Quote of the Day: “Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”
- Leo Tolstoy
The plan of the day here at the Depot is a little different now than when I was a recruit (said in an old man’s warbling voice).
They still graduate companies on Friday but the Family Day has moved from the Sunday prior to the Thursday before graduation. Family Day is the only reprieve the recruits get during the entire three months they are here. Other than graduation, it is THE day that keeps you going when the going gets HELL!
When I was here, they just formed us up and dismissed us to our waiting families for half the day. We ate too much crap we never normally got which resulted in stomach aches and due to the sugar, hyperactivity. Combined with the excitement of a little freedom and seeing our families after surviving most of bootcamp, we were like hummingbirds.
The recruits are not allowed to go off base, smoke, consume alcohol, or get out of their uniform. They basically wander around the base in a sugar-induced daze with their families.
Another thing they have added is the moto run. Clad in PT gear, the graduating Company is assembled in the morning and marched in formation to where their families are but they are not allowed to interact. The family and friends form lines on either side and the Company is marched right between them.
The civilians go apeshit because it’s the first time they’ve seen Johnny since before bootcamp but Johnny cannot even look at them. He is at attention in formation so he stands there like a statue while the civilians go bonkers.
The DIs give some general information to the crowd and then they launch them for a run to the roar of the crowd.
I can guarantee you this is the easiest run the Recruits will ever do. They launch out of their like rockets and their adrenaline carries them at a brisk pace for about 3 ½ to 4 miles around the base. They return where they started and the families are still there. When they come back into the chute formed by the families, the DIs have to yell above the crowd roar to control the formation. They halt, more speeches are made, and then they are marched off to clean up and get ready to be released.
It’s kind of a big tease for everyone if you ask me but it builds anticipation.
My boss, the Headquarters and Service Company Battalion Commander, has started to run these moto runs. His counterpart is the Colonel that runs the Recruit Training Regiment and the idea came up that since we support RTR, we should run the moto run with the Recruits.
I think this is a great idea and today was my first opportunity to participate. Not only that but it was very special for me because it was Mike Company, the one I graduated from years ago.
I wanted to look cool in front of everyone but the new PT shorts we have to wear makes me look like a reject from an assisted living trailer park. They have no shape and barely touch my body from the elastic waist to the bottom. They look like I’m wearing my Dad’s starched boxers.
Being a runner, I am loaded to the teeth with Under Armour so, you know, I can run in style. So being forced to wear a green man-diaper really sucks.
The run went well and it was exciting to run through a roaring crowd even if I was in the back and only got “cheered” as a by-product of families getting a glimpse of their loved ones only seconds before. It was a bit strange to be running in formation behind a bunch of recruits across the same territory I had run in bootcamp but this time without the lingering fear of getting jacked up by some random Drill Instructor. My black Battalion T-shirt made me safe from that. And probably the grey hair too.
After the run, I swung by the 3rd Battalion office of the XO and he gave me a Battalion coin. It was a wonderful gesture and the coin instantly became one of my most proud possessions.
19 years later, I got a Battalion coin.
Good day in the life.
Free Advice for Today: “When traveling by plane, don’t pack valuables or important papers in your suitcase. Carry them on board with you.”
- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.