Friday, February 20, 2009

February 20th, 2009

Back to the journal. Spent the last few times writing Mom. It's hard to find the time to write to both. Last night I fell asleep writing. Was at the shooting range every day for the last week. I don't think I did so hot today. I think my rifle is fucked, but that doesn't matter. I'll get a chance to qualify when I'm out of Basic, but for now I will just get by Monday with the rifle I was issued, which is seriously a P.O.S.. Tomorrow we are supposed to start land navigation classes. I'm good at that so I'm looking forward to that. It will be mostly basic map reading, I suppose, tomorrow.

Did lots of PT yesterday. Like 200 push ups and 200 sit ups in about an hour. That part killed. Well, I've been in actual Basic Combat Training for 1 month today. A new cycle just started today. "E" company (Echo). They all look scared shitless. hehehehe :-)

I was told we might not get to do the rappel tower. If that is true, I will be really upset. That is one of the things I was looking forward to, but you never know. Everything here is 95% BS.

As you might know, I am in OSUT (one stop unit training) and I am doing it as a 19 Delta or Cavalry Scout. So, instead of 8 weeks of Basic and 8 weeks of AIT which is general Basic and Advanced Individual Training. All 16 weeks for me is like Basic, but not geared for general soldiers. It's 16 weeks geared specifically for cavalry scouts, which is one of the more intense trainings for an Army MOS There are a few others but not at an entry level. So, it's pretty intense. Well it turns out - so intense that the Cav Scout companies at Ft. Knox have one of the largest AWOL rates in the whole Army, and it has a high self injury and suicide rate (well attempted) for the Army. Since I've been here, I've seen people that said they were going to kill them self, 3 people injure them self and several on purpose (like purposely dislocating a shoulder and blowing a knee to get out), and 8 AWOLs from our initial 120 man platoon. It's only been 30 days in here. That's not good. There are rumors that they are going to change OSUT to Basic/AIT like all other MOS to stop this.

In Basic, you have zero freedom. In AIT you get freedom just like living at a college dorm. In OSUT it's like Basic on steroids for 16 weeks instead of 8. They might even do it at the we graduate Basic and the 8 week mark. I don't care one way of the other. I personally would probably have more success in a Basic/AIT situation, but I like knowing that OSUT is the hard way and I would like to just see it through, but that that is not for me to decide. I just get sick of the yelling and belittling of people, but I do realize that without that control this place would be a fucking chaotic disaster all day. Too many numb-nuts here.

It does get old though. Every morning my first thought is pretty much, "Oh, fuck. I'm still here." and "Shit, another day of this hell." But it's good. I'm learning a lot and gaining a strong understanding of things. I'm getting more and more fit daily and am able to run pretty respectable now. 14:50 - 2 miles. I'd like to do 14:00 in the test.

I'm not sure if I told you, but one of the drill sergeants asked me where I wanted to go. I told him I didn't care where. I wasn't going to get what I wanted anyhow. He said yeah, most people don't ever get what they want, but he still wanted to know where I picked. I told him Alaska. He said, "Oh, shit. You'll definitely get that one, because no one ever wants to go there. It's too fucking cold and too many bugs and the sun stays up for months." apparently most people that go there, don't choose to. So, maybe I'll get what I wanted. On the down side, if it is Alaska is a Cav-Scout Stryker base. So, as opposed to Airborne or Light unite, like a Bradly unit; whatever, I would be in a Stryker unit. Which I suppose isn't bad, but guys that go to Stryker units apparently have to stay at Knox for an extra two weeks of Stryker training. That doesn't sound real fun. Although Strykers are pretty cool. I don't know what would be better: Scout with a Bradly or Cav Scout Stryker. Personally, I want Cav Scout Airborne, but we'll just see what happens.

Damn, lights out and I got fire guard tonight at 0230 - 0330 and wake up at 0400. God, this sucks. Sleep deprivation sucks.

Basic graduation or more Family Day for us (the Cav Scouts/OSUT) is March 27-29. I should get out Friday night, Saturday and be back Sunday for dinner. Not much time, so probably not much anyone will want to go to, but anyone is welcome that wants to come. Graduation as a Cav Scout is May 14th. That's the one I'm looking forward to, which any one is welcome to come to also. The BCT one I figure it's only 2.5 days. most people won't want to go so I'm, at this point, planning on getting a cheap motel for 3 days, eating pizza and Chinese take out and taking a long ass hot shower, sleeping and watching movies for 2 days.

Oh, back to that thought on Alaska. I think that is one of the bases where they teach arctic warfare. That would be cool. Ft. Lewis, my other pick, teaches mountain warfare. That would be cool, too. I don't know what would be best. Arctic in Alaska or Mountain in Washington. They also do that in Colorado and New York or desert some place like Ft. Irwin in Barstow or some place in Texas. Like I said, I'll just have to wait and see. It's a long road to get to that point. 3 more months here and I'm beat to hell already after only 1 month.

Thanks for the supplies. You and Mom both sent some. So, I've got plenty of paper, pens and stamps for quite a while. So, thanks again.

It's still really freaking cold here and flat, well rolling hills. Cold and lumpy. Just like my breakfast.

I hope Bear is doing good. I miss him terribly and can't wait to see him again, and the girls. I'm dying to see them again. Probably still one of the worst parts (well the worst part) of this whole experience so far.

Well, I'm super tired. I'll end this journal and send it out tomorrow and start some more tomorrow or Sunday.

Take care, all :-)


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