Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Army Training: Hurry Up and Wait

Boredom and monotony bedevil the life of every enlisted soldier. So much of your existence consists of waiting for nothing to happen. Everyone jokes about the urgency to "hurry up and wait." Below is a typical daily itinerary for my last three weeks training with the Army at Fort Jackson, SC. You'll notice that most of the day calls for waiting. I'll employ the Naval euphemism: to standby.

05:15 Wake up and personal hygiene time
05:45 Gather by platoon for personnel and weapons count, then standby
05:50 Ensure complete platoon formation, then standby
06:00 Company formation for announcements
06:05 Breakfast
06:25 Platoon formation anticipating company formation, then standby
06:30 Company formation to announce schedule changes from thirty minutes prior
06:35 Break for first training exercise, then standby
06:45 Training schedule revision announced, instructions given to standby
06:55 Announcement that training schedule revision rescinded
07:00 Announcement that training exercise to begin soon, then standby
07:15 Announcement that training exercise to begin soon, then standby
07:25 Exercise instructor arrives
07:30 Projection equipment found to be malfunctioning, instructions to standby
07:40 Projection equipment repaired
07:45 Training exercise begins
08:30 Training exercise concludes
08:35 Bathroom and smoking break
08:45 Reconvene for second training exercise, then standby
08:50 Announcement given that presenter in route, standby
09:10 Second training session begins
10:00 Bathroom and smoking break
10:10 Reconvene to complete training exercise
10:20 Training exercise complete
10:25 Bathroom and smoking break
10:40 Reconvene for final morning training exercise, then standby
10:50 Announcement to standby for training schedule revision
11:00 Announcement to standby for training schedule revision
11:15 Bathroom and smoking break
11:30 Reconvene for final morning training exercise, then standby
11:40 Announcement to standby for revision to training schedule
12:00 Break for lunch
12:35 Platoon formation in anticipation of initial afternoon company formation, then standby
12:45 Company formation to announce no revisions to afternoon training schedule
12:50 Break for first afternoon training exercise
13:00 First afternoon training exercise begins
13:45 Bathroom and smoking break
14:00 First afternoon training exercise reconvenes
14:15 First afternoon training exercise concludes
14:20 Bathroom and smoking break
14:30 Reconvene for second afternoon training exercise, then standby
14:45 Second afternoon training exercise begins
14:50 Exercise interrupted, all personnel ordered to medical for screening
15:00 Formation at medical building for screening, then standby
15:15 Majority of personnel excused from medical without screening
15:20 Announcement to standby for further instructions for afternoon
15:30 Announcement to standby for further instructions for afternoon
15:45 Personnel excused for afternoon
15:55 Messenger to barracks to announce immediate formation
16:00 Company formation to announce revision to afternoon training schedule
16:05 Company dismissed for additional afternoon training exercise
16:15 Personnel convene for additional afternoon training exercise, then standby
16:25 Announcement that additional afternoon training exercise to begin soon, then standby
16:30 Announcement that additional afternoon training exercise to begin soon, then standby
16:45 Announcement that additional afternoon training exercise cancelled, then standby
16:50 Announcement to standby for further information
17:05 Personnel dismissed for the day

This typical itinerary helps to explain why so many military personnel smoke and drink.

2 comments:

Fat Robbie said...

Glad to see you are 1/2 way there, Ron. Try not to burn through all your DVDs while waiting for Army Formations.

sandra said...

hi ronny! glad to see you blog is up and running again! was getting tired of standing by for your next excerpt:) glad you made is safely!
sandra