Droppin’ Warheads on Foreheads

Getting lunch on the beach at Isle of Palms

Well, I’m back in touch with technology and finally at my command here in beautiful, swampy Charleston, SC (or more specifically Naval Weapons Station in Goose Creek, SC). So far, it’s been really nice, but I haven’t done anything yet class wise, so who knows.

Boot camp in Great Lakes, IL was pretty interesting as an experience. The first few days (and specifically, the first 40 hours) were intense and I just kept thinking to myself, “What the hell am I doing here?” It slowly got better after that, but overall I would say it sucked pretty hard. I spent most of my day standing at attention or sitting awkwardly on the ground cross-legged. My back hurt so much and even at taps (when we get in bed) the racks we slept in had about a 2 inch mattress.

For the most part, I stood around thinking, “Well, this is annoying…” and “When is chow?” — boot camp is a mental thing and much less of a physical thing, though beatings were pretty common. Beatings, if you haven’t figured out, are punishments for making mistakes that involve you doing a lot of eight-count pushups and mountain climbers (and sometimes doing it to Miley Cyrus’ “Another Mountain”!). Google them to see how fun they look. In general, I avoided getting beaten and managed to stay back. But, on one of my four hour compartment watches, I accidentally called a Chief a Petty Officer. The result was not good. I ended up getting dropped for about 30-40 minutes. I’m not sure how long it was, but it felt like hours. I was not a fan.

Liberty with my Dad

A lot of it was fun looking back, though not particularly while I was doing it. The RDCs (Recruit Division Commanders — basically drill instructors) were pretty much the funniest guys I could imagine. The things they said were hilarious, but we weren’t allowed to laugh for the first few weeks, and that proved to be a problem for some. After a while, it became less strict and we were able to laugh freely. Probably the most memorable saying was

I don’t give a fuck. Shit ain’t real!

Although personally, the best thing the RDCs told me was

Chastain, I hope you die in a fucking fire.

That’s pretty awesome. At first stuff like that bothered people, but by the end, we knew it wasn’t really serious. It’s just a part of the job, and it can be funny in itself.

Besides boot camp, I’ve been here in Charleston for a week or so. The weather is humid and gross, and running in it feels like you’re drinking water when you breathe. But besides that, I have very little complaints. The rooms are nice and cold, the food is incredible (this command has the Navy’s only five star galley), and we get liberty on the weekends free from doing watches, which is really good news. The schooling is supposed to be pretty hard, but I’m coming from graduating with a 3.5 from a hard college, so I’m not too worried. Math isn’t my strong point, but I’m sure I can push through.

I’ll go into more detail later, but right now I really need a few hours of sleep.

 

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