Alpine Summit

Sunday, September 17, 2006


So I haven't been keeping up with this as much as I had hoped. Last week we had our first time in the field. We did land navigation ("land nav" for short) where we spent 3 days straight walking MANY kilometers looking for markers in the woods to punch our papers. Land nav can be fun, but when you do THAT much walking and THAT much of the same thing in the kind of heat and rain we were in, it gets kind of tiresome. I guess I don't have to mention what kind of motivation that was for me to get a first time "go" on the land nav test on Thursday... which I did.

The test was broken down into two parts: daytime and night time. During my daytime test, my first point was supposed to be at an azimuth of 190 degrees for about 300 meters. For the life of me, I couldn't find the stupid thing and spent an hour of the four they gave us to find it. Considering that our minimum pass score was 5 points out of 9 given, you can imagine I got pretty frustrated. So, I gave up on it and decided to move on to the next one which was no easy task having already embarked in the woods not knowing my exact location. Once I made it to my second point, I was a lot happier because the road I was on took me to 6 more points before I headed for the finish line. I made it in with about 30 minutes to spare. For the night time test, my points were fairly easy to find and I found 2 out of 5 (the minimum passing score) within the first half hour of the 3 hour test. The rest of my time was spent walking the road back to camp where we had begun that morning. I finished with one hour to spare. There are a lot of techniques to use in land nav to find your points, and as much as it sucks walking around in the woods until your feet are about to fall off, it was good for helping me find my own technique. Not everybody got first time go's, and some even failed the retest on Saturday. Being able to relax this weekend was a well-earned reward for me after putting a lot of hard work in "at the office."

One of the days we were out in the field, it rained like a monsoon and I was absolutely soaked. Luckily the weather was pretty warm but my scorecard almost turned into mush when I pulled it out to get punched at my points. Ugh.

Anyway next week is more class stuff, though we'll be outside for most of it, to get ready for our second field trip: FLX 1. This week is going to be even busier than the last for me because they have made me squad leader AND I will be leading the PT session on Wednesday... which is consequently the day we have our 7-mile ruck march scheduled. It might get rescheduled, but I'm prepared for it if it is. We should get another pass next weekend which will be nice and Sunday we'll prep for the field and Monday will be the beginning of our second field exercise. I'll try to keep my hygene up this time. I'm really happy this time in the field was not like BCT where they ran us ragged and made us do "stand to" in the mornings and be absolutely silent all day. These are a tad more enjoyable.

As for the title for this post, we say that in one of our cadences when we are marching. The caller will go "1,2,3,4" and we respond with "ooh ah CHARLIE" (I'm in Charlie company). The caller goes "1,2,3,4" again and we respond with "ooooohOCS!" It's really bothersome and got old a LOOONG time ago. Oh well. "Just 10 more weeks and I'll be through!"

That brings me to how much time has been flying here! In BCT, time practically stood still and I often felt as if I would never finish. Here, graduation seems just around the corner a lot more. I think the fact that they give us more liberties, treat us with quite a deal bit more respect, and we have more avenues to communicate to loved ones than BCT, does a big difference with regard to how fast the time goes here.

For now, things are looking way up, and after our FLX 1, we should have our second 4-day weekend! As much as I enjoy it here and for all its perks and up-shots, I'm still homesick a lot and rarely is my mind far from home. I'm looking forward to when I will get to see all my family in November and get that bar pinned on.