CHBOLC: Day 16 “Compasses, Commandants, and a Letter”

We started out the day with what will be our only scheduled/organized PT session of the week. We will be heading out to the field tomorrow night so our PT in the next few days will come in the form of wandering around the woods in the SC heat and humidity. For PT this morning we were broken up into ability groups for running. There are A, B, C, and D groups. I am currently in B group but I hope to be in A group by the end of July. To do that I will need to pull my run (2 miles) time down below 14 minutes which I know is doable. My goal is to be be close to 13 flat by the time I leave here. We had a pretty good run for the first day and I hope that our NCO’s will mix up the run days a bit to include some sprints and maybe some stairs. Something like that helps break up the monotony of running.

After PT, we had to rush back to our rooms, shower, change, eat and drive to the school house in about thirty minutes. Our morning class was spent covering map reading and learning how to plot grid coordinates on a military map. For most prior service guys this is old hat, but I always find it good to have a refresher on land nav.

After the morning class and lunch, a large group of prior service soldiers went to practice for a change of Commandant ceremony. We were there for about two hours so that we could run through the ceremony four times. Basically our job is to stand in formation and look pretty (there are few of us who are ushers). We will basically have to follow five commands during the ceremony: attention, parade rest, present arms, eyes right, and right face. For most of the ceremony we will be at parade rest, which is a modified position of attention. That means we will be standing with our feet roughly shoulder width apart, hands in the small of our back, and head and eyes straight forward. These ceremonies are often the ones where you’ll have people locking their knees and falling on their faces because of the length of the ceremonies and the positions you are required to stand at.

Anyway, those of us who are in that ceremony have to get up early and go to another practice tomorrow. In the end, despite the discomfort of standing at some type of attention for an hour, it really is an honor to take part in such a ceremony.

I only have a few pictures from today. This will also be my last blog entry until we get back from the field. It will probably be Friday before I post again, but if I’m feeling really HOOAH! I may at least get some pictures up on Thursday night. It’ll depend on how much we are deprived of sleep in the field.

For those who read the titles, I got a card and a nice letter from my wife today. It is always great to have something to get during mail call. I have the best and most beautiful wife in the world and she is doing an amazing job at holding down the fort while I am gone. As much as I enjoy the training, I can hardly wait until the next time I get to see her.

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