Sunday, September 25, 2011

Good Training

I owe a lot to the excellent NCO's who trained me when I was a young soldier.  It's been 22 years since I was an eager recruit and 13 since I signed my discharge papers, but some things still hold true.  Most of them are ingrained habits that come from drills repeated until I dreamed about them.
  • I was watching a documentary yesterday about military technology through the ages, and one of the soldiers was carrying a chemical weapons alarm that went off.  This equipment puts out a high pitched tone that no other thing makes when it's tripped.  When I heard it, I immediately stopped breathing, closed my eyes, and reached to my thigh for my protective mask.  Irish Woman looked at me like I had lobsters growing out of my head.
  • When loading a semi-automatic pistol or rifle, I always lock the slide to the rear, insert the magazine into the weapon, and then release the slide lock.  It never occurs to me to just pull the slide back and let it go after inserting the magazine.
  • When I walk with someone, I almost always walk on their left as a show of respect.
  • I know to stand and show respect not only when I hear the Star Spangled Banner, but also Le Marseilles, God Save the Queen, and Deutchland Uberalles.
  • When driving up to the a vehicle gate in the dark, I still remember to turn off my headlights and drive up with my parking lights on so that I don't blind the gate guard.
  • When shooting my friend's AR-15 at the range, I still do SPORTS without thinking about it when it has a malfunction.
  • I cringe when I see how people on TV and the movies wear uniforms, especially when they're wearing ribbons and decorations.
  • I remember that an ensign is not a lieutenant, and a captain is not a colonel.
  • I still think black jungle boots look silly, especially the ones with the jump boot toe.  And the ones that zip up the side are as wrong as a football bat.
It's amazing what sticks with you, isn't it?

2 comments:

Sean D Sorrentino said...

I still walk on the left. Sometimes it takes a deliberate effort to walk on the right.

You're right, jungle boots should have green nylon, not black.

My biggest problem is that I still can't wear a hat indoors.

MrG's said...

I resemble some of those.....it has been 20 years but I still do certain things from my military training.

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