Sunday 9 Jan 2011
So, my car is packed up (literally with every bit of clothing that I could fit in there… 14 weeks is a long time!) and I have a full tank of gas. And then come the goodbyes.. It was hard. Even with the anticipation and excitement I still cried like a baby to say goodbye to my family and sas.
I head towards Montgomery with plans to pick up my very first USAF friend from the airport. We met on facebook and I was really glad to have someone to be a partner with when we walked up to report and had no idea what we were in for. It turned out there were a bunch of us staying in neighboring hotels so we all met up for dinner.
There were some other folks too.. We went to Dreamland BBQ and it was aaawwweeesome. Yum yummy. There we decided that we would all show up at the same time so that the scary people couldn’t yell too much at just one of us- they would have to spread it around!
I have to say, it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be. I really imagined drill sergeants waiting in the parking lot just waiting for you car door to open so that they could start yelling at you. Fortunately, they waited at the front door of the dorms instead 🙂 And, it wasn’t so much yelling as very loud, assertive directions. Whew… We got some very quick directions- How to stand at attention, tuck in your laces, take off your earrings, put your hair up, every statement starts with Sir or Ma’am (except for Yes, sir or No ma’am) and no Sir sandwiches (Sir, YES Sir!). So, you go in with all the directions and have to answer questions… at attention… getting corrected basically every time you open your mouth. Here’s a typical “conversation” on day one for pretty much anyone that showed up.
“Ma’am, where are a copy of your orders?”
“Sir, they’re in my backpack” (as you move to get into said backpack)
“Ma’am, YOU SHOULD BE STANDING AT ATTENTION”
“I…I…I thought you wanted the orders”
“that should be SIR I thought you wanted the orders and STOP moving, WHY are you looking at me? You SHOULD BE LOOKING STRAIGHT AHEAD!!!”
And so on and so forth… exchange a ma’am for a sir or any number of things they ask you for but don’t actually want you to get until they toy with you and then ask you to move. The rest of the day was a lot of herding us around to various in-processing stations, a MRE for lunch (which surprisingly you need some directions for if you’ve never eaten one before…”wait, how do you heat this up? oh.. i don’t have time to heat it? I’ll just eat my chicken pasta with vegetables cold”).
The first week was alot of orders to do something that you’ve never done or to get somewhere that you’ve never been with little to no directions or explanation. I didn’t have time to unpack my bags until night 3, I couldn’t get in bed before 11:30 and we had to be up at 4:30. Morning number 2 our alarm was OTS Instructors banging on our doors at 4:43 (hey, they let us sleep in!). “GET OUT HERE IN THE HALLWAY, GET UP GET UP GET UP” so, wait, am I supposed to be in ABU’s (camo)? Am I supposed to be ready? “GET OUT HERE!” Oh, ok, I guess I’ll just go out. “MA’AM WHERE ARE YOUR SHOES!?” “YOU ALL HAVE 3 MINUTES TO GET READY- DRESSED, TEETH BRUSHED, SHAVED WHATEVER YOU HAVE TO DO. 3 MINUTES!!!!!” We actually got to have a very meaningful ceremony at this point where we “Stepped Into the Blue” which was promptly ended by the MTIs (military training instructors, i.e. drill sergeants) yelling at us to do something. Oh well, so much for that nice moment.
This pic sums up week one for me.
Confused, trying your best and still not getting it right.