My War Journal: Pre Deployment Phase-(Chapter 3)

War Journal Book

Pre Deployment Phase

May 2006

Monday morning started off with a battle training brief, preparing for war: what soldiers should know and do. The brief was specifically designed for Specialist and below. This brief was essential for soldiers preparing for the 12 month or more tour of duty. A Staff Sergeant asked the room of 80 soldiers, “who’s been downrange?” few of us combat veterans cautiously raised our hands.

The first topic discussed was the Nature of Combat. “The first job, regardless of your MOS, is to kill the enemy and always have your buddies back,” said Staff Sergeant with conviction. The men responded with a thunderous “Hooah-ah!” The Staff Sergeant Continued, with theme topic points, comprising the nature of deployments, development of battle mine, mental toughness, “STELL” Your Battle Mind, Listen To Your Leaders, Trust Your Training and Maintaining contact back home.

Surprisingly, the brief wrapped up 40 minutes. At first, I wasn’t impressed with the presentation; I considered it watered down. But after reflecting on my previous tour, I concluded that there was no reason for alarming men with the realities of war, because every man grasped individually.

Make it Digitized

It’s imperative that all men have their fighting kits squared and to the standard. “If it’s not digitized, make it digitized by the end of the week.” The First Sergeant, Chris Ward, said. The company supplied the spray paint, and men went to work. We have some real Michael Angelos in this company. While some soldiers prepared their kits, others did common areas, which included painting walls and stairs, scrubbing buggers off the toilet and fixing ceiling tiles. I always say there is no job, the infantry can’t do; we are mechanics, plumbers, painters, builders, and demolitionists.

During the week, my squad leader told us we would have a diagnostic PT test. I have never failed a PT test, but I’ve come close. This time I did 60 push-ups, 63 sit-ups, and 14:45 on the two-mile run, coming out to 245 on the Army PT standard chart. The official test is later in the month, so I will see if I can improve. The week ended with a 6:30 AM with a battalion run. Every time we do one of these, it’s like running in a big accordion. The last time I did this, my calves were on fire, but besides that. It was a good workout.

The days are getting shorter, and the weeks are flying by, drawing us closer to the inevitable-a date with 115 degree weather. Sounds enticing, huh? The next couple of weeks will comprise final preps and make adjustments for deployment. I can’t wait, we will see what all goes down.