"Red Phase Continues"
Turbo boring classes in the morning. On our very
first day of red phase, they told us we'd spend a lot of time in the
classroom. I didn't realize how much though, but Wed & Thursday
we'd spend 12 hours learning about first aid.
0800-1200, we learned about shock, CPR, hemlich maneuver, evaluating
casualties, and some other things. Once again, so many guys were
falling asleep. We only did this with one other platoon though, o we
had enough room to "practice" on each other.
we learned how to put on field dressings, pressure dressings, and
tourniquets. This was more interesting a maybe even a little fun
even. I didn't really know there were such "right or wrong" ways to
bandage people up. We learned about splints, open head wounds,
sucking chest wounds, etc. It was strange to think about using what
we learned today and thinking about how we might actually use it for
real, or someone use it on us. Sometimes its too easy to distance
yourself from that.
At lunch, I was chatting quietly with a
guy to my left. We were supposed to be in formation and silent
though, but I wasn't the only one talking. Anyhow, this guy in the
same rank as me left to go bitch at people. While he was gone, I was
commenting how stupid it was that when one-two people talk in
formation, then about 20 say "Shhhhhh," "shut your mouth," etc, etc.
Just moronic. Now, this guy who left talks some and bitches a lot.
When he came back, he caught the tail end of my comments, and
started to add his own comments to me. I told him I didn't want to
hear his hypocritical input on it, and to turn around. He stared at
me for 2 secs or so, and started to talk again, but I once again
told him his opinion meant nothing, and to turn around. 5 seconds
later he's staring at me again, trying to intimidate me or
something. I don't have any fear in situations like that, and I
remain pretty level headed and calm about it. So I told him it was a
good idea to punch me. That he would do the entire platoon a favor
because he would inevitably be kicked out. I think he was pretty
close, or wanted to make it seem like he was, because other guys
grabbed him and turned him around. I wanted him to hit me though,
the guy is an idiot and things would be better without him. After we
marched back, this other guy came up to me and told me to "leave ...
alone." I told him to worry about his own problems and to find
friends that are strong enough to fend for themselves. Then, I found
the original guy and was going to make fun of him for trying to get
reinforcements or something, but we had class.
After class I
realized it was all stupid. That I was probably just tired and in a
bad mood from classes, so I found the guy to apologize for what
happened. I didn't really mean it though, but I really can't live so
close to someone I can't get along with for 7.5 more weeks yet.
It'll be better just to fake it. As for that guy's "boss," he'll be
gone in less than two weeks I bet. There are 3 "for sure" patriot
candidates, and at least 5 that are on the bubble. Our platoon will
be so much better with these dinks gone. I'm sure a lot of the guys
who act tough to the DS's when the "boss" is around will prove very
weak when he gets booted.
The new DS is really hard on us.
Worse than the other three we've had, plus he does a terrible job of
motivating us. He always smokes us using the wrong muscle groups
too, so no one can exert any effort.
Some guys were as late
as a minute this morning for breakfast formation. So we do pushups.
Then, two morons forget the drink cord (how the DS's monitor our
canteen water intake), meaning more push-ups. By this point DS
Carter joins, and bitches that the barracks are dirty. At least we
get to use a muscle group that works when he smokes us for that. We
march to chow, and the DS Olsen (new DS) starts bitching out of
nowhere. What a shitty platoon we are and all. He tells us we have
to look at our boots. For half the day we march, stand in formation,
move in line with our heads down. Seriously, that was about the
least motivating thing ever. No point to that for the minimal
mistakes we made. He always blows things out of proportion, and we
are never as bad as the other platoons (4th platoon has their phase
banner taped up, signifying they are a week behind now). So us, the
Mad dawgs, we're so afraid of getting our flag taped up, just
because this moron DS, the weekend warrior on his two week a year
power trip, wants to show his superiority over us.
refused to lower their heads, so they had to speak with a senior DS
about a possible Article 134 for failure to follow orders, but it
was dropped. I was pissed though. Absolutely no reason for us to
hang our heads like that when we make by far the least mistakes.
I hate fire duty at night. I slept for 1.5 hours, then I'm
woken up for an hour and a half of journal writing, then, back to
sleep for three more hours. It'll be mad difficult to stay awake for
the last of the first aid classes tomorrow am. I'm on duty with an
acne faced 18 year old guy from PA name Kritzer (Cry-it-zer). He
can't stop coughing, right into my ear. Some things are just really
trying my patience.
Everything is really dumbed down in the
Army. For good reason, too. Most people here are very slow learners.
A few people ask tons of dumb questions that the person next to them
could answer, but for some reason they only will ask the DS, pissing
him off. Most people are too stubborn to listen to anyone or
anything. They always want to be right and always want to be in
control. It's all so stupid. Then, our platoon has these idiots. One
guy, outspoken 24 year old ex-drug dealer from Virginia Beach. Won't
listen to anyone, including the Drill Sergeants. He's gotten us into
so much trouble, yet refuses to admit it because he doesn't think
he's been caught much. He's loud and obnoxious. There are a lot of
weak people here that latch onto him as well. He is a for sure goner
for Patriot though, and hopefully his cronies will prove what
mindless idiots they are in the weeks after he leaves.
Another guy, who's spent a lot of time in jail, 19 years
old, 5 ft tall but stacked. Almost completely bald but hides it with
a clean shaven head. This guy is pure moron. Has to be one of the
least intelligent folk I've ever met. He has serious discipline
issues. Will do anything the above guy tells him to. He can't
survive on his own though, he needs to attach himself to someone
strong, then he threatens everyone else. He's a real problem to the
platoon and should not be here.
So that's that. There are
just lists and lists of shit that is wrong with our platoon, so it
remains to be seen what happens.
My group ran 2.5 miles this morning, at a pace
that will pass my PT test, so even if all that I do is maintain my
current fitness level, I'll be able to pass the test. That's a
relief for sure. I'm surprised at how "in shape" I am. I'm starting
to not feel as good though. The bananas at chow almost always suck,
but I still try to eat them. That could be why I'm so sore. My knees
ache, my shoulders kill. My stomach hurts so bad, and I can barely
push myself out of bed in the am.
After b-fast we learned
the last of the first aid. It's amazing how many people fall asleep.
And then the groups that nod in and out. Neither of those two types
are paying attention to anything, and are really proving themselves
not to be dependable. At least the ones that fall out regularly.
Dolliver (my battle buddy) went to stand at the side to stay awake.
However, Nitz and I almost saw him fall asleep while standing. He
was seriously leaning all over the place and could barely hold his
head up. He didn't get caught though.
Yesterday afternoon we
broke our platoon into a 32 member D&C group. Every platoon did
it, then we practiced some new march maneuvers in six ranks. I found
out that I am one of the tallest people in our entire battery (265
soldiers). Strange, because I'm not that tall. There are no more
than 50 people taller. We have a pretty short platoon.
got another 85 minutes "in the bank" during chow. 5 minutes were
added for everyone that got dessert or ice cream. I never get that
crap, but a lot of us do. We were told that we could get that stuff
but our DS suggests "highly against." "Whatever the Army puts into
our body, it will take out." That's what another DS said. We already
had 45 minutes of exercise because two guys got cheeseburgers. I
really don't think the regular food is that much better for you
Pretty boring day though, a lot of studying for our
test coming up.
NO PT THIS MORNING! Not really a big deal. We
had to do tons of pushups last night, so missing MSE is probably for
the best. Half of the battery did have PT, but the rest of us had
other things to do.
First, we stood around for an hour at
"attention" then, we got issued M-16's. Just for a little while
though. First time I ever held an M-16, and I've touched a lot of
guns. Cool gun, seems pretty simplistic.
We had to march in
a retirement ceremony. So we put on our nice pressed BDV's, and go
on some buses. Only 30 from each platoon, so 120 altogether. There
were a ton of other batteries together there, totally formal and
all. However, this was insanely horrible. We went through
everything, and I was hurting. We all were, our feet, our ankles,
trying to remain perfectly still, when we find out that it was only
a dress rehearsal.
So we go through the same shit all over
again. You know, it's way worse now because we hurt twice as bad,
and it was twice as long. All of us batteries were way out in the
middle of nowhere, so we couldn't hear much, then we march in front
of the 13 retiring First Sergeants. If we didn't get so sore, it
might have been interesting. And we didn't get smoked when we got
back, actually, we barely got smoked the entire week.
Afternoon was spent in a mildly interesting class on a few
of the benefits of being military. However, after that was "managing
personal finance," that was turbo boring. A complete breakdown of
our paystub, then how to balance a checkbook. However, we spent only
2 hours, with three 10 minute breaks, and people still managed to
Things are heating up with our resident "00" (a
guy who can't do one pushup, can barely run, can't march, is 6'6"
tall, etc.) Some people try to fight with him, he constantly gets
picked on. It's all pretty disgusting. He gets the whole platoon
smoked constantly, which really angers most everyone. Plus, he just
doesn't seem to care, or has no capability to learn anything new.
He's gotten into 3 mild fights, one that I had to break up (My sock
got unrolled in the process, and I wasn't happy). He actually was
part of a firefighter unit in his hometown. (The DS rips on him
constantly for being weak and a firefighter). But seriously, not one
single pushup, it's hard to believe, he's not fat or anything, just
tall and uncoordinated.
Pointless day today. We didn't get into run
groups this morning, instead doing 1 80 yard sprint, 1 40 yard
sprint, then a "foot fire"/sprint (100 yard) and a wheelbarrow
sprint/fireman carry sprint. Way, way too easy.
terrific as usual. Sometimes, while eating breakfast, I'm actually
happy to be at basic training. It's not like the food is cooked
great or anything, it is always just perfect though.
that was a meeting about the Army value "Duty." That consisted of a
15 minute video, in which 4th platoon "Rough Riders" came over to
join us. They got smoked within 5 minutes of being here. That
platoon has problems.
Our two worst people got transferred
to a new platoon as well. That was great. This is their second
chance, and if they fail there, then they go to Patriot. As long as
they don't bring us down anymore. Since we now have a few
beds open, we got one of the other platoon's problems. This guy has
a messed up wrist and arm. Wrist is in a cast and arm in a sling. So
our guy "Tex" asked what was wrong with the arms. The guy said
"What's wrong with your face?" A fight almost broke out, and the guy
(black) claimed that Tex made some racial slurs (not true). So that
guy's second chance was blown right away. Off to Patriot. Moron...
After Lunch we went to the PX, most people just needed cash,
but most haven't got paid yet. Apparently it takes a month to
process the paperwork, so we should be getting money friday. Not
that we need money for anything here.
However, we were told
that on Aug. 9th, we would be able to go to the Lawton Rodeo...off
base. Unbelievable. We get off base with no babysitter for 4 hours
on a Saturday night. We just had to pay 10 dollars each. Small price
to pay in my opinion. I am fully looking forward to it, and for a
lot of us it might be one of the greatest nights ever, at least
compared to what we are going through.
So it was a turbo
boring, long day. Mainly sitting around doing nothing, rather,
supposed to be studying our medical stuff and whatever else is going
to be on our Phase test.
Last day of Week 2. Finally it's Sunday too.
This week went pretty slow because of all the classtime we had.
Hopefully this is our last week in Red Phase too, our DS's keep
threatening to keep us in Red Phase unless we pull together a bit.
Sunday's are the worst days to eat. We march as a battery
instead of a platoon, so the wait sucks. In the morning like 3
battalions have to finish eating before 8 am so people can get to
church on time. Seriously, we got to chow at 6:15, but we didn't sit
down until 7:15. So, standing, in silence, for an hour. After a
while I just start longing to walk...Just thinking about how
beautiful it would be to take a step.
At least we got to
sleep in for an extra hour this morning. I woke up at 5am instead of
4, it was beautiful. Most people got up at 5:30 instead of 4:30. We
can't use the latrine after 4:30 (weekdays) because 3rd squad has to
clean it, so I always have to just bitch at my battle buddy so he'll
get up to shave and piss. Most of the time he just will not get up,
a lot of people are like that though. Seriously, how important is it
to sleep an extra 10 minutes in the morning. I don't really think
it's going to make you that much more awake and alert throughout the
day. We are supposed to clean the barracks right away too, but the
lazy guys don't, and we can't finish, so we do pushups at crack ass
in the morning.
Last night we had a platoon meeting, after
the DS left. Man, that was pointless. Mostly, it was people bitching
about bitching. Almost everyone stood up, and everyone said the same
things. All we really have to do is not be lazy, don't talk, don't
rip on the "weak" people, and be on time. Doesn't sound that hard,
does it? Well, tell that to 60% of the platoon. Some individuals
have other problems to work on, but if we could do the things above,
we'd be good.
More Drill & Ceremony this afternoon. Man,
I hate that. It's seriously so easy. I think in like two weeks we
have a competition between the platoons. The prize is the coveted
"D&C" banner. We won't win, we have too many people who can't
march, and the other platoons look better.
Next Saturday is
our Phase II test. We spent a lot of time this weekend studying
(sleeping), but it isn't too hard anyhow. Medical stuff, then some
questions about gas chamber/mask stuff, and that's really it. There
is a lot to learn, but regardless of what the DS says, I'm pretty
sure you actually have to try to fail.
There is a Charlie
Daniels' Concert across the freeway. DS Cook said if we were here a
week longer, we could have gone (we'll be in white phase). Some guys
here are really broken up about it too.
The week should be
pretty exciting. Lots of stuff to do so hopefully it'll move faster
than the last week.