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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The creation of the American Soldier - Initiation part 4

As basic training winds down, I think most individuals who complete it begin to have a great sense of accomplishment.  Both of mind and body.  Mind because of successfully navigating the emotional distress administered by drill instructors on a daily basis and also the knowledge that you have accomplished all the tasks and skills for which you must use your brain.  Everyone is under the impression that the Army is simply a physical roadblock, but that is much to the contrary.  It is as much, if not more mental than physical.  Memorizing your General OrdersThe Soldier's Creed, The Warrior Ethos, The Army Values, The Army Song, your chain of command (link is general info on organizational chain of command, you need to know your direct chain of command from individuals team or first line leader, all the way to the POTUS), all the steps and commands of drill and ceremony, the basic rifle marksmanship strategies, to include remedial and immediate actions on your rifle, proper Customs and Courtesies, and trying to commit to memory all the annoying acronyms they throw at you.  This list can go on and on, it seems literally endless, but it is not.  It does however, only skim the surface of knowledge a soldier needs to commit to memory or have at his fingertips once finishing training.  Again, more on that later.

The physical aspect of molding a soldier is also daunting, but certainly not as difficult as the mental aspect.  Any human body can be trained into shape, unfortunately, the mental aspect is hindered by an individuals insight and intelligence, often hindered by genetics, some things you just have no choice but to live with.  So, even though the basic combat training physical training program is intense, it is easier to obtain and maintain that level of fitness than comprehend the rest of what is asked when becoming a soldier.  The Army Physical Fitness Program and Test is in the process of being overhauled, or at least that is the word.  Not sure when all the changes will take effect.

After going through 9 weeks of Fort Leonard wood, Missouri.  I was ready to move on to my Advanced Individual Training (AIT) at Fort Sam Houston Texas.  It would be another eye opening experience, but much of the same in the mold of basic training.

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