Sunday, July 11, 2010

Boot Camp Misadventures

I spent two weeks in boot camp last December.  I was actually looking forward to the experience since I've always wanted to join the armed forces.  Blame it on the movies I grew up watching when I was a kid and, of course, my dad who was once a military man.  However, destiny ushered me to tread on a different path.  I've forgotten all about joining the forces until I entered the Defense College last year.   

It was two weeks of intense physical, psychological, and mental training.  We were deprived of sleep, food, and the conveniences we were used to.  We were also separated from our loved ones.  Some of us almost quit, but with the support of each other, fortunately, no one threw in the towel.  


tank maneuver training

A typical day would be waking up at 3 or 4 am, do athletics (which means a few kilometers of jogging), eat breakfast, accomplish personal necessities, march to the classroom to attend classes, march to the mess hall, go back to the classroom for long (boring) lectures, do some activities (marching, sword handling, what-have-you), proceed to the mess hall for supper, listen to administrative announcements, march back to the barracks.  Our day ends usually around 8 or 9 pm (that is if we were lucky enough!).    

forced marched

We were trained by the Marines. Hence, as one can expect, the physical training were rigorous and truly energy-draining.  More often than not, we felt like zombies because of sleep deprivation and physical exhaustion.  Not once did our brains nearly conked out because of information overload, we were expected to absorb everything they taught us.  There were quizzes and a final long exam to hurdle after all. Failure was not an option.  (But dozing while the instructors were not around definitely was!)

dozing photos!

We were given crash courses on a broad number of military-related topics and training, ranging from history, to traditions, protocols, tactics and techniques, leadership, marksmanship, maneuver warfare, land navigation, jungle survival, patrolling, drills and commands, rapelling and comando crawl, and so on and so forth. 

rappel training

marksmanship training (I've got two badges!)

night navigation

jungle bivouac

in the classroom 

Because of the shared sacrifices, unforgettable funny times, and other bonding moments, our batch, RC45, was successful in forging a strong camaraderie.  (Despite little misunderstandings along the way.)  Indeed, we gained a lot from our short training.  It is where we really learned and understood the terms discipline and sacrifice.  We also developed greater respect and appreciation for the sacrifices of the selfless men and women in uniform.  

boodle fight

Hail to the troops who toil day and night so we can afford to sleep soundly in our beds!

one of those long marches

patrolling exercise

frolicking in the lahar

one of those tough lady commanders (don't piss her off!)

patrolling exercise

how to check if the enemy is still alive

one of those patrolling exercise scenes

stalking exercise 

treading the lahar-ridden path

refreshing water source

patrolling exercise (again)

By the way, can you guess who got the "Jane Award"?  Ehem...   (The Jane Award is given to the female trainee who topped the physical training.)

Sending you happy thoughts...

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