Friday, April 17, 2009

Saying Goodbye to Other Units


On Good Friday we were released to go on our four-day pass at 1400 hours. The other five companies that make up our battalion slept late in anticipation of a long day of travel.

Echo company was up and out in front of the barracks at 0520. During the 10 weeks we were training for deployment Echo did more soldier-skills training than any other company in the battalion. This is partly because we are the company most likely to do security and go outside the wire on the ground and partly because our commander wants us all to be up to Army standards on physical training and soldier skills.

We were the only company that got up before 5am for PT three days each week and the only one that had remedial PT three more days each week. We were the only company on the rappel tower, the confidence course and some of the other training I have written about over the last five weeks. In fact, complaints from the other companies led to us holding formation for morning PT 1000 feet behind the building instead of out front. They were complaining about the noise we made as a exercised.

But on Good Friday we formed up out front and yelled "Echo" at the top of our 100 voices as we formed up. The leader for the warmup calisthenics is a former singer in a Metal band. He growled out the cadence as we stretched and exercise.

Usually we run out toward the ranges. On this morning we ran behind the barracks, looped around the motor pool then ended with a complete half-mile circle around the barracks area. We sang cadence the entire time we were near the barracks.

Because of us, no one had to miss breakfast.