What I Learned In Basic Training

575 words - 3 pages

In Advanced Infantry Training, we are learning the technicalities of how to do our specialty, our MOS. But in Basic Training we learned how to be a soldier, many of the principles can be applied to even civilian life.
I suppose the principle which will stick with me forever is that nothing lasts forever, even though it might seem so at times. No matter how many pushups and V-ups we do, no matter how long we stay in the front leaning rest, no matter how long we are freezing our butts off lying prone in a hasty, no matter how far we high/low crawl, no matter how much sleep we lose...It Will Not Last Forever.
We simply have to endure until the end. What's interesting is the sweetness of looking back and realizing what you endured. ...view middle of the document...

Another thing I learned in Basic is that the enemy doesn't just die. Even with a bullet through the heart, contrary to the movies, a guy will keep shooting back at you for up to 45 seconds maybe not even realizing he's been fatally wounded. He may keep shooting longer if it's a less severe wound. Interestingly, that principle only seems to apply to the diehard terrorist, as our drill sergeant taught us an opposing principle that a bullet through any part of the enemy will make him stop doing whatever he's doing. If the enemy gets a bullet through his hand, he suddenly becomes all consumed with the state of his hand. Bullets and rifles are amazing and dangerous tools and the moment it is not respected as such, bad things happen. I learned that bulletproof vests are a serious mind blower to the enemy. Nothing puts the fear of God into the bad guy like watching a soldier get shot in the chest and then get back up and return fire.
I also learned that 5.56 bullets, though smaller than 7.62 rounds, are superior in every way, because the smaller ones actually do more damage. It's actually quite amazing how a round to the non-vital areas can still wreak a lot of havoc to the body. The bullet can enter the body at the waist, deflect off the pelvis straight upward into heart and lungs, not to mention all the other less-vital-but-still-important organs. That is a good or a bad thing depending on who receives it.
Our bodies are amazing machines. And an awesomely physically fit soldier can easily become unfit for duty any number of ways on and off the battlefield. It is important for me to maintain my body without breaking it. Those are a few of the things I learned in basic. I have learned many things in AIT, but none so nearly revelatory as I learned in Basic.

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