Author Topic: Basic Training Intro.  (Read 122 times)

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Online madmaxine

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Basic Training Intro.
« on: November 11, 2020, 07:49:33 AM »
   I signed up (with my father's signature) when I was 17.  I boarded the bus to Jax Feb 14.  Somehow that's never been a romantic day since then.
   The process that day was pretty painless.  Then we got blasted.
   The morning came REAL early.  Painfully.
   The ride to Orlando was long and nauseous.  Then it really began.
   I hated those first days so bad.  I was so scared.  And alone.  That's the way they want it.  I really hated those PUNKS! that kept us up all night looking for their safety pin.  Pimply faced little bullies with Napoleon complexes.
   Slowly I began to fit together what it was my CC wanted.  I was assigned company athletic officer.  Pretty proud I was.  Until I found out I had to march the FU's to IT and MT.  And suffer right beside them.  No sitting around in basic.
    My bunkmate was a huge black fella.  Everybody was scared of him.  He was assigned Sergeant of Arms.  We didn't have arms and he didn't need them.  I found out he was a real softy and just as scared as I was.  Didn't say much.  I wish I'd kept track of him.  We were each other's rock for 8 weeks.
     This'll piss you off if you're a vet.  During work week my CC found out I was a certified lifeguard and scuba diver.  I spent 7 glorious days in a lifeguard tower at the pool when everybody else was doing really crappy jobs.
      I ended up liking my CC.  He was nothing like my dad (Marine Corp drill sergeant).
      One memory that sticks out is the guys that would lock their knees during parade rest.  You'd hear them go thunk as they passed out and fell backwards during aaaaaaalmost black flag days (Too hot to train outside.).
       The other was the root salute as the wave companies passed us.  Yeah.  Cheap thrills.
       ... and that was only the beginning.

Offline boomer

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Re: Basic Training Intro.
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2020, 11:07:11 AM »
I too recall the first days of Basic as a 17 yo at Ft. Jackson. There's something about that experience that kind of sticks with you. As demanding (and exciting) as those days were it's definitely a young man's game. Good memories though. In a way.

Offline windy

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Re: Basic Training Intro.
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2020, 05:15:59 PM »
My basic was at Fort Ord--we called it "Fort Meningitis", due to a major outbreak--at a time (1965) when DI's were scarce as hen's teeth.  Our platoon's DI was also the SDI; he had a neck injury our second day.  Since I'd had one year of college (Dean's list to academic probation in 3 quarters) and one quarter of ROTC, he had made me "Platoon Guide", with 3 pin-on stripes, just before he left us; no replacement for him was found for the first two weeks of basic, so I had to sub for him.  Naturally we were the worst, slowest, scruffiest platoon in the company from day 3 on.  I taught my bunch the manual-of-arms for the M-1 rifle instead of the M-14 we were issued.  All of them but Jackson had to relearn the drill; Jackson never learned it at all so no special problem there.  Every platoon, I later found, had its "Jackson".  Because of the meningitis, the brass came down with an order that we weren't to double-time more than 100 yards with full field gear, so we wouldn't get fatigued and catch the disease.  The NCO's re-interpreted that to "time-and-a-half"--but off the trails in the deep sand.  We wound up harder than the trainees from any other basic training fort.  The battalion's tear gas course was upwind of our barracks, so we got doses every time one of the other training companies had its gas classes.  We were issued extra long johns and blankets because the protocol for fighting meningitis included "sneeze sheets" and barracks windows open at least 8" top and bottom.  Winter at Ord was nothing like "California Dreamin'",  it snowed quite a bit that Fall.  Quite a few of the trainees in our company were from Hawaii; we called 'em "pineapples"; they didn't do real well in that weather, and several got sick and had to re-cycle.  When we got away on Christmas leave, one of them committed suicide rather than come back to finish basic.  Very challenging time; but I guess it was supposed to be.