By VIGGO123 30 Comments
Hey guys, I know its been a while, and I'm sorry, but I've been really busy for weeks now. I finally got leave, so I get to spend a week back home and I thought I'd take some time to sum up my first two months in the force.
I am now done with my recruit-period, I get to wear my black beret and call myself a Dragoon. I had to go through hell to get it though, hours of the most agonizing physical and mental challenges you can imagine. But it was definitely worth it, cause now I get to wear my beret with pride. They woke us up at 5 AM, screaming "Get your lazy ass out of bed you little fucker!" We had to get dressed, kit up and get outside in three minutes, while Requiem For a Dream was playing from a boombox in the hallway (cliché, yeah, I know.) When we got out, there were some push-ups and other physical stuff before we had to run around the camp for a half-hour or so, we arrived at a gravel pit where we had to crawl 70 yards, and although that may not sound too hard, trust me, it is. Then we went through a exercise called Suffer in Silence, and as you might guess by the name, it was not very pleasant , we had to carry two 20-pound sandbags to the top of the gravel pit, and if we made even the slightest sound, we had to start all over again. After about an hour of this our legs were pretty much fucked and when we thought it was all over we got blindfolded, packed into a Scania truck and driven to the foot of a big ass mountain near our base where we were told that our beret are on the top of that mountain, and the only way we are going to get it is to walk to the top. Most of us were way low already and this didn't help much, but as a troop we managed to keep moral high and get to the top where we got our beret. That was one of the proudest moments of my life.
I went on another field exercise a couple of weeks ago, and unlike the last one, this was combat oriented. That meant more shooting, more training, less sleep, alarms, and guard duty in the middle of the night. But even with all this, it was a really exciting experience. After five days with about as many hours sleep your mind starts doing some weird things, you see things that aren't there, you do things without even realizing it and that can lead to some pretty interesting things while on guard duty. I yelled at a lot of trees and rocks, while my partner were sitting next to me going "what the fuck?" But 30 minutes later he stood up, ran to a bush, punched it, ran back and sat down like nothing had happened. Even though things like this makes a funny story, it wasn't all fun and games. I experienced a quite traumatic event when our tent caught on fire and burned down in the middle of the night. A mistake with the fuel for the camping stove turned out to be quite explosive, luckily no serious injuries, but I received minor burns on my arm and face and one of my teammates caught on fire, and though we put it out before he received injuries, he got rushed to the hospital for a check. The rest of us had to spend the rest of the night getting a new campsite up and running.
We ended our field week with one of the coolest things I've ever experienced. Shooting in the dark. We were all given two fully loaded magazines with tracers and the whole troop opened fire at once. That was more awesome than every new years-eve combined.
Now that I am done with the recruit-period the real education can begin. Based on our results and wishes the officers placed us in different positions within the squadron. We could choose from three different categories, foot, vehicle or staff. As an assault squadron we utilize CV90's, Swedish made infantry fighting vehicles, like the American Bradley, and tanks have always fascinated me, so I applied for the gunner position and was one of 6 who got it. Yay! So now I will spend the time from now to the end of December getting to know the vehicle and its weapon systems. There will be some live fire field exercises with the tanks so I'll make sure to get some pictures of that since I'll take my camera with me now.
During these first months I've learned a lot. Not only technical data and military stuff, but things I can utilize in the civilian life. Things like punctuality and stress management can be really useful. I've made some good friends and my physical health have improved drastically. I look forward to the coming months, now that we're done with the stressing recruit and constant physical "torture" we will begin the road to become real soldiers.
I will continue updating you guys throughout the year, but I cant promise a post every week.
Oh, by the way. I got some pictures for you guys, they aren't mine, but my teammate let me use them here.