21 January 2007

Week 2 complete

We finished up week two and with a few scrapes and bruises I'm glad to leave combatives behind. I was hoping to end up level 1 qualified but with only 20 hours of training and no good way to get the other 20 hours of training in there just isn't time. I have been told that I'll get level 1 qualified at IOBC at Ft. Benning. There are 4 levels in the Army's combatives programs. Levels 1 and 2 are the standard fighting styles and level 3 gets into using knives and taking away knives and pistols from an enemy. Level 4 is for instructors and is mostly risk mitigation and instruction type stuff.

The week consisted of 4 hours of combatives in the morning and an afternoon of briefings and classes. The briefings were on TLP's, OPORDS, and assuming command of a platoon. Then we got into BRM, Basic Rifle Marksmanship, which consisted of learning how to bore sight our M4's and the basics of marksmanship. We have all had this before so it's just a refresher course mostly for the ROTC guys who didn't get much if any range time.

We are shooting with the M4, a shortened version of the M16A2 that most of us have trained with in the past. We are also using the M68 CCO which is a red dot sight that mounts on top of the M4. With the CCO you just set the red dot on the target and squeeze the trigger. You are supposed to shoot with both eyes open with the CCO which is very different than what you are normally taught with a rear sight and front site post. I'm looking forward to spending the week at the range and getting used to using it.

I hope everyone is doing well and I'll check in later as I get a chance.

16 January 2007

Combatives week

We are back at it this morning with combatives. We started with the basics of hand to hand combat with the fighting stance, standing base moves and drill 1. Drill 1 is a series of moves that leads you through the dominate body positions in the Brazilian jujitsu which is what the Army’s combative training is based heavily on. If you are familiar with mixed martial arts and the Gracie family then you know what we are doing.

The rest of the week will be spent on combatives and some classroom stuff. Unfortunately we won’t get enough hours in to be certified level 1 but hopefully eventually I can go to the class and go all the way through.

It’s pretty icy up here still and I don’t think it will change much because it’s not going to get much over freezing during the day and is dropping down into the teens at night so everything refreezes over night.

12 January 2007

If it isn’t raining, you aren’t training

If it isn't raining, you aren't training, is a common statement in the army. Well today it was freezing rain and a 20 degree wind chill so our five mile road march definitely counts as training.

We knew it was going to be cold when we fell out and the wind was blowing and the temps were hovering just above freezing. Shortly after weapons draw it started raining and about mile one the rain started to freeze on everything and everyone. By the time we were done with the road march everyone was covered in ice from head to toe and our uniforms were soaked with melted ice.

Everyone made it through on time and while painful it was a good lesson in mental toughness. Pain like that is only temporary and completing the mission is always first.

On a bad note, it looks like roads will be closed soon and passes may be revoked for the weekend so I might not make it home. They are going to wait till in the morning to make the final call.

11 January 2007

In processing

Week one has consisted of in processing which is the same for most military schools. It consists of standing in lines and waiting to have medical and financial records screened and sitting through briefings. In the case of this school there are a lot of Lt's who are brand new to the military, whether straight out of ROTC or OCS and need to have a lot of things done for the first time so that slowed the process down quite a bit.


Tomorrow we kick off our actual training with a road march with full battle gear and ruck sack. It's only 5 miles and is mostly to get out and do something after standing around and sitting in briefings all week.


The barracks are pretty basic, a room with a bed a wall locker and a desk. I'm lucky and have a three person room and only have one roommate. So space isn't an issue for us.


This weekend is Martin Luther King's birthday so with the three day weekend I'm going to go home.


For my fellow Lt's who are reading this it's pretty nice here. They will treat you well and NCO cadres call you sir and ma'am and treat you with respect. The program is very much based on mentorship and that is obvious from the company commander down. I wouldn't say there is anything that is hard but definitely a lot to learn and I think a lot of help mastering basic infantry tactics.


I'll update more later as I can.