Sunday, January 18, 2009

Finally Shooting

This is Taylor field, the heart of the U.S. Army Infantry School. This is where we do PT in the mornings and where we have formation to begin just about all of our training. Sure it looks pretty and peaceful now, but don't let the picture fool you, the grass is watered with blood, sweat, and tears.This is Petko Baremov. He is an international student from Bulgaria. He is a very funny , very to the point type of soldier who doesn't mind pulling punches about cultural diversity. He is a constant reminder that the U.S. has very poor Yogurt (which according to Petko, was birthed in Bulgaria)
The nice thing about being outdoors constantly is the occasional amazing view.
It has taken roughly 7 weeks however we have finally began training on what is the core of being an Infantryman; Shooting, Ruck Marching, and Sleeping in the woods. This past week we have done a lot of shooting. We spent a night in the field as we transitioned from the night fire ranges. The temperatures during the early morning eventually went down to the 20's and 10's. Talk about fun!This the obstacle course we did last week. It consists of 15 to 20 obstacles that supposedly "builds confidence"
This is a reflexive fire range. The targets actually move and and require a quick eye to engage.
This is my platoon, 2nd PLT which has a little trouble loading buses.

The best news is that my knee is almost completely healed. During BOLC II I think I stressed my knee on the Land Nav course and over the past few weeks I have managed to rest the legs and recover. Last Thursday we had a 4.5 mile ruck march (which is relatively short) but there were no problems with movement. I am definitely glad to be back in fighting shape!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Back in Business

Well I have to apologize for the delay in posts. The month of December was a mix of chaos, boredom, and holiday festivities.

After the 3 initial weeks of IOBC, we were all given two weeks of block leave to head home and see family. I enjoyed time with my Dad, had a few visits with my sister in Burlington, and enjoyed seeing friends. By far the best portion of the trip was heading down to Wilmington with my old roommate from College, Christian Matthews. We stayed met up with a small crew of friends and celebrated the coming of the new year in style. This is a portion of our crew. From left to right is Christian, Brett, Treat, John with Kevin and Corrie in front.

The break was an excellent time to reset and refocus on training. Now that most of the classwork is over we have finally started to head to the field. Last night we spent the night on the land nav course which was started at 4 oclock this morning. Maybe it is because I like walking in the woods or maybe I am a little nuts, however getting the chance to challenge yourself physically and mentally is a real invigorating experience. You get to see what you really care about when a little stress and perspective is applied.

I think the best part about today was a brief (yes typically boring) by the Deputy Commanding General of Fort Benning, Brigadier Gen. Miles. He did the usual Army schpeal describing where the U.S. Army is strategically and how we should apply ourselves as LTs. However it wasn't until the end that he really struck a chord. He talked about how we should carry ourselves, not the usual "be all you can be", but more about a personal desire to want to lead soldiers. His bottomline is a quote I instantly wrote down,

"Soldiers will not care what you know until they know you care"

What an important reminder as a leader and even as a human being. In the spirit of the new year I have taken a few new years resolutions. I won't name them all for the sake of boring the huge crowd out there, but I have decided to take a new step at being honest, that real honesty with people that lets them know you care. We'll see how it goes.

Hello 2009, Happy Holidays everyone!