Friday, September 10, 2010

Phase Up! (AIT - Fort Gordon) Day 86

This morning during our pt formation I overheard the sergeant talking to the barracks next to us (RBK 9 - Another company with a different MOS, but it does have some guys from my old basic training platoon in it). The sergeant was talking about one of their soldiers that up and left in the middle of the night. He is now AWOL.

Our pt this morning consisted of the normal warm up exercises and then a number of push-ups and sit-ups. I’m looking forward to this weekend and a rest from pt at least for a few days.

Once we arrived at school and were in formation we found out that yet another guy from Charlie company went AWOL. Holy cow people are running away like crazy! This particular guy just decided to not come back from the 4 day weekend and the sergeants were wondering if anyone had heard from him. 

In class today we had a moment of silence for the 9/11 victims. In fact the entire school house stopped what they were doing and observed this moment of silence. I still remember when the attack happened. I was at work doing my IT job at the local newspaper when I heard the news. We turned on the TV and I logged into our AP photos feed and started seeing all the pictures that were flooding in from AP News. There were of course the photos of the twin towers getting hit, but there were also numerous photos of people jumping from the towers to their death. As far as work that day, nothing got done. We all just stared at the TV in disbelief and viewed the tragic photos that the AP was sending.

The safety brief seemed unusually long today. There are a number of new soldiers in Charlie and the sergeant had to go over some ground rules since this is their first safety briefing. We then had to file in alphabetical order to receive our company shirts we had to order earlier. There is a challenge coming up called “The Centurion Challenge” in which each of the companies face off against each other in a number of sporting activities and such.

After picking up our shirts, those of us that were eligible to phase up were told to go to the Charlie day room. Woohoo we get to finally take our phase up test. I had been studying for the test by trying to put together all the questions from the previous phase up test and going over them with others. We were told that it would be the same test, but it turned out to be a little different. Our platoon sergeant decided to give us the questions orally and we would write down the answers on a sheet of paper. Some of the questions were the same, others were from the policy letter that he just went over with everyone during the last training session. There were also a few chain of command questions thrown in as well. Overall it was pretty easy since most of it was just either common sense or stuff we heard all the time. Turns out everyone in our platoon passed. We all phased up!

The next issue was that we had to wait for the actual phase badges and also for our names to get put into the system. This last step is the most important, because it’s the system that they use to do the morning roll on the weekends and if we’re phase V+ then we don’t have to show up. The process ended up taking a while, so long in fact that it was pretty dark out by the time we left Charlie company. There is a rule that states soldiers cannot cross Barton Field after dark, so we had to walk all the way around it. It didn’t bother me too much, I was still pretty happy to be phased up.

My happiness wouldn’t last long as I found out they decided to restart the weekend hall guard shifts from the beginning because of all the new people here at RBK. Unfortunately PFC Metal and I are the first room, so we get to do a hall guard shift from 12:30 at night until 6:30 in the morning. Oh yeah we also found out that our room didn’t pass inspection, so we have to have another inspection at 9:00 in the morning. We have to be in ACUs and it will include a locker inspection. FML. The things both of us were dinged on have not been brought up in any other inspection. They are little things and they are things that we never change. Stupid Stupid Stupid!!! So we will not be enjoying any of our new found phase V+ privileges until Saturday night and Sunday morning.

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