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Heroes Community > Other Side of the Monitor > Thread: You Are In The Army Now
Thread: You Are In The Army Now This thread is 2 pages long: 1 2 · NEXT»
Vlaad
Vlaad


Admirable
Legendary Hero
ghost of the past
posted March 29, 2005 09:52 PM bonus applied.

You Are In The Army Now

There is no professional army in my country, so all men (age 18-27) have to serve in the military for eight months.

During that time I learned Basic Logistics, Advanced Archery and Expert Tactics... and had a backpack full of useless artifacts!

However, it wasn't so fun as it might sound.

The point of this thread is to share this feeling with you and to hear your experience, if you had any.

I believe Consis (and someone else?) was in the army himself. What about others? How did you feel? Please keep in mind that this is not another thread for history arguements or your grandpa's bedtime stories.

Oh yeah, have I mentioned that you will be able to follow my "blog"? Here comes chapter one:


YOU'RE IN THE ARMY NOW (1)

Like I mentioned, Serbia has no professional army so each boy has to serve his country. Further more, it is a sign of manhood and patriotism (or at least it was before the civil war, when the entire system of values was turned upside down).

It’s a tradition to give a party when one goes to army. Proud fathers spin their stories from the military, mothers and girlfriends cry, friends gather and get drunk. I didn’t feel like it. I thought there was nothing to celebrate. I wasn’t afraid or worried either. I used to joke about it, saying it’ll be a heaven after a year with little rascals at school.

I remember that afternoon on December 2nd, 2003  I bought my first cell phone (so I could stay in touch with Sandra), played my favourite computer games and browsed my comics collection. Just think about it.

In the evening I took a bus to Subotica, a town in north Serbia where my base was. Having arrived, I took a taxi and found the garrison. A lot of young men and their families and friends had gathered in front of the gate, some singing, others cheering whenever a boy finally decided to enter the camp.Then and there I met two of my “classmates”. Months later, the former kept running away until he was expelled, while the other became a major pain in my ass.

Once we came inside, there was no turning back.

A senior soldier led us to a building where an officer ordered us to get stripped and have a shower. It was funny, you know, being naked in a room full of naked men, but I quickly got used to it. There are lots of things I never got used to. For example, the uniform I got five minutes later. It was too big, old and shabby. And I couldn’t have it washed for a month.

But I was still in good mood, kidding and trying to cheer up the others.

Finally, around midnight, we were shown our beds. Everybody else was already sleeping. Just one voice from the darkness asked: “Do you realize where you have come?” I answered: “It doesn’t seem THAT bad.”

Next morning the worst part of my life began.

(to be continued…)

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Consis
Consis


Honorable
Legendary Hero
Of Ruby
posted March 30, 2005 12:08 AM

Service Was Better Than Home

Vlaad,

I enjoyed reading your post. It was the same for me except I volunteered to join and my uniform was too small; not too big. I was afraid to wash it because I knew it would get smaller in the laundry. I waited for 3 months to wash my uniform. When I did, it shrunk. My boots never seemed to fit(much pain and many blisters) and I remember seeing other men who wanted to go home. Some were young and some were older. Bunks were small and my feet always hung off the end. Lockers had only uniforms, underwear, rank, hygene items(toothbrush/razor), aluminum I.D. tags, and boots. There was no other clothing; no watches allowed; and only one personal photo allowed for pocket of uniform. I wear glasses too, but they made me exchange my normal glasses for a different kind that would fit inside a gas mask(nickname: birth control glasses/B.C.G.'s).

I think military is military in all the world. This is why I respect soldiers even from other countries. It is a good thing to protect one's own country. I only know hamsi128, Khayman, and Redhawk are also soldiers at Heroes Community.
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Roses Are RedAnd So Am I

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Vlaad
Vlaad


Admirable
Legendary Hero
ghost of the past
posted March 30, 2005 08:04 PM

Quote:
...

I think military is military in all the world.


Consis,

Thank you for your answer and all the things you've written. I guess I knew all that myself, but had to hear it from someone else. It sounded comforting.

When and where have you served?

By the way, it's interesting you were not allowed to have watches. We had even cell phones, although they had to be off most of the time.

Anyway, here are more sob stories:

YOU'RE IN THE ARMY NOW
(chapter 2)

Every single movie about military life you've ever seen is true. From the sergeant who yells "GET UP" at 5 am, to morning exercises, everyday sweeping and cleaning, crawling in the mud, old Soviet arms...  to crossing out days in the calendar, moments before the lights are off. The worst thing was we didn't have hot water and it was early December. The only time we used hot water was when taking a shower (once a week!). On the other hand, there was no cold water then! Now try to imagine yourself standing naked, your skin red and itchy, and watching the snow (just a few steps away) through the broken window... but you are not cold at all. It was the best feeling in that hell.

Anyway, some boys have already been discussing the civil service: you stay at home, work in an old people's home until 2 pm, and then you're free.

(Why would anybody serve in the uniform, you ask? Because it's five months less.)

Sincerely, I was thinking of giving it up. And it was day 2 of 260 (or as soldiers say: The number is 258).

But let me tell you about my boots.

Unlike my shabby uniform, they were brand new. Black. Big. Warm. Gave me so deep blisters that, my socks soaked in blood, I had been shuffling for a week.

They saved me.

They saved me because, eventually, I was sent to hospital.

Day 14 my girlfriend Sandra came to visit me (my first weekend off was still two weeks away!). Later she said she was scared when she saw me. Shaved, thin, pale, almost bald - I must have looked like a ghost. But I didn't feel that miserable anymore: I had been sleeping and eating for seven days.

And I decided to stay.

The number was 246.

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Consis
Consis


Honorable
Legendary Hero
Of Ruby
posted March 30, 2005 08:33 PM
Edited By: Consis on 30 Mar 2005

Vlaad,

You tell a good accurate story. Sergeants yelling all the time. When they stop yelling and pull a soldier out of rank then he was probably going home. Yelling is good.

I served U.S. AirForce 1993-1997.5 in dessert of Las Vegas, Nevada.

Boots/weapon are most important. My boots made me bleed too but not too much so I didn't go to hospital. I pushed through the pain. Boots save your life. I learned the most important rule of boots: keep socks dry at all costs. Pay whatever you have to pay for water-proof spray/glue/anything. Whenever group stops for break while on patrol then change socks if wet. Always keep boots clean but not polished. Polish is only for ceremony(when Generals visit) If boots are too shiny on battlefield then soldier is easy target for enemy fire. No weapons allowed in barracks. Weapons always stay in weapons locker outside barracks. Everyone assigned own M-16(mine was GAU-7 + 9mm Berretta). When soldier has weapon then always, always, always keep clean! If malfunction then soldier is dead.

Same as you we only take one shower a week but only allowed 1 minute 30 seconds under water then out, dry, and dressed in 5 minutes. Sometimes 1 shower in 3 weeks(use foot powder on all private parts and feet = last longer).

No watches allowed except on the "dormchief". DormChief was same as soldier-leader of 30-50 men. Only he keeps the time and you go when the sergeant tells him time for everyone to go.
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Roses Are RedAnd So Am I

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Vlaad
Vlaad


Admirable
Legendary Hero
ghost of the past
posted April 02, 2005 11:06 PM
Edited By: Vlaad on 2 Apr 2005

I think I was a dormchief about TEN times/days in total, "thanks" to my rank (I became a corporal later). What a hell! Keeping 50 soldiers under control was a nightmare. One had to make one's friends do the chores AND know by heart the name and whereabouts of each and every newcomer in the unit, and report it to the officer in charge. Later I volunteered to be the deputy: I wouldn't sleep for 36 hours, but what the heck, I was responsible for the rifles only.

(Oh, I had a Kalashnikov. I don't know if it's similar to M-16...?)

Consis, how did you call new soldiers (like we call them "noobs" in this forum, for example)??? We used to call them "lizards" or "lizzies". No idea why.

Anyway...

YOU ARE IN THE ARMY NOW
(chapter 3)

If you had read my previous whining, you probably realized that my unit were not having the time of our lives. However, once a month we had lessons by a psychiatrist that were supposed to help us.

She told us about a man who spent World War II in a concetration camp. He saved his sanity by writing a book. (Name, anyone?) He made notes whenever he had a chance. Eventually, he survived the holocaust and lived to publish his work. The psychiatrist told us to try something similar.

Being a Heroes mapmaker, I started creating maps... in my mind. Those scenarios had nothing in common with my military experience, mind you. The opposite is true, actually!

I even made notes using my cell phone (it's not allowed to carry one when you are a guard on duty, but it's very useful ).

And believe me, if you are in the middle of a forest at night, it helps if you can think about your new campaign.

But that's another story...

Anyway, I came back, got married, started teaching again... Not only did I finally find a copy of "Winds of War", but I also found out that WoG 3.58 had just come out. Needless to say, I soon realized those two were the best sandboxes ever.

I've started no less than four maps, so stay tuned!
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Daddy
Daddy


Responsible
Supreme Hero
and why not.
posted April 03, 2005 12:35 AM

Vlaad, I do enjoy reading your story here. Please keep it on!

Oh, and of course I am curious about those maps^^

reg
Daddy
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Consis
Consis


Honorable
Legendary Hero
Of Ruby
posted April 03, 2005 05:22 AM
Edited By: Consis on 2 Apr 2005

Hehe, Yes True...

Quote:
I think I was a dormchief about TEN times/days in total, "thanks" to my rank (I became a corporal later). What a hell! Keeping 50 soldiers under control was a nightmare. One had to make one's friends do the chores AND know by heart the name and whereabouts of each and every newcomer in the unit, and report it to the officer in charge. Later I volunteered to be the deputy: I wouldn't sleep for 36 hours, but what the heck, I was responsible for the rifles only.

Same for me. I was in charge for maybe two weeks but then was demoted because I was white. And my duties would rotate with everyone: Weapons to cleaning to patrol etc....
Quote:
(Oh, I had a Kalashnikov. I don't know if it's similar to M-16...?)

I have studied the differences between the Kalashnikov and the M-16. Our American M-16 rifles are lighter and have more attachments. They also malfunction more than the Kalashnikov. Basically, the M-16 rifle has a wider variety of usage but the AK-47 is the most reliable assault rifle in the world. If 1,000 men using M-16 are attacking 1,000 men using AK-47, in a formation like Romans once did, then the Ak-47 will win the day. But this is conventional warfare. Today we do not see conventional warfare. Today we see routing commando operations. If indeed 1,000 men were on any battlefield of today it would be to support 1,000 tanks leading the charge. The M-16 can equip itself with a special scope giving it a sniping-capable attack option. This is especially useful when using a night-vision scope and performing an assault at night like they are doing in Iraq. But if you remember Vietnam then you realize a jungle will cause more weapon malfunctions. The communist guerillas of Ho Chi Min used the AK-47 and it served them well because it jammed exponentially less then the M-16. In fact our American early versions of the M-16 were so likely to jam that many soldiers would switch and pick up an enemy's weapon after killing him. But this was a gamble among American soldiers who knew the sound of the enemy fire. The AK-47 sounds distinctly different when being fired. It is louder and lower in pitch. The M-16 is higher pitched. Trained soldiers might mistake their own comrades when hearing them fire an enemy AK-47. They are very interesting; the AK-47 and the M-16. These two assault rifles are still used today by armies all over the world but the AK-47 is cheaper, easier to make, and more reliable in any terrain therefore it is the weapon of choice for small militia-size guerrilla fighters such as those found in Mogadishu, Panama, and Vietnam. From a standpoint of military value, one cannot discount the value of either of these two exceptional weapons.

But as always, you will hear soldiers and civilians who are nationalist claim their weapon is better. This is not true. It all depends on what your soldiers will be doing.
Quote:
Consis, how did you call new soldiers (like we call them "noobs" in this forum, for example)??? We used to call them "lizards" or "lizzies". No idea why.

We called them "Rainbows"....don't know why either.
Quote:
If you had read my previous whining, you probably realized that my unit were not having the time of our lives. However, once a month we had lessons by a psychiatrist that were supposed to help us.

One psych per unit: he/she was called "First Shirt or first Sergeant". Or one Chaplain per batallion: he/she was called a "Chaplain" and was not allowed to carry weapons so an armed escort always escorted him/her around.
Quote:
And believe me, if you are in the middle of a forest at night, it helps if you can think about your new campaign.

Yes I believe you. This is when frightening but no one says it is. Don't want to be made fun of by other soldiers.
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Roses Are RedAnd So Am I

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hamsi128
hamsi128


Promising
Supreme Hero
tosser tavern owner
posted April 04, 2005 08:48 AM

well

hi there,

first of all never give up... imagine number 0 the rising sun where u ll return to home... you ll feel soo good

i believe after reading your posts that military is same all around the world... Same things on barracks hehe and my advice is if u want to find hot shower WAKE UP EARLY... At 04.00 there is hot shower believe me

In my first part of military it was nice, tons of practise and sergeant yells still on my ears ... whenever i went to mountain for my real garrison yeah thats sucks a little.... no water(shaving with snow) , no fresh food ,no hgyene at all... It was nightmare ... I used tons of guns but my favorite is G3 with 7.62 ammo. With 5.56 weapons you can only wound target but if u hit someone's leg for example with 7.62 ammo there is no leg anymore. The ammo rolls after fired and when u hit target it explodes inside..

To pass time on army i advice u to find a moron in your barracks then joke with him. Yeah ima not a good type i accept but to pass time these naives are necessary...

Finally for boots i dont have anything to say ... my boots are small for me and i steal one pair from another soldier ... Its not thieving , the boots just changed places

Well as u can see ima complete jackass in army but all my commanders liked me(they never shows it but you understand in their eyes)  .. and trusted to me because they know that ILL SURVIVE


Quote:

Consis, how did you call new soldiers (like we call them "noobs" in this forum, for example)??? We used to call them "lizards" or "lizzies". No idea why.




We call them pochette in turkish army... we call them ''çömez'' too but i dont know even the meaning of the word ''çömez'' lol


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Vlaad
Vlaad


Admirable
Legendary Hero
ghost of the past
posted April 04, 2005 06:10 PM
Edited By: Vlaad on 4 Apr 2005

Quote:
hamsi wrote:

first of all never give up... imagine number 0 the rising sun where u ll return to home... you ll feel soo good

Heh, I am not in the army anymore. This is a survivor's tale. And when the number was 0 it was one of the best days in my life!

Consis, more on guards and fear in chapter five...!

Let's stop whining and go to

YOU ARE IN THE ARMY NOW
(chapter four)

There were some good things, though.

Before I went to the army I had thought I would be the worst soldier ever. Aside from the Fat Guy each unit seems to have, that is.

To begin with, I am a pacifist (so sue me!). A year later, I find myself chatting about semiautomatic firearms. Don’t take me wrong: I am still against any kind of war, but I am not afraid of guns anymore. Frankly, my first shooting was the most interesting thing during those eight months. Now, before you quote theories about rifles and manhood, let me tell you I had felt a man enough way before I fired my first bullet. In addition, I haven’t felt more potent or whatever after I did.

That December morning we woke up half an hour earlier, drove past the fields to the woods nearby. It was dawn when we arrived, but I had to wait until noon. My group was given the signal; we approached the line of fire, lay down on the frozen ground and got ready. We had been practicing it for two days, but without real ammo. In other words, I wasn’t prepared for the noise. I was carefully aiming for the bull’s eye when the guy next to me fired.

I went deaf.

I went deaf but got a grip, aimed and fired myself. In the end, I got 112 out of 150 and my first tapping on the back.

Being the only person in my barracks who ever saw a college, I got a nickname “Professor” (although I was just a teacher). When asked why by my officers, I became the lieutenant’s scribe (the infamous “scribbler”!). Soon I was also chosen to be the soldier who calculates the angles (?) in artillery. In other words, I was sweeping and washing less while writing and drawing more.

I guess I was lucky, as well. Most of my officers were young and educated people, fresh from the Academy… not like other old farts that all soldiers hated. When another lieutenant overheard I was a pro-Democrat voter, he chose me to be his adjutant. We used to stay on duty until midnight, discussing French movies and new wave music lest we both fell asleep.

The last but not the least, the male bonding (don’t die laughing) is more profound in the army than you imagine. I think it’s the fact that you all eat the same snow together… It makes you equal, dependent and open.

However, it was our artillery shooting that made me finally realize WHY I was there.

The “number” was 170.

The night had already fallen when I crawled out of my tank and took off my helmet. While I was sitting there on top of that metal behemoth, watching dozens of glowing missiles soaring across the starry sky, I remembered my father, a communist corporal, and my grandfather, a sergeant in the King’s cavalry, and millions of other men and women in other places and times. I realized it has always been like that. I felt sad but understood it.

When we returned to the base, I was promoted and got a week off.

Nevertheless, the best was yet to come…

(to be continued, of course)

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Svarog
Svarog


Honorable
Supreme Hero
statue-loving necrophiliac
posted April 05, 2005 03:24 AM

Quote:
The last but not the least, the male bonding (don’t die laughing) is more profound in the army than you imagine.

Oh, I sure dont want to imagine.

Also Vlaad, what you said about the custom to send men in the army with celebrations (accompanied by the music of Ceca and the rest of the crap); we had that here as well about 5-10 ago. But these newer generations dont want to go in the army, and everyone looks for a way to avoid it. This trend is rahter complex and has to do with lost faith in the intitutions and mostly the sense for patriotism among all age groups, especially younger, replaced by some form of quasi-patriotism that doesnt see military service as a way to show how much you love your country (and rightly so).
In a year time however, we'll have another round of millitary reforms, so called professionalization of the army, and its quite possible that we finish with obligatory service altogether (very much a communist concept). If not by 2006, then I imagine in the following years.
I recieved just a month ago an invitation for recruitation, but I wont go until I finish college, by which time I dont believe it'll be obligatory.
____________
The meek shall inherit the earth, but NOT its mineral rights.

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Vlaad
Vlaad


Admirable
Legendary Hero
ghost of the past
posted July 20, 2005 03:07 PM

The Conclusion

I though I might wrap this thread up, although all the people who posted here are now gone (except Svarog, who could be banned again anytime ).

YOU ARE IN THE ARMY NOW
part 5 (the end)

Like I said, the most interesting part of my military service was yet to come. I ended up a corporal and was assigned a guard for the last three months.

Just a short explanation: A guard is on duty for two hours, then sleeps for two hours and finally watches over other guards' weapons for two hours. Then he goes on duty again... A guard is on duty for seven days, then replaced by another soldier. The same guard could return to active duty in 24 hours.

So, how do you manage to stay sane? You don't.

I spent my first night out in the woods, guarding some old archery range. It's funny now, but I was scared sh!tless then: everything around me became alive and began moving and rustling! LOL

I remember I'd point my rifle into the darkness, waiting for somebody or something to come forward, then suddenly turn around 'cause a shadow moved.

You can die laughing now, but did you know that the hedgehog can breathe as loudly as a man?

-------------------------------------------

Later, we used to laugh telling those stories to newbies, especially when an officer would join the party. Our sergeant knew a great tale, about an ogre who made strange sounds and ran fast in the bushes. Finally, he would explain that there was no need to worry - the locals found out later that it was a lynx instead. Ha ha, I can see those petrified faces even now.

After a month, I got used to sleeping among stray dogs and crawling bugs, listening to cats crying like babies and the crow of roosters waaaay before the dawn.

If we were expecting the control officer, I'd stay awake and take down notes about my future Heroes maps. The result of those sleepless nights are no less than four scenarios ).

Being a senior soldier wasn't always fun, though; my responsibility was to take care of the guns as well. In the middle of the night I was alone with stoned or drunk boys who had their rifles cocked.

On the other hand, I could watch TV all afternoon.

Stranger things happened, though...

I would get up and go to have breakfast, when my friends laughed and said that it was dusk, not dawn.

Once I woke up, but couldn't tell if I was looking at the ceiling or the floor.

Eventually, the officers decided to give us a break.

------------------------------------------

Six months later, I still used to dream about the military. If I met someone who served the army, we would start neverending talks. Hey, I even opened a thread here.

"Get out of the army already!", my wife would tease me.

And finally, a year later, I did.


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vlaad
vlaad


Admirable
Legendary Hero
ghost of the past
posted July 21, 2005 04:36 PM
Edited By: vlaad on 21 Jul 2005

Now, who was the smart alec who put "poetic" for this thread?! This is supposed to be man talk!

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pandora
pandora


Honorable
Legendary Hero
The Chosen One
posted July 21, 2005 04:45 PM

I didn't put the poetic on there, and I couldn't find the "man-talk" rating to fix it

I did apply the overdue QP though, thank you for sharing this 'man-talk' with us
____________
"In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."

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tigris
tigris


Supreme Hero
Supreme Noobolator
posted July 21, 2005 04:59 PM

Lol at least you have 1 year or so of army, but i'm in it for life.Just passed the last Academy exam and graduation is next Saturday.Then i'm  a second lieutenent.

I can say that this kind of duty can be really mind wreking.We only served for one day once a week, but in 3 hours shifts.Good thing someone invented radio ;P
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vlaad
vlaad


Admirable
Legendary Hero
ghost of the past
posted July 21, 2005 09:59 PM

Quote:
I didn't put the poetic on there, and I couldn't find the "man-talk" rating to fix it


Ah, it's "real life" now. Much better, don't you think?

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Vlaad
Vlaad


Admirable
Legendary Hero
ghost of the past
posted July 21, 2005 10:15 PM
Edited By: Vlaad on 21 Jul 2005

Quote:
Lol at least you have 1 year or so of army, but i'm in it for life.Just passed the last Academy exam and graduation is next Saturday.Then I'm  a second lieutenent.


Congratulations!

I admit I find it strange that a second lieutenant plays Heroes. Mine played Far Cry only!

Seriously though, I had great officers. Two second lieutenants, both my age and fresh from the academy. In the beginning we had little or no contact, but later we realized we had a lot in common aside from age. I was one of few educated soldiers (actually, I was the only one in my unit who could spell well ) and I was rather interested in politics and art. Eventually, I found myself chatting with them. Before I knew it, I became the infamous but valuable "scribbler" (sort of "teacher's pet" in the army ).

In the end, I guess we were very much alike, although I had to listen to their orders until the last day, of course. Frankly, I was surprised with my officers... and I mean that in a good way. It's just that I've never imagined a second lieutenant playing computer games.

On the other hand, if my students knew that I am a Heroes geek, they would probably die laughing...




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SirDunco
SirDunco


Responsible
Supreme Hero
posted July 22, 2005 02:03 PM
Edited By: SirDunco on 22 Jul 2005

Oh one thing that I am really greatfull about is that last weekend our Army, well actualy it is called are the Armed Forces of the Slovak Republic, was declared fully profesional.

Meaning...No Service In the Army. Oh am I glad. Next year would have been my year if I wasn't in College.

Army service is one thing that I would never want to do.
There is just something repeling about being bossed around by hairless, brainless, absolutely stupid sergants.
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vlaad
vlaad


Admirable
Legendary Hero
ghost of the past
posted July 22, 2005 03:29 PM

Quote:
There is just something repeling about being bossed around by hairless, brainless, absolutel stupid sergants.


Tigris, it seems we have a guy with the authority problem here! What do you suggest?

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tigris
tigris


Supreme Hero
Supreme Noobolator
posted July 22, 2005 05:56 PM

Well Vlaad, i don't want to be a smartass, but i often heard my friends who have served in the military thinking the same way.To a newbie soldier, in his first weeks in the army, the seniour soldier or the sarge are like GODS.They are the most feared and hated individuals on earth.That's because the regular soldiers won't have much contact with the officers, unless he is selected to write some documents in someone's bureau.So most of the soldiers suffer lots of abuse the first months eigher from their colleagues who were enlisted with only a few months earlier of from some seargent who has finished primary school at best.What this does to the average 20 year old recruit, is simply turning him into an animal(this may sound a bit extreme but it often isn't).Anyways his emotions, his feelings don't worth a dime to no one.
What it always shocked me is that the same people that went through this torment in the first part of their military, turn themselves against the new recruits and continue the same rituals they had to suffer.All that in the name of tradition.This seems very stupid to me and i never could understand it.
At 14 years old i had my first contact with the military when i was admitted in a Military Highschool.As a juniour, you had to salute all the older colleagues.Some of the seniours had always something to say to us juniours.The "worse"/funniest memory from my first year in the military highschool was "the baptize".this wasn't a common practice amongst the majority, but just a habbit in the sports teams.Each year there is a big competition between all military highschools.It was not often when a juniour got to participate cos regualry, the selection was based on seniority.So when a rookie caught the team and especially if he did good, he wasn't treated as a rookie anymore, but as one of the "veterans".But to reach that status, one needed to be "baptized".That meant basically to be beaten on the butt with wet towels or with sleepers.Although is was mostly symbolic, it hurted like hell.Aside that, i can honestly say, no one pulled rank on me in the highschool.
When i got to the Academy, everybody knew me already, cos they were all former graduates from military highschools and i was a good athlete in highschool so i won most of those competition between highschool in athletics.So to my surprise, from the first days, seniour students came to me and asked me how am i, if i needed anything and so on.Here in the Academy, we all use our names or nicknames to talk to eachother, so it's a friendly enviroment.

Most of these rituals,you guys described, take part without the officers being aware of them, even though there are cases when they know and even encourage them.

What i'm trying to stress here, is that many people leave the army with a deformed image about it.Many consider it a place where only stupidity has found it's place and so on.They remember while drinking a beer how much they had to suffer cos of some damn seargent of a carporal.What they forget though, is that by the time they reached carporal, they acted the same way with lower ranked soldiers.I asked many of my friends how they explain this, what has determined them to act in such a way.They all said it's the beauty of the army.

judge it for yourself


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the_gootch
the_gootch


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Supreme Hero
Kneel Before Me Sons of HC!!
posted August 30, 2006 05:17 AM

It was while I was trying to find this that I found the other one.

I enlisted in the USMC some 7 years ago.  I'd completed my two year degree and was rather aimless with what I wanted to do with my life.  Several reasons conspired to help me to reach the decision that I did.

1.  I was rather naive and idealistic.

2.  I did want to serve my country.  It was impractical for me to enlist straight out of high school as I was in a fairly serious relationship at the time and didn't want it to end.

3.  What was supposed to be a temporary situation with me living with my mother while my roommate saved enough funds so we could find an apartment together turned into something semi-permanent when her mother was diagnosed with lung cancer.

4.  Waiting tables really wasn't all that great.

5.  I had nothing holding me down.

6.  I had no freaking idea what I wanted to major in.  

7.  The recruitment video man.  Freaking awesome.

8.  And let's all be honest.  Our recruiters lied to us.

And so I signed a contract for five years of active duty with a total commitment of eight years.  This is standard, eight years that is.  The length of our active duty can vary from between two(gutless army recruit contracts) to six(avionics and nuclear engineering).  The rest of the contract we fulfill while in the individual ready reserve.  That pool is supposed to only be called upon in the case of a national emergency.  

Funny, didn't my president declare, "Mission accomplished!!!!11" some three years ago?  And guess what the marine corps has just been authorized to do by the Pentagon?  Yup, call up 2,500 marines from the irr for the Iraq occupation.  For those of you who've prayed for me to be called up and sent to a war zone just to have some relative peace for awhile, start crying.  I'm exempt from this call up.

In any event, I had a choice of which side of the country I wanted to go to.  Normally, recruits from my beloved state of Illinois are sent to San Diego, California for their recruit training.  However, since my uncle served back in the '70s and had actually gone to Parris Island, South Carolina for his recruit training I had options.  I really didn't care about the pedigree.  All I wanted was the perfect southern California weather and a pair of sunglasses.

I woke up at zero dark thirty on November 29, 2004, got dressed, and became intimately acquainted with the marine corps motto of, "Hurry up and wait."  Our flight didn't leave for five hours.  We landed in San Diego and waited another seven some odd hours to be picked up by the bus.

I remember the short conversations we had with each other up to that point.  They were short.  No personal information was exchanged between us.  We didn't even exchange names.  All of us had watched Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket and were already aware of how we had to conduct ourselves.  All of us had watched that movie several times(first half at least) and were mentally preparing for the beating we were going to get at the hands of Senior Drill Instructor Gunnery Sergeant Hartman jr.

The bus came to a halt and we waited for a few minutes in relative silence.  Collectively we weren't sure what to do.  Noone wanted to take the initiative and look the fool.  After what seemed like an eternity, I met my first drill instructor.  He started screaming at us.  He spoke so quickly that I had no freaking clue what he'd just said up until he barked at us, "Get off my bus!!!  Get off my bus!!!  Get off my bus!!!!"

We stumbled out of the door and into the night.  Quickly we found a set of yellow footprints(cocked for our convenience at a forty five degree angle) and stood in the perfectly. This was going to be the way we were going to form up from then there on and we needed to be paying attention.

There was more nondescript screaming from the drill instructors.  After a few minutes they made us left face(that's turning ninety degrees to our left) and literally take a knee before a copy of the Uniform Code of Military Justice(UCMJ for short) that was mounted on the wall.  Was the entire UCMJ mounted?  No.  But truth be told I never went back to find out just which military laws I'd paid that kind of homage to.

Throughout the entire night we went through processing.  We dumped our civilian gear into a box and put on the new uniforms we'd just been issued.  One dirty little secret about the marine corps(can't say this about the other branches of service) is that you actually buy your initial issue of uniform items.  Yessirree, about one third or even more of the pay I received while at recruit training was used to purchase my uniform items, hygiene gear, and whatnot.

We were kept up the entire night.  At about six in the morning we were brought to a room where we were told that we needed 'fess up to anything we'd omitted on our recruit application.  It didn't matter what it was, but by golly if we passed up this opportunity to 'fess up and the powers that be found out about it, there'd be hell to pay.  We'd get kicked out, court-martialled, spend time in the brig with Bubba, never ever get a federal job, and oh yeah, our children would automatically be put on Santa's naughty list.  

I was one of the few that broke down sang like a canary as to what I'd done just thirty days before.  I mean, I couldn't 100% trust it would be out of my system by then.  

The time was 0700 and still there was no sleep to be had.  There was a lot of standing around.  Anyone whose eyes fluttered was chewed out.  By the middle of the day I was starting to hallucinate.  I don't remember too much about this time with the exception of my freaking vaccinations.  Now the marine corps does not have its own medical staff.  Our doctors, dentists, and corpsmen are all from the navy(thanks shipmates).  They're the ones who administered our shots.  And I swear to god if I ever see the jerkwheat who stuck that horse needle into my arse in a dark alley I'm gonna speed kick him in the throat.  And the first cat to suggest that yes I did get a shot but no, it wasn't a needle is also going to get speed kicked in the throat.

Not only did it seem we were vaccinated with live viruses but our bicilin shots were administered in such a way that caused the glut muscle at the point of injection to become incredibly sore.  This would make a profound difference in the coming days as we looked especially pathetic learning close order drill while limping because our butts were sore.

Nightfall finally came and with it permission to sleep.  It had been over forty hours since I'd slept and man was I tired.  
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