Monday, June 30, 2008

Poor Noob

Today a former member of my unit came in as a newly badged recruiter. He left the Reserve to go RA and apply for recruiting. No idea how he swung it, but he did. He came into the office to speak with some people who knew him back in the day. While there I sat down and talked with him and gave him some advice regarding the importance of work ethic, doing P1, and keeping track of your planning guide. He'll learn the other stuff on his own.

I came down with some sort of flu bug my last day in California. Mrs. SFC B swears I'm suffering from smoke inhalation, but she's not the one who had cold shivers in a bunk with a terrible cough and congestion for a 24 hour period. It's not the first time in my life I contracted and unpleasant, short duration virus. Been there, done that. However I'm still dealing with the after effects with a little bit of congestion and coughing. Nothing serious, but it's a bit draining. I was out running this morning and struggled to make it through because I kept having to cough up something disgusting. It didn't help that I forgot how hot Phoenix can be and didn't properly hydrate before starting my run. I wound up cutting it short to go back to the reserve center and get some water.

Since I left USAREC I am now down about 25 pounds. For the first time since March of 2005, and well before I started this blog, I am down under 255 pounds. I'm still well off where I was at my peak in the 94th RRC, which was about 230, but I'm feeling a whole hell of a lot better then I did this time last year. We went to a friend's house to watch the Euro Cup Final (his wife is German) and I put on a pair of jeans that hadn't fit me well in three years. They fit so good. Mrs. SFC B bought me a few pairs of jeans for Christmas this year and they all fit me well Christmas Day. They now fall off of me. It's not like they "ride a bit low" but "if I move three steps they drop to my ankles" loose. Between the daily PT and much better diet I'm almost Soldier-like in my appearance.

The best part of being at Hunter Liggett was standing in front of the Soldiers I was training. Something I did take away from my time in recruiting is an appreciation for talking to people. I applied that with great eagerness in my time out there. Honestly, prior to recruiting, I'd have been intimidated to the point of lower effectiveness by standing in front of a crowd of 75+. Now, not even close. I was loud, animated, knowledgeable, and according to the Soldiers trained, the most memorable and informative instructor.

Anyways, there is a new recruiter out here in the Valley. Wish him the best of luck.

Friday, June 27, 2008


Pacific Warrior 2008 is complete. The preparations for Pacific Warrior 2009 are, undoubtedly, underway. Hopefully in 2009 they will follow the published time line. I am very familiar with the burned out car in the photograph in the previously linked story. I spent a good deal of time near it looking for spent grenade simulators.

In the time I spent out there my team and I trained about 400 Soldiers on the basics of FOB defense. We saw some of the best of what the reserve had to offer. We also saw some of the worst. You wouldn't think that "Take cover. Return fire." would be a hard tenet to follow, but for some it really was. The best comment was from a "killed" PFC. He was asked why he didn't return fire and replied "Well, I thought about shooting back." The young Soldier couldn't really be blamed as his leadership was too busy repeating back everything the voice on the radio. It was ugly. Of course for every time a 249 gunner opened fire into a crowd of Soldiers mixed with civilians there were highly disciplined Soldiers establishing security and suppressing enemy fire.

This was also my first trip to the west coast. I got to actually step into the Pacific Ocean and eat lunch on Old Fisherman's Wharf in Monterey. It was a good time. I'm back.