Virtual Training - Day 15

posted Nov 17, 2011, 7:31 PM by Brandon McGuire

(Original Date: Friday, April 30, 2010)

These entries are from the letters that Brandon has mailed to me. His writing at times can be a bit difficult to determine his words... bare with me, I do my best, especially with army terms.

Oh the joys of CQ duty, Our platoon has CQ duty anytime one of our DSs pulls duty for the night. This seems to happen about once a week or so. So me and PFC Metal will hang out for an hour from 1:00am to 2:00am sitting at a big desk located in the CTA outside. It's cold and I have no army issued jacket. The CTA (Company Training Area) is a big open area which includes places under our bays where we line up for formation. We sit at ta desk and a member of the fire guard from each platoon will being us a head count of their personnel and a weapons count. We log this information and then sit and watch the CTA for the rest  of the hour to make sure nothing out of the ordinary happens. PFC Metal received a crap load of mail last night, complete with pictures and even a chart showing how the contestants are doing in "the Ultimate Fighter" TV show (Yes, he is a big UFC fan too). 

We have a new addition to our platoon. Last night he moved in. He has already been farther in basic than any of us, but he was recycled because he got pneumonia and missed too many days during that last cycle. That would really suck!! Basic training sucks enough by itself, but it would be worse having to do it even longer.

From after breakfast until lunch time we practiced aiming our weapons, site alignment, and trigger squeeze. Some of the most boring stuff I've ever done. Very slow and monotones. Lunch time was delayed because there were a number of vietnam vets visiting and they were very slow getting through the line. It was strange hearing folks talk besides the DSs yelling during lunch. Of course, nothing has changed with us. No talking, no looking up, heels together and if you're not using a hand it has to be on your lap flat with your fingers extended. Today, instead of yelling, the DSs would quietly come up to people that were screwing up and whisper sweet nothings into their ear. 

I swear, if our senior DS was a woman he would be PMSing tight now. He is freaking out over every little thing yelling and screaming and smoking us as well. Of course there are a couple of people in our platoon that just keep screwing up. Pvt. Douche is one of them. The other is one of the foreign guys. I'm guessing it gets lost in translation. Like today we were told to take a piece out of our gun and stick it in our pockets. The DS found one on the ground and asked who it was. Nobody would answer. Everyone got smoked and then he made everyone reach in their pockets and show their piece. The foreign guy, of course, didn't have his.

Pvt. Douche on the other hand, was suppose to check his stack of weapons to see if the sites were down and they were on safe.  As we were standing in formation the DS asked if the stack men checked these things, they all sounded off "yes drill sergeant." (including Pvt. Douche) The DS then asked just Pvt. Douche if he checked them (he could see of course he didn't). Pvt. Douche answered yes again. The DS started yelling at him and then had him watch while the rest of us did push-ups.

After lunch we got to fire "virtual" rifles. There is a huge screen showing targets and you lay down and fire at them. The rifle gives recoil and feels like the real thing when firing. You get instant feedback on your shots. Today the goal was to group 3 shots within 4 cm. I did it on my second try. So did PFC Metal. Pvt. Douche was finally able to do it. He was off the map completely for almost every round he did. After almost three hours he finally group his shots. This is a significant because were the only platoon to do so.

Later on the entire company got to together on a grass field and watched some DSs demonstrate modern army combat moves. Now, instead of the bayonet and older fighting styles for hand to hand combat, the army is now using more MMA type moves.  They went over some positions and chokes. We then lightly practiced each one on our partner.

During our uniform issue, we were issued knee pads that actually fit inside the normal ACU uniform. I stuck mine in today for the first time after seeing PFC Metal doing it. What a difference it makes! We are asked to take a knee a lot and that little pad makes it so much easier on my knees. I should've put them in a long time ago.  After dinner we went to a shooting range to do a test run of what we will be doing there soon. It was kind of silly, but I guess you can't be too safe with weapons. 

Mail call again tonight. Let me say that I have a very awesome wife!!! I got nine letters! The DS just started throwing them anywhere but towards me after about the third one. I'm so excited I'm going to end this now. :D

Random DS Quote: "Breath in now through the nose out through the mouth. EVERYONE DO IT NOW…AGAIN…DEEPER" (this was said after someone farted during mail call)

My bf is currently at ft benning he says its like hell, maybe even worse than jail lol atleast in jail u get to communicate and take visits daily from the outside world!!
Monday, August 16, 2010 - 10:48 AM
Yes...I often thought while I was in basic there are a lot of similarities between jail and basic training. In fact people in jail are probably better off as you mentioned in some ways. At least basic only lasts 9 weeks, you just have to push through it.
Monday, August 16, 2010 - 08:20 PM
Hey quick questions! Since my bf is currently in ft benning, last week he said he's still stuck in red phase since he got shipped out early august (a month in red phase) long does it take to move into white phase? I heard there's more contact and communication? I have got letters but no supposid "sunday" calls in weeks?
Friday, September 3, 2010 - 01:56 PM
It really all depends on the drill sergeants and the platoon. Phasing up is not a guarantee. I've heard of platoons even graduating in red phase because they kept getting in trouble. The normal phase up period if all goes well is usually 3 weeks in red phase, 3 weeks in white phase, then the rest in blue phase.

It is true that once a platoon phases up to white phase they get more privileges, but that too all depends on the drill sergeants. We usually were able to use our cell phones on Sundays after we hit white phase. Another platoon in our company only got a few calls the entire time we were in basic, while a different one seemed to get their phones all the time.
Tuesday, September 7, 2010 - 08:17 PM