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Old 02-17-2005, 09:27 AM   #1 (permalink)
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I Work for the D-N-D, Oy! Oy!

Get it? The TNT Song by ACDC?!?

Anyhoo, I wanted to start this so that people can learn a little about the wonderful Canadian Armed Forces (CF, or DND "Department of National Defence")

Step 1: I will be posting my memoires, little stories I have written that are 100% true. I've been in the CF for 11 years and 10 months (C'mon, CD get here you cruel bitch)

Step 2: I will try and answer the questions TO THE BEST OF MY ABILITY. I am not a Public Affairs Officer (Paffo) and therefore your questions will be answered honestly and brutally.

Step 3: I will no longer be haunted at night with feelings of being a LURKER on TFP.

Caveat - No, I will not tell you what unit I am in. If my chain found out I am posting non-vetted materiel, I would be charged. Not in my best interests.

Warning - Anyone who has enough time on their hands to reply to this thread by bashing the CF also has enough time to volunteer for a charitable organization. If you are going to flame my team, at the end of the post you must give a one sentence explanation of what you are doing besides taking up oxygen and bandwidth. If you are going to sing it, bring it.
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Old 02-17-2005, 09:29 AM   #2 (permalink)
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1993: Basic Training:
1. Showing up to Battle School, we were not even off the bus yet. A pleasant looking guy (in uniform, I had no idea what his rank was yet)got on the bus and slowly made his way to the back, pausing frequently to ask individuals if they had a nice trip, how they were feeling, et cetera. At the instant he arrived to the very back of the Greyhound, he exploded. I mean he just snapped.
“GET THE FUCK OFF OF THIS BUS!” he roared, veins popping out of his neck, his face past the red stage and into the purple.
We paused, wondering what could possibly have possessed someone to turn from nice guy to bad guy so quickly. The pause was short lived and survival instinct kicked in. We got the fuck off of that bus. At least we tried. Unbeknownst to us, there was an accomplice at the front door to the bus who was screaming “WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU THINK YOU ARE DOING? YOU AREN”T GETTING OFF HERE! GET BACK ON THE BUS!” The ensuing sardine-can / doggy pile was funny only to the two ring-masters.
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Old 02-17-2005, 02:37 PM   #3 (permalink)
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What you do, kick a window out?
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Old 02-17-2005, 02:43 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I once did a voice-over for a couple of DND recruiting films...

That's about as close as I've ever come to joining the military... My uncle was a Sargeant Major in the Airborne and his son is in the JT2... he was in the group that got bombed by the Americans.

I look forward to reading your stories.
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Old 02-17-2005, 06:50 PM   #5 (permalink)
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BigBen, Sounds like a fun thread. In one of my previous lives, I did a 2 month stint in the Naval SYEP.. Around the same time as you were enjoying basic. It was a lot of fun - but enough experiences like your story convinced me that the forces were not for me.
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Old 02-18-2005, 07:34 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Naw, I didn't kick a window out, I was busy being crushed by the front and back. After the novelty wore off, they let us off the bus.

Then the fun really hit.

2. Once off of the bus, the wind hit us like a freight train. We were in a windstorm, which was fitting as we were being abused by everything else, so why not the elements as well? We were told to line up, single file. We did so as fast as we could. (For the rest of my basic training stories, please insert that phrase after every verb…) A very impressive and imposing man stood facing the line, and proceeded to scream instructions at us. To truly appreciate the situation, the feeling was that these were critically important instructions to our survival. The windstorm was making it very difficult to hear the instructions unless he was facing in my direction. He would only do so occasionally, however, and the disconnected phrases were scaring me.
“Listen up, because I am only going to say this once…”
“…Whatever you do, always remember these 3 things…”
“…And finally, number 3 is Keep your rifle with you except when an Instructor…”
“… If I ever catch one of you fuckers trying to …”
And so on until I was beside myself with fear. He finally started calling out names, and when your name was called, you immediately ran off to the left, grabbed your luggage (kit) and proceeded to be yelled at by a different group of instructors. One person to my left name was called, but they didn’t hear. The mean man called again, this time with a tone of hatred. The poor person heard this time, and yelled out “YES SIR!”
The mean man ran over to our part of the line. “Did you just call me sir?!”
“Yes, umm, ahh, sir?” came the sheepish reply.
“I work for a living, goddamnit. You will address me as Master Corporal. Am I clear?” he spit as he screamed.
“Yes Master Corporal.” He whispered.

The mean Master Corporal then called out another name. The reply was “YES SIR!”
“HOLY SHIT, what is wrong with you people?!” (the problem was that no one could understand anything in that damn wind)
My name was soon called after that. I screamed at the top of my lungs “YES MASTER CORPORAL!” not for his benefit, but for that of the people around me. The Master Corporal smiled at me. I am sure the thought I was a keen soldier. I was just scared. Through and through.
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Old 02-19-2005, 08:41 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Brings back memories of St Jean! Sorry I am too young to have gone to Cornwallis.
good times, good times.
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Old 02-21-2005, 07:27 AM   #8 (permalink)
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3. My bunk-mate, Steve, will come up in my tales time and again. We were ushered into a classroom and were told to sit down. In front of us was a stack of paperwork. New to the military, it looked very impressive. Little check boxes and other busy lists, explanations as to how to fill out the form correctly, and number sequences and acronyms that came from a different language. This language? Militareeze. Someone at the front of the room told us to fill out the forms. We did so.
When things were being collected, the Warrant officer stopped and started calling names: “Private Jones!”
“Yes Sir!” came the reply. See the story above for the fallout that ensued. We learned to call him ‘Warrant’.
“Private Steve!” he bellowed.
Steve answered correctly. “Yes Warrant!”
“You have to be shitting me. Your name is Steve?”
“Yes Warrant!”
“YOUR LAST NAME IS STEVE?!” Again, there was a color to his face that was past the red stage and into the purple and blue.
“No Warrant, Steve is my first name.”
“Then tell me why the fuck you put that name above the line that says ‘Last Name’!”
“I got confused, Warrant.” Steve was visibly shaken by this point.
“If anyone else made mistakes on their paperwork, now is the time to correct them. I am not in a good mood today.” We all were visibly shaken at this point.
Private Steve was not having a very good first day in the army.
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Old 02-26-2005, 05:29 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Please keep up the storytelling. Those of us who have not been in the armed forces can enjoy reading them without the pain of experiencing them.
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Old 02-27-2005, 06:28 PM   #10 (permalink)
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hahahaha poor steve.

I'm really enjoying these stories. Keep em up!
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Old 03-01-2005, 06:50 AM   #11 (permalink)
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4. In the classroom, we were given an overview of the training schedule. I promptly forgot everything that was being said. All I cared about was not screwing up. The things that were being said did not seem important. I did not know anyone yet, save my three roommates. We were jarred back to reality when an important person came into the room, and the Warrant called the room to attention. (This is achieved by bellowing ‘Room!’ as fast and loud as you can) There was a brief discussion with the people in charge, and then with the coldest, cruellest voice, the Warrant yelled:

“Is there a Private _______ here?” (I don’t remember the name. It was too soon to remember that. And a sense of shock, as you will soon see)
“YES WARRANT!” was the confident reply.
“YOUR FIANCE WAS KILLED IN A HEAD-ON CAR ACCIDENT THIS MORNING. DO YOU WANT TO CONTINUE THIS TRAINING?”
A weak voice replied “whaaaat?”
(Instant repeat of the previous statement, with no change in timber or tempo)
At this point, the young man started talking gibberish, and was literally pulled out of his chair and into the hall. We never saw him again. Later, someone said that he saw a girl drop him off at the Armouries. What did this do to our mindset? It scared the shit out of me, for one. Think about it. These people have no emotion. They have no regard for YOUR emotion. I have just met someone who could deliver news like that, and therefore he must be tough as nails. Who would do that to someone? There was one guarantee: They do not care about you. If you die here, there will be no tears shed. Pass, Fail, Quit, it does not matter. These guys are killers.
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Old 03-02-2005, 11:25 AM   #12 (permalink)
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5. There was a chin-up bar painted Fire Engine Red between the two sides of the H-hut barracks. Passing underneath it extracted a 10 chin-up toll. I could only do 5 or 7 chin-ups at a time. The penalty for this crime was variable; when we were on a short break between lectures, we would line up for the water fountain and a lack of requisite chin-ups was a return to the back of the line. At other times, a simple screaming was in order. It seemed as though there was an instructor stationed at all times by that god forsaken bar, and my failure to produce 10 chin-ups was constant shame. I felt as if I was the only one who could not perform this task.
A couple of weeks into training they ramped up the physical requirements measurably. Our runs seemed to go on forever. We were running one morning and I passed out. It started as a stitch in my side, but grew to a full cramp. My vision got blurry, and then a tunnel formed and there were stars. The pain went away, thank god, but I woke up in the base hospital. The doctor loomed over me, and the first thing he said was “What is your name, son?”
I answered simply, Last Name, Service Number.
He laughed, looked at the staff and quipped “You guys must run a tight ship over there for this kid to forget his first name…”
The instructors smiled, beaming like proud parents. All of my staff were there, Warrant, Course Officer, Master Corporal and Sargeant.
“Do you remember what happened?”
“No sir, I just remember running down the road.”
“You passed out of heat exhaustion. We pumped 2 litres of fluid into you. Marathon runners need about 1 ½ litres to recover. You were pretty messed up.” There was concern in his voice, like something was wrong and he was looking for me to fill him in. I had no idea what was going on, which led to an innocent disclosure of the damning facts.
He looked me in the eye, and I saw the rank on his shoulder. He was a major, easily the highest ranking person I had spoken to yet. We saluted them when we walked past them as a group, but I never thought I would be speaking to one…
“When was the last time you took a piss?”
“I don’t remember sir.”
“What do you mean you don’t remember?”
“Maybe a couple of days ago.”
“A COUPLE OF DAYS? What are you talking about? How much fluids have you been drinking?”
“I have juice and milk with my meals.” I said shyly. Was I not allowed to have juice?
“What about water?” he commanded.
“I’m not allowed to drink water. I can’t do 10 chin-ups.” I hated that damn red bar. I still do.
“What in the fuck are you talking about?” He truly did not understand what I was saying. I might as well have been speaking a different language.
I told him about that horrible piece of metal, and how every time I tried to get a drink of water, I was banished by an instructor. The instructors’ proud parental smiles gave way to a look of concern. Why was their child saying these things?
“YOU,” The doctor pointed at all the staff, “GET OUT.”
The doctor then proceeded to walk me through the whole story, forward and back, until he realized that they were killing us slowly with the water rationing.
Well, the shit hit the fan, and hard. I was not allowed to go back to the troop until I could eat a meal, so the doctor could rule out any bad problems with my digestive system. What is worse than Hospital food? Army food. What is worse than Army food? ARMY HOSPITAL FOOD. I simply could not keep it down. I took a bite, swallowed, and threw up. It was horrible. I spent three days in the base hospital trying to get out. Finally, the Warrant came into the room, and talked with me, alone. I remember the concern on his face. He seemed human, and genuinely interested in me as a person.
(I found out later that if I would have stayed in the hospital one more day, they would have had to kick me off the course for missing too much training. If they kicked me off the course, there would need to be an investigation. If there was an investigation, all of the instructors would have been charged for the little ‘water rationing’ incident)
“What is wrong, Troop? Do you want to quit?” he asked.
“No Warrant, I want to join you guys, but they won’t let me go.”
“Why not?”
“Because they say I have to eat something.” I was looking down at the covered plate of ARMY HOSPITAL food in front of me, trying to find a way out of this situation.
“Then fucking eat something.” Everything was black and white to that man, I swear.
“I can’t.” and with that, I pulled the lid back on the food tray.
“Holy Christ….” The Warrant gasped. He quickly composed himself, and said, “If you could have anything to eat, what would it be? Anything at all…”
I gave my food order as fast as I could. “Double-Quarter-Pounder-Meal-from-McDonalds-Supersized-with-coke-to-drink…”
“Get dressed son, I’ll be right back.” He marched out the door.
By the time I dressed, he was back, and a nurse was in tow.
“I am taking this man with me. Release him.” He said to her.
“I can’t do that without doctor’s orders.” She said, trying to impose her authority on a man who could look god in the eye.
“Then fucking get him.” He said, without changing expression. He had made up his mind that I was going back to barracks with him, and no one was about to stop him. I don’t think the doctor could have done anything either.
I was in no mood for niceties; I was eating like a soldier who hasn’t eaten in three days. I demolished that burger, and was finishing the fries when the doctor came in the room.
“He’s coming with me.” The Warrant said.
“Fair enough.” The doctor realized this was not a battle he could win.
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Old 03-03-2005, 12:26 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Wow, I'm glad I wandered into this thread to figure out what the headline meant. This thread doesn't deserve to be buried in a Regional forum. Fascinating writing, BigBen!
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigBen931
Get it? The TNT Song by ACDC?!?
I didn't get it until I read that. For some reason, the "Oy! Oy!" came across as an English drinking song. Probably just me, though.
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Old 03-03-2005, 12:31 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Shit BigBen... that is some story... I am loving this thread.
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Old 03-04-2005, 08:05 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Poison Ivy and The Tornado – which is worse??

On the firing range, things really changed for us. All along, we were pretending to be soldiers, and all of the marching and polishing of shiny things and cleaning barracks could not convince me that I was in the army yet. I was too busy to realize that I was learning lots and that just being in uniform and not looking like a fool was half the battle.

Marching out to the Small Arms range changed everything. They were going to give us REAL BULLETS; I know, I know, ROUNDS. The bullet is the thing that flies through the air. The casing or ‘brass’ is what holds the powder and bullet together, and is ejected after firing. If you call a ROUND a BULLET, prepare to get screamed at. By The Way, NEVER CALL YOUR RIFLE A GUN. Just like in the movie ‘Full Metal Jacket’ (Masterpiece of filmmaking by Stanley Kubrick, rent it) where they march back and forth chanting, My experience was different.
“What did you call it?” came the scream from an old grizzled sergeant.
“A Gun, Sergeant?” came the whimper.
“Look over there, shithead.” The Sergeant pointed to a decorative artillery cannon that was one of hundreds sprinkled on the very neatly trimmed lawns around the base, “That is a GUN. You have a RIFLE. When you can properly execute the drill movement ‘Shoulder Arms’ with one of those bad boys, then you can call whatever the fuck you want a gun. Not until then.” Sheesh, these guys are real sticklers for names.

The story goes that a guy radioed a base that his gun was broken and could they please send over another as a replacement. A short time later, a Chinook transport helicopter flew in and dropped a 105 howitzer at the guy’s feet. LOL.

Anyway, I digress (as I often do). We were going to shoot these things that we had learned to love, and clean, over the past weeks.

The 10 k march to the firing range was a bitch, and worthy of its own entry. Once we got there, the Warrant screamed “I want your shelters in parade format. 3 ranks, perfectly straight. If not, then you people will be tearing them down and starting again, only 1 kilometre away. And so on, until you are setting the fuckers up at the H-hut and doing that hump twice a day all week.”

We set them up properly, perfectly straight, the first time.

I did not know what poison ivy looked like. I simply set up my hooch along with the others and set up my sleeping bag. The next morning, I was itchy. I thought that I was hit bad by the mosquitoes during the night, although I had set up my bug bar properly. Was I going to complain? NOT ON YOUR LIFE.
All day, the weather was “Ball Licking Hot” (funny how the beautiful word descriptors don’t always make it into civilian language, unlike everyone and their dog using ‘Good to Go’) and for all out there who have not experienced poison ivy, if you sweat, it makes it waaaaaay worse. I felt like I was being lit on fire. The rash was bad, and all over my body, IF YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN. Wink, wink.
I went to the medic, and stated simply “I have a rash”.
He stated simply “Poison Ivy. This fucking hellhole is infested with it.”
“What should I do?” I pleaded. I would have done anything. I mean it. Thank god the medic was just a 1 hook private, and I could relax around him. (we were no-hook privates, by contrast.)
He then took out a 1 inch cotton pad and put some pink toothpaste looking stuff on it. “Here, I’ll put some lotion on it and it will go away.”
“Um, ahh, um…” I didn’t really know what to do.
“Just let me see the rash, and I’ll fix it.” This guy was so laid back I thought he was on drugs.
Well, dear reader, I did what you are thinking. I pulled my pants down, and waited for him to administer the lotion. The medic turned around and walked away, shaking his head, and the instructors had some fun at my expense. I eventually got SEVERAL TUBES of the lotion, and I spread it on like a fat kid icing his own cake.

About the fourth or fifth day, the weather was cooking us. Due to “The Water Incident” –see above- we were ordered to drink 1 canteen of water every hour. People complained at first, but then we realized that these water breaks were built-in hourly REST BREAKS. There was much rejoicing, and I felt like a hero for going to the hospital for 3 days. On the firing line, there was something wrong… The instructors were preoccupied with something, talking to each other and generally not screaming as much as they usually did. We all got nervous, but didn’t say anything in case they were just saving their energy up to give it to us double once they had rested up.

I was chatting with someone, cleaning my rifle, when a cold wind (about 30 degrees colder than it was) slapped me across the face. Now, I am an intelligent man, and I had paid attention during science class and watched Nature shows and knew that going from hot to cold like that meant a bad storm or –gasp- a tornado was on its way.

I went over to my section commander and asked “Is that a tornado we’re getting, Master Corporal?”
“WHERE?!?” His eyes bugged out and he looked at me like he was possessed.
“No, I don’t see anything, but that wind…” I couldn’t even finish the sentence when the order came:
“GET THE FUCK IN THE BUNKER!” It was the Warrant. You have to appreciate that he always said things with authority, but this sentence he screamed and I think that God, who is everywhere I hear, got in that fucking bunker with us.

Imagine 45 people in a bunker that was designed to hold a couple of targets and some sandbags. The rain hit bad, so we were soaked in about 5 seconds, and we were sweating all day, so the smell was wonderful. The bunker was about 6 feet tall and about 20 by 20 wide. It was made of concrete from the war era (of course) and I felt really safe. I thought “Boy, this is going to make a great story” instead of “holy shit I hope I live through this”.

The wind was terrible, but nobody screamed or anything like that. On the contrary, people were smoking and joking. We were a team. We would be all right. Our instructors were with us, and they knew EVERYTHING, so they would help us through this. Very cool.

I found out years later from an instructor I met and whom I got extremely drunk the rest of the story:
They knew about the storm. Range Control had told them there was a tornado watch, then warning issued. The Warrants reply? “No one will miss these fuckers if they die.” And we kept on training. The old saying goes, If It Ain’t Rainin’, It Ain’t Trainin’.

BTW, our little tent shelters were fine!! Still there, three ranks, perfectly straight. My sleeping bag was still dry. I never thought that would happen in a million years. Oh well.

And yes, Poison Ivy is worse than a Tornado, provided you have requisite war era concrete bunker.
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Old 03-04-2005, 08:29 AM   #16 (permalink)
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"Like a fat kid icing his own cake"
That really makes me laugh....
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Old 03-04-2005, 08:33 AM   #17 (permalink)
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thought you guys would like that one. I do have a way with words, Eh Cierah?
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Old 03-04-2005, 08:42 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Yeah, man you do. These are some really well done stories though. Very amusing. You can definatly tell that you are old school though because none of this shite happens on course now. Mine was easy-peasy compared to this stuff.
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Old 03-04-2005, 10:44 AM   #19 (permalink)
 
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Ever thought of writing a book when/if you leave the DND?
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Old 03-04-2005, 11:36 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Genius yes, Book, no

That was why I originally put these thoughts on the screen. People would gather around and listen to "The old guy" tell his stories. SOME PEOPLE ACCUSE ME OF BEING "OLD SCHOOL".

I have a very unique way of telling stories, with lots of dialogue and such. Someone mentioned that they would love to read my memoires, and as a therapy kind of thing I just sat down and started writing.

BTW, I am only 29. I only feel old in the army when I see those fresh 17 year-old faces.

I really don't think these are of any worth to publish, so when I saw this forum, I took guilty pleasure in submitting them. Now you guys are just stroking my ego.

If I was a cat, I'd be purring.

Then again, if I was a dog, I'd probably be humping your leg...

Thanks for the compliment.
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Old 03-04-2005, 12:06 PM   #21 (permalink)
 
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I really believe that there is a book in this somehow.

No kidding. No ego stroking.
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Old 03-04-2005, 12:29 PM   #22 (permalink)
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...and no humping.
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Old 03-08-2005, 08:37 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Exploding roads and safety barriers:

We were teaching soldiers the finer points in creating obstacles to hinder the enemies movement. An Abatee is created by blowing up trees on each side of the road and having them fall onto each other, creating a pick-up-stick mess with 30 foot logs. It is lots of fun when you do it, but a lot of work, too.

A crater is more simple. You drill a hole in the ground, put some C-4 in. Blow up the C-4. You have created a small air poacket under the ground, since c-4 is a high explosive and the concussion is so great that it creates a pocket instead of a crater. You then fill that pocket with a medium explosive, Trigran (or rabbit shit, what we called it because of its pellet appearance) and then set that off. You get a big monster crater that looks like a 10,000 pound bomb went off. The medium explosive pushes and lifts the soil, instead of shocking and compacting like C-4. You do this about 3 or 4 times along 200m stratch of road, and you have denied that road to your enemy. Tanks can’t even navigate those holes (yeah, but they just drive around them…).

We were blowing up a road, and doing a damned fine job of it too, when the dump truck came with a load of backfill to fill the holes we were about to create. It was going to take the guy 50 trips to fill these holes, and he showed up early to get a good start. Unfortunately, the craters were not made yet. The explosives were set, the fuses placed, and the burn cord lit… we were waiting for the BOOM to happen, in about 3 minutes.

The dump truck operator asked where the craters were, and a Sergeant told him where they were GOING TO BE, and a mis-communication occurred. That driver then proceeded to DRIVE DOWN THAT ROAD. I was watching the charges, waiting for them to go off. You can imagine my surprise when a dump truck goes barrelling past me and into the impact area. We had set up wooden barriers (those road construction ones) across the road, but they were not long enough, so we got orange surveyors tape and strung that between the two barriers. The dump truck hit that tape at about 50 k/hr, like he was crossing a finish line or something. I was in shock.

In less than 2 minutes, that road was going to disappear, along with any dump truck that was on top of it. The sergeant screamed “FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!” and chased after the truck, but as it sped away, the sergeant stopped at my truck. “Go after that truck!”
“Fucking pardon me?” was my reply.
“He’s going to die, we have to stop him!” The sergeant had lost all sense of self-preservation. “Give me the keys, I’LL GO AFTER HIM…” he was foaming at the mouth.
“I am not going to let you kill yourself, no way.” I was not going to let him do this.

When I woke up, I was on the ground and my truck was screaming down the road that was soon to be not-a-road. My jaw hurt. I was dizzy.

1 minute and 20 seconds later (I counted) both my truck and the dump truck came barrelling back towards the safety area, at about 130 k/hr. Like some kind of John Woo movie, I saw the road explode behind them, with a shower of dirt spraying over the vehicles. The two trucks were locked in some kind of death race, both drivers eyes were wide, and I think the driver of the dump truck was screaming. Either that or his open mouth was just in shock. I couldn’t hear, because everything was blowing up.

It looked fucking cool though.

”They should put THAT in a recruiting video” I thought.

Note to self: When blowing up a road, use something more substantial than surveyors tape as a safety barrier.
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Old 03-08-2005, 12:02 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Wow... great stories...
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Old 03-08-2005, 01:09 PM   #25 (permalink)
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What can I say that everyone else hasn't said before? I am loving these stories so far. I hope you have many more, because this is easily some of the most entertaining story telling I have ever read.
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Old 03-08-2005, 02:05 PM   #26 (permalink)
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They say a book, but I say nay! A movie! This is fantastically amusing.
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Old 03-08-2005, 02:13 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Tear Gas and an Angry Bull

or: Who Would win, a Warrant Officer or 1500kg Black Angus?

Oh, how quickly people forget their roots. I was stationed with a training cell, and we were tasked with teaching basic training to officers. Lots of fun…

When they would slow down and generally fuck up, out comes the tear gas; it is called CS Gas, and is several times more potent than the stuff that they hit civilians with in riots. (If you see a rioter that is unaffected by tear gas, ask them what unit they served with) We absolutely brutalized those poor people. I often felt sorry for them, and then I would remember MY BASIC training and all pity would be forgotten. We used so much tear gas, we used the old transport containers as lawn furniture. I would hear “Lazy fuckers… hey Ben, hand me some wake-up pills” and I would give the Master Corporal about half dozen CS canisters. Sheesh

Anyway, I was the only guy from the prairies, and was hounded continuously. Yes, my family are farmers. Yes, I know my way around farm machinery. NO, I am not a farmer (not that there is anything wrong with that). The training area we were in was also a PFRA pasture (Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Association) where cattle would be released to graze on the grass in the training area. No big deal.

One day, we were getting the soldiers to set up a stage 3 concertina wire obstacle. Lots of swearing and cursing, LOTS of concertina wire (not razor wire, but close) and hammering, pulling, tying together et cetera. People were getting tired, and the gas came out.
“If you people can’t move your fat asses now, maybe you’ll work harder with your gas masks on…” And off they would go. I stood upwind and had a cigarette, not caring about things. Until I saw the BULL.
He was massive, and one of the most impressive creatures I had seen. Easily 1500kg, pure black, all muscle, and more importantly, a very pissed off look to his eye. Oh shit.

“Hey look guys, a cow has come to check things out…” one of the BC boys said.
“Um, guys, that’s not a cow…” I replied. No one was paying any attention to me.
“Cool, lets see if we can scare the troops with this little fella…” one of the Newfies said…
“Um, hey guys. I think maybe we should just…” I understood what goes through a bull’s head. Territory and sex. If we were in his territory, we might try to fuck his cows too. HE WOULD NOT LET THAT HAPPEN. I was raised with a healthy fear of bulls as a child, and now that fear was in full force. Why wasn’t anyone listening to me? Oh, yeah, I had forgot. I was the lowest ranking soldier for the nearest 100km.

The bull lowered its head. It was on the other side of the 6 foot wall of concertina wire. I think that instilled a false sense of security in my colleagues. I knew that bull would come straight through that wire and the scratches would only piss him off more. I started to back up toward my truck. I kept my eye on the bull.

I don’t know who said it, but someone had a particularly stupid idea. “Let’s gas it.”

About 3 canisters were thrown at the bull, over the wire and upwind of it. I immediately put my gas mask on. It took no longer than 7 seconds for me to see the following:

The bull collapsed. It laid on its side, all 4 legs sticking out, and was convulsing badly. It then proceeded to throw up 3 of its 4 stomachs. All the while, the most hideous noise in the world was coming from it. Kind of a honking screaming groan, a very low base voice shaking the ground under my feet. I almost threw up having sympathy nausea. Everyone laughed, thinking that they sure had taught that stupid animal a lesson. Don’t mess with us, we’ll fuck you right up.

I ran over to the Warrant officer who was standing by and laughing and screamed “What is so funny? What do you think that thing is going to do when the gas wears off? Send us a fucking apology note? It is going to kill every last person standing here. WE HAVE TO LEAVE. NOW…”

I would like to think it was my forceful tone and charm that made the Warrant appreciate the gravity of the situation, but instead I think it was logic and the memory that I was the only one who knew anything about these animals. He became very concerned.

“You think it will charge us when it gets up?” he asked, still not convinced.
“No, there will be no charging. He will just fucking gore us, stomp us and kick our teeth into the back of our skulls. Charging happens when his territory is challenged. When he’s pissed, he just kills things.” And for good measure, I added, “Fuck this, I’m leaving.”

Everyone became very concerned at that moment, and the laughing stopped. People ripped down that obstacle as fast as humanly possible, all the time looking over their shoulder to see if Fluffy was going to wake up. I did what I said I would. I got my gear, loaded my truck, and got the fuck out of there.

I feel sorry for that animal, and think that bad karma followed me for a while for not doing anything to stop that production. I asked the Range Control guys if any farmer complained about their cattle, and they said no, everything was okay. That made me feel a little bit better, but I still think of the noise that that poor bull made that day. Horrible.
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Old 03-08-2005, 02:23 PM   #28 (permalink)
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These are great stories. Absolutely entertaining!
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Old 03-08-2005, 04:01 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Man, BigBen... my story telling skills can't compete! A lot of your stories are oh-so-similar to my own, and yeah, it's funny... but you have quite a knack for telling them. Military stories really are the best!
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Old 03-08-2005, 07:37 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Yeah, I have lots to tell.

The people I have served with, the shit I've pulled, the close calls I've had. Its a miracle I'm still alive.

Everyone has a story to tell, I guess.

As far as a movie goes, I want to be played by Colin Farrell. I dunno. His Oscar worthy performances in such classics as "Phone Booth" and "Alexander" just speak to me on a different level.
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Old 03-08-2005, 07:57 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Keep the great stories coming, BigBen. Very entertaining style.
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Old 03-08-2005, 08:34 PM   #32 (permalink)
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BigBen931, These are well-told, excellent and entertaining stories! I can't wait to read more of them, if you're content to keep sharing! Thanks!
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Old 03-08-2005, 08:44 PM   #33 (permalink)
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awesome stories man!

im definently gonna have to keep an eye on this thread
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Old 03-08-2005, 09:16 PM   #34 (permalink)
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these remind me of Readers Digest. they're nice, entertaining stories.
thanks for posting them.
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Old 03-08-2005, 09:19 PM   #35 (permalink)
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First day on the job...

Oddly enough, our experiences are similar. I'm a member of the US Army National Guard, and though we are not full-time soldiers, we go through the same training as regular army (mostly with regular army personnel).

Army Basic Combat Training (Basic) was quite a wild ride. We spent the first week or so in a reception battalion. While we got our shots, exams, filled out paperwork, recevied our uniforms and the like, Drill Sergeants were prepping us (or so we thought) for what was to come. Our biggest challenge as new recruits? Leading off a march in step. DS Slaughter (real name) once told us, "If you pieces of shit don't all lead off with an 18" step when I say march, I'm gonna fly through this formation and punch you in the fucking eye!" We thought that was hardcore, but we had no idea...

When that fateful day came, we all loaded on the cattle truck (actual modified cattle trucks are a common form of transportation at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri). During our trek "down range" our new DS' began informing us of our chain of command:

"You are now H Company, 35th Engineers. Your Senior Drill Sergeant is Drill Sergeant Anderson. Your company First Sergeant is First Sergeant (something). Your company Commander is Captain Bright"... and so on and so forth. When we stopped, the friendly DS says, "Private (so-and-so), who is your First Sergeant?"

*blank stare*

"Private. did I not just tell you who the hell your company First Sergeant was?"

"Yes, Drill Sergeant!"

"Then why the hell will you not tell me his name? Are you that gopddamned disrespectful that you do not recall the names of your chain of command?"

"Negative, Drill Sergeant, I ..."

"Get your sorry ass off the truck! Private (so-and-so), who is your First Sergeant?"

This went on for a few soldiers before we were being literally ripped from the truck and pushed outside. We had to assemble in a large gymnasium for "shake down" where we dumped all of our equipment *neatly* into a pile in front of us, and then were screamed at to do push-ups, sort our equipment, put it back NEATLY into our duffles, do more push ups and why the fuck were we looking at the female Drill Sergeant? Did we like her? Did we want to ask her out? "Not a fucking chance private! Don't look my battle buddy in the eyes!"

It was quite a day...

Last edited by xepherys; 03-08-2005 at 09:21 PM.. Reason: typo...
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Old 03-10-2005, 02:22 PM   #36 (permalink)
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Crack Thumping… Why am I learning this again?

Thanks guys. Any questions you ever had about what it's REALLY Like, instead of that Hollywood shit? Send, Over...

Anyway, next story:

As part of peacekeeper training, one must undergo “Crack-Thump” training. Before you perverts get carried away, here is an overview:
1. You dig a hole, and call it a trench.
2. You dig that hole as if your life depended on it, and not some half-assed effort like you do when they are making you dig trenches for the ‘fun of it’.
3. You put OHP (Over Head Protection) including sandbags and dirt over that hole.
4. The staff then shoots at you, with different sorts of weaponry, and you listen to the distinctive noises that each type of weapon makes.

I bet you thought that there were only a few types of noises, right? If you are an A-Team fan, you thought that an M-16 sounded just like a Mini-14. If you enjoy Vietnam movies, you might think that there was one rate of fire on machine guns. (Editors note: YES, machine guns are called that, and not ‘Machine Rifles’. I don’t know why) The truth is simple and logical. In order to get true sounds onto a movie or TV soundtrack, you would have to perform a “Crack-Thump” demonstration on the poor sonofabitch sound guy, and that would require a permit to shoot live rounds over the head of the poor sonofabitch.

In reality, there are HUNDREDS of unique sounds that can emanate from the business end of a killing machine. The sound the bullet makes as it travels (hopefully) over your head is called the CRACK, due to the bullet breaking the sound barrier. The THUMP is the sound of the weapon firing, and that sound takes time to reach your ears. There is also the sound of the action cycling, the rate of firing, the echo off of hills or buildings, and other small things that can tell information about where the bad things are coming from.

Well, if you listen closely, you can accurately determine:
who is shooting, where they are, if they are shooting at you or just around you, and how determined they are to kill you.
If they are shooting in celebration for a cease-fire being declared (YES, people actually do this in some cultures) and you as a soldier call up the artillery and turn them into a pink mist in retaliation, the cease-fire may not be as long as the Generals and heads of state were planning.

This brings me to my training. Getting fucking shot at, ON PURPOSE, with all manner of weapons.

50 cal., AK-47, C-7, 9mm, FN C-1, C-9 (M-249 SAW), all went over my head. They had it arranged that the firing would be in different directions, and at one point, they drove a guy across the range so we could hear what it was like if the firing was also moving.

I was not thinking, BOY, what valuable training! I was thinking, FUCK, I want out of here!

I also learned that a hole can be a very safe and comfortable place to live, given the external environment was hostile enough.

After they had scared the living shit out of us, they then lined us up and showed us what the weapons can do to different types of cover.
Cinderblock walls (1,2 and 3 deep)
Sandbag walls (1,2 and 3 deep)
Railroad ties (1,2 and 3 deep)
And the almighty House Wall, the fortress of Hollywood.

The only thing to stand up to any punishment was the sandbags. Everything else was decimated. I felt sick. The 50 cal didn’t even slow down through everything else. An old Sergeant spoke up, “and watch your fucking background (what is behind your target) ladies, (he meant that term as an insult, even though there were female soldiers present) because when you shoot some poor shit’s family through his house wall, he will definitely join the enemies side and rape you before he kills you.”

I was feeling the urge to get drunk. Very fucking drunk.

Oh, and the answer is yes, you do get used to it...
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Old 03-10-2005, 03:29 PM   #37 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigBen931
And the almighty House Wall, the fortress of Hollywood.
Fantastico.
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Old 03-10-2005, 04:02 PM   #38 (permalink)
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More! More! Encore!
You're style has me hooked. Type until your fingers bleed, please! It's for our entertainment.
Did you indeed learn to decipher all those different sounds? I'm on the edge of my seat.
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Old 03-10-2005, 04:24 PM   #39 (permalink)
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yeah i have to say, i'm fascinated by this.
it's like a whole other world.
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Old 03-10-2005, 05:51 PM   #40 (permalink)
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Okay, so I am an evil person but I have this desire to say something bad about Ben's stories - only damn - I can't do it. You guys are going to give this guy a swelled head (ohe what? too late?). Regardless, the stories are very interesting and enjoyable...
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