It didn't take long to get to what would be our new 'home' for the next couple of months. We boarded the bus and drove down the street and around a couple of corners to Charlie Company 369th Adjutant General Battalion where AIT will take place. We are still wearing our Class A uniforms and it's so hot and humid on the bus. Getting off, we grabbed our bags and started walking. No sooner had I crossed a particular area of the sidewalk, I hear, "Drop...three-zero!" I hit the pavement and I started knocking out push-ups. Wait. What? Three-zero? That meant 30 push-ups! 😲 Insane! When I was finally able to get up I was told that I needed to watch where I stepped because I had crossed what was called a 'drop zone'. Reminds me of the time Jokala and I ran through our bay and we crossed over the murals. We got dropped by DS Allies. I have come to the realization that there are 'drop zones' everywhere here. Learn them, and quickly. We were introduced to our cadre and they didn't look nearly as mean as our BCT Drill Sergeants. There are several 'classes' in our company I am in Class 50-97. Class 49 is one week ahead of us. Class 48 is two weeks ahead of us, and so on. As we progress through the weeks, we will have other classes behind us.
We have actual rooms in these barracks and there can be up to eight females per room. I ended up in Room #315 with James, Johnson, and Lenhardt. We were in the same company in BCT. We met our other roommates: Henriquez, Baker, and Lewis and I do believe we will all get along well. Dropping off our belongings, we all headed down to formation and marched to the chow hall (still dressed in our Class A's) signifying we were the new arrivals. Chow is most unusual and cadence is called while marching into the chow hall. Back in BCT we had to remain silent and there was zero talking. So, we marched in calling out "Hot Chow...Hot Chow! Get it! Get it! Hot Chow...Hot Chow! (sounding off with something akin to a train whistle). The classes split into two squads entering the building through a set of doors on both the left and right side. It didn't take me long to realize that one side served junk food and I ended up eating hot dogs and pizza, resulting in a stomachache all night! Needless to say, I will not be eating from that side again. Heading back to the company to square away our room and unpack, we came upon DS Stewart, our Senior Drill Sergeant. "Make way!", we said continuing up the stairs. WRONG thing to do! We got dropped on the landing for not waiting until he had passed. We made another mistake by saying "40 Rounds Drill Sergeant!" when told to get up. "It's Army Pride around here, privates". 🤭 This is almost the opposite of BCT. Wake-up and formation are still at the same time. I did something unexpected during PT this morning - I volunteered to be a road guard! I had steered clear of this duty while in BCT thankfully never getting chosen. Yes, it is a very different atmosphere here but incredibly appealing. Lenhardt has decided that she can't handle AIT and wants to leave, I am confused. How a person can get through all the hurdles of BCT, graduate, and then decide they can't deal with it is beyond my comprehension. I had fought way too hard to re-enlist so I could make it back here.
This weekend was refreshing. All we did was hang out and play volleyball. Well, I didn't play because I have this aversion to any type of ball being thrown at me. So far everyone seems pretty friendly. We visited the PX to replenish personal items and purchase a few odds and ends, and I bought some chewing gum! WooHoo! I had missed chewing gum so badly and I was sick of chewing dental floss. Oh, I must have forgotten to mention that part. I got dropped back in BCT by DS Thrine for chewing dental floss because he thought it was chewing gum. He honestly laughed at me when I told him that it was indeed woven dental floss. Well, I had to chew something to replace my gum chewing habit! I bought more writing paper and envelopes, more books of stamps, along with a few civilian items which included a camera. Can you believe it? We can take pictures here! The rest of the evening was spent watching TV and playing pool in the game area. Lights out is not until 0100. Yes, we indeed have a few more privileges here. A few of the upper-class soldiers introduced us to the weight room and followed along during our evening run. The basketball courts get quite a bit of use, too. I like basketball. The soldiers ahead of us are very helpful and have told us to come to them if we have any questions. School starts Tuesday and it will also be our first diagnostic PT test which has me cringing. I believe I will do okay, but the PT expectations here are higher. We were finally re-issued our TA-50 and I was so thrilled to have my canteen back! 🤩 I am so used to having water on me at all times and I was beginning to panic.
School has started and and the classes are more upbeat and energetic. No falling asleep here. After PT in the morning and a hot breakfast, it can get tedious sitting in one room all day, but we get several 15 minute breaks throughout the day. Our instructor is SSG Adeoti and he has been teaching for quite a few years. We also have a few NCOs in our class who are re-classifying. They are always left in charge when taking our breaks or if our instructor has to leave for a few minutes. I can't believe the number of people in my class that are in the National Guard. We have only one that is regular Army. Several guys have told me that their initial MOS was 11B (Infantry), but since they were considered color-blind, they had to choose another MOS and ended up here. Our MOS is all administrative duties. We will be learning SIDPERS (Standard Installation and Division Personnel Reporting System) and learning how to log all data. I will be working in the S-1 office at my unit and be responsible for all personnel support and assistance.
Wake up may be at 0430 every day, but I like getting up at 0400 to have extra time for myself. PT is from 0450 until 0600 then we return to the barracks to shower and dress. Breakfast is served around 0715 and is exceedingly more appetizing and we can have COFFEE!! ☕ After eating, we return to the barracks a second time to tidy our rooms and clean. Clean up is imperative because various privileges can be revoked any time. We report back to formation at 0800, roll call is taken, and then we march to school. DS Martin is our Drill Sergeant and he is downright amusing. He has a Jamaican accent and I love to hear him speak and call cadence. Class starts at 0830 and lasts until 1700 (with those 15 minute breaks throughout the day I mentioned). School ends at 1600, but we spend the last hour cleaning and preparing things for the next day. Cleaning is something you will do a heap of and you can't avoid it, so don't even try. I was very displeased with the score on my first typing test. I only typed 50 wpm with 17 errors, which averages out to around 30 wpm. That is atrocious! 😒 I know my actual typing speed is faster than that when I can correct my errors immediately, which we are unable to do. We had a class meeting this afternoon...and oh my gosh it was long.
The story and views expressed on these pages are my own. Everyone will have a different military experience and outcome. Military icons used are by Nhor Phai, Freepik, Smalllikeart, and Pixel Perfect from Flaticon. Emojis courtesy of Emojipedia. My military dolls were made on a doll maker by eLouai (no longer available) and edited by me using GIMP.