Flashback Fridays: Army Basic Training, Part 5

8 October 2000
1050 hrs

I’m in a really good mood because a) I cleaned and organized my locker, b) we have free time, and c) I’ve got friends sitting in here chatting so I’m not alone with K***.

There’s so many little things here that are irritating or just different.  Like the toilet paper situation.  In Reception, we were each issued a roll and we had to bring back the empty core to get a new one.  Here, there’s supposed to be TP in the latrines, but people keep stealing the rolls.  It’s getting on my nerves.

One thing I’ve noticed is that everyone talks about home – the most inane, boring things, repeated over and over – and nobody really listens to anyone else.  Right now there are 8 people in my room, and 4 people are talking at once.  So I personally don’t tell stories about my life unless someone asks.  I don’t need to say things out loud to validate my memories.

1430 hrs

We just had lunch, and everyone’s back in my room.  I hadn’t  thought about this before, but it’s really COLD!  Today has been awful, I’ve been freezing all day.  And we don’t even have blankets on the beds.

Today has been really laid-back.  Lots of people went to church.  Other than an afternoon class on the chain of command, we’ve been able to sit in the barracks and do whatever we want (except sleep).

9 October 2000
0130 hrs

Once again, I’m on fireguard duty from 0100 to 0300 hrs.  *growl* I’m doing a good job of totally ignoring the fact that my dizziness is getting worse.  So far, I don’t feel like I’ve been hindered by it.

I keep noticing how no one really cares what anyone else has to say, yet people are still nice and friendly to each other.  Everything anyone says always makes someone recall a story about her own life.  To me the stories seem completely unrelated.  Also, when 2 people are talking, neither will give way.  They’ll just keep telling their own story and try to make eye contact with at least one other person so they feel like someone is listening.  I’ve never experienced anything like it.

I want to go to bed so badly.  At least we get to sleep in until 0600 hrs tomorrow because it’s a holiday.  I’m so cold!  I miss having blankets and pillows.  Supposedly, we’ll have them once we start basic training.

I’m so tired of some of these people.  Every time anyone says anything to K***, she gets all hostile and bitchy, and starts talking about her “homicidal impulses.”  I’m sick of this whole drama queen act.

The males here are such idiots.  The whole reason I’m on fireguard is because some idiot boys decided to come off their floor on the stairwell on our side of the barracks, so 8 more females were put on duty tonight to guard that door.

No one believes me when I tell them that I’m 26.  I’m amazed at how many of these 18-21 year olds are single mothers.  The cadre here for Forward Deployment are really nice, even when they’re smoking us.  Drill Sergeant W*** is the main person in charge of us.  He is in amazing physical shape and would be an good drill sergeant to have in basic training.  Captain B*** is also assigned to us.  He’s nice, and has asked me about the background of my name.  He calls me “Bewitched.”  We have also had Sgt. R*** in charge of us, who told me she couldn’t get out of the Army fast enough and she couldn’t understand why anyone enters it!  Even Sgt. M*** (Napoleon) is much nicer than I thought at first.

I have to memorize the chain of command; I’ve learned pretty much everything else that I’m supposed to.  The Army core values are: Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity, and Personal Courage (LDRSHIP, in a masterful act of spelling).  I also had to memorize the definitions of each value and the Soldier’s Code:

I am an American soldier, a protector of the greatest nation on Earth, sworn to uphold the Constitution of the United States.
I will treat others with dignity and respect and expect others to do the same.
I will honor my country, the Army, my unit, and my fellow soldiers by living the Army values
No matter what situation I am in, I will never do anything for pleasure, profit, or personal safety which will disgrace my uniform, my unit, or my country.
Lastly, I am proud of my country and its flag.  I want to look back and say that I am proud to have served my country as a soldier.

I think I’ll ace all of my tests.  I’ve learned all of this stuff by memory much quicker than anyone else.  The damn Army song is constantly in my head; I can’t seem to make it go away.  I’m so sleepy.  I bet when I get out of here, I’ll sleep for 48 hours straight!

Right now, I’m wearing my PT uniform: shorts and t-shirt, with sweatpants and a sweatshirt on top.  When we get to basic, we’ll do a complete shakedown where we have to show the drill sergeant everything in our civvie bag.  Then they tell us what we can keep with us, and what has to be put in our personal bag and locked away.

1345 hrs

It’s been a pretty tame day so far.  At breakfast Cpt. B*** asked me how big my feet were (?), and at lunch he was asking all the girls in line in front of me who the Post Command General was, and no one knew.  I started to say Major General B***, and he stopped me and said he knew that I knew!

After breakfast we practiced for our ceremony tomorrow, which is some sort of swearing in for basic training.  Very exciting.  Ho hum.  I get to hold a state flag.  Today during the practice run, I got to hold Guam’s flag.  Oh, joy, I just found out that I have fireguard again tonight.  But I begged for the 2100-2300 shift and got it.

K*** went back on sick call today, and she was told to pack a bag and return to the infirmary overnight.  It’s rather a relief.

1900 hrs

I’m so cold.  The weather here sucks.  I’m going to freeze my ass off for the next 2 months.  I can’t believe they won’t even give us *%*# blankets!!!  I think I’ll sleep in my stocking hat tonight to keep warm.

Everyone is pissed off about fireguard tonight, me included.  The PG was trying to switch everyone around for whatever reasons, and I blew up at her because she said no one who had fireguard last night has is tonight, and I did and do.

2100 hrs

Well, I feel a little better now.  I apologized to the PG for blowing up at her.  I’m getting nervous about PT.  I just tried to do push-ups, and I could only do 3.  Not good at all.

It’s supposed to be lights out now, and the fireguard list was just now posted, and it’s not even complete!  I’m not on it anymore, but I’m sure I’ll end up doing it tomorrow.

I am so sick of people.  I am so sick of FEMALES!  66 more days.

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