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One of the sayings I remember most from military boot camp is MAKE A HOLE!
Everything we did, it was as a group. We marched to and ate chow together. We all showered together. We ran together. We did push ups together. We shit together. We did EVERYTHING together. We were 60 individuals, but during basic training, we moved as one cohesive unit in perfect sync with one another.
As such, we were always lined up or bunched up together. Often, the drill instructors would want to get pass the group, so they would scream at us, MAKE A HOLE! MOVE, MOVE, MOVE!
Granted, our military training instructors were not as mean as the Marines, but somehow I managed to draw two guys who took their roles beyond the call of duty. I remember seeing the look of frustration on some of the Senior instructor’s faces while these guys went overboard by Air Force standards. I’m sure the Marines would have thought they were soft, but compared to the other training instructors, these dudes were insane. In fact, one of them lost a stripe and was moved to a different role because he was deemed abusive by a disciplinary board. Allegedly he peed in a canteen or something. Dude was a trip.
Fortunately for me, I had been preparing for Marine Corps boot camp for months before I switched branches. So once I committed and accepted that I was stuck there and there was nothing I could do about it, I was like a fish in water. I met and exceeded all standards, and quickly came into leadership positions.
During basic training I quickly became an element leader but I was fired after a week because I was too reasonable and logical for these nut instructors. They wanted someone who would treat the recruits like shit, and I wasn’t with that. Haven’t they ever heard of a mutiny? And truth be told, they couldn’t even protect themselves from the regulations, so how could they protect me? Nah son, the recruits have to be my allies not my enemies.
So they still wanted to utilize my abilities and made me the academic monitor. I was responsible for ensuring that all recruits passed the written exam. All did except one loser, but that guy didn’t want it, he was a basket case. I also had the coveted role of house mouse, this was a very prestigious job which kept me out of kitchen patrol. KP sucked really bad, and they felt I was of better use in a dedicated role such as house mouse.
Once I moved on to tech school I immediately became a green rope which is a student leader of sorts. I was in charge of the day room and other common areas. Like I said before, a fish in water, and by then, I was the one screaming ATTENTION! MAKE A HOLE!
I wish I could remember more from my days in basic training, but the memories come back to me here and there. Usually fragments and very random. Is there any saying from basic that sticks with you most?
Growing Up Bronx