I am an American Soldier.
I am a warrior and a member of a team.
I serve the people of the United States, and live the Army Values.
I will always place the mission first.
I will never accept defeat.
I will never quit.
I will never leave a fallen comrade.
I am disciplined, physically and mentally tough, trained and proficient in my warrior tasks and drills.
I always maintain my arms, my equipment and myself.
I am an expert and I am a professional.
I stand ready to deploy, engage, and destroy, the enemies of the United States of America in close combat.
I am a guardian of freedom and the American way of life.
I am an American Soldier.
About 24 weeks ago I went head first into rigorous training to become an American Soldier for the United States Army. I wouldn’t say I went in blind, because I’ve had plenty of friends go into the Army and graduate BCT (Basic Combat Training) before I left. So naturally I had asked questions and got a brief idea of what to expect. On top of that I had already attended a few weekend military drills so I was able to talk to other solders there as well.
For the most part it WAS exactly what I expected. Drill Sergeants in your face yelling at you and cursing up a storm. In a way it’s kind of like the movies, low crawling in the mud in the rain, having to change from OCP’s into P.T. uniform in 5 minutes, eating a full meal in 5 minutes. All of that stuff happened to me within the first three weeks.
Then on week three we had the gas chamber (which will be a separate blog post), repelling down a 40 ft wall and the pecs course.
Basic training was one long round of firing weapons and getting yelled at for the most part. Once you start doing rifle marksmen you don’t do anything else, your training is focusing on battle drills and qualifying with your rifle.
On week five we qualified in grenades. Let me tell you Rambo lied to me when he made me think that I could pull the pin with my teeth in a simple yank. Grenades was just as hard of a task as some of the other things we did. Pulling the pin out of a grenade is incredibly hard, especially in 30 degree weather where I couldn’t feel my hands. I had to be put into a special group of people who had trouble pulling the pin so they could make sure that we were safe when pulling the real thing.
In January I graduated basic training and felt a mixture of emotions between relief and pride. I finally did it! For my graduation my family came to visit. It was fun being able to show my siblings around the military base in Missouri. Unfortunately, we only had two days together so time went by quick. Then I was off for job training in Virginia.