Thursday, September 02, 2004

First Few Days

I have been here for three days now. We have kept pretty busy. We arrived on Tuesday August 31st in the evening and got a basic brief from our Drill SGT. I was expecting it to be something like a watered down basic training atmosphere but it wasn't. We have been treated very professionally so far. We are staying in a hotel on post. Each of us has our own room with a TV, fridge, and microwave. The rooms also have free internet access if you brought your own computer. I don't think these will be the accommodations from now on though.

We are one of the first groups to go through the process here. I know there are more IRR soldiers that have been activated this past year but we are some of the first to go through with the big wave of 5600 that have been recalled. I say this because we found out today that the people who are going to be in charge of this unprocessed are not here yet. We are being taken care of by Drill SGTs that are coming out of the Basic Training world and transitioning into regular jobs in the Army. The Drill SGTs are great. I don't have any idea how the next people are going to handle the process though. It has been pretty laid back for us so far. Right now there are three Drill SGTs and the rumor is that 13 people are coming in to form a small element responsible for this transition. Anyone in the Army knows that thirteen pairs of eyes versus three equals stupid details to waste time. We'll see what happens.

So far we have mostly done paperwork to get back into the Army. They allowed us to go to CIF and draw all new uniforms if we wanted to. I only drew enough for two uniforms and three sets of P.T.s. They told us to draw as little as possible because we would only be here for 10 days. Then we are supposed to get 2-3 weeks of refresher on our jobs and then go to a OCONUS CRC where we will draw all of our Desert uniforms and ship our green BDU's back home. The most exciting thing I got was a laundry bag. I know this doesn't sound exciting but every time I have drawn one I have had to turn it back in when I outprocessed. This is one thing that you use the heck out of and you always have to give it back. We are not outprocessing here so I get to keep this one. Next week we will be spending a day or two firing the rifle, and then classes on common soldier skills that we once knew but have probably forgotten.

Today was my first day in uniform and I got a military style haircut. That sort of finalized it and made this whole thing feel real. The first two days we spent in civilian clothes and still felt a little bit like the real world. Once those uniforms went on it was back to military business. It was funny to observe all of us as civilians. Everyone talked like civilians and joked around about whatever. There was no hierarchy or "chain of command". Once those uniforms were on though it was different. Nobody got real hardcore or anything but there was that definite "I may have been joking with you yesterday, but today I outrank you so here is how it is going to be" type attitude. You can also tell who the really negative ones are pretty early on. Nobody seems overly upset about being called back, but there are those that are just negative no matter what situation you find yourself in. Like in anything in life you just stay away from them and focus on the positive.


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