Monday, October 27, 2008

Annotations of a Soldier #4

October 3rd 2008

"...Today was good. Morning PT continues to be good, chow has been great as usual, and we got a Special Forces brief thing which was good. They had three SF guys come in and talk about how long everything is currently, what exactly you'll be doing during everything, and all that jazz. The best part was really just getting to see how SF guys act, talk, and hear about their families.

So, some big hopes here. Saturday we go out to the range to officially qualify with our weapons. The first sergeant said that if the company achieves an 85% qualification percentage(that is, 85% or more people qualify) we'll get a main post pass on Sunday! On Monday he said we were getting around 81% or higher, so we should be good to go. Oh and tonight we ended up getting smoked again, haha. A guy from our platoon got cake at chow tonight after we got back, and you can only have cake if you get a 300 on your PT test, which he didn't have. So each squad had to lift a ranger log(big log, weights a lot) and carry it to Brigade HQ, about half mile away. THen we had to go back to Company then back to Brigade, then back to Company. Fun stuff. Called some cadences, had to stop traffic so we could cross the road, good stuff.

Alright! Monday morning now. Got 5 hours of sleep then we went out on a 6 mile ruck. Fun stuff. 2nd Platoon rucked the company again with no fallouts, making our DS's very happy, so tonight at dinner we all get cake, haha. Funny how that changed around. SO tomorrow we're going on our first field excersise. Three days two nights. SHould be pretty fun...On firegaurd right now. Er, laundry guard. I always forget to write in my prayer requests so you can pray for me and pass it along to the family. Send some requests my way as well. My main requests are for the Lord to continue to help me trust that He'll get me through anything. Any pain, trials, difficult moments, I know I can rely on his strength. Also that He would continue to make me a humble servant and exemplary of the faith, and to help my time in the word grow in length and depth. If you could pray for me in those areas it would be much appriciated! "

October 11th-12th 2008

"...Lets see. The field excercise(called a Bivuoac, I think) was pretty okay. Basically we went to range that had thick forest around it and we trained all day doing buddy team move and shooting, then we went into the woods and made a kind of gypsy village with sticks, ropes, our rain ponchos and wet weather jackets. Then it rained hard (like right as we finished our night firing training, and got to the camp, it started pouring.) So we all crawled into our makeshift tents and went to bed. Ours actually did really well. Don't think anyone got wet at all. Next morning we got up, waited a lot as other platoons trained, then we got to train, then it rained bad, then there was a lightening storm, and they had us pack up and leave (a severe disappointment to 2nd Platoon) So we went back to the barracks, slept there, and headed out to another range bright and early for grenade launcher and anti-task rocket training. That night our senior Drill Sergeant got back from leave, and as a welcome back gift he trashed the bay, which was a downer having to clean it all, and some folks were slacking bad.

Today was pretty laid back. SImple run PT, then went to the range and got some trigger time and a class on basic team tactics. Pretty uneventful. Wondering if tomorrow I might go to sick call because my inner right thigh has been hurting the past week or so. THink I may have pulled a tendon or something...."

October 13th-16th 2008

"...Okay, so, some good news, and some bad news. (FYI, it's Tuesday evening right now) The bad news, we got smoked today, haha! Nothing too bad. But enough to make you breath hard and want to schedule an untimely second encounter with the spaghetti you had for dinner(thankfully I only wanted to and did not actually have a second encounter with it) Was because a kid in our platoon was a smart mouth to a DS at chow this morning. Lame stuff. ANyways! The good news! I think a new paragraph is needed for this:

It's like 99% positive I'll be coming home right after graduation! The DS said that anyone who's going to airborne school can sign up for the hometown recruiting thing and get sent home right away! ANd the Army will pay for the ticket plus I think there's a pay bonus just for signing up for it!

Next day now. Had a four mile company run this morning, then we started on patrolling tactics which was pretty fun. Our squad did really well, best of the platoon. I had to rear security which is hard because you have to watch such a big area to your rear and side without walking backwards and still looking forward to recieve any commands from the team leader. We came back early though..."

October 18th 2008

"...Thursday was a long day, we did light and meduim machine gun training( the medium one, the M24OB, is really hard to aim when firing. Like, impossible. I don't get it) And some more team tactics practice. THen Friday we did this big event called the Battle March and Shout. THis consists of several events that are timed and/or scored. First you do a first aid scenario with your squad, then you have to do a tactical movement utilizing the buddy carry to your extraction point, then the whole platoon gets together and has to carry one guy on a litter for a mile and a half (and everyone is in full combat hit for this, body armor, pads, helmet, weapon, boots) then you drop the litter and just run another mile and a half (at this point I'm seeing spots and thinking i'm going to drop as a heat casualty. THankfully I don't) Then once everyone makes it you sprint a bout 200 or 300 meters to a range and have to shoot at a target with 40 rounds and get them all in the same area. Wowza, talk about a rough day, haha. Really tough. We came in 3rd, which is pretty shameful. WE had a lot of people falling back during th elitter run then giving up on the run and just wlaking it all(I was the 3rd/4th guy to hit the finish mark) Mainly it was the Medical stuff that hurt us. Ah well, we didn't get smoked for getting 3rd, so I guess I'm okay with it since it wasn't directly my fault..."