Lioness' Literatim

Letter for letter, the thoughts in my head.

BCT Journal

Private First Class

“Lioness”

BCT Journal

Fort Jackson, SC

September – December 2010

Delta Company 1-61, 2nd platoon

“COBRA KAI”

September 27

Day 1

I’ve officially volunteered myself for hell. Reception wasn’t too bad – just a whole lot of hurry up and wait. Then this morning…wake up at 0330. Turn in linens. Chow at 0415. Finish cleaning the barracks, then go sit with your duffle bag until the bus comes to get you. It was drizzling. By 0800 we were lining up to get on the buses. By 0830 the buses were there and we were beginning to load up. That’s when things really started to get real and you could see peoples’ faces go from calm to ‘oh shit, this is really happening.’ 0908: the buses pull up outside of Delta company barracks and you hear “GET OFF MY BUS!” echoing through the air. We all stumbled off the bus trying to get our bearings (impossible, btw). A word of caution, don’t try to get your bearings when you’re being swarmed by hats. It doesn’t go over well. I really don’t remember most of the day after that. At one point we did inventory on our gear and got to call home for two minutes. I think I freaked mom out with that call because I don’t think she understood most of what I said, and I had to end it too quickly. But now I’m dead tired so I’m going to try to get some sleep. Something tells me that I’m going to need it. Oh, we got our M16’s today too. We have to take them everywhere with us. We even sleep with them right by our heads.

September 28

Day 2

So today was filled with nothing but briefings. I don’t even remember half of what I heard today. All I know is that there were some people that fell asleep and had to go visit the ‘lion’s den’ (aka, DS chill point). I was too scared to even blink, I was that tired. Those hats are scary! One minute they’re joking and laughing and acting like real people with the other DS’s, and a second later they’re smoking the piss out of some poor soul for sneezing in the middle of a briefing. It’s definitely intense. We spent most of the day in briefings and still managed to get smoked, as a platoon, at least ten times today. Our female DS, DS Hammond – she doesn’t take ANY crap from anyone. And DS Simmons is kind of frightening too. I think we have three DS, but honestly, at this point, I can’t say anything for sure. But again, very tired and I have to get up for fireguard in a few hours.

September 29

Day 3

We did the obstacle course today. It was fun, but it felt kind of strange to be working together so closely as a team with 29 people that I just met and barely know anything about. But it was fun and we all completed it. Well, the portion that we did anyway. We could only do about half of the obstacles because it’s been raining since Monday and most of the obstacles were deemed too dangerous under the circumstances. Tomorrow we’re supposed to be doing Victory Tower (rappelling). Exciting and terrifying. But let me break down my platoon a little bit now that I understand things a little better. We are Delta company (Dragons), 2nd platoon (Cobra Kai). We have four drill sergeants: DS Simmons (PLT SGT), DS Gadson, DS Diaz, and DS Hammond (female DS). There are 30 soldiers – 21 male, 9 female. Heath, the other guy from my recruiting station, ended up in the same platoon as me. We are split up into “battle buddy” teams,” aka, a pair of soldiers that are supposed to be basically attached at the hip. Because of the odd numbers though, there is a team of three males and a team of three females. I’m part of the three female group. My battle buddies are Manuel and Martin. They seem pretty cool. Actually, all the females seem pretty decent from what I can tell so far. And from performances at the obstacle course today, the males might not be bad either. But I guess I’ll find out. Anyway, Victory Tower tomorrow. I’m kind of excited, but kind of dreading it too. I’m not sure that I want the DS’s to know this early in the cycle that I’m terrified of heights. Not to mention that my mind is going to be in Georgia all day tomorrow. One of the biggest days of Logan’s life, and I’m gonna miss it. His 20th birthday, and his BCT graduation. Today was his family day. If I hadn’t signed myself up for this shit, I would have seen him today. I hope Barbara hurries up with sending me some pictures as soon as she gets my address! I miss him so much. Christmas can’t get here fast enough. Anyway, fireguard in a few hours.

September 30

Day 4

Logan graduated basic today, and it was his birthday. It kills me that I wasn’t there to celebrate with him and that instead I was hanging over the edge of a 50 ft wall trying not to scream. But, I discovered that DS Simmons is actually pretty cool. He was in charge of the rappel lane that I was in, and he saw how nervous/scared/anxious I was, and spent nearly ten full minutes talking about random shit to try to calm me down before he let me over the edge. Then he talked to me the entire way down the tower too. So that was pretty cool. I have bruises all over my body from today though. They’re only just starting to show, which means they’ll be really ugly tomorrow. But seriously, I have one bruise in the shape of a Swiss seat (that’s how tight it was), plus my hands are raw and bruised from gripping and climbing all day, plus a really nasty one going from my sternum to my groin from the commando crawl (which was really fun). And I have a collection of bruises from the obstacle course yesterday, so I’m just covered with bruises. And oh my gosh I’m so sore! The worst part about that is that we’ve hardly done anything! If this is what “smoking” is, then it’s easier than I expected. Not easy by any means, but I was expecting so much worse. Had MRE’s for lunch today! I got a fudge brownie and it was awesome! Anyway, fireguard shift is almost over so I’ve got to go get my count. Not to mention that you’re not technically supposed to be writing on guard…

October 1

Day 5

CLS Class

Spent all day in CLS class. That’s ‘Combat Life Saving.’ If I pass the test tomorrow and the field eval in a few weeks, I’ll be certified to apply a tourniquet, bandage minor-moderate injuries, and a bunch of other fun stuff in a combat situation. People apparently pay a lot of money to learn some of this stuff. Not much else to say so I’m gonna get to bed.

October 2

Day 6

PT assessment, CLS test

We did a 1-1-1 PT assessment this morning. 14 push-ups (yikes), 24 sit-ups (yikes again), and a 9:38 mile (still yikes). Definitely not my best. I passed the CLS test (only missed one question). I’m looking forward to church tomorrow. It’s been a rough first week and I’m in need of some Jesus loving. Definitely need to start doing push-ups and sit-ups before bed every night too. I know I can do better than that. I’m just so tired and practically at muscle failure already. Got to get to bed so I can get a little bit of sleep before fireguard.

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