My Stint in the Woods

Alright, so I finally have made time to write up a post about my experience for 28 days at Ft. Lewis (Joint Base Lewis-McChord), WA.

For those who don’t know I’m in ROTC and also in the WI Army National Guard. For ROTC I had to go spend 4 weeks of training at Ft. Lewis and be evaluated on leadership positions and tasks that I have learned about for the past two years. If you’ve read my blog for awhile you know that I was dreading this training. I thought I’d be miserable, homesick, stuck with a bunch of clueless people who I wouldn’t get along with, and just hate every thing. I’m happy to say that I actually enjoyed it there. It was one of those experiences where when you’re there you kind of don’t like it (there’s lots of BS to put up with) but when you reflect back on it you realize it wasn’t that bad.

I obviously can’t sum up 28 days of training in this post so I’ll hit the highs & lows of my experience.

Highs:

I had a phenomenal squad & platoon to work with. I made so many new friends there and I miss them so much. Having a great group of people really helped to make LDAC (Leadership Development Assessment Course) enjoyable and a quality experience.

My SQD right before graduation

The water confidence course was so much fun! There was a 60 foot zipline tower, a zodiak course, and a rope hang/drop. Being a fish my whole life I was having so much fun. I wanted to do the zipline again but when you have hundreds of cadets to push through there wasn’t time…especially when you had people who were both scared to death of heights and/or water.

shimmy out & drop!

  • My cadre (NCO’s/SGT’s & officers) were so much fun. Going into LDAC I heard horror stories about how you can have horrible cadre who make everything a living hell. Ours were so chill, good looking 😉 & funny as all get out.
  • Shooting lots of fun weapons! I got to shoot a machine gun (m60), grenade launcher (m203), AT-4, and a SAW (m249). Here’s some pictures so you guys see what I got to work with 🙂

    M60--Machine Gun

    M203-Grenade Launcher

    AT4--Rocket Launcher

    M249--SAW

    So those were all the fun, big weapons I got to play around with. Pretty neat, eh?

Lows:
  • The APFT (PT test) was hard. It’s a test that is out of 300 points.. I usually get around 280 (near maxing) & it takes 180 to pass. The LT grading my pushups said 20 didn’t count so I went from getting 38 pushups in 2 minutes to 18. Imagine how livid I was. I had to re-take the entire PT test at the end of DLAC… so after 3 weeks of training in the woods I had to go do pushups, situps, and a 2mile run. It was sub-par. I passed the second time though, no worries!
  • Land navigation always sucks. You’re given grid coordinates, a map, and a compass and you have to go find poles in the woods. During the day it’s very relaxing. At night, it’s HORRIBLE. All you can use for visibility is a crappy red lens. You need 3/5 points at night to pass, I found 2 the first time. I had to re-do that the next day as well but I got all 3 within about 75 minutes that time. Here’s a sweet picture that they took when we were plotting our points on the map & figuring out where we need to go.

    Land Nav--it was beautiful out there!

    Points--imagine finding those at 1am with zero light! ahh

    Those may look like they’re easy to find.. Let me tell you all my points were hidden in THICK brush in the middle of the woods. There may have been a time where I took quite the spill and sat there for 10 minutes trying to recompose myself…

    Those were the only two real downfalls of training. Other than that I had phenomenal people to work with and a really great time! I’m finally readjusting to being back home . Luckily my job has me on a tight leash right now so I’m staying really busy. Lifeguarding + Record high heat indexes for WI=one tireddd Karla. Time to FINALLY get a workout in & work on reading all your bloggies!

    Tell me: Which part of what I mentioned do you think you would have enjoyed most?


    PS. My PLT got named the ‘Honor Platoon’… all the officers and NCO’s thought we were the most squared away. How awesome is that?!

    1st PLT--WE ARE THE BEST PLATOOOON!

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3 thoughts on “My Stint in the Woods

  1. Ohhh I am glad you had a better time than you thought! I hope the weather in Ft.Lewis was nicer than in my neck of Washington! We had some really nice days, but plenty of nasty ones too.

    I think that water/zipline course sounds like the most fun! The land navigation..at night..sounds sorta sketchy. If I had to do that alone I would most definitely be scare out of my pants. I don’t do well in the woods at night..especially alone!! HIGH FIVE for being in the best platoon! WHOOP WHOOOP!

    Have fun settling back into life guarding and seeing sexy man pants ;).

  2. So glad to hear it was a better time than you believed it would! I have always wanted to try ziplining so I am rather jealous you were able to, what a fun experience 🙂 However, the darkness scares me a bit (yes I am 5 years old it seems), so I am not too sure I would have enjoyed that too much ha

  3. Pingback: Runnin’ Ru « myhighonlife

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