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Virtual Sanity


NEW! My Basic Training Blog has it's own site. Click here to read a day-by-day account of the first 10 weeks of Army life.

Tuesday, July 22, 2003
 
Monday, March 10, 2003

BRM qualification day! Up at 0300 for the last fireguard shift. Light PT. I'm 5th in the firing order. We need 23/40 hits to qualify. My foxhole was a disaster - I hit 8. I could hear the drill sergeant behind me commenting ( they weren't allowed to help us at all directly while shooting) that it wasn't like me to be so off. She took a look at my weapon and changed the elevation knob back to where we had been during zeroing. Our head drill sergeant had told us to change it for this range. So I got down to the prone unsupported pretty much resigned to the fact that I probably wouldn't qualify my first try, and proceeded to hit 18/20 targets and qualify with 26 total hits. It would have been nice to get a sharpshooter badge (30-35 hits), or expert (36+), but I'm just glad I made it at all after that start. Everyone in the platoon qualified - the only one of the 4 to claim that. We also won the BRM championship for the company and will be awarded a streamer tomorrow. We also earned cookies and ice cream at show (without a drill sergeant going off on our butts), and an extra hour of personal time. We are finally getting to go to the PX this weekend and make phone calls. The 100% meant a lot to the drill sergeants in our platoon. They didn't care about the BRM championship - their goal was to get everyone through so they can graduate.
 
Sunday, March 9, 2003

I don't know what it is about Sundays, but they are always freezing. Another Sunday, another cold front. Church. Barracks cleaning. Afternoon, we did BRM reinforcement training. I did the weaponeer again and learned that my trigger squeeze was causing some of my problems. I hope it helps me tomorrow. We are being sent to bed early to be well rested.
 
Saturday, March 8, 2003

We got a wakeup call today. While we were outside doing PT, the drill sergeant inspected our rooms. Many had not polished their boots the night before (including me) because we ran late and had no time before lights out. 18 or so of us had to wear our 2nd pair of boots around our necks. This will not happen again - at least not to me.

We did no BRM today. Confidence course, which is a sort of obstacle course that we do by platoon, one station at a time. Except for 1 station, we work as individuals. The toughest was called the weaver, a sort of roof-shaped with horizontal 4x4s spaced 2 1/2 feet apart. The idea is to climb up one side by going over 1 board and under the next, until you get to the top. On the way down, to save time, we slid on our fronts and did a flip off the last board to dismount.

A fun one was a set of 3 logs we had to balance and walk across. During the first 2, lower, logs, the drill sergeants would try to get us to lose our balance and fall off. The 3rd was too high for messing around. Then we had a long set of monkey bars to negotiate. I managed better than during the PECS course, but it still hurt my shoulders. It didn't seem so bad though because I had another injury which was hurting that I had gotten on an earlier station. There, we had had to run up to a log, jump forward and up, and flip/roll our bodies over another log - called the low belly over. I didn't jump high enough and I think I bruised a rib (I hope it is only bruised). Pretty painful to breathe in all the way, but our physical activity is limited until after BRM qualification Monday, so if it hasn't improved at all by then, I will get it checked out and at least get some pain killers.

The only station we did as a team was in teams of 4. There is a tower with 5 levels, each platform up is slightly larger than the one below, so each overhangs the levels underneath it. The team has to boose and pull each other up and down. Because of high winds, we only went up 2 levels, but we would have been able to do all 5 with no problem had the conditions allowed.

The last station was, for me, the most fun. We climbed up 20 feet of cargo netting, walked across 4x4s spaced a couple feet apart. Climbed up an A-frame ladder of 4x4s another 20 feet, went over the top, and then down 40 feet of cargo netting.

It was a very tiring course, but a lot of fun, despite the apin in my chest and a few other bruises.

We had a discussion with the drill sergeant about motivation, values, why we are here (as individuals), who we are here for - a wandering discussion. Got eventually to the subject of male/female relations because we are an integrated company and tehse things come up.* One thing is males and females are not supposed to smile at one another. So, of course, not 15 minutes later, a female smiled (at the drill sergeant!), and we all had to go outside for a few pushups and flutterkicks. Some people just don't learn...

* The drill sergeant said they are probably going to re-segregate the genders soon because too many problems are arising from the distractions. It may be a good thing one some levels, but you end up with different standards between males and females, and some still will never have worked with someone of the opposite sex until they get to their regular duty stations.
 
Friday, March 7, 2003

First time on a range where the distances and targets are the same as they will be in the qulification next week: 50m left-side, 50m right-side, 100m, 150m, 200m, 250m, and 300m. I didn't do well, but the range is said to be the most difficult of all the US Army ranges - even the NCO in charge of the range, which is called Jurassic Park because of it's utterly barren landscape, has never gotten a 40/40. I got 21/40, but know some things that went wrong that I will be able to correct.
 
Thursday, March 6, 2003

BRM. 2 sessions today. 2 clips of 18 shots each, and 2 of 22 each. It was the first time we have shot at targets of differing distances which rotated through 75m, 175m and 300m. Also, we did both foxhole supported and prone unsupported. I didn't do so hot on the first - 20/36 - and we needed 22 to get a "Go," although we could fail both sessions today and still pass. The afternoon, they mixed in having 2 targets pop up simultaneously at times and I did better: 31 of 44, where we needed 27 for a "Go".
 
Wednesday, March 5, 2003

COLD!!! 8 degrees with wind chill. We were shooting today at a range with variable distances of 75, 175, and 300 meters. 5 rounds at 75, 10 at 175, and 5 at 300 in both the foxhole and prone unsupported positions. Go/No Go was at least 8 hits on the 75m, 14 on the 175m. They only wanted us to engage the 300, but the qualification standard is actually 5. I got in there first and did well in the foxhole. When I switched to the prone unsupported, I did not realize the little square of carpet there was to put under our elbows. Instead, I had them in gravel and constantly sank down and had to readjust. The cold didn't really bother me, but I was allowed to keep on my glove inserts. Others had to go bare-handed.

I ended up hitting all of the 75, 14/20 at 175, and 4/10 at 300. Not bad considering the conditions. Those that didn't qualify did not reshoot, as the drill sergeants felt it would be a waste of time in the extreme cold.

We finally got a lesson in cleaning our rifles, and broke them down. Getting better at disassembly, but the handguards are really tricky. I hope to find a way to get them off and back on again quickly before we are tested on it. Tomorrow, we get our first pop-up targets which stay up for as short as 4 seconds.
 
Tuesday, March 4, 2003

More BRM. This time zeroing our weapons. Now that we could group, we needed to ensure that that group was where we wanted it to be. I only needed a minor adjustment on my rifle and I was good to go. Another quick day, I shot 15 rounds (6 at first, then sets of 3 until the drill sergeant was satisfied with waht we had done), and was done again within an hour. Arrived at the range about 0800, shot from 0900 to 1000 or so, then from 1000 to 1630 I coached others, with a 1 hour lunch in there somewhere.

Overall, the drill sergeant said we did a good job. All but one were able to zero their weapons, and the average is usually all but 5 or 6. Tomorrow is to be our first experience with the prone unsupported position, and firing at targets at actual different distances.
 
Monday, March 3, 2003

Wakeup 0400. AGR run. I'm beginning to dread these workouts. I am keeping up, but I just hate running now. Too early. Too cold. Too fast.

BRM grouping. We went to a range and fired live rounds for the first time. The kick isn't bad at all on the M16, but the sound sure was a distraction. We had to put 6 of 9 shots in a 4 cm diameter circle to get a successful grouping. The target was at 25 meters and sized to simulate one at 300. I put at least 8 of 9 in the circle, and I think the 9th was there as well, but just through an existing hole. There were only 8 holes on the target and I don't think I did anything to cause myself to miss badly enough to miss the 8 1/2" x 11" target entirely. I was out in about 30 minutes, then coached 4 other soldiers through their groupings.
 
Sunday, March 2, 2003

Sleep in until 0500, although everyone had fireguard last night. The drill sergeant wanted us to take turns transitioning from right to left targets in our prone unsupported firing positions in order to start building up the callouses on our elbows. It was painful doing it on a solid floor. So instead of 2 soldiers per fireguard shift, we had 4 on the first 3 shifts, and the other 5 with 3 soldiers. Fireguard duty is really starting to get to me. The rotation ends up being 2 nights on, 1 night off. The interruption of sleep is starting to affect me, I think. I was so tired today it got me depressed. Sunday is a cleaning day and I was doing floors - buffing was actually comforting - I guess because there was no real deadline. We also got to go to the PX for the 2nd time to buy things we may need. Halls (aka private candy), kleenex, soap, etc. Also got my 3rd haircut - I can't wait to be able to grow it out a little. Just over a year ago I had long hair, and now, basically none. The kicker is, they charge us to cut it...

It is now 0150. Finished our fireguard cleaning. We now have to wake up the next shift.
 
Saturday, March 1, 2003

The weather warmed up today and we finally ran. Started over, so it was a relatively slow pace (we were told 6:30 first mile), then slowed a bit and kept running to build endurance.

Got our weapons again and went to another place to work on our 4 fundamentals: steady position, aiming, breathing, and trigger squeeze. 1st was a machine that simulated a range. We fired at a target and a computer shows where we would have hit. It was not important to hit center as much as it was that we group our shots well (hit the same place). If we did that, our fundamentals are good. If not, from the shot distribution, the drill sergeants can tell if we are shooting without pausing our breathing (a vertical shot distribution), or if we are jerking the trigger (a horizontal shot distribution). I didn't get to see my results (they dont want us to adjust our aim subconsiously), but I was told I am currently ok. Except Sunday, we now shoot every day until next Tuesday's qualifications.

The 2nd station was a set of foxholes where we got in to work on our positioning. Some soldiers were off in a field and popped up as targets and we were to aim and dry fire at them. Drill sergeants would critique our form as we did this.

Third was a lecture on firing problems. A process to follow if we are jammed. What to do in case of a double-load. What do to in case of a pop-and-no-kick - the bullet fired off but the main explosion did not propel the bullet out of the barrel, which means defective ammunition. It gets stuck in the barrel and if you fire another, the rifle will blow up in your face. In the case it happens, you call the entire range to a cease fire. Once a drill sergeant stops yelling at you for doing that and it turns out that it really is a pop-and-no-kick, all the ranges are shut down on base. Also, every range in the Army using ammunition from that lot number are shut down as well until it is all pulled from circulation. Fortunately, the drill sergeant conducting the lecture hasn't seen one in his 12 years, so it probably won't happen.

The last station was a washer test. A washer is balanced on the end of your barrel and you dry fire. If the washer falls, you need to work on your fundamentals. Mine fell once in 10 tries, and the person putting it on said it wasn't balanced very well to begin with.

When we got outside, they phased us. We are now in white phase. Red was mostly physical training. White is almost all BRM. Last is blue, which we get in another 3 weeks or so. It has been tough, and finally reaching a landmark date is a big lift mentally. They switch our platoon banner from a red one to a white one. However, the drill sergeant took it away from us immediately because some people insist on not doing things as they should. For now, we have a simple poll representing us in front of our formation - it will take a bit for us to earn the right to have it back.
Monday, July 14, 2003
 
Friday, February 28, 2003

Started BRM officially now. Today we got our rifles and went to a range. We received range and safety orientations and did some dry firing out of a foxhole. Our qualification test will be 20 shots from a foxhole, and 20 shots in the prone unsupported position (lying on stomache, propped up on elbows). Our 5k road march was cancelled, I'm not sure why, but I guess it was the icy conditions.
 
Thursday, February 27, 2003

We went out to our land navigation course and hung out a while as the drill sergeants decided whether or not to cancel the exercise. They did. It was snowing and they didn't want those people who will get lost (there is always a group or two who do) to get frostbite. They also cancelled PECS 2, which was to be a timed run-through. So we did some BRM classroom work - how to get into the proper unsupported prone position up our elbows, aim, and fire. We ate MREs for the first time. I had turkey breast with potatos and gravy. Not bad if we could have heated it up. There was also fruit cocktail in mine which was pretty nasty. Crackers and peanut butter, a chocolate power bar, and a chocolate-covered oatmeal cookie. I hope I get the M&Ms next time.

Lots of PT today. Gave myself muscle failure 3 times at pushups. In 2 minutes, I've improved by 5 pushups and 10 situps since only Saturday. 3 hours of personal time today - too much it seems. I'm going to write a few letters.
 
Wednesday, February 26, 2003

Classroom instruction in land navigation. Reading maps. Plotting points. Determining azmuths. Set up plans for the navigation course we are doing tomorrow. Start point, go a certain distance to point 2, etc. At night we finally all learned why each of us joined up. Lots of surprises. Lots of "ah, ok, that's it" to explain certain peoples' attitudes and behaviors.
 
Tuesday, February 25, 2003

RBT [RBT = Rifle Bayonet Training]. Learned to use the bayonet. Slash, thrust, head bash, groin bash. Then we put on the pads and went at it with pugil sticks. FUN! 1st match was a marathon. I got in a bunch of kill shots, got killed a few times myself, but for whatever reason, the drill sergeant was not counting them. She wanted a rifle-butt bash to the face, which I eventually did to win. Was winded quickly - we both had to stop after a few times to catch our breath. Had a 2nd bout later. Lost this one but still got in a few good shots. Took a hard head blow which pretty much made me not want to go to a 3rd.

I got a birthday package today from a friend who I didn't tell not to send me anything. The drill sergeant took the book she sent, but I should get it back when I leave.
 
Monday, February 24, 2003

My birthday. Get lots of wishes, but the day pretty much sucked. Went to sick call because I am getting the flu. Was in and out, but had to wait almost 6 hours for my battle buddies to get out (we are not allowed to go anywhere alone). As a result, I missed hand-to-hand combat. The only chance I have to choke some of these guys. I guess I'll have to wait for the pugil sticks. Also when I got back, something had happened to really piss off the drill sergeant. Everyone had gotten off the cattle cars and formed up in front of the barracks as our drill sergeant had ordered. Another platoon's drill sergeant yelled at them for being dumbasses and not going inside. Half the platoon went inside and chaos ensued. He took away our phase banner and replaced it with a rag with a "2" spraypainted on it. I also may have been fired as APG, but we will see, as I said, I wasn't there.

Also, a sad day. One of our leaders was seriously hurt at hand-to-hand and it doesn't look good. We are all pulling for him.
 
Sunday, February 23, 2003

Another boring Sunday. Sleep in until 0500, get up for chow. Clean. 1000 church. Chow. Clean. Laundry. Personal time starts at 1500 today. Early dinner chow. Then back to to the D-FAC [D-FAC = dining facility] eventually to help KP finish cleaning early. One of our drill sergeants is the KP drill sergeant today and they frequently bring over their privates so everyone can get out earlier. Hand-to-hand is scheduled for tomorrow, but it is snowing, so it may be postponed. Weather is crazy here. Almost 70 degrees yesterday and today it snows. Even worse is when it is in the 30s when we get up and have to change later as it gets really warm, then change back as it gets cold again in the evening. No wonder they call Missouri, "Misery".
 
Saturday, February 22, 2003

Wakeup 0400. PT. Chow. Class on intro to BRM on video. The drill sergeant did a runthrough on the basics - more to come later. Map reading class. Learned to use a military map - get coordinates within 10m. The rest of the day was like a Sunday. Lots of cleaning. PT on our own - I did 183 pushups in about 15 minutes, mixed in with 120 situps.
 
Friday, February 21, 2003

APFT I [APFT = Army Physical Fitness Test]. In 2 minutes, I complete 39 pushups for 60%, 51 situps for 66%, and 13:50 on the 2-mile run for 94%.

We have a sensing session with the company commander and the 1st sergeant. It is an informal meeting where we are allowed to voice any grievances without the drill sergeants being present. No real complaints. Many comments on proceedres. My complaint was how we went through reception for all that time, and then did almost everything again during basic - reception could literally be 1 day: get our shots, issue our clothing, set up our pay, and move us out.

We find out that TRADOC, which is in charge of training standards, has decreed that no caping (smoking) is allowed for more than 5 minutes, and no more than 10 pushups at a time. Huh??? I have to do 39 pushups in under 2 minutes to pass the regular army standard, but they can't drop me for 1/4 of that? Makes no sense...

I felt good running today. A tendon behind my knee is really sore and my knee swells immediately after if I am inactive. Thankfully, while running, it feels ok, but I plan to ice and rest it over the weekend.
 
Thursday, February 20, 2003

Finally, someone got what was comming to him. Bad attitude was caught on his bunk. Drill sergeant smoked us all, but it was worth the guy having to tell us why it was all his fault.

PECS [PECS = Physical Endurance & Conditioning (Course?)] today. Basically and obstacle course. Fun! but hard. Very hard while wearing kevlar & LCE [LCD = Load Carrying Equipment]. Rope bridge, dive under log, back crawl under barbed wire, balance run across logs, over walls, and the hardest for me: pull yourself along the top of a rope - commando-style. I at first was unable to get up. After a boost, I made it about 5 feet before losing my balance and ending up under the rope. I wasn't about to have to do it again, so I willed myself across upside down. Tearing and burning arms, but I made it. The platoon started to come together as a team as well as we cheered each other on.

Messed up situation. Rumors abound after breakfast about a hijacked jet crashing into the USS Ronald Reagan and 3000 sailors deal. Turns out it was fake. Planted. We had a company meeting to go over some equal opportunity, sexual harassment, and threat classes. The company commander broke in and announced that the plane had hit a ship and sunk it, however it was not the Reagan. A militant Islamic group was claiming responsibility which had connections to Iraq and IRan. Also, 3 scuds with nerve agent exploded over Tel Aviv, killing another 3000+. Bush has ordered the invasion and our training has been fast-tracked to end in 6 weeks instead of 9. Our MOSes have been changed and we would be reclassed according to the needs of the army. 2 days after gradation, we will be on a plane to Germany for 2 more weeks of training, then on to Turkey to guard the Turkey/Iraq border. They asked questions about who in the room was a sole-surviving family member, who spoke Arabic, and who could not kill someone. It was an exercise to see who had really thought about why they joined and to get us more serious about our training. It turns out, a large number of people said they could not kill someone. Why the hell did they join the Army of a country at war if they weren't willing to fight?!?!?!??! A few people are going to have to re-earn my respect.

This situation could actually happen tomorrow. However, with us unable to access any world news other than what the drill sergeants tell us, it was real enough today. I was scared, enraged, and my hands were shaking; but I am proud that I was still willing to go. A few people are already showing signs of seriousness, but time will tell for sure.
Monday, July 07, 2003
 
Wednesday, February 19, 2003

I wake up early at 0330 for KP - have to be outside and ready at 0430. End up doing pots & pans for breakfast and lunch. Dinner I do headcount, which basically means I sit and wait for a drill sergeant to sign up each of the 4 companies in the batallion as they eat. Also, if an NCO or officer is on a pay-by-meal plan, I take their payment. $3.25 for dinner is a bargain-and-a-half! After that is over, it's back to pots & pans. Total time: 15 hours. We did get a break for 40-45 min or so between lunch and dinner, but it was a very long day and my hands are sore from pruning and repruning over and over.
 
Tuesday, February 18, 2003

Got up for KP, went and was sent away because they had too many people already from other companies. Back to change for AGR PT and a fast run. I kept up better this time, but my knees and shins are starting to get sore. I have been icing them and I hope to build them up soon, but we dont run enough right now - the weather hinders outside activity.

We didn't do warrior tower because of the ice on the structure. Instead, we did a teamwork development course. Get a team through a culvert, over 3 posts, and through another culvert with a box of ammo using only 4 boards. Get a team over a wall and cross a broken chain bridge, etc. We pretty much had the same problem of too many chiefs and not enough followers. Better change soon.

Came back to the barracks for our phase I testing. Had to recite our general orders, recognize rank insignia, know military/civilian time conversion, manual of arms for drill and ceremony, how to report to an officer. Easy. Passed them all. Hope this means that phase I is comming to an end soon. Next thursday is the official last day of our 3rd week, but they can advance us sooner (or make us wait) if they think we are ready (or not). I don't think we are - people still will not be quiet or do as they are supposed to in formations.

We found out about the new Bin Laden tape last night. I find it hard to believe he hasn't been dead for over a year. He must have been seriously hurt though, because he is the type to brag - 1 year+ of silence, if we missed him, is way out of character.

Tonight, we got a lesson in how to change clothes faster. After dinner chow, we were given 10 minutes to change into BDUs. Then 10 minutes to change into PTs. Then 10 minutes into BDUs. Each time, we had to run around the building, up to the 2nd floor, get our stuff out of our lockers, go to the changing room, change, put stuff back into our lockers, get outside and run around the building to where we form up. Very tough to do in 10 minutes. The last time, back into our PTs, we had to get into the classroom, which is also on the 2nd floor. We make that one easily. According to my watch, we also made it the last time we had to run outside, but that never stops the drill sergeants from giving us a fun time.
 
Monday, February 17, 2003

It is Presidents' day, so there is nothing major on the schedule. The drill sergeant on duty found out about a guy and a girl hugging down on the female floor and smoked the entire company until they admitted who they were. Then he continued until witnesses came forward. I don't know what happened to them after that. More cleaning. Self PT - pushups and situps. Studying for the first phast test. Our platoon sergeant (i.e. head drill sergeant) ran PT at night for the first time. Very hard, but I feel great now. Pushups, situps, crunches of at least 4 varieties and flutterkicks. Over and over again. I didnt count the abdominal sets, but I estimate 400-500 pushups today.

The weather here is completely messed up. 40 degrees in the morning, 70 in the afternoon, snow the next day. Warrior tower is suposed to be tomorrow, but we cannot do it if it is even slightly wet or icy, or if there is a strong wind. I have KP, so I am hoping that the snow and ice that is currently out there does not melt.
 
Sunday, February 16, 2003

I was acting PG today as our regular had KP. I didn't have fireguard last night, so I got to sleep for 7 1/2 hours straight! Finally we have an easy day as I was told Sundays would be. Wakeup at 0500. 2 hours of personal time to work on cleaning, etc. Chow. Church at 10. More cleaning until 1300 to get the barracks clean. After lunch, back the the barracks to work on our wall lockers, cleaning, studying, and turning in our BDUs to the quartermaster. Chow at 1700. Back to the barracks where the drill sergeant strongly hinted that our lockers and boots should be perfect, and sent those that needed to work on those things away to do just that. The rest of us were given time to do our own PT, or go on free time. I actually had time to write 2 complete letters today. I could do another, but I have fireguard from 2300-2400, so I will get to bed for a few hours' sleep first. Definately feeling refreshed now. I will need it if we are inspected tomorrow - they will find plenty wrong, I am sure.
Tuesday, July 01, 2003
 
Saturday, February 15, 2003

0400 wakeup. No foot march because of a thunderstorm. We have a class on how to put on our NBC gear [NBC = nuclear, biological, chemical]. Then we march over to the gas chamber!

We put on our hoods and masks and get in line. 15 of us enter the chamber and the door closes. I clear and seal my mask multiple times to make sure it is right. Some gas starts getting into my mask and I choke as my eyes begin to water. We are commanded to hold our breath and lift the mask away from our faces to expose our chins to the sergeant in charge. Someone doesn't do it correctly so everything takes longer, and as he said he would if someone didn't follow directions, he makes the gas stronger. FINALLY, the guy gets the mask up enough to satisfy the sergeant and we can put the masks back on, and clear and seal them around our faces. I'm gone. Still choking - I don't think my original seal was great. We then are commanded to turn around, completely remove the mask and hood, and breathe "normally". We are told to turn around a couple of times to see if we are still coherent enough to understand commands. At this point, I am dry-heaving and wishing that I could throw up my spaghetti lunch. This is torture. One of the other soldiers is screwing up the turn-around commands and they aren't opening the door to let us out. I then have to physically spin the guy beside me to get him to comply with an about-face order that I somehow understood (the speaker in the chamber is of amazingly bad quality). At last! They say "Get the hell out of here!" and open the door. Practically blind, we walk out (being the last in of the 15, I am the last to exit and thus exposed to the gas the longest). We are told where to go and to lift our arms up and breathe. I can barely see them, never mind see them pointing and gesturing. Things pretty much clear up quickly after that, but my sinuses are screwed. Snot is literally running down my face, but I do not vomit. 20 min later, all that is left is some stinking eyes and a whiff of the gasses every once in a while from our clothes.

During all this, the drill sergeants are taking photos and laughing alot. I think this may be their favorite day of all of basic training.

The gas they used was CS - riot control stuff, but at least on the streets, it dissipates. In the chamber, it just concentrates.

I do not want to do that again.

After all that, we get back to the barracks only to get smoked by our newest drill sergeant (the same guy from the shaving episode). Since he is fresh out of drill sergeant school, he is tough. Also, we haven't changed clothes, and as we sweat, the room starts to fill with CS. So we move outside, where I do some heavy damage to my boots from front-back-go's on the concrete. I can't believe these freaking kids will not get the message through their skulls that they need to shut up and do as they are told. I am starting to get really worn down.

A slight gas backlash in the shower as my eyes stung from the water washing the last of the gas out of my hair and skin.

We have a boot shining class then some PT. Pushups and situps in sets of 2:00, 1:30, 1:00, 0:30, 2:00. I would already have passed the standards necessary for our final PT test as I do 35 pushups (56%) and 40 situps (57%). My goal is to get over 60% on both on next week's test.

 
Friday, February 14, 2003

Pretty easy day. Wokd up at 0345 to get some extra work done.

One thing that I have noticed is that we haven't been pulled out of bed in the middle of the night (yet). It happened every night at reception - I think they screwed with us that way because there was nothing they could really do to us until we passed a PT diagnostic test. Once we pass, we are legally fit enough to punnish with pushups, etc.

Started marching in cadence today. It's tough to understand the drill sergeants at times because we are marching in company (240 or so soldiers), but it certainly makes marching more fun.

Tomorrow is the gas chamber plus a 3 km road march, so they are taking it generally easy on us. It's also Valentine's day, so I think a lot of the drill sergeants wanted to get home to their families.

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