Sunday, September 22, 2013

Day 26-30

Well Monday started out with us getting up early to be in formation for accountability and afterwards we were given sometime off to get any other little things that we needed to do squared away. After lunch we met got into formation this time to head off to the armory to pick up our M16's. Since we have been here at BOLC I do not think it has rained at all (at least not when we are doing anything.) Anyways we get in formation and start marching towards the armory and the skies just completely open up and completely soak us during our march. By the time we get there our ACU's are completely soaked and you could literally wring water out of our uniforms. Well we get to the building and we are standing outside in formation while the rain is coming down and they inform us that there was lightening in the area and so they are not going to be handing out any more weapons till the lightening is out of the weather, meanwhile we are still standing outside ourselves in the pouring rain! Finally, the rain lets up and then they take us into a big air conditioned room (where we are freezing because of our wet clothes) and let us wait till the lightening is cleared. Because of the delay by the time we got back to our hotel we did not even have time to change we only had time to run get our MOLLE vests and assault packs and make it back to get on the buses, so for the rest of the day we were completely wet. Once we got to Camp Bullis and into our FOB we only had time to get 2 MRE's (one for dinner and one for lunch) and then head to our tents for the evening. Tuesday morning started off bright and early at 0400 with a 2.2 mile march on some very muddy (the rain from the day before) and steep trails as we marched to the gas chamber. Once we got there we had a quick class on how to don our gas masks and then clear and seal them followed by a brief explanation of what was going to happen when we got into the gas chamber. I was in one of the first groups to go and as we were waiting to go in we could see people coming out and they all had a wide range of how their bodies handled it. Some came out doubled over and some did not even seem like they were fazed by it. When it was our turn to get into the chamber we formed into two lines and headed in, breaking off to each side to form a circle once we got into the building. Once we got in they started checking to see how well our masks were on and if anybody had trouble sealing theirs. After that they had us to some head turns and neck rolls followed by jumping jacks to see how well the masks were sealed. Thankfully mine was very tight and I did not have any issues. Standing in the room with the gas masks on was not to bad but I could feel burning on any exposed skin and could tell it was working into my cloths. After the exercises we formed up into 2 lines again and they told us we were going to take our masks off 2 at a time and then say our name, rank, social security number and our home town. I was second in line to go and did not think that it would be to bad. Well when it came my turn I took my mask off and started to say my information and the gas hit me like a ton of bricks. It really burned and seemed like it was hard to speak at all because your lungs were burning(though the guy behind me told me later that I got all my information out) after what seemed like a long time the guy finally opened the door and let us out of the chamber were we could hack up a lung and start letting ourselves air out. Overall the chamber was not to bad and it actually complete cleared up my sinuses which had been a little stuffy! Following the gas chamber we had a class on donning the rest of the uniform we would wear in a chemical situation and then we marched the 2.2 miles back to the FOB. The rest of the day was spent going over breaking down and performing function tests on our M16's and M9's along with how to call in a 9 line medevac. On Wednesday we were up at 0300 because our platoon had duty that day (meaning we had to serve chow and do the other tasks around the FOB.) My squad (I was squad leader this week) was in charge of serving the food. After breakfast we headed off to the range to zero in our M16's. However we ended up sitting around most of the day because the ceiling of clouds was not high enough. Apparently it was explained to us later that this is the only Army base in the world that they need to have a ceiling of visibility to shoot because a main corridor for airplanes into and out of the San Antonio airport go right over the base. Well thankfully we ended getting to shoot and it was a more of an ordeal that it should have been but maybe I will write about that another time. That night our platoon also had guard duty so I was up again at 0100 to walk around the base with my battle buddy and make sure nothing was catching on fire. Thursday we were suppose to go out to the M16 range and M9 range to shoot again. Today we were going to qualify, but once again because of the clouds we were unable to shoot at all. What we ended up doing was learning how to load litters on and off of different vehicles like strykers and AMRAP's which was pretty cool to get into and look around. In the afternoon we headed back to the FOB early and were tested on breaking down, assembling and function testing the M16 and M9 and then we had to call in a 9 line medevac. I passed all my competencies pretty easily on the first time without any issues! Finally on Friday we got into formation to head out again to the range to qualify and then it started to pour with rain so we just turned around and went back to the FOB to clean it and get back to the base of the weekend. Overall, it wasn't a bad first week in the field, even though the weather held us up a lot. This next week we are out in the field again and we will get to do land navigation, convey operations, combatives and finally (hopefully) get to qualify with our weapons, so it should be a much better week. On another note I went a whole week without showering which was a first for me but was not that bad. I just made sure to wipe down nightly with baby wipes and nobody else had showers so we all smelled about the same. I don't have most of the pictures from the week so I will try and post them another time but I have a picture of the sky Monday and my cot in the tent. Anyway, sorry about the long post but it will probably be another week before I am able to post again and I am sure I am missing plenty but I will come back and cover some things that I missed. Till next time!


  1. Nothing like a gas chamber to clear out your sinus.

    1. Duke, yes it did my sinus has not been this cleared in a long time.

  2. Been there, done that. Stay the course.