Saturday, April 03, 2004

A practical question about shipping out…

Question:"Now a (maybe) appropriate topic for the beginning of a new training cycle.

Various people have said that we shouldn't pack anything in the packing list because we have to buy it all again at the PX anyways, yet other people have said the opposite. So to settle this once and for all, should we or should we not bring anything??"

There are several places you can work as a Drill Sergeant here on post. The most common places are either as a BCT (Basic Combat Training) Drill or as an AIT(Advanced Individual Training) Drill. Then there are places like 120th AG (Reception), PTRP (Physical Therapy/Recovery), FTC (Fitness Training Company aka Fat Camp), G/1-28 (Motivational Unit aka Last Chance), and the Drill Sergeant School. I work as a BCT Drill Sergeant, so I don’t know much about the other units.

When you arrive at Fort Jackson, or wherever you go for Basic, you will report to the Reception Battalion. Here this is called 120th AG. This is where you will do all your in-processing and receive your initial issue of clothing. This is also where you will turn in all your cigarettes, booze, candy, soda, magazines, or whatever contraband you have to the Amnesty Box… never to be seen again. If you have CD players, books, etc…you will put that stuff in your personal bag to be locked up until you graduate.

DO NOT bring a ton of crap with you. You won’t use it or even see it until you leave, and it only creates a headache for you and your Drill Sergeant and provides thieves with an opportunity. I would recommend you only bring maybe a few CDs and a player, and maybe a book for the flight. Bring enough civilian clothes to get you on post and that’s IT (the list says 3 day supply…pack light but do what it says). I shouldn’t even tell you this because one of the more hilarious things we see on pickup day is the recruit who brought 150 lbs of crap lugging it back and forth across the battalion area. You will not set it on the ground. I say again… you WILL NOT set ANY of your belongings on the ground. Ever. You will carry them around until we allow you to set it down for shakedown. Take that however you want lol.

At Ft Jackson, you don’t need to go buy a $100 pair of running shoes before you get here. They will determine your foot type and point to a pair of shoes…and you will buy them. Any unauthorized shoes you brought with you will go in your personal bag for nine weeks.

Do not bring any products that contain alcohol. DO NOT bring ANY products that contain ANY alcohol. This means hairspray, gel, mouthwash, aftershave or anything else. If you bring them they go in your personal bag…you know the deal. This is partially because they are flammable and partially because there are some tragically stupid people out there who will drink anything when desperate. The PX stocks alcohol free items that you can use.

Most importantly, bring any and all paperwork that you may need for ANY reason. If you have kids, bring copies of their birth certificates, social security numbers etc. If you’re married bring a copy of the marriage license. If you are entering the army with some rank for any reason, bring any and all documentation for it. Bring a checkbook and a Visa bank card, if possible. You will need access to your money so you can buy supplies and pay bills if necessary. The best way is to have your husband or parents (if you can trust them lol) take care of that stuff until you’re done. Whatever you do, have a plan. Don’t let problems back home build up and become a distraction for you during training. It will distract your Drill Sergeant as well, and take time away from other Privates who need it. And it will piss them (us) off…you don’t want that. We will make sure you get taken care of, but it might not be pleasant once you draw attention to yourself a few times. Some people will tell you the best thing to do is not to get noticed at all. That’s not exactly true. The best thing is for you to not get noticed for anything NEGATIVE at all. That alone WILL get you noticed, because it is unusual. If we go a few days or a week, and suddenly realize that we haven’t had to correct you for anything in a while, you will be noticed…but you might not realize it for a while. You should get noticed for things like always being the first to move when we say move. You will get noticed for things like staying locked up at the position of attention FROM DAY ONE, while the other idiots are running their pieholes. This is good.

Basically, bring exactly what the list says, and not much more. Without a doubt, you will regret it if you bring extra stuff. Do exactly what you’re told, when you’re told and you will do fine.

A little more on the same subject...

I was planning on doing some more serious writing today, but it just didn't happen. I have been wrapped up in training soldiers for the past year so I have let a lot of stuff go as far as maintenance on the house and taking care of business (like filing my FREAKIN taxes). I have to get all this crap done before we pick up soldiers next week, so instead of writing more on cycle break, I've actually been writing less....weird.

Let me clarify a few things about my last post... I don't have anything against illegals except for the simple fact that they broke the law to come here. They gotta do what they gotta do... but we gotta do what we gotta do too. I am sure they are simply looking for a better life for their family, but they cannot expect to enter the country illegally and then be rewarded for it with automatic citizenship.

As far as them being brought here by their parents, well...I understand that it isn't their fault. On the other hand, if my parents had moved to Alaska, I would still be cold. If my parents had moved to France, I would still be surrounded by ungrateful wretched haughty simpletons. Life is what it is. You have to follow the damn rules. They can return to their homeland and apply for citizenship legally, seek some alternate legal recourse,or continue to live as illegals until they are caught.

As stated in one of the comments, to arbitrarily grant citizenship to illegals simply because they completed the free education (that they didn't pay for like the rest of our citizens) is a grievous insult to LEGAL immigrants who made the extraordinary effort to abide by the laws of the country they wish to reside in.

And by the way, just so you know, anyone who ever calls me a racist will get his ass kicked. (well, if they said it in person anyway) I can't think of an ethnic group that I don't have in my family somewhere. Ok..wait... I don't have any Arab or Jewish members of my family but that's beside the point lol.

And what really got me fired up wasn't immigration policies, it was the chanting idiots outside Rove's house. Those people WERE NOT illegal aliens. They were a gaggle of liberal muckrakers who (I guess) were trying to be original and come up with something new to scream and yell about. The crowd was made up mostly of middle class looking Black and White people. And to top it all off, they BUSSED IN SCHOOLKIDS to walk around holding up signs. I guess they couldn't find enough adults who were cretinous enough to mob a private residence, so they filled up a couple of schoolbusses with middle school kids.

The topic of illegal immigration as a whole is too large and complex for me to address between now and the time the pizza arrives. It is a subject worthy of a better post than I can whip up right now, so it's going on the back burner with the rest of the stuff until I feel more motivated. It's an interesting subject though and got a bigger discussion than I expected.

Anyway... enough for now...


Thursday, April 01, 2004

Release the hounds...

I planned to write something a little longer about this lunacy…

But when you boil it down to how I really feel about it, it reads like this…

Release the hounds!

We are looking at the house of a citizen who has devoted most of his adult life to the service of this country. Whether you agree with his politics or not, to maliciously and purposely gather on his front step is criminal. These jackasses are reportedly gathering to promote legislation that would automatically grant citizenship to ILLEGAL ALIENS who graduate from a US high school. It’s not enough that we provide them with a free public education to reward their illegal entry to the United States. The fact that they meet the rigorous standards of a public high school means they should be granted legal status.

Apparently Mr. Rove agreed to meet them in his garage and then chastised them for scaring his children. I cannot imagine why he showed them this courtesy. They should be arrested. An unruly mob scaring my children seems like a good argument in favor of: A) A well stocked kennel of German Shepherds B) My own Professional strength Fire Hose or C) A case of CS grenades by the coat rack.

Until today I knew nothing about this proposed legislation and honestly couldn’t care less in light of more important issues. After seeing this I hope it goes down in flames. If they can be granted citizenship when they graduate high school, we can certainly locate them before they graduate and deport their sorry asses back where they came from. I am one hundred percent in favor of LEGAL immigration, but if you break the law to get here…what are the chances you will respect the law once you reside here.

Wednesday, March 31, 2004


Check this link out...

I think most of us knew this already...but the presentation kicks ass.

thanks to lakerace for the link.

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

There and Back Again...

Well… I’m back from Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. I can understand why people go there, but I really prefer somewhere less commercialized. Don’t get me wrong, it is a great place to take the family. It has just enough of everything to accommodate everyone in the family. Fishing and hiking, theme parks and shows, tons of wildlife, and plenty of shopping for mom. If anyone is thinking about going, it is well worth it. If you don’t like to camp you can do what we did the first time we went and rent a REALLY nice cabin for a few nights. Price changes weekly, and sometimes daily, according to demand, so if you don’t go at one of the peak times it can be pretty affordable. The cabins are amazingly nice, with hot tubs and saunas, pool tables, washers and dryers, basically everything but food.

But this time we were meeting my parents, so we stayed in their kickass RV. They have one of the fifth wheel types with the expanding sides and full kitchen and everything. Really roughing it if you know what I mean. I remember camping as a kid with a tent and some lawn chairs, cooking “hobo stew” in tin cans lol. Hell, I didn’t know the difference. It was every bit as fun, if not more so. My family still camps in a tent every once in a while, but when part of your job description is sleeping on the ground under the stars it loses some, but only some, of it’s charm.

Today was my daughters fifth birthday. How the heck did that happen? Five years?!? We had a party for her, and it went off with only one hitch. Thanks to MY Grandma, there is now photographic evidence in existence of me wearing a Barbie party hat. I now understand the temptation my buddies must feel sometimes over in Iraq to grab some reporter’s camera and smash it with a rock. Fortunately I was able to resist the evil urge, but now I have to explain to Grandma what OPSEC means. We can’t have any photos of Drill Sergeants in pointy pink hats floating around. It could have a catastrophic effect on recruitment efforts.

Anyway, if I don’t write anything else for a couple of days, I’m either fishing or desperately trying to get my golf game back out of the cellar.