Monday, September 7, 2009

"Fight, Destroy, F'in Annihilate the Enemy."

Woohoo, three day weekend! Hope everyone has had an enjoyable Labor Day. Down here at Fort Benning we have taken advantage of the three day to be lazy prior to this weeks training (laziness for me including posting today instead of yesterday). Nothing really exciting to write about from last week as it was mostly classroom work and morning PT. The key point of the week was the continuous bonding that has occurred within 1st PLT since day one. Its a great group of guys; no whiners, all team players, funny, chop busters, and, most importantly, driven to do well and help each other do well over the course of IOBC.
Monday started with an hour and a half of combatives led by our PSG, SFC Watson. After reviewing different fighting techniques we broke for breakfast and headed to our first day of classes over in Building 4 (affectionately referred to as "Building Snore"). The first two days of the week were classes on the Troop Leading Procedures (TLPs) and OPORD writing led by our PLT mentor, Captain (CPT) Martin. CPT Martin is a junior Captain, meaning he has not commanded a company, and has been teaching IOBC students for more than a year. Wounded in Afghanistan when he was a PL, he wears an eye patch with a "Ranger" tab stitched on when he has to use the computer or read off the screen. His ability to talk about how he got wounded, how he dealt with it as well as other stories from him time as a PL has been a great source of knowledge and development. He was able to keep the dry material interesting and had some funny and/or motivating videos to show before each block of instruction as well as explain the job of the Infantry perfectly: "Fight, Destroy, F'in Annihilate the Enemy."

Tuesday was another round of TLP classes after a morning run. Wednesday we got our arms and abs smoked by SFC Watson for PT and then headed back to the classroom to receive the OPORD we would use to create our own with. Once we had been briefed on the order by CPT Martin we were cut loose to begin work on our OPORDs. This included reading (and re-reading and then re-reading again) various parts of the base order, heading to the library to blow up maps and get satellite imagery of the objective, and drawing out our plans on transparent sheets that would be placed over the maps. After a long night we had combatives again on Thursday followed by students briefing their OPORDs for the class. Each OPORD gave plenty of things to think about and most of us who didn't brief that first day changed our orders that night. Friday was a four mile ruck followed by more briefs before we got cut loose for the weekend.
My OPORD and Graphics. Photo by Author.
The weekend, like I said before was relaxing. We had Direct TV installed so we can watch all the football our hearts desire and we played cards and talked about our OPORDs. This week promises some exciting material as it's time to get lost in the woods during Land Nav again. Until then, ATW!

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