Basic Training: Week 8

May 26

I forgot to tell you that we did combatives. That was so fun. It is like MMA. I can't stop fighting Durant and Eversmann now. I wait until they're in their bunks or getting something out of their lockers and then............ I strike.

Today is Sunday and I wanted to go to my church so I could get a blessing for the Forge. I am really worried about my back because it hurts all the time now, and we are leaving tonight at midnight.

Briley and Eversmann came with me. Eversmann and I both got blessings. Briley really liked the service and had a lot of questions. So did Durant when we got home. Her dad is a Baptist pastor, mine is an LDS bishop, so we talk about religion quite a bit. This time we talked a looooong time and in the end she said, "This is actually really cool! I understand the basis of your beliefs." Finally explained it not like a conspiracy theory, I guess.

May 30

We just got back from the Forge. It was so long and so hot. Every day was over 100 degrees. It was Heat Cat. 5 (the highest heat category) before 9 am. The humidity was suffocating and we were always drenched. It was the sort of weather we're not allowed to exercise in, back at the company. But there we were, rucking in all our gear for hours at a time, setting up camp over and over again, low crawling, high crawling, running through obstacle courses, all that great stuff. All day long. And all night long.

Thankfully, we mostly moved at night. We had to practice our Night Ops. Besides rucking in the dark, we did lanes in the dark, we shot in the dark, and did Nick at Night. Nick at Night supposedly is when the drill sergeants are shooting live bullets over your heads and you're low crawling through obstacles for like 10 minutes. But I don't believe for a second those were lives bullets. Instead, it was a cool(ish) simulation of live machine gun fire, bombs, and flares while we high crawled through sand for 10 minutes.

Everyone was like, "Wow, I'm never going to forget this!" I mean, it even made it onto porta potty walls. "Make sure to do Nick at Night!" But to me... It was just crawling through sand for 10 minutes. Not that exciting.



Besides the heat, I really liked the Forge. Sleeping under the stars was great. I saw 2 shooting stars in one night. I saw all kinds of bugs and animals. Even a red snake in my tent. My back didn't hurt any more than a normal back should, so I was relieved and thankful about that.

Once there was this incredible sunset that made the whole world glow red, pink, and orange. I watched the soldiers low crawling under barbed wire below me (as I had just gotten done doing before scaling a wall), all in lines like ants, and I just thought it was beautiful.

We are soldiers now, you know. Not just trainees (a word we've all come to hate). We had our ceremony this morning to put on our berets and our patches. It was the worst ceremony of my life. Two people passed out. We were all just so hot and tired and hungry and dehydrated, standing there at attention for so long, directly after the Forge.

Afterwards we came back to the company and had breakfast at the D-FAC. The drill sergeants served us breakfast (usually it's the other way around) and even sat at our tables and talked with us. I guess it was a nice gesture... Even though I actually never had a desire to talk with them. And they were still jerks.

Oh, but I forgot to tell you the best part! Last night what we did instead of sleeping was, the drill sergeants turned on some music (real music-- not cadences!!) and we all got in a big circle in the pit, and people called each other out that had beef with each other, and they fought! It was technically supposed to be combatives, but it was more like a free-for-all. It was awesome and probably my favorite thing ever. Everyone was screaming and yelling. Alpha company even come over to fight us.

Then for a couple hours we did sleep, just on the cement outside the company, all in our sleeping bags.

May 30

Today everybody is at sick call from being in the pit. Ironically, they are not there for their black eyes or injured legs, but for their rashes and sties. The pit is a cesspool of diseases.

We spent the day cleaning our bays and all our gear to give back to CIF. The day we give back that gear (rucksacks, FLCs, etc.) will be the best day of my life.

They took our weapons from us directly after we got back from the Forge. I don't know what to do with my hands anymore. After 7 weeks of carrying that thing constantly, I feel naked without it.

In the evening we had a bit of free time so I fought Eversmann and Durant in the pit. It was so fun. I have a perfect winning streak. I would like to fight other people, but most people do not think it is worth the diseases from the pit.

May 31

"Make like a tree 
and f*** off."

-Senior drill sergeant

Today was full of a lot more of nothing under the disguise of cleaning gear. We play a lot of rock, paper, scissors to pass the time.

In other news, our senior drill sergeant was chosen from the battalion to compete in a competition to see who has the best platoon, or something. Dumb.

What that means is, he had to pick 4 from his platoon to represent the company with him in this competition. Of course he picked... yours truly. (Told you he's out to get me.) Which means, bottom line, that I have to take another PT test on Tuesday and I am super mad about it. Plus, if I don't win, instead of letting down just myself, I'll let down the entire company.

And in addition to PT, the contest tests all the things we didn't learn to do and didn't actually do on the EOC, which was a joke. Things like, using that radio I told you about. 😐

I know I can do it because on my last PT test I was only 9 push-ups away from a 300 (the max). And it's been haunting me lately, so I really should be grateful for another shot. But I just really, really don't want to do it.

At least Eversmann is doing it with me, so that's a plus.

Senior drill sergeant took out the radio and tried to explain it to us. I was so lost in the sauce. There's like 20 steps just to turn it on.

He is also being suspiciously nice. Calling us "competent" and stuff. Saying he's glad we're on his team.

I think he's planning to murder us.


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