your pride and just do what you’re told with a smile on your face. 

We did peer evaluation today. We evaluated 5 people (the next five bunks from us) on a form. Rating them in all the army values and answering if we want to go to combat with them and why or why not. We also did a self-evaluation. These will all be tallied and will be used in our white phase counseling tomorrow. At least that is what’s on the calendar; our Senior DS is on vacation right now for a couple of days.

Got mail today! The DSs are a bit inconsistent on when they deliver it, but when they do its a happy day. I got letters from my wife, my sister, and my sister-in-law. Very cool. 

Some new nicknames – Walmart (a guy who used to work at Walmart), Ballsack (the guys last name rhymes with scrotum) 

Overheard quote: “What’s the ?” (PVT Cock was utilizing the wood-line and he looked down and saw a big mosquito on the tip of his little unit sucking his blood.)


Hey DS Ahole aint that bad haha jk and thats funny about Pvt. Cock.

Thursday, May 27, 2010 - 05:12 PM

Pvt. Cock

No comment...

Tuesday, June 22, 2010 - 08:06 AM

Friday, May 21, 2010

BOOM! (Basic Training) Day 44

These entries are from the letters that Brandon has mailed to me. His writing at times can be a bit difficult to determine his words... bare with me, I do my best, especially with army terms.
Today was grenade day. We took off after breakfast to the grenade range. After safety training and a few practice throws we were all given a “go” or “no go” by going through the motions and tossing a dummy grenade in front of an instructor. They were looking to make sure we did everything correctly and that we threw it far enough. I got a “go”, so after everyone finished, all the “GOs” walked to the live range. I was a little nervous while standing in line. We were behind a wall with a roof, so we couldn’t see the range. We could just hear the loud BOOM, BOOM. All my nerves went away when it was my turn. They gave me a live grenade and I ran out to my assigned bunker. The instructor was there told me to prepare and then throw. I hucked that thing as far as I could and ducked behind the concrete wall…BOOM!!! It’s pretty impressive! We then had to take off and get back to the original cover. After that we got to watch the next person throw through a window and see the blast. Pretty cool! Once about half of us finished, they paused for a bit and had us run up the road back to our gear. When they resumed I was amazed that I could feel the blast even though we were about 400 meters away and there were trees between us. Pretty powerful stuff.

We had MREs for lunch along with a Powerade & power bar from the gut truck. It’s funny as soon as people start opening their MREs the bartering process starts “Hey, I’ll trade you a poppy seed cake for your pretzels” or “I got this…anyone want to trade…what you got?”

We then went on to actually qualify with hand grenades. To do this we had to go to 7 different stations and throw dummy grenades (using the proper technique) at various targets and from various positions. (standing, kneeling, prone). The last station had us identify 5 variety of grenades by looking at samples. I was able to get  “go” on all the stations, so I’ll get an expert pin. Woohoo!

After transport back we took a heat dump and ate dinner, then cleaned the bay. We have staff duty as well as fireguard, so almost everyone has a shift. I can’t remember the last time I had uninterrupted sleep. It’s getting very annoying.

Overheard Quote: “Why are you so consistently fucked up?” (the 1st Sergeant yelling at PVT Home School today).

Pvt. Cock

Is Pvt. Home School who I think it is?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010 - 08:04 AM

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Things that go bump in the night (Basic Training) Day 43

These entries are from the letters that Brandon has mailed to me. His writing at times can be a bit difficult to determine his words... bare with me, I do my best, especially with army terms.
Last night was a long, long, long night. We slept in out “hasty fighting positions only for an hour at a time. I had a sleeping mat that I rolled out and a blanket that I used for a pillow most of the time. Every so often I would hear a bomb go off or a gun fire. Sometimes a “halt” command, given somewhere else in the camp. I had my rifle attached to me with a bungee cord. That way during my sleeping shift nobody would be able to steal it. Most of the time during my guard shit, I would stare towards the wood line, but if I heard something I would grab the night vision scope and survey the area. That thing is pretty cool. It’s amazing how much you can see. The only time I saw anyone is when our PG and his squad were returning from a “raid” on another platoon. They were unable to get anything though. I guess the PG saw the other platoon’s DS and thought he was a tree. LOL! As our PG was sneaking by their DS grabbed him and there was a bit of wrestling match. Stories differ on how it all played out. According to the other DS, he had our PG almost choked out. Our PG said it wasn’t even close to that. 
So I only managed a little over 3 hours sleep broke up into 4 different shifts. That SUCKS! Had to get up to the sound of a siren and machine gun fire. Take a quick field shower, shave with no mirror and fill in our hasty fighting position.
We did more battle drills today and during the drills we used up all our blank ammo (that was kind of fun). Other than that, I sometimes wonder why a guy with an IT Job in the army would need to know all this infantry type crap. I was hot, I was still pretty dirty, and had very little sleep, so I was a bit grouchy.
When we finally got back to our bay everyone took a shower. That felt awesome! The transportation back was in a cattle car and it was very cramped and hot with all the people and gear in there.
I was a bit disappointed after our shower to find that instead of our normal hours of personal time, we all had to clean the CTA. Also I had another fire guard shift coming up. I can’t remember when I last slept through the night. At least it gave me time to catch up on my journal. Tomorrow…live hand grenades…Boom!
Random DS Quote: “If you’re in a banana hammock and you’re singing and dancing, then you’re gay” (DS explaining this to a Private on the cattle car ride back “home”)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Camping Army Style (Basic Training) Day 42

FTX -2 3rd BN, 47th IN
This is the headquarters tent used by the DSs

Last night we found out that my battle buddy (who went AWOL for a little while) finally got sent back to 30th AG (AKA reception). This is the final destination people go before they get out of the army. Echo Company is full of all the people who didn't make it through basic and are getting discharged for whatever reason. Since my battle buddy got back all he did was staff duty (sit at a desk) all day, so he was going nuts.  He was not allowed to attend any of the training at all.  So he’s been looking forward to this day. He thinks he’ll get out soon, but all the stories I’ve heard say that it can take quite a while. The saying goes “The fastest way out of basic training is to graduate”.
Today we packed up and got on this bus to do our FTX-2. It was a tight fit in those seats with our rucks front-loaded. Once we arrived we had to march about a mile or so. Seemed like forever with all that weight on our shoulders.
We ate duty food for breakfast and then had to build our “hasty fighting positions”. We use our “E-Tool” (a mini shovel that folds up) and dig a Y shaped shallow grave about 18” deep. Our heads are each at the top of the Y and our feet meet at the bottom. The bottom is also where out rucksacks are stored. We also have to camouflage it well. I was paired up with PFC Metal, which is great. He’s a hard worker and also a perfectionist. The platoon guide has mentioned numerous times that ours is the best. It’s so big we should invite him over for cocktails tonight. LOL.
We then were given a compass and coordinates and our platoon had to make it’s way to our first battle dill class. (Squad movements, react to fire and such). We had MREs for lunch and were told we could eat everything including contraband! Problem is that mine didn’t come with any candy. Bummer. It’s all luck of the draw with MREs. I had chili, which wasn’t too bad. 
We navigated to another battle drill class (react to indirect fire and how to cross a road in squads), and then headed back to our base. At least there are outhouses here; we don’t have to dig holes when we have to do business. 
The weather here is hot and humid. Anytime we do anything, everyone starts to sweat. We will only have our field shower kits and a lot of deodorant tomorrow. There are also bugs of all sorts everywhere, ants, and spiders, flying insects including huge ass mosquitoes. Lots of people were bit by ants, including myself. One guy even found a tick on him when we finally got back to the bay. 
While we were away in our battle drill the DSs set a number of booby traps. If someone tripped the line it would set of a loud bang (think M80). Once that happened the guy would have to lay down and the closet person to him would have to treat his “blown off” leg. We all carried around practice field aid packs with tourniquets and bandages. We actually had a few people trip those in our platoon. There was also others that would make a bottle rocket sound. If we heard that we would have to yell “incoming” and everyone would have to lay down in the dirt in prone position. 
Our Senior DS heard that 15 people went down today back at our battalion because of the heat. So after dinner he made us fill up our canteen (1 qt.) with water and down it. When finished, we had to hold it above our heads upside down with the cap off (to prove to the DS that it was empty). We all finished but one guy threw it right back up. The DS wasn’t happy with that so we had to do it again. This time 4 or 5 people threw up. It was pretty crazy, our formation was falling apart because people were trying to get away from the throw up.
We were warned that there was also an infantry unit on FTX around, and they were missing some night vision goggles, so they may try and steal ours. We were also told they will have red sharpies and will try to mark our throats with them. If we wake up with that it means our throat was slit and we’re dead.
Other platoons, from our company, may try and breach our security and steal weapons etc. We were all given magazines full of blank rounds and some of us (me and PFC Metal) got night vision goggles. Unfortunately that meant we were going to pull 50/50 security. One of us would be on guard and one of us would sleep, then switch every hour. 
Random DS Quote: “I’m going to superman jump and drop kick you in the throat”.  (DS A-hole to PFC Metal because he saw him sitting instead of kneeling).


Hey I was McGuires battle buddy I got back home tuesday, and I just want to wish him and all of 1st platoon good luck, and don't break any more windows.
Just in cause he wants to get get in touch with me my email

RN # 118
Josh Mahaffey

Thursday, May 27, 2010 - 04:50 PM

Kara Moore

SuperMan jump Lol... I asked Jon about that... AKA: PFC. Metal. He kind of chuckled and said oh, you heard about that huh?

Saturday, June 5, 2010 - 06:19 PM

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Shot & Boom! (Basic Training) Day 41

A guy from our company firing one of the practice grenades from the M203

These entries are from the letters that Brandon has mailed to me. His writing at times can be a bit difficult to determine his words... bare with me, I do my best, especially with army terms.
This morning we had another GAR (group ability run). I decided to move up to “B” group. Last time in “C” group I barely broke a sweat. This time in “B” group I was drenched in sweat. (and rain from earlier). It was a much faster pace and longer distance. It pushed me a lot harder; in fact I ended up at the back of the group (not counting the ones that fell out). 

After breakfast we went to a range where we learned all about the AT4 “A fully contained, light weight, man-portable, right shoulder fired anti-armor weapon”. Kinda like a portable rocket launcher. Everyone has a chance to shoot small tracer rounds from them for practice at some old tanks on the range. That was pretty cool, but what was really cool came next. Our best shooter in qualifying for our platoon and another platoon actually got to shoot the real thing. The other platoon's guy shot & hit the tank. When our guy shot, he hit the tank too...that was pretty cool!
After that we ate lunch (MRE) and then got transported to another range. This range was for the M203 (It’s a grenade launcher that can attach to a M16 rifle). We learned all about it and then everyone had a chance to fire 8 dummy grenades. When they hit the ground they gave a puff of orange smoke. Still pretty cool.
They picked the best shooters from the other two platoons and they got to shoot the real thing. The DSs were joking telling everyone to duck after they shoot because shrapnel may come back at us. The first guy shot & BOOM!!! (big bang). Right after the hit, a DS behind the bleachers threw a bunch of pebbles on the metal roof. Everyone almost pissed themselves and ducked for cover. It was pretty funny.
After that we had about an hour and a half to kill before transportation. The strangest thing happened. All the DSs, the 1st Sergeant, and the Captain hung out in front of everyone and started asking everyone for good jokes. When the privates started running out of jokes, the DSs wanted us to start doing impersonations of the DSs. It was pretty funny. It then turned into funny stories from the DSs. Very laid back and a lot of laughter. 
After dinner we had to pack for our FTX tomorrow. FTX = Field Training Exercise…aka camping army style. Not really excited for it. We are going to have to a do a number of drills and exercises. Make our camp and worst of all pull security all night with a battle buddy. (Every hour one stays awake & one sleeps, then switch). I can’t imagine the food is going to great either. MREs and maybe duty food. MREs don’t really fill you up, they just tide you over until the next meal. Not sure how much time I’ll have to write…we’ll see how it goes.
Random DS Quote: “This is the first time you guys have impressed me. You must make your boyfriends happy.” (DS A-Hole after watching all of us suck down our milkshakes the other day.)

The practice grenades let a little orange smoke out when they hit
so you can see where your shot went

Monday, May 17, 2010

Another Sunday (Basic Training) Day 40

These entries are from the letters that Brandon has mailed to me. His writing at times can be a bit difficult to determine his words... bare with me, I do my best, especially with army terms.
I had to wake up very early this morning for Brigade staff duty.  Yesterday I was thinking I had it at 1pm, but it turned out to be 1am this morning. We were woken up 12:30 and had to get our ACUs on. The walk to Brigade headquarters is only about 5 minute walk. PVT Cock and I got there and the guy we were relieving said we could actually use the vending machine. Great, except I didn’t bring any money. Didn’t think I would need money for staff duty. Grrrr. All that we did was sit in two chairs for an hour until our relief came. 

We got to “sleep in” until 6am, which is nice (because it’s Sunday). Went to breakfast and this week we are the last platoon to eat. It sucks because some of the items have been picked clean. 

After breakfast we had to do the 30-30-10 again. (push-ups, sit-ups, & pull-ups). Evidently, the DS thought it was such a great idea we now have to do them after every meal. I don’t mind the exercises, but doing them on a full stomach is rough. 

More cleaning today. We had to even wash some cars. Problem is we don’t have any of the proper supplies. We washed them with some general purpose cleaner. We also cleaned up our CTA area and the bay. After I went to church they started moving all the beds and lockers so they could buff the floor. PVT Homer, I hear was pressing his butt against the window while moving a locker and the entire window broke out and fell down to the CTA below. (that was a big D’oh!!). I guess the senior DS came up and was yelling, “What the hell just happened?” By the time we got back from church though he was cooled off.

After lunch PFC Metal and I were assigned laundry guard. We did our platoons laundry for about 4 hours. A few guys came down to hang out because I don’t think they felt like cleaning in the bay. The PG  (Platoon Guide – aka Platoon Leader…aka Drill PVT) came down and got a little pissed. All of the guys left except one, I guess he didn’t want to take orders from a private. The PG told the DS, Now that guy has latrine duty every night this week from 21:00 – 22:00.

When we came up from laundry duty, we come into the entertainment of the night for our platoon. All the guys who had pictures of their girls put them out and everyone voted on them. They were just finished with tallying the votes and everyone was gathered around. Lots of hoot and hollering, pretty funny.

We were also allowed a phone call today. I was able to talk to my wife and kids for 20 minutes, but it seemed like 5. Another perk to white phase – phone calls on Sundays. We have one more week and then we can phase to blue. That will be awesome!!!

Overheard Quote: “It smelled like a tire was lit on fire and stuck up my ass” (Our PG talking about the gas he had a couple of days ago.)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Oreo = heaven in my mouth (Basic Training) Day 39

These entries are from the letters that Brandon has mailed to me. His writing at times can be a bit difficult to determine his words... bare with me, I do my best, especially with army terms.
This morning we had another PT test. Everything went normal for the push-ups, and sit-ups, but the 2-mile run brought some drama. Our 2-mile run test is set-up so one platoon at a time starts and after about 3 minutes the next platoon starts and so on until all four platoons are running. We run down a road that is marked every quarter mile and after one mile we turn around and come back. We were first, so most of us finished before the rest of the platoons came in. All of a sudden I hear “man down, man down”. All the DSs ran over to 3rd platoon (terminators) and sure enough here was a guy totally unconscious. He ran a little too hard and most likely didn’t hydrate enough. They ended up taking him to the hospital, so I’m not sure of his status right now. Pretty scary stuff! I’m not sure of my official scores yet, but I think I improved in every area. The official scores should be posted later in the day.

After breakfast we learned modern army combatives (aka UFC or MMA) moves. It was cool because we got to practice on each other, but it got hot as hell. I was sweating like a pig. It quickly became very uncomfortable for everyone. Finally, we broke for lunch and after lunch DS A-Hole said everyone has to do 30 push-ups, 30 sit-ups and 10 pull-ups. All this on a full stomach. Grrrr. Then we were allowed to take a shower and change into our PT uniforms. We found out later that the extra exercises after lunch was to burn extra calories. (even though no other platoon had to do it). 

Our company was being rewarded for everyone qualifying on the range yesterday. We all had the opportunity to go to the ice cream store next to the PX and get either an Oreo, Reeses Pieces or Butterfinger milkshake. I stopped and said “you had me at oreo”. We pre-ordered and then walked over and picked up our shakes. I wasn’t actually expecting much, but I was happily surprised by how good it was. It was heaven in my mouth. I savored every mouthful. That was awesome!!! The only down fall is that it was gone too fast. 

One of the nice benefits of white phase is that the DSs go home earlier, especially on the weekends. Today after around 4:30 (16:30) all the DSs were gone except for one for the entire company. Gotta love that. Just chillin’ in the bay with 34 other guys…bored guys who are trying to find interesting ways to entertain themselves. 

Random DS Quote: “Head and eyes forward privates, use your peripherals.” (At the PX a number of hot chicks came in and caused a

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Qualifying Day (Basic Training) Day 38

These entries are from the letters that Brandon has mailed to me. His writing at times can be a bit difficult to determine his words... bare with me, I do my best, especially with army terms.
Woke up this morning and did our morning PT as usual. After PT we had about a 45 minute break before we needed to board the bus. It was nice not having to rush, rush, rush.

We got to the range and it seemed a little better than all the other ranges, everything except the latrine. The place had the absolute worst latrine I’ve had the pleasure of visiting. Absolutely disgusting!!

Everyone got their lane and firing assignments. I had position 2 on lane 11. Everyone has to place their rifle on the left side of the firing position. The bolt has to be locked back and the chamber is open. After I placed mine there some knucklehead kicked some sand in rifle. There was actually a big pile of sand in my chamber. I was freakin’ pissed. I have to qualify in a matter of minutes and my rifle, which I cleaned the night before, was all messed up. I took my rifle and walked as quickly as I could back to my gear (no running on the range). I did the best I could clean it and rushed back just in time to shoot. It was already hot and humid out and now I was as well. I started shooting and after only a few targets my glasses fogged up and I couldn’t see anything. I quickly threw off my hat and glasses and tried to shoot without the aid of my glasses. (I could see the closer target fine, the 250m & 300m targets were pretty blurry so I just aimed at the center of the blur. I shot at 20 targets in the prone supported, 10 in the prone unsupported, and 10 in the kneeling position. During the kneeling position, my rifle finally jammed. I was able to fix it, but about 3 targets came and went. I ended up qualifying with a 27, which is marksman. So I even get a little pin. I know I could have done better, but I am very happy I qualified on the first try. There were a number of people who had to try multiple times, but eventually the entire company qualified. I think the DSs were stressing a little. 

Lunch at the range was duty food. One good thing about duty food is that you have to take whatever they give you…even if it’s cake. LOL. (Normally we can’t eat cake at the DFAC). I had mine and two other people gave me theirs as well. Ha! 

The day was hot and I was sweating like crazy. I was looking forward to our shower afterwards. When we got back, DS A-Hole had a wild hair up his butt and decided to only give us 1-minute showers. WTF?? When we were done, we had to all line up in our towels and then all together we had 90 seconds to get dress in our PTs. After that he was like “now clean your weapons”. He’s such an ass.

We found out since everyone qualified we could all order pizza and Gatorade. Pizza was $10 each and they could not comment on the quality. I said “count me in…Pizza is like sex…even bad pizza is still pretty good.” It came an hour and half late, but it was good. Nice to have some junk food. LOL.

I ended up having staff duty with PVT Cock from 20:00 – 22:00. We did a lot of cleaning, moving tables, taking out the trash, running errands, and I even fixed my first “technical problem” since leaving my last job. I un-jammed our DS’s printer. LOL.

Random DS Quote: “I’m like your uncle, the other two are like your dad & step dad. Always competing to see who has the bigger dick. I already won, now I just hang out.” (Our cool DS talking about our other DSs)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Hot day on the range (Basic Training) Day 37

B Company, 3rd BN, 47th IN, 1st Platoon (The Gladiators)
I'm on the top row, second to the left

These entries are from the letters that Brandon has mailed to me. His writing at times can be a bit difficult to determine his words... bare with me, I do my best, especially with army terms.
We woke up at our normal time today (about 4am) and got ready. We did our normal PT and then added a 60/120 around the track. We sprint for 60 seconds then walk 120 seconds and repeat over and over. I was still pretty sore from the 8k road march, so I couldn't really give it 100%. I still got a good sweat going though. After PT we had no time for showers (field shower time again). We got dressed, ate chow, and boarded the buses for a new range. For whatever reason I didn’t shoot as well on this range as the previous day. I shot 20, 29, 23, 23 & 25. So I still qualified on all but one of my tries but not much room for error. The range was nice, bit it was hot as hell. That made for some uncomfortable shooting.

One guy in the late afternoon complained to the DS that he was cramping up. The DS made him fill his camel back and start drinking from it. The DS wouldn't let him stop. Finally he threw up. It was actually pretty funny looking. (I'm going to call him PVT Guy because since reception that is all he calls everyone.) So PVT Guy opens his mouth and with no sound at all (except the sound of rushing water) he starts throwing up the water. It looked like something you would see in a movie. Mouth wide open and a full stream of water just poured out. It lasted so long it seemed fake. He ended up throwing up water twice. Moral of the story, on hot days drink a lot of water over time...and don't complain to the DS.

We also ended up taking our platoon pictures today at the range. Luckily I was able to get in the group without my dorky BCGs on. PFC Metal wasn’t so lucky, the DS told him to get them on.
When the “gut truck” came we were not allowed to get power bars, only Powerade. Evidently, 8 people in our platoon left their weapons on semi instead of safe at the range when they weren’t using it. A big no-no. When we got back to the bay we also got a little smoking for it as well (plus a long speech about safety on the range). As an added bonus we all had to do “changing drills” because some people were taking to too long to get dressed. DS A-Hole would start his stopwatch and give us all 2 minutes 30 seconds to get in our ACUs. We then would have 2 minutes to get into our PTs. I’m starting to wonder if he just wanted to watch everyone change.

Another surprise...our guy who was added to our platoon late, only takes a dump with the stall door open. I guess he doesn’t want to miss out on anything. LOL. 

Random DS Quote: “Control your hard-on!” (the response from a DS after a private tried to compliment him)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Pre-Qualifying (Basic Training) Day 36

These entries are from the letters that Brandon has mailed to me. His writing at times can be a bit difficult to determine his words... bare with me, I do my best, especially with army terms.
We woke up this morning, and had no morning PT, we just got dressed in our ACUs. We did some stretches as a company and then started on our 8k road march. We had on our A-Pack (Assault Pack - back pack filled with some odds & ends) and our Flick (a vest that can carry a number of items - canteen, first aid pack, cartridges) with of course our rifle that we had to carry. The march was much better then the 3k with our rucksack. We ended up going almost two miles farther than the 8k because they took a wrong turn. PVT Home School was having issues so the company commander made him march in front with him about half way through. By the end of the march we made it to a new range that we would be pre-qualifying on. My shoulders were starting to burn and my legs were beat. It ended just in time.

We ate breakfast at the range - duty food. (This is where the DFAC delivers the food and the duty squad dishes it out to the company.) This new range is the one we will qualify on. It has 6 different targets at various distances from 50m to 300m. We get 40 shots all together - 20 from prone supported (laying using a sandbag) - 10 from prone unsupported (laying with no sandbag) - 10 from the kneeling position (previously I called the sitting position, you basically put your right knee on the ground and sit on your right foot).  You have to at least score 23 total to qualify. If you don't qualify, you cannot graduate basic. You will get recycled. I shot 25, 26, 24 & 30. Good enough to qualify. We have more practices tomorrow and then we qualify on Friday. 

It's been getting quite hot during the day. We've been allowed to wear our "eye pro" sunglasses during our range time, which is cool. I also have quite the tan. I've been putting sunscreen on my neck and face, but forget my hands and wrist. I have dark hands and about 4 inches up past my wrist then it goes to white.

One of the benefits of being at an all male basic training is that most of them time we are allowed to relieve ourselves at the wood-line. This is good news because the latrines at the ranges are very disgusting. The pee troughs are clogged and just sit there with standing pee and all the toilets are basically in the open in the middle of the room. They are basically just holes in a bench so you can see and smell all that everyone has deposited. It's gross! We were allowed to purchase Powerade and power bars today...and I partook. They hit the spot. 

We had the buses take us back to the bay and then took a nice long shower. You get pretty dirty lying on the dirt all day while getting sweaty in the hot sun.

On another note, it's kind of funny that our platoon leader and his assistants both have the worst gas in the platoon. With 35 guys all together farts are always a pretty funny deal. There are planned farts, attacked farts, crop dusting, and the loud farts in quiet formations. Sometimes the DSs even get mad because it's just too much. I have to admit that they still make me laugh when someone lets out a loud one when it's absolutely quiet. My 12 year old humor starts coming out.

Random DS Quote: "Slap it like you would your wife's face". (DS explaining how to un-jam our rifles using the "SPORTS" technique).

A typical day at the range is seen in this video clip. It is a mix of platoons from
our company consisting of the Outlaws, Terminators & Gladiators. You can see a variety 
of the positions we shoot from, the pop up targets, and how each soldier "coaches" position
themselves to help out the shooter with their breathing, trigger squeeze, and head position

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Zombie land (Basic Training) 35

These entries are from the letters that Brandon has mailed to me. His writing at times can be a bit difficult to determine his words... bare with me, I do my best, especially with army terms.
I had fire guard shift again from 2am-3am this morning. It seems I have some sort guard duty 2 to 3 nights in a row, then a night off and then it starts all over again. 15 minutes before the end of our shift we wake up our relief so they have time to get up and ready. Normally it isn’t a big deal except for having to do it more than once because the people fall back asleep. This morning I woke up PVT Skeletor (some call him skeleton) and he looked scared and tried to hit me. He ended up grazing me with a lazy right hook. It was pretty funny. Evidently he was dreaming about zombies.
We went to the range again today. I was able to pass each time I went up, but as the day progressed I kept getting slightly worse each time. All in all I am happy because I don’t think I’ll have any problems qualifying for real. The “Gut Truck” came again today and we were allowed to by Powerade  and power bars! Everyone freaked out and ran up there. I still haven’t been paid yet, so I just kept eating my MRE. Probably one of the best MRE’s I’ve had. Sloppy Joes – the main course was good, but the dessert was a chocolate fudge brownie (non-contraband because it was in a generic army wrapping.) Yummy! Whenever we have MREs it is like a lottery. They just start tossing them out at random and there are no trading meals. 
PFC Metal was promoted to assistant squad leader, he wasn’t too happy. Evidently our old one got fired, but I haven’t heard why. At least he may get the inside scoop on any platoon news. 
Good news! Our 8k ruck march has been changed to an 8k march with just our assault pack. (a much much smaller and lighter backpack.) They moved it from Saturday to tomorrow, but that’s OK since it’s just the assault pack.  The DS aren’t too happy… our senior DS is always saying “’s a whole new army”. I guess too many people were getting stress fractures. 
One of our foreign guys, a lot people call “PVT One-way”, got a negative counseling statement today – he is always screwing up. He is also stubborn as hell, that’s how he got his nickname. He only does things his way and doesn’t like to be corrected. Sometimes I think he doesn’t understand what people are saying (lost in translation), other times I think he pretends not to understand. Either way the DSs are really tired of it. I heard them say they wanted to start a paper trail, so if he continues to screw up they will kick him out. 
Random DS Quote: “You following me? You’re looking at me like I have a dick growing out of my forehead.” (in one of our classes the DS wanted to make sure everyone understood what he was saying, but I guess everyone had a funny look on their face.)