Thursday, March 31, 2011

Week 2: Day 4: Military History, Leadership & Bugs

We started the morning at 0520 with PT formation.  After the formation our individual platoons did a quick warm-up.  Once the warm-up was completed we did a 30 minute formation run.

After the run we had a short break to get showers and get to class.  That meant no breakfast.  Make sure you always have some sort of snack in case you don't have time for a meal.

The classes started with military history.   This class was short so we ended up having a couple of hours to burn. Before lunch we had an excellent speaker who talked about leadership and integrity.  He did an awesome job.  Afterwards, if you wanted to eat lunch you had to go double time to walk there, eat and get back in 20 minutes.

After lunch we had a class on insects and what to expect in the field.  There was some very graphic pictures.

We also found out if you are late to any formation or class you will perform a work detail.  To many people are still showing up late.

Leadership positions will be rotating shortly.  To be in a leadership program you have to have passed your DAPFT.

Tomorrow will entail CBRNE training, plus a dental visit.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Week 2: Day 3: Real Classes Begin

This morning started out with PT formation at 5:20.  Again more people can't seem to come to formation on time.  You would think they would get it by now.

Some of us went to optometry, while the others had 1 hour of PT.  At optometry it went real quick.  Just a quick eye exam and everything was done.  Very efficiently run.

After the eye exam, we headed over to the brief by a LTC leading AMEDD school.  There were a couple more briefs then lunch.  After lunch we started our first real classes.  It was nice to move into our real classes.  They focused on communication, writing and briefs.  There will be a 15 page paper due at the course to go along with several exams.  You must score 70% on every exam to pass the class.

We also found out the leadership will be changing at the end of this week or next.   This means I will be moved up to squad leader when the change occurs.

After classes it was time for chow, then a workout since I didn't do PT in them morning.   Tomorrow is another full day of classes.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Week 2: Day 2: Death by PowerPoint

Today started at 0520 with PT formation.  We had 1 hour of PT, then began death by PowerPoint.  It was nothing but PowerPoints all day long.   Not much else to talk about today.  Tomorrow some of us have to go to optometry, while the rest have to do PT.   Plus we finally get to start classes tomorrow.  Excited about that.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Week 2: Day 1 CIF Issue

The morning started at 0530 with PT.  It was cool this morning with the temperature at 54 degrees and windy.  We had to wear our summer IPFU so it was chilly.   The PT started with formations and then stretching.  Then the students who failed the APFT run/situp had to go with the company 1SG and do a special PT.  The rest of us had to do PT stations (situps, flutter kicks, push-ups, wide arm pu and burpees).   This lasted for about 35 minutes.

After PT it was time for chow.  Breakfast is usually decent at the DFAC.   After breakfast we had to report to the CIF for equipment.  This process is pretty simple.  You go in alphabetical order, 2 at a time.  There are several stations.  Once done you go out and check your equipment.  Make sure nothing is broken or written on, otherwise you are the proud new owner of that equipment.  Which means you have to pay to replace it.

After CIF, we had a couple hours off and then had lunch.  After lunch we had a briefing on sexual assault.  Once that was completed, we were suppose to have the EO/POSH briefing, but that instructor never showed up.  That meant we got to watch a movie for a bit over an hour.  After the movie we had the CO give a ODP on officer promotions and career paths.

After the briefings the day was done and it was chow time again for dinner.

Tomorrow starts with PT again at 0530 for 1 hour for most, while some have dental.  Time to head to bed and get ready for another day at FSH.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

End of Week 1: PowerPoint and DAPFT

Week 1 is in the books.  On Thursday we started at 0430 and ended at 1900.   Not much to talk about this day.  Just a bunch of PowerPoint presentations (tip if you get tired you can go to the back and stand, just don't fall asleep in class!) and about 2 hours of D&C (Drill & Ceremony).   They broke off the direct commissions (DC) from the prior service and ROTC.   The prior service and ROTC helped the DC's understand the basics of marching and formations.  This took about 2 hours.  We also did our first formation march to chow for lunch.  The first couple of days you will have about 20 minutes top for breakfast and lunch.  Eat quick.   It should get better though.

On Friday was our DAPFT.  All soldiers will take this test.  Even if you pass it, you have to take a record APFT  on April 8.   If you fail the record APFT, you will have one more chance to pass it towards the end of the course.  If you are active duty and you fail it, you get held over until you pass it.  If you were suppose to go overseas, forget about it now.  Your orders will change to a CONUS location.  If you are a reservist/guard and don't pass it, you still get sent home to your unit.  You will be marked as failing to complete the course (this is a change from the past).  You will not be deployable until you pass the APFT at your home unit.  Once you pass it there, you can then apply for constructive credit for BOLC through your S1.   The point being it is better to pass it at BOLC, then screwing around with the other stuff later.

After the DAPFT we had more presentations.  We also went through finance.  Reservist/Guard break off from active duty for this.  This will start the process for you to get paid.   The rest of the day was just boring PowerPoint presentations.  Around 1400 they released the list of the DAPFT scores.  You can't see anyones name, but it gives you an idea how the class did.  About 50% passed the diagnostic.  So a lot of people have work to do.  We will have our first PT session on Monday.

We also found out people without cars will be transferred to the on base hotel.  The ones with cars will stay for now.  We are all supposed to move to the post, but you know how that goes.  I would like to move back on post so I can take a shower after PT.  You aren't given much time in between PT and your next class (you have to be ACU's for the classes).

Several people have also begun the process of getting their ASU together.  Major tip, get that stuff ready BEFORE you come to BOLC.  Just makes your life easier and one less thing to do.

Today each PSG (platoon SGT) assigned an S1.  They will take care of all of the administrative paperwork.

We are now off for the weekend.  Time to sleep and relax and wait for week 2 to begin.  We start Monday at 0530 with PT.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Day 1: In Processing

By Nick McDuffie. Day 1 of BOLC has arrived.  Started with heading to Ft Sam Houston from my hotel just outside of San Antonio.  I first pulled into the lodging building.  Not many people were in their yet.   You just give them a copy of your orders.  They will give you a couple sheets of paper to give to the hotel to check-in.  I found out I will be staying at the Holiday Inn.

Next I had to go to the Willis building.  This was pretty close to the lodging building.  Be warned about parking.  There are a bunch of places you CANNOT park.  I ended up parking near the PT field about 400 yards from the building.  You can also park at the AMEDD Museum.

Once you walk into the building, you stood in line to fill out your PT Card.   When you completed that, you moved onto more stations.  They were the height/weight (no problems there), TA 50 helmet sizing and some small items (bug spray, foot powder, sun block) and the final station was a quick check over your information in their system.  Here they will assign you to a platoon. I am in platoon 4.

You will also be handed a booklet here.  It contains your meal card.  You get meals 5 days a week at the DFAC.  The DFAC is close to the Willis building.

After checking in, I went over to the hotel.  It was a straight shot there.  About 15 minutes from post.  The hotel is nice and includes free wi-fi.

When I arrived at the hotel I met my roommate Dale.  He is a 72D (environmental science).  He has been in the military for 18 years so he should be a good person to lean on.

Tomorrow starts early.  We have to report at 0430.  The first day everybody has to ride the bus, even if you have a POV.  So that means being down in the lobby at 0350.

The day after is the APFT test.  This one is a diagnostic only.

Until tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Welcome to San Antonio!

I have made it to San Antonio.  I am staying at a hotel just outside the downtown city limits.  It is March and it is already warm and humid.  I guess this is probably the best weather we will get.

Tomorrow I will be going through in-processing.  To check in you can wear civilian clothes, but they recommend the PT uniform (for height/weight) since you have to change into it anyways to in-process.

I had my PT uniform packed way to deep in my luggage.  What a pain to pull out, lol.

I am ready for tomorrow to come so I can get this adventure started.  I will probably leave the hotel around 8:30am.  This way I can report to lodging and then start the BOLC in-processing.  You must bring 1 copy of your orders, your ID card/CAC card or Driver's License and a pen.

The last email we received from BOLC said most of us would be staying in a hotel off post.  I guess we will see what happens with that.

We were also told within the first 72 hours their will be a PT test.  Situps, push-ups no problem.  Run, uggh.  Been working my butt off to increase my speed.  I can do long slow distance running.  The speed running is what gets me.   Really hope the interval running paid off!!!

There are also many changes for BOLC being implemented in our class.  They told us to exercise patience due to those changes.

Still have to figure what I am going to do for dinner.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Started My Drive to San Antonio

Said goodbye to the wife and kids early Monday morning and started my drive to San Antonio.

My drive went smoothly.  No problems, except for a backup in Memphis (no surprise there).  After 10 hours I have stopped in Dallas.  The last time I was in Dallas was over 14 years ago when I moved out of Texas.  I can tell you the water still taste gross in Texas. 

I went for a quick jog on the "treadmill" at the hotel.  If you want to call it that.  Then headed out for dinner.

The closest place in walking distance was a Mexican eatery called "Alejandros Grill".   It was good.  I enjoyed mixed fajitas.  After eating I went to the gas station and picked up a Dr Pepper for the evening and walked back to the hotel.

I have a few more things to do tonight before I can go to bed.   Hopefully tomorrow's drive to San Antonio will be as good as the first day's drive to Dallas.

Monday, March 7, 2011

New Army PT Test (APRT)

Well there is going to be a new Army PT test coming in October 2011. This new test is now called the APRT.   It won't affect me for BOLC.

After reading about it, I like it.  You have to be athletic.

  • 60 Yard Shuttle Run (run 5 yards pick up a block go back to the start, then 10 yd, then 15)
  • 1 Minute of push ups
  • 1 Minute of rowers (ab workout that is much tougher than situps)
  • Standing long jump
  • 1.5 mile run
I am not going to miss the 2 mile run.  The real kicker is this is going to be gender neutral test.  Either the brass will have to lower the standard where it is easier for men or keep it higher and be tougher on the women.  Here is an example.  Several of us practiced the standing long jump.  Most men could jump 6ft to 8ft.  Women could only jump 5ft to 6ft.  If they make the minimum 6ft, that would be tough for women to hit, but real easy for men.

Another huge change will affect profiles. The alternate events for the run (swim and bike) have been eliminated.  The only valid profile is the walk.  The Army finally has decided if you can't walk, you don't need to be in the Army.  

They say the scoring should be out by July/August.  Just in time for the new October fiscal year. 

There will also be a combat fitness test.  This test includes wearing all gear and carrying a M16.  You will have to sprint, carry ammo cans, go over balance beams, drag 180lb weight and more.  I think this one will not be required for the reserves.  There is no way they will be able to get any of this equipment and  many are just to far away from bases to send an entire unit on a drill day.  In the end this will probably be a requirement for active duty soldiers (once a year), but only a requirement for reservist (including AGR) during pre-deployment. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

New APFT Announced, Called APRT

Just read on the Army's website there will be a new APFT, called APRT.

You can read more about here. 

This won't affect me in BOLC, but should be in place by October 2011 army wide for the new fiscal year.  It looks pretty good.  Of course the scoring is the biggest thing. 

It seems like this is similar to the Air Force PT test.  1 minute push ups, 1.5 mile run and the age ranges of under 30, 30-39, etc.

My guess we will find out around August the new official scoring standard.