Sunday, March 9, 2008

We Are National Guard on an Active Army Post

The classes I and the other 30+ students are in are for National Guard and Reserve soldiers. This was evident Sunday morning. We were told it was very important to begin class at 0800 Sunday because that was the only time we could have a soldering class during our two weeks. Every other day was booked. So at 0815 after waiting 15 minutes outside a locked building, our instructors went to Plan B and took us to another building for the afternoon's lesson. The school staff person assigned to let us in did not show up. Our instructors tried to arrange for a class in the same place in the afternoon, but for reasons they were polite enough not to share with the students, that option was out also. They did say that we must remain flexible throughout the two weeks because the active Army soldiers would have priority.

Army Meet and Greet

If it was not evident in the last post, an Army meet and greet is different than the civilian version. At 4pm Saturday, our 1st Sergeant said we would a 1900 hours formation that evening for a meet and greet. Between 1900 and 2000 hours we 30 or so students sat in a conference room and met and were greeted by the senior NCOs who gave the briefings I described yesterday. In summary: be safe, don't speed on post, don't go near the active Army students, don't get drunk and if you do stay in the hotel, formation at 0715 hours every day. Have fun!

Reporting for Duty

Chemical & Quartermaster Equipment Repair School (MOS 63J10) started with in processing this afternoon. Report time was No Later Than 1600. I arrived at 1500 hours. The training school headquarters is located off post. After filling out some forms, I had to change into my PT uniform and get weighed and measured. I am 71 1/2 inches tall so I can weigh up to 197 pounds. With winter PT uniform I weighed 193, so they let me continue processing.

By 1600 the first inprocessing was completed and I drove to our quarters--just two men to a room for the entire two weeks.

After formation, I tried to get on the internet in the room, then in the lobby using wireless. No wireless in the room, slow in the lobby. My roommate, a sergeant from Kansas also here for 63J training, told me how to use the ethernet connection in the room, now I am on line.

Formation tomorrow and every day is 0715. Tomorrow we have a mandatory safety briefing after dinner. The training schedule every day runs from 0715 to 2000, so I wont have a lot of free time. It should be an interesting two weeks.

Family Black Sheep Flies a MEDEVAC Blackhawk

Brooklyn-born Amira Talifi, (not her real name) is a helicopter pilot I served with in the Army National Guard. She is one of seven ch...