This is a continuation of my journey, enjoy.
Over the next nine weeks the bay we were assigned to would become our new home. Everybody had a bunk-mate, this bunk-mate or as the Army calls it battle buddy, and the purpose of this would be to help each other out. Your battle buddy would be the person who would help you get through the rough patches of training. If your battle buddy was wrong, you were wrong, because you did not help them enough. I remember when my battle and I were going up to our bay to get ready, when suddenly all we heard was Get the fuck down now We had no idea what we had done wrong. After doing push-ups for a while we were allowed to get up, at the time we were very angry because we had no idea why we had gotten in trouble. I can now call him and laugh about moments like that because we experienced things that most people don’t get to go through together. Imagine that, a complete stranger had just became a friend for life. I remember knowing that we had an inspection early the next morning and my locker wasn’t up to standard, my battle buddy stayed up with me all night to help me fold my clothes correctly, it is in the face of adversity that somebody’s true character shows itself. Whenever he had problems I helped and he did the same for me.
The first four weeks or so we had to eat mermites(food that arrives in big plastic containers, that is usually cooked for people out in the field). The food was horrible, we had the same menu and portions every day. Our entire unit had to stand in line silently and move like a mechanized force. A person was not allowed to talk or look around, chow time was not a social event, you ate as fast as you could and went on with training. Even today, almost two years later it is very difficult to take my time and eat, I am prime example of how rhetoric was used on me to make me believe that is the way to eat. A person must first be broken down before they can start following the military way of life. Sleep deprivation helps and so does physical activities, at the time we started everything seemed chaotic and unorganized, but now I can begin to understand the complexity of their system.
Everybody starts off at RED Phase, which basically means that you are not even human. If one person does something incorrectly, everybody is responsible for it, even if you were doing the correct thing. This is a way to single out people very quickly because nobody likes to get punished for somebody else’s mistakes. I actually came back to touch on this sentence. Most people think that when somebody is singled out, a scene from the movie Full Metal Jacket comes to mind, and I am here to burst people’s bubble because it doesn’t exactly happen that way. Although in some places things like that do occur, if you base your opinions off of a movie you are wrong from the start, the military isn’t exactly picture perfect. In fact I believe that it is within this phase that people grow closer to each other. It is through somebody’s mistake that we must create a solution to fix the problem. The Victory Tower obstacle course was put in this phase for a reason. I ask y’all this, what sane person would trust a complete stranger to help you repel down a tower? A person must learn to trust their peers in order to succeed. Many people aren’t aware that they are afraid of heights until they are standing sixty feet in the air. Call me crazy but trusting a rope isn’t exactly comforting. But their is a method to the military’s madness. We learn to trust each other and sure enough, we all jumped off the tower with virtually no problems. And the brainwashing had just began…