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I’m here, I’m doing great, and I seem to have passed Basic Training without any major issues.

Basic ended last Friday morning, leaving me the entire afternoon and early evening to spend with my family and friends who had all come down to see the graduation. I really enjoyed having everyone there; it meant a lot that they had all put in the time and effort to come and see me. Nothing we did was particularly memorable in and of itself, but the companionship was great.

I didn’t sleep that night, as transportation to my flight left base at 0140 Saturday morning. For reasons still obscure, I had to leave a full 24 hours before the other five people from my basic training battery going to the same place. I arrived at Ft. Rucker around 1630, spent the afternoon doing preliminary inprocessing, before collapsing and sleeping for 14 hours. In retrospect, I got a better deal than they did: I missed out on an extra four hours of pass with family and friends, but gained the opportunity to sleep in and to have a completely free Sunday free of any interference from anyone else.

So far, this week has been spent at a slow pace. We’ll have a formation for one thing or another, at which we’ll accomplish in 40 minutes what should have taken 5 due to the policy of using only peer leaders even at this stage of things, then have two or three hours off before the next formation. The one really focused thing we do is morning PT, which is run by a TAC (the Warrant Officer Candidate School equivalent of a drill sergeant–they are commissioned or warrant officer instructors, used because half the class would outrank most DSs) in conjunction with the candidate physical fitness officer, and the TAC does not joke around with PT. Monday we ran about 4 miles; they weren’t fast ones, but at this point of the year, Alabama is already in the 80s and humid at 0630 by the time the run is over. Today we worked on strength, and I pushed harder than I ever had to in basic. I don’t know for sure, but it feels like PT in the morning is going to be a lot more effective than it was in the past, and I think that despite the difficulty, that’s going to be a good thing.

Every WOC will hold at least one leadership position during WOCS, in addition to a permanent extra duty position. I haven’t yet been picked for a leadership position–those who have are all prior-service people who were recycled from the previous class–but I know my duty position: I’m the S-4, the supply officer. I was going to ask to be the song officer, whose only job is to write a class song and teach it to everyone, but this was offered to me before I could, and it’s somewhat more impressive. The work it imposes isn’t bad at all, and it offers some superb opportunities for graft. Of course, that’s not going to be an issue.

They say that once we all arrive, perform class inprocessing, and move into the 1st Warrant Officer Company, things are going to get strict again. We’ll lose those temporary privileges we’ve acquired during this lull between classes: an uncluttered schedule, the ability to arrange our clothes in the cabinet any way we please, the right to wear civilian clothes while not in formation, the right while not required elsewhere to wander the base at will or even leave post, so long as we sign out before leaving a certain [on-post] radius. This last right is very convenient for doing things like walking to the post library and using the free internet-enabled computers there.

I’m told that most classes leave the Junior phase of training roughly two weeks after they move to the 1st WOC. At that time, they regain the right to use phones, cell phones, and the internet. I don’t know whether that last will be the unsupervised internet at the library, or the relatively strict, purpose-driven internet use in the company building, but it’ll be something, at least. On the other hand, candidates are forbidden from possessing or using computers, CD players, or any other recreational electronics during all stages of training.

Basic training was fine, but in the end, you needed only to persist to succeed. There were some really screwed-up people there, and they came through fine. Warrant Officer training will hopefully be both more challenging and more rewarding. I still have very little idea of what we’ll be doing, but I’m beginning to get a sense of what it will be like, and it seems very doable.

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Comment by mystick358
2007-07-17 20:31:37

Good luck, and be careful out there.

Comment by silversliver
2007-07-18 00:34:10

Glad to hear you made it through Basic and are still on the right track. Good luck in the next round of training!

Comment by anonymous
2007-07-18 23:00:23

If you post your address we can write! Or call soon. We want to get back in touch. Your post was great to read–but you didn’t mention your foot. How is it, miles of running later. I hope you are getting attention. Love you!

Comment by para_cynic
2007-07-18 23:32:40

Congratulations, soldier.

Good luck, be careful, and just apply yourself.

You’ll be fine.

Comment by ttula
2007-07-20 08:09:35

hi! i’m glad you’re doing okay, and very sorry we couldn’t make it to your graduation, i really wanted to be there… i wrote you a letter, but i don’t know if it got there in time, so i hope it gets forwarded or something- can you give me your new address so i can write to you there? *hugs*!


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