Well, it's been almost 2 years now and I still haven't left Basic Training with my Military Monday nonsense (if you want to catch up, there's like 13 with the label of Military Monday). Hell, I only spent 5 years total in the Army! I promise I'll wrap up BT soon and move on to the next phase of my short military career. There's about 2 or three more posts I want to write out about BT and then... done. Theoretically. Y'all know how I am about making sweeping statements that rarely come to fruition.
As the name implies, Basic Training is all about training new recruits about Basic Army skills. While most of this training takes place outside, some of it takes place in a classroom. Learning to read a map, learning the rules and regulations in the Army (that was a fun one - riiiiight), memorizing a lot of the Army Manual (I still have mine somewhere!), stuff like that. It's a nice break from the outside stuff but it's all deadly boring.
Here's a pic of me (in my lovely Army glasses) in our classroom next to my friend Amy and we are learning to read maps...
If you look closely you'll see that I am dead asleep. Can you tell? As I may've mentioned, you don't get a lot of sleep in BT, so you catch it where and when you can. I discovered that I could prop my head up, rest my pencil in my other hand and it looked like I was taking notes but I was actually sleeping rather soundly!
I also found out that while "making my bed", I could lay underneath it, hook my hands in the springs of the cot and it looked like I was tucking in the bedclothes when I was actually napping.
I kept trying to find a way to sleep while walking/marching but never did master that - kept running into trees.
One evening, we were all gathered in the classroom for something and DS McCoy was telling Army stories and then she wanted each of us to take a turn and tell why we joined the Army. We went around the room, telling our stories and when it came time for Ms. Shitty #2 to tell hers, we were laughing so hard we were all in tears.
I don't remember what her story of joining the Army was about but I'll never forget what she told us about her first impressions of our barracks. For some reason, she had got it into her head that after Reception, we were to be bussed out to our barracks (true enough) and when we got there, there was going to be this brass band playing National Anthems and tables with cookies and punch!
We were dying laughing at this. Even DS McCoy was cracking up! She asked Ms. S whatever gave her that idea? Did a recruiter tell her that?? Ms. S said she had no idea where she came up with that but she was convinced it was true. I imagine Shock Treatment was a bit more of a shock to her then to any of us!
After we'd all had a turn telling our story, I asked DS McCoy what her story was. There were gasps and an awkward hushed silence. I looked around like, "What? We told ours!" but everyone seemed stunned I would ask such a personal question to a DS. (I did stuff like that a lot. Probably still do.)
Surprisingly, DS told her story. She said she was rushing for a sorority and one of the things they made her and her friends do was to go to the Army recruiting office and take the get-into-the-Army ASVAB test. She said her friends were smart enough to fail the test on purpose but she was an overachiever (always had been), did her best and got a really high score. She said the recruiter told her with taking the test and getting a high score, she had to join the Army. She didn't know any better (about how much recruiters lie) and so she joined.
So now we are all laughing again. Trying desperately not to, but can't help ourselves. After a minute or two watching our red faces, she says, "It's OK. Y'all can laugh. I laugh about it myself these days. I was young and dumb and didn't know any better." So we all cracked up and she laughed right along with us!
That was one of the best times I had in BT. Telling/listening to those stories and laughing like that.
Still trying to recover the sleep I lost in BT, Ruth!