Mailed blog – written by Julian
18 Jan 11
For the first time, we were allowed to sound off with our platoon motto today. Our company is the “Assassins” and our platoon is the “Death Dealers.” We were all so pumped after saying that. In true Julian form, I got a little choked up. It was a big moment for us.
Today was full of big moments. Our day started at 0545 and ended at 2145. We were outside all day, ate all three meals out in the field, and marched for about 7 miles with about 40-50 pounds of gear on.
First we marched to the gas chamber where we learned to trust our chemical gear. It was insane. You walk in, they have you break the seal, say your name, social security number, and platoon. About every other word came out. Man, that stuff chokes you out. Then we put the mask back on and had to clear it out and regain normal breathing. That’s was a challenge. But I stayed calm and did what we were trained to do. Then night before we left the chamber we had to completely take off the mask and recite the Soldiers Creed. Again, about every other word came out. As we left my eyes were tearing and my nose was just running. Did my first “farmer blow” out in the field to clear that stuff out. I handled it pretty well. It didn’t affect me as much as others. Some people went absolutely nuts. They caught it all on video, so you can see it when I graduate.
After that we went and did day corregidor. Which is Army speak for land navigation. My team, which consisted of three 18-19 year olds that say “dude” a lot and a 37-year-old mom from Kentucky, get 3 out of 5.
Then for some reason we marched ALL the way back, only to eat dinner outside and have 30 minutes of class time. After dinner we marched back for night corregidor. Not gonna lie, that made me more nervous than the gas chamber. We had to go in the woods with just a compass and map, only using our flashlights to check the map. It was so dark. I was the team leader and therefore in charge of the compass and sending us in the right direction. I know, scary, right? 🙂 At first we were running around like chickens, but after we got our bearings we were unstoppable. We got all 5 of 5 points right! Well, I don’t know how to break it to you all, so I just have to say it. I died out there. One of the drill sergeants snuck up behind me and put his hand around my mouth and slit my throat….with his finger. Non of my battle buddies had my back! We’ve got a lot to learn and are constantly bonding every day.
Okay, another big day tomorrow. Yeah, we were supposed to stay out all night tonight, but they keep changing things on us, so that’s tomorrow. Just like they always tell us each march is 7 miles long, when it’s more like 1.5 miles each leg. It’s all a game, and tomorrow I’m gonna bring it!
P.S. Check Facebook for the Ft. Jackson 3/34 INF REG page. I guess they update it about us frequently.