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Old 02-20-2006, 20:57   #1
 
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Recent Wall Street Journal Article

Marching Orders
To Keep Recruits,
Boot Camp Gets
A Gentle Revamp
Army Offers More Support,
Sleep, Second Helpings;
Drill Sergeants' Worries
'It Would Look So Much Nicer'
By GREG JAFFE
February 15, 2006; Page A1

FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. -- New recruits used to be welcomed to boot camp here with the "shark attack." For decades, drill sergeants in wide-brim hats would swarm around the fresh-off-the-bus privates, shouting orders. Some rattled recruits would make mistakes. A few would cry.

Today, the Army is opting for a quieter approach. "I told my drill sergeants to stop the nonsense," says Col. Edward Daly, whose basic-training brigade graduates about 11,000 soldiers a year. Last fall, Col. Daly began meeting with all new recruits shortly after they arrive at boot camp to thank them. "We sincerely appreciate the fact that you swore an oath and got on a bus and did it in a time of war," he recently told an incoming class. "That's a big, big deal." He usually is accompanied by two male and two female soldiers, who can answer questions the recruits may have.
[Edward Daly]

"The idea is to get rid of the anxiety and worry," Col. Daly says.

The new welcome is a window on the big changes sweeping boot camp, the Army's nine-week basic training. For most of its existence, boot camp was a place where drill sergeants would weed out the weak and turn psychologically soft civilians into hardened soldiers. But the Army, fighting through one of its biggest recruiting droughts, now is shifting tactics. Boot camp -- that iconic American experience -- may never be the same.

Once-feared drill sergeants have been ordered to yell less and mentor more. "Before, our drill sergeants' attitude was 'you better meet my standard or else.' Now it's 'I am going to do all I can to assist you in meeting the Army standard,' " says Command Sgt. Maj. William McDaniel, the senior enlisted soldier here.

New privates are getting more sleep and personal time. Even the way soldiers eat has changed. Drill sergeants long ordered overweight soldiers to stay away from soda and desserts. Today, soldiers at Fort Leonard Wood fill out a survey about their boot-camp experience that asks, among other questions, if they liked the food, whether they were "allowed to eat everything on the menu, including dessert," and whether there was enough for seconds.

Recruits still must meet the same basic standards and pass the same tests for physical fitness and marksmanship to graduate, say Army officials. But more variable criteria that in the past might get a recruit expelled -- such as whether a drill sergeant thinks a recruit has the discipline and moral values to be a soldier -- have been jettisoned. "Now it doesn't matter what the drill sergeant thinks. We work off of the written standard," says Capt. Christopher Meng, who oversees a company of 11 drill sergeants and about 200 recruits at the base.

The new approach is helping the Army graduate more of its recruits. Last month, only 23 recruits failed to make the cut at Fort Leonard Wood's largest basic-training brigade, compared with 183 in January 2004. Army-wide, about 11% of recruits currently flunk out in their first six months of training, down from 18% last May.

Full Potential

Senior Army officials say attrition has fallen because the new techniques are helping more soldiers reach their full potential. "This generation responds to a more positive leadership approach. They want to serve and they want people to show respect for that decision," says Maj. Gen. Randal Castro, the commanding general at Fort Leonard Wood. Smarter training also is preventing injuries, Army doctors say.
[Christopher Meng]

Some drill sergeants worry that the "kinder and gentler approach" -- as drill sergeants have dubbed the changes -- is producing softer soldiers. "If the privates can't handle the stress of a drill sergeant yelling at them, how will they handle the stress of bullets flying over their head?" asked Staff Sgt. Clayton Nagel as he watched his recruits file past him in the Fort Leonard Wood dining hall. "War is stressful. I think we overcorrected."

The Army's decision to overhaul basic training came last spring. The service was having a hard time bringing in new recruits. It ultimately missed its 2005 recruiting goals for active-duty troops by 7,000 soldiers, or 8%, and National Guard soldiers by 13,000 or 20%.

Meanwhile, boot-camp attrition was climbing. New soldiers brought in to replace those who were tossed out weren't much better. "We realized that the further you go into the barrel, the lower the quality," says Col. Kevin Shwedo, a senior officer in the Army's Training and Doctrine Command in Virginia.

A team of 20 officers from the Army's training command was formed to figure out how the service could help more soldiers survive the first six months. They consulted sociologists and psychiatrists and even flew in MTV's senior vice president of strategy and planning, in search of fresh ideas for motivating today's youth.

The changes, put in place this fall at all five of the Army's basic-training camps, are apparent the moment recruits step off the bus at Fort Leonard Wood. On a chilly Tuesday in January, about 200 new recruits in white Army sweat suits filed into a big auditorium on the base for one of Col. Daly's welcome-to-the-Army talks. Staff Sgt. Mike Gilmore grabbed a microphone and told the recruits what was going to happen: "The brigade commander is going to talk to you. He is a colonel. He is way up here. You are way down here," Sgt. Gilmore explained.

He then coached the recruits on how to spring to attention when Col. Daly entered the room. "When I say 'attention,' you stand up. That's it. You don't say nothing. You do it quietly as possible."

"Attention!" Sgt. Gilmore ordered. The recruits rose slowly and unevenly.

"Could we all just stand up together?" Sgt. Gilmore said, sounding more let down than angry. "It would look so much nicer."

A few minutes later, Col. Daly, a Special Forces soldier who served in Afghanistan and was awarded a Purple Heart after being wounded in the U.S. invasion of Panama, strode into the room. He told the recruits to take a deep breath and a swig from their canteens. "There is no problem that you might have that in last 230 years the Army hasn't already heard," he said.

The recruits then got 40 minutes to fire questions at the four privates accompanying Col. Daly. One recruit asked if any of the privates had failed the Army's physical-fitness test. (Two struggled with it but eventually passed.) Others wanted to know how often they got to talk on the phone (once a week), how long they got for showers (five minutes) and how many hours of sleep they got a night (8 hours). A few asked if they had any regrets about enlisting. All four said no.

Too Easy

After the session, Pvt. Angela Holmquest, one of the privates brought in to answer questions, said she worried that basic training had become too easy. "The drill sergeants tell us we are in the low-stress Army. I'd rather be in the old Army. When we need to lock it up and work together as a team we can. But we should be more disciplined than we are," she said.


In recent months, the Army has told drill sergeants to back off the recruits in the dining halls as well. A few months ago, sergeants would hover over new recruits, rushing them through meals, quizzing them about Army regulations and chastising them for minor infractions like carrying their drinking glass with one hand instead of two.

The dining hall still is far from relaxing. But drill sergeants no longer shout at recruits. They aren't allowed to order overweight privates to skip dessert. At first, some drill sergeants refused to embrace the new directive. "There was a lot of balking on the dessert rule," says Capt. Meng, who oversees 11 drill sergeants. "I have had to say, 'Don't even mention it.' "

The Army also has cut the amount of running troops do in boot camp by more than 60% in the past three years. "A lot of these kids have never done P.E. or sports. We were injuring too many by running too much," says Col. Greg Jolissaint, an Army physician with the command that sets baseline standards for boot camp.

Instead of running, privates do more calisthenics and stretching. They also are spending more time learning the basic combat tasks they will need in Iraq or Afghanistan, such as how to spot a roadside bomb. Last month, Sgt. First Class Kevin Staddie, who spent a year in Iraq, was teaching soldiers how to move through a city under enemy fire. Suddenly he called a halt to the exercise. A private who was slithering on his belly lost his only canteen. Sgt. Staddie asked the private if he knew the temperature in Baghdad in August.

"It is 115 degrees," the sergeant said in an even voice. "Will you give me a solemn promise that you'll do a better job securing your canteen? You'll get a whole lot further."

The private nodded and rushed to continue the exercise.

Soldiers also get a few more chances to succeed, say drill sergeants. Not long after she arrived at boot camp, Pvt. Starr Mosley was accused by another soldier of writing letters home when she was supposed to be training. Her drill sergeant ordered the 18-year-old private to crawl on her belly through the barracks and chant: "I will not write letters in the war room."

Pvt. Mosley, who said she wasn't writing letters, refused. The Army offered her a fresh start in a new platoon. There she struggled to meet the service's marksmanship standards, her drill sergeant says. Sgt. Darren Baker, her new drill sergeant, spent hours coaching her. "Without him I would have quit," Pvt. Mosley says. "He was down there in the dirt helping me."

A year ago, a drill sergeant wouldn't have taken as much time working with one struggling soldier. Today it is part of the job. "We're all working more one-on-one with the privates," Sgt. Baker says.

Soldiers with certain medical conditions get more help as well. Recruits with mild asthma now are allowed to carry inhalers with them. Privates who come to the Army with a history of mild depression now can take Paxil or Zoloft. Both changes, pushed through last fall, are "contributing to the lower attrition overall," says Col. Jolissaint, the physician.

Some basic-training facilities also are setting up special units for soldiers who are hurt or out of shape. In August, Col. Daly created a "Warrior Rehab" unit for injured recruits. Before the unit's creation, soldiers hurt during training often would go home to heal. The vast majority never came back.

Soldiers in Warrior Rehab practice marksmanship, take classes on map reading and do low-impact workouts in the base's indoor pool. So far, 170 soldiers have passed through the program. Only 30 have quit basic training.

Last month, about 40 members of the unit gathered in their barracks for a class on how to ambush the enemy with an M-18 Claymore antipersonnel mine. The troops included Pvt. Matthew Brent, a 29-year-old former hotel manager, who enlisted because he "wanted a personal challenge." He came to boot camp overweight at 5-foot-10, 220 pounds and quickly went down with tendinitis in his ankle. In his five months in Warrior Rehab, Pvt. Brent has lost 57 pounds.
[Richard Hodgson]

Next to him was Pvt. Richard Hodgson, who has been with the rehab unit since it started in August, trying to recover from stress fractures. He was having doubts about his ability to stick it out. "I've just lost my motivation. I was supposed to have graduated in September and I am still stuck here," he said. The sergeants in Warrior Rehab have been working hard to convince him to stay. "I've had a few mother-son type conversations with him," says Staff Sgt. Nicole Waters, one of the drill sergeants. "We talk about his goals in life. This job is a lot more mental than the typical drill sergeant job."

Not all Army commanders have embraced the new approach to basic training. Col. Daly says one of the 14 company commanders he oversees is a "gung-ho combat arms officer, who right now is just killing me."

Recently, one of that commander's recruits brought a round of live ammunition back from the rifle range, which isn't allowed. The bullet was found by a drill sergeant in the barracks common room. As punishment, the commander ordered the entire unit, which numbers 60 soldiers, to don their helmets when eating in the dining facility. He then threatened to send all the privates, who were just two weeks from graduation, back to the beginning of basic training.

Col. Daly bristled when he heard about the threat. "I am not going to keep 60 soldiers back because one guy made a mistake," the colonel says he told the commander.

Instead, Col. Daly ordered the commander to have his drill sergeants do a better job of searching the recruits' pockets for extra ammunition when they leave the range.

"The commander's leadership style has got to change," says Col. Daly, noting that the commander's recruits have gone absent without leave at more than twice the rate of any other unit in the past two months.

Even among those units that have embraced the new approach, there is debate about whether the changes have been too much, too fast. "It's a hot topic," says Capt. Meng, another one of Col. Daly's company commanders.

Like many of his fellow commanders, Capt. Meng spent a year in Iraq, in a tour that ended in 2004. He was second in command of a 100-soldier armor company. In the past six months, the West Point graduate has been in the forefront in reducing attrition, overseeing drill sergeants and recruits.

Last month, a few dozen of Capt. Meng's privates clambered onto olive-green trucks for one of their final boot-camp exercises. The troops, traveling in an Iraq-style convoy, were "hit" by a series of smoke-spewing roadside bombs. Enemy fighters, represented by pop-up targets, sprung from nearby prairie grass. A broad-shouldered drill sergeant ordered a counterattack.

Instead of leaping off the back of the truck, as they would in a typical exercise, or in actual combat, the privates waited about 10 seconds for someone to walk to the back of the truck and place a ladder on its rear bumper. They then climbed down the 5-foot drop, one at a time.

Falling Short

Capt. Meng conceded it wasn't realistic. He said the Army couldn't afford to have privates twist ankles and wrench knees just a few days before their final physical fitness test. "A few months ago attrition was seen as a good thing," he says. "It meant we were sending higher quality troops to the Army."

Now he says he is racking his brain for new ways to motivate more soldiers who are falling short of the Army's standards. He recently petitioned Col. Daly to let his troops have an extra half-hour of sleep on top of the 30 minutes of additional shuteye all recruits were granted last fall. Standard boot camp sleeping hours are now 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. His troops rise at 5:30 a.m.

"It has been great for morale," Capt. Meng says. "A soldier's happiness is directly proportional to the amount of sleep he gets."

The Iraq veteran says his boot-camp troops are in many ways better prepared for combat than their predecessors were. They spend far more time working with their M-16 rifles and more time in the field training on critical combat tasks like defending a base camp from insurgent attacks.

Asked if his soldiers are as disciplined and tough as their predecessors, Capt. Meng pauses. "There are some who feel we are not sending as high a quality soldier to the Army....I am not smart enough to tell you," he says.

In the near term, he has other worries. "The commanding general's No. 1 priority here is to support the war," he says. "In order to do that right now we have to graduate more privates."

Oh man....what will this do to the quality of the Legions...

Last edited by LonePathfinder; 02-20-2006 at 20:58.
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Old 02-20-2006, 21:02   #2
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People think boot camp is designed to train recruits to shoot the guns and drive the tanks and turn out trained soldiers. Wrong. Its purpose is to establish dicipline.
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Old 02-20-2006, 21:36   #3
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Originally Posted by Zen900
People think boot camp is designed to train recruits to shoot the guns and drive the tanks and turn out trained soldiers. Wrong. Its purpose is to establish dicipline.
Where did you take your BCT Zen? What branch?
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Old 02-20-2006, 21:45   #4
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Old 02-20-2006, 21:46   #5
 
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Originally Posted by Zen900
People think boot camp is designed to train recruits to shoot the guns and drive the tanks and turn out trained soldiers. Wrong. Its purpose is to establish dicipline.
Attention to Detail
Sense of Urgency
Not to quibble

The only thing I liked in that article was the warrior rehab program. Now THAT is a good idea.

SOME of the little tedious detail busy work do need to be knocked down on priority. I read an article about how USAF BMT was moving away from the locker inspection/hospital corners type stuff and more weapons training. I understand the desire for attention to detail, but it seems to me the same lesson can be taught, while at the same time teaching them something useful. They will not be slaying the enemy with 45 degree hospital corners. The issuing of weapons early on and forcing troops to keep them 24/7 is a great idea. They issue them blanks so you can tell when someone has a negligent discharge

I'm all for *improving* basic, but this is far from it. Improving means making them better at killing, maiming and breaking things. Plus all that nation building stuff
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Old 02-20-2006, 22:41   #6
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Attention to Detail
Sense of Urgency
Not to quibble
Are these not aspects of discipline?
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Old 02-20-2006, 23:10   #7
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Originally Posted by Boogyman
Where did you take your BCT Zen? What branch?
Come on, Zen. I'm just curious where you went to "Boot Camp" and learned about discipline.
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Old 02-21-2006, 04:23   #8
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The main thing that got me was them offering second helpings of food, especially to the fat ones. Shouldn't the army be trying to get these people's weight down?
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Old 02-21-2006, 08:39   #9
 
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Originally Posted by Zen900
Are these not aspects of discipline?
Just being specific...
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Old 02-21-2006, 14:51   #10
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Originally Posted by LonePathfinder
Just being specific...
I preferred you're definitions; don't get me wrong. The single word "discipline" is actually a very big word. Discipline is more important to an army than guns are. Without discipline an army is just a crowd of people.
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Old 02-21-2006, 17:16   #11
 
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I'm a Hollywood Marine.
MCRD San Diego, Ca
3rd RTB PLT 3004
Senior Drill Instructor SSGT Wallace
Heavy DI SGT Hallbig
DI Sgt Newman
DI Sgt Abbot.

I entered Boot camp at 72" and 210#
I left Boot Camp at 72" and 156#

When I got there, I couldnt do much of anything. When I left a seven mile run was a good warm up. Before I blew up my knee, I was pretty darn studly.

In The Corps, if a Recruit (No recruit is called Marine. The title Marine is EARNED, not Given. Only on graduation day do they RATE to be called Marine!) is injured beyond the ability to train then he/she is sent to MRP (Medical Rehabilitation Platoon) Where they go through physical rehab and continue their training. When those recruites return to to training platoon, they are usualy the best prepared. They have had nothing but time to study. We had a recruit who BROKE HIS HIP the day before the Cruicible (Think Final exam. 3 days, no sleep, little food and 55 miles of forced marches. The same damn training that army RANGERS go through.) He tried to hide it. We tried to hide it. We had a plan (shoe string at best, but he was one of us.) We were going to carry him through the crucible. When the SDI found out about it he told Swanson (Yes I still remember that MARINES name 9 years latter) to put on his pack. Swanson crumpled. I swear the SDI started to cry. One of his kids wasnt going to make it. Now Swanson went on to graduate, but I have never seen a better show of mental toughness and intestinal fortitude.

Whats the purpose of Close order Drill?????

To instill INSTANT WILLING OBEDIENCE TO ORDERS.

When the Drill Instructor yells, you move. I was doing sittups in the sand of THE PIT. I felt a rock under me. I sat up to sweep it away, and DI SGT HALLBIG saw me stop. He yelled. I ignored the pain and continued to do the excercise. I ended up grinding off the Spinus Process of my T-7 Vertebret. Yeah it hurt. But Pain is no longer an issue. I went through the crucible missing that T-7 SP and with a stress fracture in my left leg.

Its hard to be humble when your the best. Having gone through MCRD I know I am in the ranks of the best. I am a US MARINE!

I have seen solders back down from a fight they started when they found out the pipsqik was a Marine. I have seen a 120# WM (Woman Marine) wade into a fight to help her brother Marines. She was throwing down with the best of em.

I would trust ANY Marine with the lives of my wife and Children. Would you say that about ANY group of people?

Thats why I joined the Marine Corps. and not the army.


Any one know why army Drill sergents get to wear the Smokey Bear? (Marine Corps Campaign Cover).

Back in Korea the army was putting out junk. They sent a bunch of Drill Sergents to MCRD San Diego, and they went through DI school. Arguably one of the toughest military schools ever. The Corps gave those Doggies the Smokie Bear. Now they all wear it.


JMHO

Darn, this soap box is fun to get up on!
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Old 02-21-2006, 20:30   #12
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this ones for Boogey,
We can learn to fight a kinder and gentler war!!!
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Old 02-21-2006, 20:35   #13
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Originally Posted by tri70
this ones for Boogey,
We can learn to fight a kinder and gentler war!!!
There's no such thing.
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Old 02-21-2006, 20:52   #14
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boogyman says There's no such thing.
Uh..........the dude was joking Garth.
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Old 02-21-2006, 21:02   #15
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Originally Posted by Zen900
Uh..........the dude was joking Garth.
Well there ya are, Zen! I was beginning to think you were ignoring me!

Nah, you wouldn't be so rude as that!

Garth! Ha ha! What a funny guy you are!

So you still haven't answered my question.... What branch of the service were you in and where did you do your BCT?
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Old 02-21-2006, 21:08   #16
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Originally Posted by Zen900

People think boot camp is designed to train recruits to shoot the guns and drive the tanks and turn out trained soldiers. Wrong. Its purpose is to establish dicipline.
Come on Zen! You sound like you know what your talking about!

You MUST have been to BCT in order to be so well informed!
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Old 02-21-2006, 22:13   #17
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Originally Posted by devildogmech

I'm a Hollywood Marine.

(No recruit is called Marine. The title Marine is EARNED, not Given.

Its hard to be humble when your the best. Having gone through MCRD I know I am in the ranks of the best. I am a US MARINE!

Thats why I joined the Marine Corps. and not the army.

Darn, this soap box is fun to get up on!
Hey Devildog, you sound like you are very proud of being a Marine, and rightfully so. I've known a few, and fought alongside a few, all good men and tough as they come.

I was just an Army grunt, and the guys I served with were also good soldiers and as tough as they come.

In fact I consider it an honor and a priviledge to have fought with everyone I knew in Vietnam, no matter what branch they were in, or what their MOS was.

From what I've seen and heard of Basic Training today as compared to 1971 (at least in the Army) it's a cake walk now.

Back then any good D.I. could call you at least 10 curse words in one sentence, and knock your d*ck in the dirt before he was done insulting your mother.

If you got out of line the rest of your squad would take you into the latrine and give you a "blanket party". (throw a blanket over your head and beat the crap outta ya).

Revelie was at 0400 (4:00 am) and you were screamed at, cursed, kicked, and pushed every minute and every mile of every hike, obstacle course, training exercise and formation until you collapsed in your rack at 2200 (10:00 pm) The only time you sat down was three times a day for mess, and you had exactly 8 minutes to swallow your chow and it was back to running.

There were guys getting hauled away in ambulances every other day from broken bones in hand-to-hand fighting or obstacle course injuries, or passing out from heat exhaustion in drill or 20-mile full-gear marches.

If they did that stuff now, there would be Drill Sergeants and Junior Officers brought up on charges for abuse.

Now it sounds more like the Boy Scouts than boot camp, judging from Lonepathfinder's post.

I agree, there's no room for coddling or worrying about feelings being hurt when these men and women's lives depend on their training and preparation for the hardship of combat.

Devildog, ya dang Jarhead, I never met a Marine who didn't think he had brass b*lls and stood ten feet tall, but that's ok, the Army luvs ya anyway!

Last edited by Boogyman; 02-21-2006 at 22:29.
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Old 02-21-2006, 23:16   #18
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Originally Posted by Boogyman
Come on Zen! You sound like you know what your talking about!

You MUST have been to BCT in order to be so well informed!
Look man, it's like this. I've seen you try and pass off Urban Legends as fact. Now if I try and debate with you it's no different than me trying to tell Squeaky Fromme that Charlie Manson was bad for her. She just would go off on me for even trying to help her understand reality.
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Old 02-22-2006, 00:36   #19
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Originally Posted by Zen900
Look man, it's like this. I've seen you try and pass off Urban Legends as fact. Now if I try and debate with you it's no different than me trying to tell Squeaky Fromme that Charlie Manson was bad for her. She just would go off on me for even trying to help her understand reality.
You mean you never had any Basic Training or military experience so you don't have a clue as to what your talking about. (sigh)

And you accuse me of "passing off Urban Legends as facts"?

Just because you don't like or agree with what I post doesn't make it an "Urban Legend". Squeaky Fromme? Ha ha! What an imagination you have, Zen!

Maybe if you stuck to what you know instead of coming off like Professor Know-It-All then you wouldn't have people challenging your statements as much.

Just trying to help you, Zen.

Last edited by Boogyman; 02-22-2006 at 01:02.
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Old 02-22-2006, 00:51   #20
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Originally Posted by Zen900

People think boot camp is designed to train recruits to shoot the guns and drive the tanks and turn out trained soldiers. Wrong. Its purpose is to establish dicipline.
Now come on, admit it! Doesn't your statement sound like it's written with absolute certainty by someone who's been there and knows?

That's why I asked you, what branch were you in and where did you do your Basic Training?

See I thought you might you might be a fellow ex-soldier and that we could find some common ground there.

Wouldn't you rather get along instead of all this bickering and ill will between us?

I'm willing to bury the hatchet and start over. How 'bout it, Zen?
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Old 02-22-2006, 05:36   #21
 
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Originally Posted by Boogyman
.

Devildog, ya dang Jarhead, I never met a Marine who didn't think he had brass b*lls and stood ten feet tall, but that's ok, the Army luvs ya anyway!
Aww shucks doggieman.... i mean boogeyman...:p

I have known some doggies that were top notch. But then they usualy saw the error of their ways and lateral moved to the corps.

The problem with the rest of the military, is the lack of history. The very first class every Marine Recruit goes through is a History class. It helps develop esprit de corps. To know that you are part of something bigger than just yourself.

You know, my DI's coulnt lay hands on us. That just made them angrier and they found more creative ways to wear you out in the pit.

And I just happend to be SGT Abbots favorite. I was in the pit 3 times a day seven days a week. And people wonder how I lost over 50# there.

Ahh glory days

Billy
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Old 02-22-2006, 05:40   #22
 
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Zen,

As much as I hate to agree with Doggieman, Put up or Shut up. If you have experience then share it. If not, say so. There are other ways to become informed than actualy experienceing hell.... I mean Boot Camp.
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Old 02-22-2006, 09:39   #23
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Originally Posted by devildogmech

Aww shucks doggieman.... i mean boogeyman...:p

The problem with the rest of the military, is the lack of history.
Devildog, I prefer the term "Grunt", thank you very much.

History, huh?

Observe my Avatar on the left there.

That's the shoulder patch for the 196th Light Infantry Brigade, with whom I served in VN.

It's a match cord burning at both ends. It comes from the days when match-lock muskets were used. They used to keep both ends burning in case one end went out, you could still fire your weapon. It signifies readiness for battle.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't America have an Army before we had a Marine Corp.?

Last edited by Boogyman; 02-22-2006 at 09:40.
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Old 02-22-2006, 10:25   #24
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Fort Knox Kentucky, 1977, June through October, 11D10 Armored Recon Specialist and Sheridan school, Drill Sgt Watson was the senior drill. That should establish my creds. What BS is happening to my Army god it makes this old soldier shudder. Instead of "boxers or briefs" are they asking the cruits "bikini or thong". They aren't training soldiers they are training casualties. Basic should be a physical and mental challenge, troops should be pushed not pampered. Hell I don't get 8 hours of sleep with my civilian job.


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Old 02-22-2006, 15:53   #25
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Tankcommander

You think YOU are shuddering ?

Ft Lost-in-the-woods, Misery, Class of '84 A-1-2. My old DI's gotta be rollin' reading this.
I spent a year as a 12B (H) (Combat Engineer Instructor) in the Reserves after active duty and trained 'cruits at Ft Leonard Wood. Then out for 10 and then I went back in for 6 in the Guard.

Engineers ROCK

Instead of "boxers or briefs" are they asking the cruits "bikini or thong".
I heard Boogy has a thong
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