You guys may remember that I served a stint in the USNR, but several years before, I did Army Basic for ROTC at a camp here in the U.S. ETA: 1983
I'm old enough to have experienced:
*Army was using Jeeps
*WWII style "Steel Pot"
*M16 A1 with triangular handguards
*Tank-killer teams were using Dragons, Javelin was new
*Up 'Agony' and down 'Misery'
So, what'd your Army Basic look like?
We had mostly old stuff, steel pots and A1s. The Law, M47 and TOW were still the primary AT systems. The Army was just getting A2s, K-Pots and PASGT. The mortar guys used the English 81mm, which was relatively new. We had BDUs though, including the lightweights.
I went to Harmony Church before the switch to "starships." In fact, our company area was becoming the Army sniper school area..they were running a platoon through in one of the barracks while I was there...we could sneek through to an AFEES snack bar behind our barracks and the people thought we weren't basic trainees. The barics were so old it was next to impossible to GI them we barely had two wall lockers that were the same! So we just spent a lot of time in the field (actually had two week long FTXs during basic and one during OSUT AIT).
Except for the smokings I really enjoyed basic training. Or maybe I just enjoy the memory of it. This was in 1987.
We had hot cocoa on our FTX and cookies and ice cream for dinner.
Harmony Church Sept-Dec '80
The 1st Training Bde had the old WW2 barracks. Hot during the day Sept-Oct, cool at night.
Cold, Nov Dec. The heat never worked.
Steel pots, OG107 fatigues. Never saw cammies till Training-Mission cycle at Bragg. We still wore the OG107's during Post Support cycle.
Army was using jeeps....The M151A1 was about all we ever saw in '81.
WW-2 style steel pot....yep.
M16A1 with triangular handgaurds..oh yeah, also, the M3A1 "Greasegun" for us tankers.
Non-Cammie BDU's.....Nope, My training cycle was the first to be issued the BDU at 'Knox. 2 weeks earlier and we'd been in the "Pickle suit".
M47's were it then.
M72's were still around.
"Agony" and Misery"??? Oh yeah! My two favorite sections of Kentucky on road marches
Damn the airforce.
Seriously, that was what I loved about Army Basic. On FTX, I remember Kool-Aid (unsweetened, they forgot the sugar), hot cocoa, and a turkey dinner. Knox was beautiful in the springtime, the water tasted like it was sweetened, and about the barracks, they were WWII construction and did indeed require a fireguard, and were wicked tough to get GI clean.
I felt like the Army was a much better "team" environment than was the Navy, which always seemed like it was about "CYA" and "spear your peer."
Fort Dix, Fall 1980
- Jeeps M151
- Beat to crap Colt M16A1's with triangular handguards
- M203 Grenade launchers
- Steel Pots
- Green "Pickle" Fatigues
- Anti tank...Laws...Tow...Dragon
- Tanks...M60 Pattons
- Hueys and Mike model Huey gunships
And my absolute favorite aircraft....I give you....the A10 Warthog!
But this is what my Basic Training "looked" like...not a Marine, but my Drill got in our faces!
That was in the USNR after your Vietnam tour right MILSURP?
You are SAM and MILSURP right? I admire how you have changed your ways,but you know you are indeed him???
Oh, you got me. You're so klever! I'm Milsurp! You're right! Ha ha! Just when I think I've gotten away with my big scandal, with my gigantic cover up, you rat me out to be this other guy - Milsurp.
Edited: COC potential violation.
.45/70 trapdoors(later .30/40 Krags)
Smelly old horses.
REALLY BAD food.
God some pretty good cigars in Cuba, though.
FTX we ate white bread sandwiches that melted in our hands as it rained.
K-pots and A1s
Jumpschool barracks old and painted black inside.
Never had more fun in the army than when I was in basic/AIT/Jumpschool. The rest was pretty lame.
I did Basic at Knox in 1985. Remember about the same stuff. Delta 18-4.
Circa 1983. Your ETA is 1983, McFly?
sand hill barracks
I meant to say, EDITED TO ADD: This was 1983. I was 18, a sophmore in college, and I went in the first batch of
On one of our first dates, we went to her house and I looked at her class yearbook - it looked a lot like mine.
BTW, I can dig it up and scan it in to offer up as proof for "bobbyjerk" that I'm not the Milsurp dude that he's so obsessed with.
This was a LOT more recent than mine was.
We didn't have no steenkin' M240 to shoot, we had the M60. You shot a 7-9 round burst with it, 'cause if you shot short bursts, something would break inside the gun and she'd go uncontrolled. I think the procedure was to break the belt.
Thought the M203 was a damnned good weapon. The LAW we used just had a marker rocket, but when it ignited, I remember being surprised that it went off with a BANG instead of a "woosh," like Hollywood trained me to believe.
Threw Expert in Grenade. Shot one point away from Expert in the rifle (Sharpshooter, GRRR!).
right up the road from victory pond?
D-2-2 here, OSUT+jump school end of june-end of oct '86
I loved Harmony church.
Ah, the good old days. A1s with BDUs. But the alcohol was restricted to those over 21 years of age. Fuck that. Yes, we got drunk. And having my cousin picke me up for an off-post encounter, I had PLENTY. First whiskey, STRAIGHT UP!
Things I remember are the old M17 NBC masks and the standard DA2404.
Man, most of you guys are old school.
BDU's with the buttons on the waist of the blouse
M60 Machine Guns
AT-4 with the 9mm conversion for training
SC, circa '92
Did you guys get cravings for chocolate while you were there? Three weeks into the six week training, we were able to go to the exchange and sneak some candy (this was not something the Drill Sergeants cared for too much), and I remember eating a Cadbury Fruit and Nut (the 1/2 lb one) per day (for like five days running) like some disconsolate fat girl.
I did my OSUT at Ft Leonard Wood in 1987. It was the first time I had ever met a black person! LOL
Nope...no chocolate. Seems like I remember cough drops being the closest thing to candy that we could get, and it seemed like a big deal to us when we could get 'em.
My "battle buddy" at reception in '92 was a black guy from deep in South Carolina. His accent was so thick that I literally couldn't understand him. Eventually I just told him so -- we had a laugh and he slowed down a little bit so I could keep up.
I suggest you do just that Vic-Vega and then maybe you can convence me!!!
Or is it like it was at Pre-ban Sams-song??
Ft Sill, march '85...
Remember the old 2-story wooden barracks with the single squad bay?
Steel pot in basic...I was issued a K-pot in Germany, then when I PCS'd to 1CD in Jan '87, I got a steel pot again.
M203 (aka: the newbie rifle)
Jeeps...rode in the back of one on the Autobahn many times...in the winter, with no top.
I have never once held in my hands an M16A2...us Arty* guys are the last of the combat arms to get the new shit.
I had a set of jungle fatigues that were the perfect field uniform for NTC.
*Artillery things that show my age:
We had to depend on FDC to give us firing data.
M109A2's didn't have radios.
When pulling into firing position, we had to back up on the spades to emplace the gun.
The gun didn't lay itself, we had to do it with an M2 aiming circle.
Running out the aiming stakes.
Running wire to a junction box to get commo with FDC.
Aiming off a collimator.
We (in the 1CD) didn't have FAASV's, unlike the girls over at 2AD. All our ammo got bounced around the back of a 548. No matter how well you tied it all down, by the time you got to the firing point, the Joes, powder, fuzes--all that shit--ended up in a jumbled mess.
My particular gun was an M109A1 that had long ago been refitted into A2 configuration. It was the only howitzer I ever saw that had the split rear doors.
My first "piece" was an M110A2. You haven't lived until you've pulled the tail on an 8-inch, shooting charge 8. The whole damn howitzer comes off the ground.
Well I don't feel so old now :)
Ft. McClellan, 1988: The Army was in transition, so we got a lot of "cross training."
We learned to drive and field both the M151 and the Hummer.
We had to qualify with the .45, the .38, and the M9.
We also got training on the 90mm Recoiless Rifle, the LAW, and the AT-4 (which at the time was brand new).
The Mk-19 was just being pressed into service, and I got to be one of the first MPs to fire one.
We wore woodland camo with steel pots, and carried M16a1s, many of which had been retrofitted with 'A2 stocks.
When I got to Panama in 1989, we still wore the OD Jungle uniforms down there.
In 1985, I was 17 at Ft. Knox, KY, it was "Smoke 'em if ya got 'em", (Yes, you read that right, we were still allowed to smoke when they gave us permission) The Drills were still allowed to swear, you got "Bumped" in the knoggen with the Drill's round brown but never "hit", you also got "Poked" in the chest often with a drills seemingly ultrastrong index finger or your ears flicked which was the "worst of it" (Which was nothing other than embarassing), blanket parties were rumored to happen but no one in my platoon or company got one when I was there, it was more urban legend. You could still drink coffee or tea in BCT. PT and "smokings" didn't seem to be as intense as what my son's been telling me what is BCT is like at Ft. Leonard Wood right now. I remember being tired alot, especially in classroom and during Drill Sergeant's hour. We wore woodlands and at the M16-A2 and 1911s, (Not M-9s) Grease guns and M203s. "Cunt caps" (Garrison cover). I actually liked Ft. Knox and as I think back, I had lots of respect for my Drills, not because they were dicks to us, they actually wern't, but because they were great soldiers, very knowlegable, firm but fair and always ready to answer questions. Sure, they made me nervous, but only because I was afraid I'd do something stupid and get smoked for it, which I liked out, I was never "individually" smoked, just smoked with everyone else when someone would fuck up, I don't think my drills even knew my name until the end, at least if they did, they never let me know it. Oh yeah, I absolutely LOVED the "Chow-hall" (Now called DFAC) as I was ALWAYS hungry and those folk could COOK! Seems like they can cook like crazy in the south. And deer running everywhere on post. It was amazing. It was friggen COLD, but, they kept up moving, so, it was tollerable. I earned an on post pass to go see a movie at the post theater were I saw this cheesy movie called "DEFCON". But, it was great to earn such a thing, so, who cared if the movie sucked. The modern Disney barracks were still pretty new and very comfortable, but the corrugated huts with the hardwood floors in reception were IMHO very nostalgic and still comfortable as I don't ever remember being cold in them other than going to the latrine, that part was a little chilly. The Fat asses that came over from "Thunderbolt" who were recycles were responcible for most of OUR troubles as they always seemed to fuck up, otherwise, most of the guys in my platoon were pretty strong, atheletic types that were motivated and pretty squared away from the beginning. There was a "little" negative diciplin, but I remember lots of positive reinforcement everytime we did -whatever- right the first time. The post exchange was sizable and seemed to have everything that I could think of.
Drill and ceremony as I remember was one of my favorite things and the cadences were both fun and at times humorous, but you didn't laugh. I understand that the ARMY has toned cadences down alot, which is dissapointing. Road marches were enjoyable and there was minimal shouting as was a chance to "get out and see things" all though you made sure the Drills never saw you looking anywhere but ahead. I think they knew we were looking around, but if you didn't make it obvious, they left you alone. The confidence course was like being an older kid turned loose on the worlds biggest "Adventure jungle gym" which was to me, a BLAST. And BRM was kick ass as was learning to throw grenades, something about ME making anything go BOOM was KICKASS! Shooting "Expert" was truly bragging rights.
But.... Where in the name of ZEUSES BUTTHOLE did they get those "Buddy Holly" birth control eyeglasses? Thank GOD my eyes were 20/20, but my buddies in BCT all looked like megadorks in those things and when when I saw my first female private on post wearing them, holy shit, if the ARMY ever had anything that could turn beauty into UGLY, it was those fucking glasses. At the time, I had thought that BCT was "tough" but not "hard" per se, it wasn't hard for me "physically", it was hard for me "emotionally", I was a mamma's boy who had never been really away from home until then, so, I was homesick alot. I also hated fireguard, I liked to sleep at night, not stay up and listen to everyone else snore, and CQ duty sucked as well. Road guard duty never affected me, they wanted taller guys to do that. The two drills I remember most were Drill Sergeant Tiffany and Drill Sergeant Contrell, both I remember as being enormous men (as in tall) compared to me, yet "The pride of the ARMY" in how they acted.
Woud I do it again? Actually, when I think back, I enjoyed BCT. Yes, I'd do it again, but I'd be a little embarassed at all the "youngsters" outdoing me in the APFT now.
Side note: My eldest son had spent two weeks home with us during Christmas Exodus, I couldn't help but smile inside and out when he said "Dad, going through BCT has sure helped me understand why you do and say thing things you did and do in my life". He went on to tell me that having me as his Dad (Mind you, I "Inhereted" this kid from age 10, he' s actually my stepson) made BCT easier for him and it made more sense to him. I'd also like to point out that he's in my first national guard unit, 1/18th Armored Cav, "A" troop. My 17 year old enlisted July of last year and will be shipping to Ft. Benning, GA. in a few months, he loves going to drills and is excited about BCT. Christmas eve, they were sitting next to me in the family room and asked me "Dad, what was Basic like for you"? Enter "The blast from the past" as I thought back to it all. This was a pretty cool moment for me.
What did my Army basic look like to me? Like a black and white film of a younger me actually having a good time when I didn't know it.
Not such bad memories, though!
Nope, but close.
D 3/13 Ft Jackson, SC.
Can You guess the year?
October 31, 19__ Fort Leonard Wood MO
Qualfied with the M-14 rifle, did not see the M16 till Fort Sill about 8 weeks later.--------- good clue
The M-60 was the all purpose machine gun
We still had Kahkis' and wool uniforms besides the cotton utility The "Green pickle"
We still had white name tags.
Our rank was still gold on black "skeeter wings" or you could become a Spc.4 or a Corporal
The Steel pot was the only helmet known.
The "C rat was the common portable type meal and they had cigarrets and matches along with a p-38 can opener.
Jeeps & 1/4 ton dodge powerwagons were common.
Vietnam was the destination for most after AIT training.
Sonny & Cher were signing "I Got You Babe" on the radio
The most popular movie? "Alfie" or "what it all about Alfie"
The beatles Split up 6 months later.
Fort Lost in the Woods (D-5-10 and A Co 87th Eng) Summer 1990
Lot's of Heat and bugs
Daisy's Health Spa
God I hate that farking place but it could have been worse - Ft Polk
Easy. I kept a day-by-day diary. Or more of a night-by-night, it would be done with a flashlight after lights out. Time was a bit short.
Manic's Diary, Ft Knox 2001.
On our FTX we didn't eat any MRE's. Something about someone eating a bunch of dehydrated fruit and drinking a canteen of water. This was in '87. I didn't have my first MRE until AIT in '89.
Fort Lost in tha woods- feb 1989.
It was damn cold all the time. BRM was hell because all the prone firing points were wallowed out and had a nice 2-4 inch deep puddle of ice water for you to lay in.(still got expert though).
It was icy when we did the obstacle course and one of the first privates to go, fell off of the weaver at it's highest point and broke his collarbone so they cancelled that for the rest of us.
The wildest part of it all was the one suicide and two attempted ones and the numerous people that broke down crying when drill sergeants zeroed in on them.
When the wind was out of the southwest, you could smell the BurgerKing a mile away and it was a magnet for us on Sundays.
ok, I will play:
What: OSUT for 13F/Forward Observer (COLT)
Where: Fort Sill
When: 2 years ago
heh heh heh...well
Small Arms: M16A2, M249, M203.
Anti Tank: AT-4 (our MOS also got AT in the form of 155mm SPG/105mm towed ).
Bradley Fire Support Vehicle.
Last class before everyone was allowed to have the flag on their shoulder.
Last class before people got a single "stress card" to use during training.
First class to have Bellevue boots instead of the old all leather boots, one of the last as well as this boot was short lived.
All the other platoons got hair and phone calls in AIT, ours did not.
We got to buy personal night vision for use in FTXs in AIT, three of us did so.
We killed a whole company with our platoon due to us being the only ones with any nightvision, in addition to somehow having acquired CS grenades and lots of extra ammo.
Those of us who bought it (NODs) got our money back as a tax return. They where bought for work.
As I look back the best time of my life, as long as it is in the past...dunno if I would like basic again.
G3, MG3, the fifty cal, Leo1, M113, M109, BV206, CV90. Way to much of the gear were things we either got from the US via the Mutual Defence Aid Program or bought in the 60'ies.
Except no M4 anythings.
I hate GFT. Altogether now, I have about 75hrs of Level 1 GFT because they keep on making us learn it.
Ft Benning, Sand Hilton 1984:
1st week of basic,the Drill Sgt's took us to the post movie theatre to see...Red Dawn.That kinf of motivated us to say the least.
Strip club somewhere off base
Finally being able to go to the PX
Bragging to the other companys ie: 13 and a wake up
Setting fires down range with M60 tracers
Getting my wisdom teeth pulled out 2nd day of basic
Being in complete awe of the Rangers
Been a long time...
The Belleville's are standard issue.
Stress cards were a freakin' decade ago (lasted one, maybe two cycles).
You went through BCT at the same time I did, last class with no flag. I went to Relxin' Jackson (my ASS).
No desserts (unless you wanted to spend an hour in the Pit), until we passed the APFT.
'Private candy' was what the Drills called cough drops.
We got to see an M60 . . . on the racks in the arms depot. SAW
DFAC food was good, until about the sixth week when I could no longer stand to eat the same foods over again and had to start getting salads and making sandwiches.
The best? Getting to leave with my wife & kids the day of graduation.
Knox D/1-46 1992
Agony and Misery; we'd run up them, Drill Sgts would turn around to go pick up stragglers, we'd do this 2-3 times, by that point the fast guys learned to fall back to the rear and simultaneously run and kick stragglers in the ass to get up that hill!
ETA: if you thought the Buddy Holly glasses were dorky, take a look at the current BCGs At least the Buddy Hollies are retro-cool.
2001 fort jax sc went between my junier seiner year of high school i graduated the first day of school so i didnt go in till the second my teacher asked were i was so i handed her a copy of my orders you should of seen her face
edit: i think i need to go back to schooto lern how to spell
2 Plt, A 2/28, Ft Jackson, SC, Spring 2004.
M16A2s beat to shit.
DS's that aren't supposed to yell at you and can't touch you (The yelling happened anyway, and there were training accidents in other companies).
Anal retentive rules about fraternization.
30* mornings, 110* afternoons, 50* evenings.
Really freaking good banana pudding.
Up - Attention!
Down - To detail!