20 September 2007

BOLCII Day 33: Graduation

0500 wake up, quick hygiene, take the rest of my stuff do to the car stand by for room inspection by SFC Kerr. There is definitely a difference with the ROTC rooms, as they had not dusted their wall lockers, shelves and desks. Hand over my key and time to collect linen.

Here is an example of classic Army way; we collect all the sheets blanks and pillow covers in bundle of 25, haul them down stairs and then find out they need to be individually turned in so we un-bundled everything, and bag one pillow case with blanket and 2 sheets call the PLT down and send the PLT there on their merry way.

NOTE: There was no contingency to have BOLCII LTs stay over post gradation in the barracks as all the cadre take advantage of the downtime before the next cycle. So plan to leave Ft Benning on graduation day if at possible for your BOLCIII. Otherwise, you will have to stay in a hotel or try to borrow a room from a IOBC LT.

At 0730 it very evident the chow long line is too long so a number of us POV to the on post Burger King and down some high quality food and reflect on the past 7 weeks and what the future holds for all of us. 0820 we head to the bld 4 for rehearsals. The parking lot is getting full because there is a Basic Training graduation on the front grounds and the Infantry conference is happing this week in bld 4.

Only the honor graduates have assigned seating the rest is a free for all in the front center section. At this point I hand out the “coveted” ACU BOLCII tab I had arranged a source for 3rd PLT to wear under left pocket flap (if you need a qty of these send me an email.) Rehearsal are quick and we are released to explorer the infantry conference, there is definitely a lot of cool gear on display by the vendors. Everything from the latest high speed uniforms, personal equipment, weapons and munitions, to robots and IED resistant trucks.

Back to Marshall Auditorium, a video presentation of pictures from our training (a number of my pictures show up, which is cool) prayer from the chaplain, a few good words from the guest speaker about what our PLT will expect from us, and the 2 honor graduates from each PLT go across the stage. We recite the Soldier’s creed, sing the first refrain of the Army song and we are pronounced “graduates of BOLCII.” The graduation is anti-climatic. However, honestly there really is no way they could run all 480 of us cross the stage in a timely manner. We each take away with the satisfaction of what we have put into of the program and the life long friendships we have made.

The only issue I have is wife traveled 4 hours from Augusta with sons and by the time she arrived, the MPs would not allow her to park in at the Infantry center and kept directing to her to the “next” entrance where she would be told that entrance was closed as well. Long story short, she missed the graduation. She was very unhappy about it and so am I.

POV back the Co area we collect our dental records from the previous day and then are called outside to a formation the cadre because the common areas are not clean enough, after threats of continued formations our PSG take over and assign details to get it knocked out. 30 mins later it must have meet with satisfaction as we are released to sign and copy our DA31s and receive our diplomas. I give the cadre each a BOLCII tab and they are suitably impressed. CPT McGinty even places it above his Ranger tab(!)

Off to SBOLC for me!


Daniel said...

do you have a picture of this BOLC II tab?

John Santos said...

Reading this blog has been an insightful and fulfilling experience. I'm doing BOLCII late October at Ft. Sill, and everytime I read a post I was taking copious notes down. Thanks for all the pointers! You're a great man for having this blog, and I wish you all the luck at BOLCIII.