Sunday, August 30, 2009

“The Best Army Installation in the World”

Our new home. Photo by the Author.

Sorry that there was no post last week, we are having issues with our internet connectivity here at the house. Being that all of 10 people read this, I doubt my fan base will really dwindle because I missed a week. Anyway, the past two weeks were not eventful in terms of work but very eventful in terms of taking care of personal matters. Hopefully our internet issue will be resolved so I can stay on top of this blog and not have to run to the coffee shop to get it posted.

Anyway, two weeks ago began out processing back at Fort Sill so we turned in equipment, cleaned our rifles until they were pristine and then signed different papers in order to leave. In true Fort Sill fashion, I had to sign the same leave form three times since the first two were “misplaced.” Once everything was put away we had to pack all our personal clothing and gear and put it in our cars so that by Thursday we were able to clean our rooms to near sterility. The following Friday morning we had to wake up at 0300 for formation and then waited for the barracks to be checked off. Once they were, we were released from the clutches of Fort Sill and free to move to our next duty station. Most people started the following Wednesday while others had later OBC start dates. IOBC however required us to sign in by midnight Sunday. As a result, there was no time to dilly dally for myself and the rest of the infantry officers who did BOLC II at Sill. We got in our cars and moved out convoy style to Fort Benning taking appropriate rest breaks and finally arriving at our new home around one in the morning. The sign on the main gate that we pulled in through read, “Welcome to Fort Benning, the Best Army Installation in the World.”

Once at Fort Benning, it was time to take care of necessities such as getting a bed and other furniture as well as learning the layout of the post and where everything we need is. Our house is in a prime location between two gas stations that also serve as convenience stores and the movie theater is one block away. Down the block from us is Airborne School and you can see the red 250 ft. towers from the windows on the back side of our house. The building we go to class in is no more than a three minute drive and the PT field is about five minutes away. The differences between the two posts are numerous (green trees, hills, more than one type of restaurant, etc) but the biggest one (and most important) is the sense of purpose that seems to fill the air around Benning. As cheesy as that sounds the fact that there is a distinctive and well defined goal (the training of Infantry Officers) at the school coupled with the training conducted around us by students at Airborne School, the soldiers in 3rd Ranger BN down the road from us, and others makes Benning a place you want to be at. The novelty may wear off but there is not a single Lieutenant in IOBC that is not fired up to be there and done with BOLC II.

Airborne School's 250 ft. Towers. Photo by the Author.

Week one of IOBC was inprocessing so of course there were welcome briefs, papers to be signed, and equipment to be picked up. We were broken down into platoons and my two roommates and other friends from West Point are in the same platoon as me which is a major plus. We were talked to by our CO, BN CDR, and BDE CDR and were informed that Infantrymen are the true Alpha Males and date the best looking women while doing the most important things in the Army. All three touched on the importance of Ranger School, which starts January 3rd, 2010 for our class, and were told everyone was going and were warned about the 46% fail rate at Ranger School and what we can do now to prepare. I will get more into Ranger School we get closer to the class start date but it is basically a 62 day course broken into three portions where students walk long distances with heavy rucks on no sleep and empty bellies.

The rest of the week consisted of an APFT and chin-ups, classes, and the Combat Water Survival Test (CWST). The CWST has two parts. The first part you are blindfolded and then walk off a three meter diving board (about ten feet) with just your rifle. Once you hit the water you remove the blindfold and swim to the side. The second part you are in full combat gear and fall backwards into the pool. Once in the water you ditch all your equipment and then have to swim 15 meters in just ACUs. Once that was done it was time to change and head home. We were let go early on Friday after getting a refresher class in combatives. Next week begins our first week of classes and PT each morning for 90 minutes.

This weekend was more of getting things for the house, cleaning, and squaring away personal equipment. Next week we get a three day so it should more eventful. Plenty of good things to write about over the next fifteen weeks as IOBC continues. Until then, ATW!


  1. Don't doubt your fan base! Benning sounds very "in-tune" with itself. Keep writing!

  2. Agee with Brenda. "Me thinks" there are more followers out there than you realize. Keep the info coming as it is much appreciated by those who know, love you and support you!