14 August 2007

BOLCII Day 8: 5 mile and O-call

5 mile ruck march: As far as the packing list it was pretty basic with the total = 20% of your body weight. Last week I went to Walmart and bought a $10 scale so I would know how much my ruck weighed. This worked out good as several other squads used it as well. No IBA and Kevlar was carried in the ruck. We did wear the MOLLE vest w/ (2) 1 quarts and (2) ammo pouches. We stepped out about 0530 and had one 10 minute break at the half way point. I was a front road guard and spent some time talking with SSG Bulter, the cadre NCO on point. He has a lot of knowledge to share from his deployments and seems like a very high speed, cool NCO. He mentioned his interest in putting in an OCS packet and the fact that they would make him go thru BOLCII (!) By the time we were done, we were all dripping wet from the heat.

NOTE: Over the past couple of years I have been experimenting with socks, trying to find the right kind for my feet and combat boots. I think I may have finally found it: http://www.covertthreads.com/ Their “sand” boot sock for everyday use and the “infiltrator” for ruck marches. I have been wearing them everyday in the heat of GA and have been extremely impressed with their performance. Grated I have been doing a number of practice ruck marches prior to BOLCII to get in shape after OCS but unlike many of my fellow LTs, I did not have a single hot spot after the 5 miler with the infiltrator socks.

After chow and shower it was off to a second day of combatives, with more drills

We continued on drill 1 and 2 and practiced “shrimping” I spent an hour or so sparing with LT Lee, besides the fact she is a Korean Princess, she has a black belt in jujutsu with 18 years of experience and quite soundly whipped me every time! I have some video and will try and post when I have a chance

The heat is intense… the cadre gives up breaks every so ofter but it is all wearing on us. I had some leg cramps that took me out of action for a awhile.

After show and lunch it was off to freedom hall again for OPORD II, a few of the LTs read of their OPORDS form last night and wear critique by the cadre. After that we had a class radio class, first of basic radio procedures, prowords, who to talk ect then they brought some of the new SINCGARS foxtrot models which I have had the chance to have already worked on at my unit but apparently they received a batch of bad batteries so only one unit was operation out of the four. Still very good training.

After dinner chow it was our O-call at the Ft Benning Office Club. I have heard conflicting reports on this event but basically you get whatever you put into it. If you stand off to the side and hang with your squad mates you will not get much out of it. If you take the inactive to grab a battle buddy and go talk to the O-5s, O-6 and O-7s you will learn something guaranteed. There was “supposedly” going to be representation for every branch but considering this is home of the Infantry I was not to surprised when there was only one Signal officer and that was only because they were cadre. Still I went around and solicited experiences from senior combat arms officers about when they were BN CDRs and what advice they would have for a S6 as that is my role.

The bar was open with a two beer limit and at least one BG had an open tab for the LTs in his circle.

It was pretty cool to mingle with 420+ LTs. As was said in the opening remarks, if each LT represented a future PL that came out to leaderships for some 17,000 Soldiers!

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