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Old 07-20-2008, 08:24   #1
Z1232K
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Your boot camp experience.

What was it like for you during bootcamp?
Did you go in nervous or headstrong?
How long did it take for them to break you down?

Feel free to give as many details as you like, I would really like to hear them.

I just got a call from my brother down in Fort Knox and.....
.....well, it's the first time that I've heard from him since he left 5 or 6 weeks ago. I expected him to be his casual self when I answered the phone, but...
...I didn't even recognize his voice. To, say the least he was VERY upset.
I haven't heard him like that since he was a kid. It was very hard to understand him but all I got out of the less than 2 minute conversation was that,"I miss you guys", "It's really hard", and "I want to see you guys on family day"

I'm still in shock because he is usually really strong and it was really hard to hear him upset like he was.
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Old 07-20-2008, 15:13   #2
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I want to Benning in 2001 right after 9-11. Of course you are a little nervous, but is turned out to be alot easier than I expected. I wouldn't say they broke me down per say because I already respected authority and had good values from my parents, so what they were teaching me in values, I already knew. I never felt like I couldn't handle it, it's just one of those things that you have to be patient and learn a much as you can while you are there. If you get your feelings hurt by the Drill Sergeants, then you may run into a problem.

If he's having this tough a time in Basic, how is he going to weather a year or more long tour in the Middle East?

Infantry School was the easiest time I had in the Army.
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Old 07-20-2008, 15:32   #3
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I seriously doubt problems with authority or respect.
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Old 07-20-2008, 15:35   #4
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Went through Knox in 2000, later int eh year, so I experienced the hot, humid weather, to the brutal cold out there. I was 17 yrs old, so it was alot to experience for me. It took them two weeks to have me at muscle failure and then build me back up to a Soldier. Everything else fell into place.

BCT graduation was 10x more important to me than HS graduation IMO.

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Old 07-20-2008, 15:39   #5
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Did he just get out of High School? Has he never been away from home before, maybe that has something to do with it?
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Old 07-20-2008, 15:39   #6
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I kept my head down and only got singled out by the Drill Sergeants a few times. I didn't particularly enjoy it, but I didn't think it was too bad either. It was really nice to see my folks on family day, and I was very happy when it was over.

I found that the younger guys (18-20) generally had a lot of problems with the mind games, whereas the older soldiers (30+) had a lot of problems with the physical stuff. Guys that hadn't been away from home much also had a lot of homesickness problems.

We had one phone call within 24 hours, then our second phonecall was 6 weeks later. My cousin's going through right now, and they got phone calls all the way through. After about 6 weeks, they got their cellphones back...
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Old 07-20-2008, 15:46   #7
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Quote:
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After about 6 weeks, they got their cellphones back...
You have to be ****ting me!
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Old 07-20-2008, 15:49   #8
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He's been out of H.S. a year or two.

Never really been away from home, though.

I think it may be a combination of the mindgames/homesickness.
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Old 07-20-2008, 16:33   #9
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Cellphones in basic, what's next? I heard rumors about that when I was in but you know what they say about rumors. I got a phone call at week one and at week 12.

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What was it like for you during bootcamp?
Did you go in nervous or headstrong?
How long did it take for them to break you down?
I went through OSUT at Ft Benning in 2005 and it wasn't hard, by my standards. I think basic is entirely to easy, even worse now I'm told, for what we were going to be facing. I went into it with enough common sense to avoid being singled out. I never thought I was broken down, I had no problem being told what to do. I will agree with what others said if he's having trouble now he's going have a rough time deployed.
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Old 07-21-2008, 02:05   #10
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I went through back in the 80's, and it is tough on everyone, some more than others. the first two weeks, i was convinced i had made a huge mistake. Went and talked to the Battallion Chaplain, told him how bad i wanted out... he said all the usual right things, but said, i hadn't done anything wrong yet, that I was doing all the pt, and all the classwork, and was doing good on all the prerequisites, and to him, I appeared to be doing everything that was being asked of me. He told me to give it two more weeks, and if I still wasn't with it, he would get me out, and back then, they had the power to do just that.
Somewhere in the next two weeks, something clicked, something made sense... It came from a D.I. who was ranger tabbed, and in a spare, kinda off duty moment he said something. He said, " they can kill you, but they can't eat you...". sometime later , I got it. I understood it to mean, look they can dog the hell out of you, and you could of course die, I suppose, by accident or whatnot, but they aren't trying to kill you, to ring up a score, or have some personal vendetta against you, or trying to make you insane...
It's not personal, and they don't get something from you later, or take your money, or turn you into a veggie , because they want to. They try to put everyone through hell there, and see who comes out in one piece, with their mind on straight, so you can make it through the hard times later. those who can't hack it in basic, or ait, or jump school, wont be able to make it through other schools like Q course, or ranger school, or SADS, or SEER, BUDS or whatever school they may CHOOSE, and these are not even combat yet. I also realized that i was good , very good, at a few things. That though I was built like a cinder block, I could actually run all day, and run all night, just like the song says, that i was a good shot, once the A2 rifles came on line, firing expert was a breeze, that I could land navigate day or night easy, that I had great night vision; right now , your bro doesn't realize it, but he thinks everyting is crazy, and he sees no rhyme or reason, and that he doesn't know what the hell he is doing. Very soon, things are going to start making sense to him, and that he is not just doing what he is told, and he may find he is actually good at a few things.
Once I realized that, i really became a crazy, mad dog, super soldier type, very loud, very squared away, could totally take their punishment, and keep asking for more. I know more than a couple of times, when they were counting off pushups, and our whole platoon would keep shouting back "zero, zero, zero" they realized that we were no longer scared, crapful in the pants kids, and now they could get down to the business of teaching us how to be fighters, and not be scared as hell, and do the things that would normally scare the hell out of a civilian, and we would just follow the steps instinctively, go through the diff alternatives and plan b's and c's , to keep on with the mission, and not have the time until afterwards , to think, to be pensive, to be doubtful if we could do something, if we would be too scared.
It was definitely something that i resolved, in my own head, it made perfect sense, I became fearless of them, and I new could finish no probs, unless I got hurt or something, or some kinda accident, or got killed somehow. And even these things mentally didn't bother me anymore, I just resolved that they could happen, but that it would be because they weren't trying to do it to me, hince the ' they can kill you , but they can't eat you', statement made perfect sense. I knew at that point, I would be fine, and have no probs finishing basic, AIT, jump school, whatever they threw at me. Either i would make it all the way, or by some strange turn of events, or accidents, i wouldn't, and those wouldn't be under my control anyway.
The amount of self responsibility he is taking on right now, plus the huge peer responsibility for others he has to help, plus the lack of sleep, the totally diff environment, and the homesickness, is just wracking with him right now. i say, once he crosses the 8 week area, if he is going through all his classes, and pt and grades and evaluations okay, then he will come out the other side just fine.

Oh yeah, cell phones? are you kidding me... human contact was virtually forbidden when I was in, first phone call came after basic, 8 weeks.
I am not sure, but I think first off post tour came after we totally finished basic and had only 1 or two weeks left of AIT, and that was for just the weekend.

Last edited by rangerruck; 07-21-2008 at 02:35..
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Old 07-21-2008, 09:31   #11
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Rangerruck, good post.
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Old 07-21-2008, 09:36   #12
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Thanks for that, i was gonan include a couple of personal stories, about how back then, the d.i.'s could get right in your face, how they could curse at you, use any amount of racist names, and as long as they didn't make a fist, they could put their hands on you. How blanket parties were still done, how once in a while, if some dude had a real prob with a d.i., sometime in the future, you could get a chance to resolve this PRIVATELY, and a few other choice things...
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Old 07-21-2008, 14:29   #13
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I have to say, few people are able to earn my respect so quickly as those who are decent enough to take their time to kindly answer a question that may seem unwarranted or ridiculous to most. There are a few GT users who are quick to belittle, ridicule, or flame any user they may judge not to have the same common knowledge or expertise in a given area as themselves. Biscuitsjam and Rangerruck, thanks to both of you for your humble anwers to the questions that I've posted recently on this forum.

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Old 07-21-2008, 15:27   #14
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I went through OSUT at Ft. Knox. We got a phonecall from reception when we first arrived, then 1 call per weekend starting after week 8. I went through a little older than most, but younger than a few, and had already been a LEO, so the mind games didn't bother me at all, I just pushed through it. My experience was a bit different than most, my DSes singled me out from the start and I was basically their go between from the platoon. We still had the PG and Bookman, but they changed quite frequently. I helped the DS with training scheduling, range scheduling, etc. (basically I was their *****) I got much less sleep than the rest and very little free time, but the benefits of actually being pretty friendly (perish the thought) with the DSes far outweighed that. I still keep pretty regular contact with them....



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Old 07-21-2008, 15:28   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rangerruck View Post
Thanks for that, i was gonan include a couple of personal stories, about how back then, the d.i.'s could get right in your face, how they could curse at you, use any amount of racist names, and as long as they didn't make a fist, they could put their hands on you. How blanket parties were still done, how once in a while, if some dude had a real prob with a d.i., sometime in the future, you could get a chance to resolve this PRIVATELY, and a few other choice things...
Not much of that changed at Ft Knox....If you really ****ed up or had a serious issue with a DS (or them you) then you and the DS would have a laundry room party at the end of the day....Door closed....All the washers and dryers were turned on...Couple minutes later door opened and both would come out, sometimes one bleeding, sometimes both, sometimes neither...





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There's one less tornado in Texas, a saddle is empty tonight...There's one hell of a cowboy in heaven, at the big rodeo in the sky. RIP LCpl Blake Wafford, Spc. Devon Gibbons, PFC Dean Bright, SSg Brian Craig. In the field we had a code of honor: you watch my back, I watch yours. Back here there's NOTHING.
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Old 07-21-2008, 17:26   #16
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thank you for that, It is humbly received I can assure you, to me anyone who joins up these days, knowing full well where they are going, are more hardcore than I ever was, no matter that i served and did some cool stuff, overseas and such, under the great Renaldus Magnus, and Bush 41. I was soft and scared when I went in, though I did try and pt up, but that doesn't matter ; however good a shape you are when you go in, they will still dog you out.
My best friend at the time went in with me. He was, far and away, the most inshape dude you would ever meet, he had a 28 inch waist, and could do over 2000 situps in 2 hrs, non stop. Yet he still dropped out before 6 weeks. Why? He was a momma's boy, and an only child, and mentally he could not hack it, nor could he stand that much authority over him.

To Deadday; good to hear from another old school , Texas homie...
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Old 07-21-2008, 17:31   #17
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boot camp
osut at benning wasn't horrible, jump school was gravy compared except for that whole jumping part, time at campbell was good for the most part, BUT jfk was a different story, and to top it all off aint nuthin compares to the real thing.
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Old 07-21-2008, 22:04   #18
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".... except for that whole jumping part..." funny.
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Old 07-21-2008, 22:44   #19
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Quote:
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thank you for that, It is humbly received I can assure you, to me anyone who joins up these days, knowing full well where they are going, are more hardcore than I ever was, no matter that i served and did some cool stuff, overseas and such, under the great Renaldus Magnus, and Bush 41. I was soft and scared when I went in, though I did try and pt up, but that doesn't matter ; however good a shape you are when you go in, they will still dog you out.
My best friend at the time went in with me. He was, far and away, the most inshape dude you would ever meet, he had a 28 inch waist, and could do over 2000 situps in 2 hrs, non stop. Yet he still dropped out before 6 weeks. Why? He was a momma's boy, and an only child, and mentally he could not hack it, nor could he stand that much authority over him.

To Deadday; good to hear from another old school , Texas homie...

Oh, I'm new school Army, I've only got 4ish years in....But they don't call it the School of Hard Knox for nothing....Of course it's highly dependent on which training unit you go to (I know, I know, EVERYONE says theirs was the toughest, yada yada, last hard core class yada yada...)...If you wind up with one of the Armor units (1/81 or 2/81) you are going to wind up with a lot more of the new school techy heavy Cav training...If you wind up with one of the Cav unit (5/16 6/16...drawing a blank, can't remember the rest) then you get a lot of the old school Drills (we had a freakin Vietnam vet DS back when they were 11D Air Scouts or whatever the hell they called them..back when door-gunner was actually an MOS) and you get the older attitude, the pre-Bradley training, etc. etc...



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There's one less tornado in Texas, a saddle is empty tonight...There's one hell of a cowboy in heaven, at the big rodeo in the sky. RIP LCpl Blake Wafford, Spc. Devon Gibbons, PFC Dean Bright, SSg Brian Craig. In the field we had a code of honor: you watch my back, I watch yours. Back here there's NOTHING.
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Old 07-24-2008, 11:54   #20
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Don't worry too much about your brother. The mission in basic is supposed to tear a person down so that they can be rebuilt the way the Army wants and needs them. I went through Benning in 1985 and was completely scared to death. This was in spite of being an Army brat and stepson to a career 11B with 2 tours in Vietnam under his belt. I ran like crazy and PT'd myself to death before I went in and they still smoked me like a cheap cigar. I used to repeat to myself "I'm invisible, I'm invisible, I'm invisible...." in the hopes that it may work when drill sergeants were singling people out.

The worst was when a very large drill sergeant told me that he was going to stick his boot so far up my a@@ that my breath would smell like Kiwi for weeks - and I believed him.

Your brother will be fine. I'd bet money on it.
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