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Battle Stations: Countdown!

25 October 2007
It's coming, and soon. This Sunday, by the time this is posted, it will be over. Battle stations, in case I haven't explained it yet, is the big event at the end of boot camp where you utilise everything you learned through the process: firefighting, line handling, and who knows what else. Unfortunately for you I can't tell you about it afterwards, I have to sign papers saying I won't talk about it with anyone who hasn't been through it themselves.

Anyway, I kind of felt bad after last weeks rushed entry so I'm going to write this one as the week goes on. First though I'll touch on some things I may have left out in my haste.

While my flag drawing did win the contest something was lost in translation from sketch to painting. So after a second vote my drawing was moved to the other side of the flag, the side not seen at graduation. No big deal the other side turned out better no doubt. Also we had our second surprise inspection. SURPRISE! I failed. It wasn't really a surprise though, chief told us it was coming. That just makes it even worse. It was 3 stupid hits too, a button had fallen off of one of my shirts in my locker and my pen fell off my chain into my locker and I didn't know it. So I got a gear adrift hit. I can't remember the other hit though. You can only fail one graded event per phase of training. That was my one. Two failures and you get set back a week in training. So needless to say I'm a bit on edge for the rest of this week. Personnel inspection is Monday, final PFA on Wednesday, and test 3 on Friday... It's imperative I pass all of those. So let the week begin!

*5-5 Monday 15 Oct 07 *

Today was a pretty important day. We had our final Personnel inspection. Half of us had to get into our dress blues (what we'll wear at graduation) and the other half put on the working blues, or "Johnny Cash's". I was pretty nervous but I ended up getting a perfect score. So that was a major relief. I was also pleasantly surprised when I learned we would go to the gas chamber a day earlier than I thought. It was actually pretty cool though. They put us all in a room with gas masks on (about 150 - 160 of us) and stood us side by side in rows of 18 or so. The first row stepped up to a red line on the deck and then took off their masks and held them up with one hand while forming a cup with the other to catch anything that may be expelled from the face holes. Then you had to state you name "seaman recruit Wolfe" , and your division "Division 379" . For most, however, it came out something like "seaman recruit" *cough*cough* "Schmuckatellie" *cough*gag*"Div.." *gag* " Division" *snot* " 379" *cough*gasp*. Once the whole line had sounded off they would file out and the next line would move up. I was in the second to last line so by the time I got up there I had already been breathing in the fumes that the mask didn't filter. So I took off my mask and waited for my turn to sound off with my cup at the ready. I sounded off and coughed a couple times and that was it. I sneezed for about 5 minutes afterward but that was not too bad. Some people were pretty affected by it though. After it was all over I wanted to do it again.

*6-2 Wednesday 17 Oct 07*

Nothing much happened on Tuesday, so I skipped to Wednesday. Today was an important day though. The final Physical Fitness Assessment. The requirements for my age: Push ups 42, sit ups 50, 1-1/2 mile run time 13:15. My scores: Push ups 60, Sit up 93, 1-1/2 mile run time 11:23. all in all a good day! Now that the PFA is behind me I just have to worry about test 3 on Friday and battle stations on Monday! Oh and I shouldn't forget the drill (marching) assessment tomorrow, I wasn't concerned with it but chief told us if we do well on test 3 and drill he will take us to the nex (RTC wal mart basically. Featuring shopping, food, computers, arcade, phones, etc). So i hope we nail it!

*6-3 Thursday 18 Oct 07*

Alas, drill went poorly this morning. We made a safety violation while crossing the street. Chief was unhappy with that. He was also unhappy when he was called in this morning because no RDC (Recruit Division commander) showed up this morning to get us up and one of my shipmates alerted another chief of the situation and mentioned that it happens all the time, which is untrue. You know what they say, "crap rolls downhill" so we got an ear full.

We did the firefighting today, and man was that fun. We put on the gear, well most of it, and put out some fires. They were all controlled and pretty tame, but it was still a blast. So much that for a few minutes I wished I had picked that as my job. So Brandon, I think It's something you would enjoy. I need to go for the night though, test 3 is tomorrow, and study is required.

*6-3 Hold Saturday 20 Oct 07*

The past couple of days have been pretty relaxed, and it's a welcome change. On Monday is when it hits the fan, Battle Stations! It starts sometime on Monday and ends sometime late Tuesday night. It's time for me to sleep. I told my pal Charlie Brown to write an entry for the blog since I was feeling lazy. So the next post is out of my control...


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