Sunday, December 4, 2011

IBOLC isn't really so bad

I realized that my first post on IBOLC painted a rather dismal picture of my training. Everything I wrote is still true, but we do also have lots of fun, and the focus of the course has slowly transitioned into officer training (instead of whatever we were spending our time on the first few weeks). My trainers seem more in their element in the field than in front of a slideshow.

We've done basic and "advanced" marksmanship (moving targets = major fun), started OPORDs (not fun, but I like them because I'm good at them), land nav nearly continuously for two days (falling in holes in the dark never gets old), and machine guns (lots of fun, lots of cleaning). One could possibly almost say I'm beginning to learn some of the skills required of an Infantry Officer. Possibly almost.

I could easily have enjoyed Field Artillery, or being a Combat Engineer, but I chose Infantry because I thought it was the most elite and would attract the best people - a notion my classmates have vindicated completely. The other LTs have to be the best quality men the Army commissioned last May. Loathe as I am to admit it, it might have to do with half of them being West Pointers. There can't be more than five or six ROTC grads in my platoon! (likely because ROTC boys get stiffed with the later BOLC dates). At any rate, it's as educated, intelligent, and well-traveled a bunch as I've seen in any of my training so far.

For the sake of my ego, I'd like to mention I was one of two LTs in the platoon who maxed our initial APFT a few weeks back. The BN SGM came to PT formation one day to award coins to everyone who maxed... too bad the cadre hadn't calculated the scores yet, and I can safely say the matter has been forgotten (but it works both ways - a dozen of us were supposed to go to the CO's office for failing a layout, buy that too somehow slipped through the cracks of the tightly calibrated machine that is IBOLC).
Also, the rest of my platoon is in excellent shape, better than I am, but the APFT was in freezing rain. Anyone who has been here is familiar with the 1-mile track that's made out of some special mixture of tightly packed sandy gravel, and turns into an even more special mixture of gravel and mud if you add water. And we were in summer PTs (shorts and a t-shirt), so unless you could really run, you didn't max it (I ran about 45 seconds slower than normal). And, of course, there were those who were unfairly persecuted by their grader/forgot how to do a proper pushup.

P.P.S. It wouldn't be War Is Schlep if I didn't sign off promising to disclose big news on a later date. So I incidentally have some big news, which I'll disclose on a later date when I have some time.


  1. Hey LT. I don't see that you get a ton of comments. Maybe you have them hidden. Just wanted to say I've thoroughly enjoyed reading you blog. Its hilarious to see how consistent IBOLC is among all your other mishaps. Enjoy your LT time. I'm waiting on my CPT promotion to come back from HQDA and it is ridiculous how quick your time with the Soldiers will come and go.

  2. Glad you're a fan of the blog, Brad. With respect to comments, I assume most of my readers are more of the strong silent type... but I welcome comments from you and anyone else who you think would enjoy my narrative.

  3. Hey I like your blog a lot. I'm at ABOLC right now and I stumbled upon your blog along time ago. It's funny: I had a similar experience with the IMSOs since they recognized that my name is Arabic. My Arabic is nowhere near as good as yours (2 years of studying and some conversational classes, and I still struggle) but this was a pretty relatable post. Good luck at Ranger.