Basic Training: Week Four

Disclaimer: There are times at Basic when you find yourself regretting your decision to join the military. This was one of those times. 

Looking back now, if I had the chance to go back and do it again, I would still join the Army. I feel like I have learned too much and developed too much as a person to give it all up for the difficult times. I wish that someone had told me that in Basic: that it would all be worth it. 

As it was, the drill sergeants seemed to hate their lives as much as we did. They had a warped, depressing sense of humor that had already begun rubbing off on us by the time I wrote this entry. 

So without further ado...

April 28

It's always on a Sunday. Because besides fireguard duty, that's really the only time we have to think about stuff.

Last night at 2am Durant and I sat in the bathroom in our uniforms (her on her way out of fireguard, me on my way in), looked in the mirror and saw two dirty, tired soldiers, and said, "How did we get here?"

My rec…

Basic Training: Week Three

April 21

I got my first gun wound.

Yeah, we were doing push-ups in formation because someone messed up, and someone kicked my gun into my hand and cut it up.

I forgive Maybell, of course. I love my weapon so much. I don't know, I've just really bonded with her.

Today there was another fight. It's always the same people and the same issues, and everyone else taking sides. It's so dumb.

I heard one of the girls yelling in the bathroom, from across the bay. I think I've yelled that loudly once in my entire life and I actually passed out. I couldn't see her, but you know her veins were popping out of her head.

She tried to attack Eversmann! Howe caught her last second. She punched a wall instead. It wasn't like me and Durant playing. It was really bad.

Afterwards, the bay was full of that tense silence after something bad happens. The girls from the other female bay walked in to pick me up for church and said, "Wow, your bay is so peaceful!" I died.


Basic Training: Week Two

Mail Time

Just to give you a snapshot of life here:

Mail time. We have to do push-ups to get our mail. Fifteen per letter. They say it will go up each week. One girl got 8 letters. I am glad I don't get letters. (Yet.)

We all have to stand perfectly still at the Position of Attention. When you get a letter, they call you up to get it. Then when you come, they throw it in the opposite direction. If you get too close, they ninja throw it at you. One girl gets a paper cut on her face. "Your bad," The drill sergeant says.

Then he asks who didn't get a letter. A few of us raise our hands and he says, "Guess what? That's because nobody loves you." Depending on what your insecurities are, he'll say, "Probably because of your pot gut," or "your comb-over" or "you're a failure to your kids". Then we all do push-ups because someone itched their nose. Close curtain.

April 13

I had a small hope that the male soldiers would be mo…

Basic Training: Week One

I'm not great at remembering things, but if there's one thing I'm good at, it's writing things down. So I will be taking most of my experiences in the next blog posts from my journal entries I wrote during Basic Training. I was limited in my time to write while I was there, but when the entries jog my memory of other experiences, I will include those here too.

April 06

I feel kind of jipped that I've already been here a week and Week 1 is only now beginning. We are shipping out to the real Basic Training tonight. It's a lie when the recruiters tell you Basic is only 10 weeks. (The first of many lies, I'm starting to think.)

At least Reception week (the week before Week 1) is finally over and the drill sergeants have chilled way out. I didn't really mind being yelled at or insulted all the time (and the drill sergeants get really personal with some of their insults, going after peoples' "ugly-a** eyebrows" and s…

Basic Training: Reception

Mission accomplished! It’s been a long 20 weeks, but I am back in action after graduating from Basic  Training and AIT. My next task is to record the experience for all you good folks to read. Luckily, I already wrote about my first couple days at Basic while I was there, before they took our phones away. So enjoy this first snapshot of life at Fort Jackson! 

Hello from Hell.

Just kidding. I’m writing you this from Fort Jackson.

So pretty much the same thing.

Normally I won’t be able to blog, but they haven’t taken our phones yet, so I think I can give you a quick update. (They were planning on having us lock up our phones the other day, but honestly, I think they just forgot. And we somehow failed to remind them.)

They tell you Basic Training starts the week after you get there. That was a lie. Basic Training started the moment we stepped off the airplane. There was a man there waiting for me who directed me to a drill s…

Preparing for BCT

Sorry to go AWOL for a while. The past few weeks have been busy, finishing the online future soldier training, making sure I have everything for Basic, trying to secure everything for school when I get back (a week into the semester), keeping up on my running, and travelling the state to drop off my baby (a very handsome bearded dragon lizard) with his auntie and getting him settled into a new home. Finally I feel like everything is in order, just in time for me to leave to Basic Training tomorrow morning.
The packing list for BCT is pretty short, so it was the least of my problems. I’ll attach a copy of the packing list I got, even though I found out a couple days ago that it’s outdated and not entirely accurate.

(Sorry for the wrinkles. This guy has been through a lot with me.)
The things (I know of) that are missing on this list are: a week’s worth of socks/underwear (glad I called my recruiters about this one), a digital watch (my recruiter recommended a $20 one from Wal-Mart that ha…

OPAT -- Occupational Physical Assessment Test

My recruiters told me to come into the office on Friday in comfortable clothes because we would be “doing some exercises.” Did they think I normally dress up for them? I wondered, as I put on my normal comfy clothes and prepared myself for some more duck walks and bending to touch my toes, etc. All those great MEPS exercises.
I knew little about my recruiters’ plans to try to KILL ME that day. These were no routine MEPS exercises we were talking about! It was an official physical test I had to sign papers to allow them to do, probably in case I died in the process (a distinct possibility). Apparently there are certain physical standards you must meet for your individual MOS. My MOS requires me to be somewhere in what they called the “middle bracket”.
First, they had me do a long jump. So basically, they rolled out a long tape measurer and asked me to jump as far as I could. They let me try three times to get the farthest I could. For all of these exercises I will describe, I was allowe…