31 July 2005

Day 32

Day 32 Sun 31-JUL-2005
Nothing cool today.
Cadre were bored,
So we had a nice long beating session.

30 July 2005

Day 31

Day 31 Sat 30-JUL-2005
One whole month out here.
I must be crazy.

We did Operation Warrior today.
That has got to be the coolest course out here.
They gave us real M-16s and a bunch of blanks. (bullets that don't shoot anything)
Then they trained us in small team tactics and turned us lose in the woods.
We were the offensive team in the morning.
We were supposed to ambush the enemy base. (protected by another flight)
As we got closer to the tents, I knew the would have snipers hidden in the trees and bushes.
They would try to take us out and they could because they knew what direction we'd be coming from.
I knew the only way to prevent this was to go wider and flank the snipers.
No one went with me, so I went alone.
I picked off two of them before they figured out what was going on.
Unfortunately, they had already killed a quarter of my flight.
I got a total of four that time.

We got Defense in the afternoon.
We were broken up into teams of four
Our assigned team leader took off, so I took over.
I got the three of us hidden in some bushes behind some rocks on the top of a nearby hill.
We were able to take out the first wave from that direction.
It was either the only wave, or the rest pulled back,
because we never saw anymore from that direction.
We then picked off their main wave that was rushing the base.
I lost count after eighteen.
I did better this time because I was hidden and stationary.
They were in the open and moving.
Also, I found the automatic mode this time.
That helped some.

29 July 2005

Day 30

Day 30 Fri 29-JUL-2005
We went to CATM today.
We learned how to use M-16s.
then we took them to the range.
I got 23 out of 40.
I'm pleased with that.
Considering it's the third time I've used a gun in my life.
My buddies are promising to fix that.

A Cadre from Oklahoma made me clean his gun as well as mine.
He said the reason is that Texas is the only reason that Oklahoma doesn't a have a beach.
I think he's just jealous.
Not everyone can be Texan.

28 July 2005

Day 29

Day 29 Thur 28_JUL-2005
We did the Assault Course again this morning.
Just for fun this time.

27 July 2005

Day 28

Day 28 Wed 27-JUL-2005
This morning we had the Assult Course.
Supposedly, this is the toughest course out here.
I heard (from a reliable source that was there) that 18 basics quit because it was too hard.
Another 32 were sent to the hospital.
This was all on the first day too.
I didn't think it was to bad.
It didn't seem THAT hard.
The Assault course is a bunch of obstacles with tunnels, barbed wire, mud pits, and various other battlefield like obstcals.
We run it with an M-16 and a Kevlar helmet.
They have cadre running around shooting blanks out of M-16s and setting of simulated grenades.
every time we heard one of those we had to through ourselves on the ground and yell "GRENADE!!!" and jump back up as fast as we could.
Needless to say, this alone was tiring.
On top of that, if there was a line for an obstcale, we didn't just stand and wait.
We did High Knees. (essentially, jumping running in place, but kicking your knees up as high as they go. Not fun)
They gave us real bayonets to run the course with.
That was fun.

Before we did the Assault Course, we did Pugil Sticks.
Those are padded sticks we beat each other with.
It's to simulate hand to hand combat with an empty rifle.
I made it to Flight Semi-Finals.
Then they paired me up against one of our recruited football players.
I got the first two points because I was faster and I stayed low.
I went for his stomach with the bayonet part of my stick.
Then he finally realized what was going on.
He started going for me head.
I don't remember anything from his third point.
I just remember sitting up on the other side of the ring with a slight headache.
That guy can pack a punch.
I'm not ashamed of being beat by him.
I almost won. (had I gotten one more point)
My stick made contact with his stomach just about every time he got my head.
It's just that the effects of his strike were a little more obvious.
He went on to get second in our flight.
the guy that beat him took first for the squad.
I think that makes my performance look pretty good.
I don't think any of my classmates expected me to make it that far.

Not me, but it's a good visual.

26 July 2005

Day 27

Day 27 Tue 26-JUL-2005
Nothing good today.
The cadre were bored,
so we had a nice beating session.

25 July 2005

Day 26

Day 26 Mon 25-JUL-2005
We did the Leadership Reaction Course again this morning.
We got to all five obstcales.
We made it through all but one.
The cadre say that no one makes it through this one on their first attempt.
They also said we got closer to finishing than anyone else they'd seen.
Time was running out, and our leader wasn't making any decisions.
We had to get a oil drum from one tower to another.
We had two ropes and two planks to use.
We had the two ropes tied parallel to each other across the towers.
there were about two minutes left.
I flipped my knees over one of the ropes and my arms over the other.
I had a classmate put the drum on top of me and I worked my way to the other tower.
We got the drum and two people over before the time ran out.
Supposedly, that was the best that the cadre had ever seen.

In the afternoon we did the Self Aid and Buddy Care Course.
It's essentially battlefield first aid.
So, all the stuff I learned in scouts and CAP, with guns and grenades.
and a lot of low crawling.

24 July 2005

Day 25

Day 25 Sun 24-JUL-2005
We did the challenge course today.
This course was more laid back.
It was more of a confidence builder.
I've already done most of these things at camps.
It was fun.
There were a lot of high obstcales for people to over come their fear of heights.
There was this one tower that we had to climb by flipping each other over the edge and up to the next level.
You essentially have to trust the other people with your life.
It took us about 30 min to get the entire flight of 38 people to the top.
Afterwards, we watch ten cadre get to the top and back down in 48 seconds.
They did four at a time instead of one like us.
It was cool to watch though.

23 July 2005

Day 24

Day 24 Sat 23-JUL-2005
First full day at Jack's.
We ran the Obstacle Course this morning.
I passed.
The obstacle that I failed was the rope swing.
There is a pit full of water with a rope hanging over it.
A cadre holds the rope (Definitely starting out wrong),
and you run up,
grab it,
and swing across.
Easy right?
The cadre like to let go of the rope early.
I caught when I was already half way across.
Yes I was soaked.
My boots had a gallon of water each and my pants were wet.
This wasn't so bad excpept for to things
1. I was only half way through, and my boots were very heavy now (and yes we were running).
2. The low crawl was next. So now I'm wet and muddy.
The guy I was running it with said I would have had a better chance just jumping without the rope.
I could have gotten along even with these problems,
but there was one more.
This was just the familiarization run.
We still had to do it for time.
We did ok.

Next was the leadership Reaction Course (LRC).
They lock us in concrete rooms and give us a piece of rope, a plank, and a log.
Then we have to get out in 15min.
Just kidding.
There are twenty some odd Concrete rooms,
each has a different obstcale with different objectives,
with limited resources.
We have to get across the obstacle in fifteen minutes using just what we're given.
It was challenging.
A storm rolled in and we only got to do one.
Then we sat in a tent and sang songs for about three hours.
That was interesting.

22 July 2005

Day 23

Day 23 Fri 22-JUL-2005
Off to Jack's Valley.
I've been waiting for this part since before I got to Colorado.
Probably before I finished the application.
Marched 8 Miles to Jack's.
I carried two rifles again.
A classmate had serious blisters.

Sang all sorts of Jodies.
We ran out though, so they got recycled.
Then people started making them up.
This was OK so long as they made them up before they started singing.

When we got to Jack's we set up tents.
The last basics that had our tent didn't take care of it.
All the ropes broke, there were holes, and the doors didn't work.
Thankfully, I had used a tent similar to it in scouts.
We were able to fix just about everything.

21 July 2005

Day 22

Day 22 Thur 21-JUL-2005
PT this monring.
It was slightly better.

We wore Blues today.
We've worn BDUs (Camo) every other day.

We go to Jack's Valley Tomorrow.
It'll be an 8 mile march.
Should be fun.
I've been looking forward to Jack's since the beginning.
We'll be simulating a deployment.
We'll be in tents and all that good stuff.

20 July 2005

Day 21

Day21 Wed 20-JUL-2005
Pt again this morning.
Lite and boring.
When are they going to push us?
(I'm not complaining)

We took a test on all that stuff we've been memorizing.
I passed.
I did well to.

19 July 2005

Day 20

Day 20 Tue 19-JUL-2005Pt again this morning.
It was much easier than normal.

They bussed us to Peterson AFB.
We got to see all the planes that flew over yesterday and more.
The pilots were there to answer any questions.
We're told that these planes were brought in from all over the world just for us.
There are no dignitaries or anybody who are coming out to see these planes, just us.
That's cool.
Maybe that's why our education is estimated at some $300,000.

Civil Air Patrol was having their Advanced Technology Academy at a hangar right next to where we were.
I noticed a plane that had CAP colors and thought it unusual that they'ed show us a CAP plane.
Not many cadets would care about that.
But I knew what plane that was.
It was the new Airbus we just bought.
They're going to put Hyper Spectral Imaging Systems in it.
It'll help a ton with Search and Rescue.
I remembered getting a briefing about it when I went through ATA.
It was still in the design phase then.
I went to talk to the pilot and he told me that ATA was in the nearby hangar.
I went in there and met the Col. McNeely.
He ran ATA when I did it.
They let me hang out inside their air conditioned build and showed me all their new toys.
All the stuff I used in ATA is gone.
All the stuff I tested has been advanced and they're use version 2.
Cool stuff.
They let me fill up my Camel Bak with Ice before I left.
I didn't tell anyone about that.
It came in handy,
our bus broke down half way back to the Academy and we had no air.

18 July 2005

Day 19

Day 19 Mon 18-JUL-2005
We did a 7 mile "March" today before breakfast.
March whatever.
We ran half of it.
A classmate was having trouble just before the half way point.
I took the canteen, web belt, and rifle, while others help with the marching.

A lot of aircraft flew over today.
There was a B1-B Lancer, C-5 Galaxy, F-117 Nighthawk, A-10 Warthawg, T-6, MH-60, and many others.
I heard that they wanted to increase moral.
It worked.

17 July 2005

Day 18

Day 18 Sun 17-JUL-2005
New Cadre seem really cool.
I think because we tried so hard to stay in line the first day they layed back.

Went to Chapel.
Went to the Rodeo.
It was a moral booster.
They don't want to kill us.
we're too expensive.
That thought is slightly encouraging.

This really is a minimal security prison.
There's a fence all around,
We can't go anywhere alone, and I get one phone call. ;-)
Called home.
Talked with everyone.
Sounds like nothing happened in Texas over the last few days.

16 July 2005

Day 17

Field day was this morning.
It was a bunch of events to compete in.
Our squad took 2nd.
by 20 points!
We beat 3rd by 160.
20 Points!
That's very depressing.

We got our 2nd BCT Cadre today.
Everyone was absolutely terrified.
2nd BCT is supposed to be infinitely tougher than 1st BCT.
which means the same for the Cadre.
Everyone went to Bunker's room to figure out how to survive.

They don't seem that bad.
They seem very confused,
like they haven't a clue as to what is happening or what to do.
Needless to say we plan on taking full advantage of the situation.

15 July 2005

Day 16

Day 16 Fri 15-JUL-2005
Today was the last day of intramurals.
I got a ton of mail.
I wrote a ton of mail.
That's a lot of stamps.

14 July 2005

Day 15

Today was fun.
One of our Cadre who is really good at drilling drilled us today.
We did it on the Terrazzo in front of all the other flight.
We did a bunch cool drills that they didn't know.
We also did regular stuff with speed and precision.
We ran circles around one flight.
All the other cadre were just staring at us.
So were their basics.
They didn't like that.
I think they were all jealous.

We got our rifles today.
They're M-14s.
I don't know what to name mine.

We got to try out the simulators.
We flew T-6s in the area.
After we got bored with the normal stuff.
I got my hands on the computer and changed a few numbers.
Instead of 200 knots, we started doing 1000 kn.
We buzzed the runway where everyone else was trying to take off.
After we got bored with that.
We flew up the canyon, @1000kn.
that was fun.

The sky was beautiful tonight.
A storm had just blew through, so the sun was reflecting pink form part of the cloud, and yellow on another part.
That mixed with the clear blue sky next to it was just breath taking.
I'd like to have taken a picture of it, but cameras never seem to do these things justice.
That and basics aren't aloud to have them.

13 July 2005

Day 13

Day 14 Wen 13-JUL-2005
Tonight we learned that the three recruited football players in our flight might get kicked out soon.
The upperclassmen don't think they're here for the right reasons.
They're really trying, but can't seem to do it on their own.
We're all trying to help them.

12 July 2005

Day 13

Day 13 Tue 12-JUL-2005
This morning was not a march,
It was a run.
That's OK, it was only 5 miles.
(Uphill both ways and in the snow ;-)

I won the Flight's first Drill Down.
What happens is the flight starts in a regular formation.
The upperclassmen calls random commands.
If you to slow, or do the wrong thing, or follow a command that should not have been given, your out.
For example...
He calls "About Face" and you hesitate ever so slightly,
You're out.
He calls "Left Face" and you turn right,
You're out.
He calls "Present Arms" you give a salute and hold it.
He calls "Order Hands" or "Order Pizza" (a favorite of theirs) and you so much as flinch,
You're out.
The proper command is "Order Arms"
It was intense.
A lot of our guys are prior enlisted, or Prep Schoolers, or JROTC.
It got to the point where he was calling them faster then we could execute,
so you had to remember about 5 or 6 commands in order.
Eventually it was down to Mcauliff and I.

(That's me behind him)
Eventually the upperclassman gave up on stationary drill and marched us.
It was so intense I was sweating profusely when we got done.
It was fun though.

11 July 2005

Day 12

Day 12 Mon 11-JUL-2005
I found out we leave for Jack's on Wendsday, not Sunday.
Dentist visit today.
long and boring.

Tomorrow we go on a 5 mile march before breakfast.
should be fun.

10 July 2005

Day 11

Day 11 Sun 10-JUL-2005
Went to Chapel this morning.
Service was good.
It's nice that they let us do this.

We leave for Jack's Valley in a week.
I'm looking forward to it.

09 July 2005

Day 10

Day 10 Sat 09-JUL-2005
Today was our first SAMI.
We passed.
The only thing the inspector could find wrong was our boots.
even then only part of them, the sides.
He could see his face in the toe, but not the sides.
So close to a perfect score.
Oh well...

Did the AFT today (Aerobic Fitness Test).
It's a mile and a half run.
I got 13:12.
I could have done better, but I knew it was just practice and a classmate needed encouraging.

We got the rankings today.
Our Squadron is #1 in the group and our Flight is #3
(The Cadet wing is divided into groups. There is only one group for BCT. There are 8 Squads in the group and 36 Flights within all those Squads.)

08 July 2005

Day 9

Day 9 Fri 08-JUL-2005
Stayed up later than normal to clean our room.
We're not supposed to stay up late,
but we have to get everything done.
We have a SAMI tomorrow (Saturday Morning Inspection).
It's supposed to be the toughest inspection there is.
I think we got to bed at 1am.
I don't know for sure because they took our watches away.

07 July 2005

Day 8

Day 8 07-JUL-2005
They made me an Element Leader.
I'm responsible for 3rd Element.
I just have to march straight and in step.
should be easy enough.

They told us about the London Bombings at Dinner.
I had a hard time eating after that.
We're craving details.
We know nothing.

06 July 2005

Day 7

Day 7 06-JUL-2005
First PT session today.
Finally some physical work.
It was too short and had no variety.
We were all expected a three hour torture session.

05 July 2005

Day 6

Day 6 05-JUL-2005
Nothing exciting today we took placement test this morning.
Hopefully I can get out of some extra classes.
Tested in Spanish, Math, and Chemistry.
I feel confident about Math and Chem.
I probably would have done better with more sleep.

04 July 2005

Day 5

Day 5 04-JUL-2005
Today is the Fourth of July.
We watched We were soldiers and had a fireworks show.
I cried during the part when the telegrams come.
It hurts to think that one day I might cause that kind of pain.
I'm expecting it to get really tough tomorrow.
I know they'll use this as an excuse to make it harder.

The Flight made our cadre lose their bearing today.
I didn't know what was so funny,
but the cadre were trying so hard not to laugh and couldn't stop themselves,
I started laughing.
fortunately they didn't see me.

03 July 2005

Day 4

Day 4 Sunday 03-July-2005
Wow! Today is my birthday.
I didn’t think about that until I entered the date in my journal.
Thankfully no one else knew either. The cadre would have had a little to much fun.
We haven’t been dropped much. Everyone’s kind of disappointed that it’s been so easy this far, but we’re not going to complain. We all secretly wish that it would be a little more challenging so that when it’s over, we can all say “we made it” and be proud of the accomplishment.

02 July 2005

Day 3

Day 3 Saturday 02-July-2005
Nothing big today. We’re all waiting to get dropped, but it hasn’t happened yet.
We got shots today. That was a lot of needles.
They also took three vials of blood for testing. There’s a lot of pressure in those veins.
The doctors here are really good I didn’t feel a thing, despite the size of the needle for the vial.
I always wondered what the people in the pictures thought about when they were getting their shots.
The Answer: “It’s that stupid guy with the camera again. Why does he think people would want to see a picture of this?!?!”

01 July 2005

Day 2

Day 2 Friday 01-July-2005
Nothing exciting today. We’re supposed to do PC (Physical Conditioning) tomorrow. That should be fun. We’re all wondering when that horrible physical stuff we’ve all heard about is going to start.
The Cadre (the upperclassmen responsible for making our lives miserable) said that they can’t wait for Sunday. They had those evil grins on their faces.
I guess that means something terrible is coming.