Flashback Fridays: Army Basic Training, Part 12

7 November 2000

It’s been a while since I’ve written – Sunday afternoon, I believe, and it’s Tuesday night now.  I’m finally starting to feel better.

Sunday I was still feeling really sick, and then in the chow line this disgusting huge fat slug of an asshole blew on the back of my neck.  I just about vomited.  His name is B***, and he makes my stomach turn just looking at him.  What the hell was he thinking, blowing on my neck?  Yuck, yuck yuck!!!  J*** was standing in front of me, and when I told him what B*** did, I had to make him promise not to start a fight with him.  Because he would have, he’s like that.  Anyway, I’m now staying as far away from B*** as possible.  Yesterday, he asked to use some of my weapon oil, and I just said, “No.”  He said, “What the fuck is your problem?” and I completely ignored him.

Lights out is in half an hour.  After chow Sunday, we were smoked really badly.  I was so exhausted and sick that it was really hard for me.  Next we were sent upstairs to get our gas masks, so we thought we would be smoked in those.  The DS in charge sent us back up after we brought them down and told us to put them away, but to change into our winter PTs, field jacket, stocking hat, and gloves.  It was so hot!  That’s what they call a fashion show.  Finally the DS let us go, sadistic bastard!

Yesterday we shot some more.  I shot 18 the first time and 23 the second.  Today I sucked majorly: 10 the first time and 21 the second, though the drill sergeants say this was the hardest range.  I hope I can qualify tomorrow.  I’m nervous.

8 November 2000

Woohoo!  Sharpshooter, baby!  Not only did I qualify this morning, but I shot 33 and got a sharpshooter pin.  I’m so excited.  I did a lot of visualization this morning, and it paid off.  I just pictured myself getting down in my foxhole, setting up the perfect fighting position, and knocking down every target.  It must have worked, because I kicked ass.  As far as I know, I’m the highest female shooter in our company.  I’m also highest in our platoon, tied with F***.  For the record, marksman is 23-29, sharpshooter is 30-35, and expert is 36-40.

So I’ve slept 8 hours a night for the last 3 nights, and I’m exhausted today!  Too much sleep, I think.  My body’s in shock.  Somehow, I’m going to have to pull 15 push-ups out of thin air for my PT test Saturday.  N*** and I are going to start jogging around the barracks in the evenings.

I think another reason I shot well was that I gave Thor a name change.  Last night, the name Thor just felt wrong to me, and I renamed my weapon Athena.  I gave her a very thorough cleaning today as a special thank-you.  I like cleaning Athena.

This morning was hysterical.  We were all sitting on the bleachers at the range waiting for the fog to lift, and the drill sergeants let soldiers come up and do imitations of them.  My stomach hurt I was laughing so hard.

I was so proud when we got done.  I was standing there for shakedown, and the FSG came up to me with a huge grin on his face and said, “33!” and pinned the sharpshooter medal on my uniform.  Life is good.  I feel so much better, too.  I’m glad I’m not sick anymore… knock on wood.  It’s 1400 hrs, the buses don’t come until 1800 hrs.  A long day…

5 weeks from tomorrow, I’ll be graduating!  I think I’ll look back on this time and be really glad that I did it, as hard as it is.  Parts of it are harder than I expected, but overall it’s been bearable.  I’m glad I’m about halfway done, though.  It’s been hard being sick so often.  I hope I don’t get sick again!

I miss being squad leader.  M*** is not doing a good job.  All she does is obsess over F***.  2 idiots were fighting in the bleachers today, so DS H*** smoked us miserably for half an hour.  It was hell.

9 November 2000

We did Fit to Win this morning as a squad.  My heart rate was over 200 – that isn’t right, is it?  I don’t think I’m getting in that great of shape here.  35 more days!  I absolutely have to pass my final PT test on the 25th.

I hate Fit to Win.  We have to do it one more time.  I’m also dreading the confidence course.  Today was boring.  Lights out, I have to go.

10 November 2000

It was a holiday!  I slept from 2100-0530 hrs.  Yay!  I’m going to overdose on sleep this week.  Today will be like a Sunday, I’m so excited.  Tomorrow is the D & C competition, where we will make complete and utter fools of ourselves.  We cannot march well to save our lives.  Then Sunday is another free day, and next Tuesday WE GET OUR CLASS A’s!!!!!!  That’s the uniform we wear for graduation.  I can’t wait.  The days are starting to move a lot faster.  There are still things ahead that will really test me, but I’m going to make it.

11 November 2000

33 more days!  I’m so sick of being in this jacked-up platoon.  There are some people I really like, but a lot of our platoon just needs to vanish off the face of the earth to make me happy.  They screw up, and then think it’s funny when the whole platoon gets in trouble for it.  It’s really bringing me down.  I’ve been getting in squabbles lately with T*** and E***.  F*** got pissed at N*** and me last night because we wouldn’t deliver a note to M*** from him.  Sometimes I feel like I’m back in junior high.

12 November 2000

Ho hum, another Sunday.  I don’t want to train anymore, I want to come home.  So we had D & C period 8 yesterday.  Big shocker, our platoon came in last.  Actually, we weren’t that far behind the other platoons.  We pulled together better than I expected us to.  And then afterwards we were all smoked for half an hour because E*** stole the Death Dealer’s mascot (Sgt. Head, a camo-painted head on a stick.  Don’t ask).  D & C 9 is next weekend, and the Red Devils will be representing Charlie Company.  I hope they win, they look great.  They also won BRM – they had the highest number of first time go’s on qualification day.  We still have someone who hasn’t qualified – G***.  I don’t feel the slightest bit sorry for her.  What goes around, comes around.  She shot 10 or 12 times on Wednesday and still couldn’t make it.  She’ll have some more chances before graduation.

It looks so good to see the blue phase banner on our guidons.  If there are things I write that sound like Greek to you, let me know.  It’s all second nature to me.  We have 3 meal choices (not that we get to choose, of course): DFAC (dining facility), Hot A’s (slide & eat), and MRE’s (Meals, Ready to Eat).  We’ve only had 2 MRE’s so far.  They’re okay, depending on what you get.  They have these nifty heaters, but we usually don’t have time to heat the food.  Some of them have candy, but so far I’ve just gotten a pop-tart and a pound cake.  Hot A’s suck – we don’t get very much food, there’s no choice of food, and there’s no time to eat.  There’s not much time in the DFAC, but there’s always lots of food options.  I eat a huge breakfast most days: French toast or pancakes, scrambled eggs, turkey bacon, hash browns, cereal, banana, and a granola bar.  I love breakfast!

DS Y*** is on duty today.  I hope people behave so we don’t get smoked.  However, I am going to work on my push-ups on my own today.  I’m starting to get nervous about the grenades.  But I’ve survived everything so far.  I love Sundays, we just sit around and write letters.

Did I already write about my PT test yesterday?  I was really tired because I had fireguard Friday night from 2300-0100 hrs.  I thought I would do badly, but I got 13 push-ups, 70 sit-ups, and 19’57” on my run.  I’ve been improving on every test so far.

2054 hrs

Lights out in 6 minutes!  I did PT this afternoon – I ran 10 sprints up and down the hill, then 8 laps around the barracks.  I just did some push-ups.  Here’s a copy of our schedule for the week of my birthday, I’ll try to translate the Greek.

MON 30-Oct-00

0400-0430 Wakeup, Pers Hyg
0430-0440 Accountability Formation
0440-0510 Draw Weapons
0440-0510 Breakfast (MRE)
0510-0840 FM 4
0840-0910 Breakfast (Hot-A)
0910-1200 RM 4
1200-1230 Lunch (Hot-A)
1230-1600 RM 4
1600-0430 Admin Biv (Site I)
1600-1800 Weaponeer Training
1800-1830 Dinner (Hot-A)
1830-2100 Drill Sergeant Time
2100-0430 Sleep Plan/Security
Turn-in Weapons
Personal Hygiene
Lights Out

TUE 31-Oct-00
0430-0500 Wakeup, Formation
0500-0600 MS/Rifle PT
0600-0630 Pers Hyg
0630-0730 Clear Bivouac Site
0730-0800 Breakfast (Hot-A)
0800-0900 Values – Duty
0900-1200 RM 5
1200-1230 Lunch (Hot-A)
1230-1700 RM 5
1700-1730 Dinner (Hot-A)
1730-1900 Drill Sergeant Time
1900-1915 Formation for MM
1915-1930 MM Pick-up
1930-1945 MM Drop-off

WED 1-Nov-00
0530-0600 Wakeup, Formation
0600-0700 CR 7
0700-0720 Breakfast (DF)
0720-0800 Pers Hyg, Bks Maint
0720-0800 Draw Weapons
0800-0815 MM Pick-up
0800-1700 Marksmanship
0830-1200 RM 6
1200-1230 Lunch (Hot-A)
1230-1700 RM 6
1700-1730 Dinner (Hot-A)
1730-1815 Drill Sergeant Time
1815-1830 Formation for MM
1830-1845 MM Pick-up
1845-1900 MM Drop-off
1900-1930 Turn-in Weapons
1930-2000 Drill Sergeant Time
2000-2100 Personal Hygiene
2100 Lights Out

THU 2-Nov-00
0500-0530 Wakeup, Formation
0530-0630 MS 8
0630-0715 Pers Hyg, Bks Maint
0630-0715 Draw Weapons
0715-0730 MM Pick-up
0730-0745 MM Drop-off
0745-0815 Breakfast (Hot-A)
0815-1200 RM 7/8
1200-1230 Lunch (Hot-A)
1230-1730 RM 7/8
1730-1745 Formation for MM
1745-1800 MM Pick-up
1800-1815 MM Drop-off
1815-1835 Dinner (DF)
1835-1910 Turn-in Weapons
1910-2000 Drill Sergeant Time
2000-2100 Personal Hygiene
2100 Lights Out


Let’s see, FM stands for Foot March.  RM stands for Rifle Marksmanship.  MS, CR, and PT I’ve explained – Muscle Strength, Cardio-Respiratory, and Physical Training.  MM is Motor Move (the buses).

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