The past week has just been more of the same. Long power point presentations with much more information than I know what to do with (I don't actually like feel I'm learning anything useful; instead I just feel overwhelmed because it seems like I'm going to get to my unit and have all these responsibilities, and very little idea as to what to do) interspersed with the occasional BS. Last Thursday, for example, we all brought in our LBE and kevlar to make sure we had everything, and that it was fitting properly. At least that was the impression we had. When we got to formation, we got yelled at because our equipment wasn't ready to go - meaning we hadn't taped down the straps or blackened the equipment where the paint was coming off (not that black sharpie stays on longer than two seconds anyway). I had been planning on readjusting my LBE after seeing how others had theirs because while it fit, it looked weird (this LBE was a different style from the ones at both school and BOLC)- I don't think my torso is quite long enough. Anyway, let's just say, we were all in a terrible mood last Thursday. It did have one good result, though: the 1SG came by to talk to us and hear about any concerns or problems we'd been having - of course, he's leaving in three weeks so he isn't going to make big changes now but at least we got to tell someone about our TAC issues. When we had tried talking to the XO earlier, she had just kept making a similar response to all our comments without letting us end our statements or explain all of our side. Of course, the XO doesn't make the best impression - she once walked in with her hair in a pony tail (I know all you civilians must be thinking, "How horrible! A pony tail!" but the hair standard is above the collar, and since she outranks us all, she should be setting the standard - usually, she just looks like she either got done taking a nap or working out, because her hair is always a mess.)
Random items from the last week:
A C-130 can carry the weight of 71 African elephants. Why do I know that? Well, we learned all about unit movement this week which includes truck, rail, air and sea (actually, we haven't done sea, so I guess we didn't learn all about it). For some reason, the little video clip included that tidbit of information about the C-130. I wonder if this is supposed to come in handy during my Army career - Operation Dumbo Drop anyone? Or is elephant a common military weight unit?
Transportation officers don't do PT. Actually that isn't accurate. Everyone keeps telling us how important PT is once we get to our units, but here at OBC, we have better things to do, such as watch foot ball games, and drink. Yes, that's right - PT got cancelled on Wednesday because they wanted us to go to an intramural game Tuesday night, and we don't have it Thursdays because they want us to "get our drink on" every Wednesday night. Apparently, it's supposed to help us make connections with higher ranking personnel but the highest ranking person I've talked to while there was a 2LT.
The Army has a new slogan/campaign. "Army strong." While I realize that it's intended to be used as an adjective, as in "he's not just strong, he's Army strong," it also makes me think that the Army is made up of a bunch of illiterate cavemen: "Me Tarzan, you Jane, Army strong." I guess maybe I'm just looking for ways to make fun of this place. We saw one of the new videos for it last week in class, and while it wasn't half-bad, they went completely overboard with the music. "You must feel this emotion now because the music is swelling . . ." Oh, the joys of propaganda.
I hate the military's use of language. I really, really do. We got a speech about dining-in this week, and the guy who briefed us included words such as honor and ladies etc. Granted, he's a Vietnam era dinosaur, but it still doesn't quite excuse the way he kept talking about bringing honor to the family name, "being a man," and behaving like a gentleman in the presence of ladies. Excuse me, but we are all in the Army, so why do the guys have to pull out my chair? I hate words like chivalry, honor and patriotism. To me, they are empty words that have lost all meaning because everyone in the world describes themselves as honorable/patriotic/etc. I'm sure the fact that I hated Song of Roland plays into this, too - what person is stupid enough to choose honor and glory over life (of course, Roland had a messed up sense of honor, but I can't help but think that the Army has a similar concept).
Speaking of the Army and language, I have to write Army style papers. No more than 15 words a sentence. One of them has to be a letter of sympathy to the parents of a medal of honor winner - I wonder if I can avoid the words honor, heroic, patriot and great American.