Tuesday, June 07, 2005


I haven't thought much of OCS since I left. It was a place where I acquired certain skills and a vernacular that probably has little use anywhere else. Like a bad movie, the drill instructors woke us up very each morning, marched us to the showers, physical training ("PT"), the mess hall, the classroom, and back to the barracks (King Hall). As I recall, we spent many hours marching on the "grinder," a large paved area that could easily double as several basketball courts. Having the most severe case of spastic white-man's disease, I was not very good at marching, so my company designated me to be the "road guard." That's the guy who doesn't really march, he just runs ahead of the group, and stands at "parade rest" in the middle of an intersection to block traffic until the company marches past. After my designation, the company earned much higher marks on the graded drills.

I didn't know it until after 13 weeks into the program, but the drill instructors were actually the guys in the class ahead of us. Needless to say, I enjoyed the final thirteen weeks of the course. But I wasn't an ordinary drill instructor. I taught my indocs about their sound powered phones between their rooms (the wall sockets), the nurdles beneath their racks , which barber to avoid, and the in-your-face application of brutal humor during periods of immense tension to provoke an unpermitted smile.