Sunday, August 01, 2004

For Birdie...

(Taken from the Ranger School Homepage)
3. SCOPE

The Ranger course is 61 days in length with an average of 19.6 hours of training each day, seven days a week. It is divided into THREE phases of training with each phase being conducted at a different geographical location. The first (Benning Phase), 20 days in length, is conducted by the 4th Battalion, Ranger Training Brigade (RTB) at Fort Benning, Georgia. the second (Mountain Phase), 21 days in length, is conducted by the 5th Battalion, RTB at Camp Frank D. Merrill near Dahlonega, Georgia. The third (Florida Phase), 18 days in length, is conducted by the 6th Battalion, RTB at Camp James E. Rudder at Eglin AFB, Florida. Two days of the course are consumed by travel, maintenance, in/out processing and graduation. Rangers are assigned to one of the three Ranger training companies of the 4th Battalion upon arrival at Fort Benning and are trained by that unit's cadre utilizing small group instruction techniques throughout the phase. Upon rotating through the other phases, the same procedures are followed.

(My own version)

3. SCOPE

The coveted Drill Sergeant Badge is awarded after a tour of duty 1095 days in length, with an average of 16 hours of training each day. The tour is never shorter, sometimes longer depending on what time of day you signed in, who you pissed off during your stay, whether some clerk processing your paperwork had a hot date that Friday, etc.

It is divided into three phases of attitude, with each phase being ridiculed by fellow Drill Sergeants in the next consecutive phase. The first phase is comprised of feelings of toughness, meanness, orneriness, coolness, and general badassiness. This phase ends approximately three days after Drill Sergeant School. The second phase is characterized by feelings of resignation, professionalism, duty, perseverance, pride and general fatigue. This phase lasts anywhere from 30 to 365 days depending on coworkers, privates, and how kick-ass your spouse is. The third phase is comprised largely of pain and hopelessness. It’s called "the trail" for a reason. The motherfricker never ends. The light at the end of the tunnel is, in actuality, the red beacon of your much-abused alarm clock… going off at 0330 for the twentieth day in a row. The tunnel was part of the dream you crammed in between falling sleep with a plate of food on your lap at 2300, your spouse driving you up the stairs like a bewildered, ornery steer at 0100, and waking up at 0145 for a drink. You will wake up, regardless of how tired you are, because after forcing water down your soldiers throats all day, you came home as dehydrated as a piece of jerky on a plate full of talcum powder. There is no tunnel. There is no light. There are only the Privates and the knowledge that if you fail, they will go into combat unprepared. So roll the F* out of bed, take your 10 minute shower, scrape the stubble from your sunburned face, and search fruitlessly for the biggest coffee cup you can find before finally settling for two regular size (16 oz) travel mugs. (No joke, I actually do this)

Two days of the tour of duty will be spent preparing your records for the SFC board. This will consist of falling asleep in the waiting room at Records (with no shame whatsoever) for about three hours, and then scribbling your signature at the bottom of an indecipherable bunch of nonsense that some civilian worker assures you is correct. Then you will take your sorry ass out to the range and train privates for another 12 hours. The next day will be spent frantically trying to figure out where you dropped all the pieces of your Class A uniform after the last Graduation ceremony, and rushing to TASC to take your DA Photo. When you arrive you will remember the three random pieces you forgot and borrow them from some other bleary eyed Drill Sergeant in the same boat as you. Then you will take your sorry ass to the range to spend the next 14 hours training Joe.

Drill Sergeants will be assigned to a BCT unit upon graduation from Drill Sergeant School, with the assurance that after 1-2 years they can apply for one of the less hellish jobs at FTC (fat camp), G/1-28 (transitional and motivational unit), Drill Sergeant School, or BRM team. Then, once you have signed in, you will discover that the newest policy assigns the class that graduates after you to all the easy jobs without ever spending a day in BCT, and BRM team ceased to exist several years ago.

The coup de grace will be administered to your pride when you start seeing PFCs that you trained a year earlier, proudly wearing their combat patches as they wave you through the gate to begin Groundhog Day all over again.

;)

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