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Basic Combat Training in Ft. Leonard Wood

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Basic Combat Training in Ft. Leonard Wood

Stanislav B. Skudnov

ENG 101 – 5503


A Long Night in B.C.T.

A.B. Pegram

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Basic combat training in Ft. Leonard Wood, MO in 2007 was quiet an experience. During my 4 months of absence (February to June), there was one significant night that stood out the most because the degree of stupidity performed that evening. By the way, Fort Leonard Wood is the primary training site for 21B - combat engineers for the US Army. I thought I have done numerous things to enjoy myself during my long absence from home, but this particular event was the peek of things to remember.

A few weeks prior to our graduation a couple of individuals in our company decided to perform a few ignorant decisions. I still until this day cannot comprehend or grasp on what made those two certain privates commit such an offense. I thought about that night several times but could not ever piece together the puzzle. We as a company were few weeks away from graduating but some decided to prolong they stay.

I cannot jump to the exact date of the event, but I definitely know that it was three weeks before our graduation. Every night since our arrival to B.C.T. we had a duty called Fire-Guard. This duty was performed after 9 p.m. by three individuals to 5 a.m. Ever hour three random individuals in our platoon had to perform each duty different, but they only had to serve one shift per night. Those particular duties were two posted guards, a roamer, and a cleaner. Yes, it appears that there are four tasks but one individual had to carry out two (cleaning and roaming). This duty established certain aspects during our stay. Fire-guard was a basic task that gave us security for the building (in and out), a head count of all trainees, and a well maintained barrack. The main idea of this task was to establish teamwork, safety, responsibility, and discipline. Fire-guard was very enforced by our Drill Sergeants. Those who lacked or disobeyed the proper

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performance on the rules and regulations were also looked down upon or even punished. Like a drug test, at random times DS’s observed us during fire-guard to see if we acknowledged the policies that were laid out. If someone was not performing his particular role in a military manner, would cause punishment for the entire platoon. Well, you can basically imagine or picture where our problem begins.

“Lights out,” yelled Drill Sergeant Kirby down the hall. I was on first fire-guard shift, and I volunteered to clean and roam. I was on shift with my two pals, PV2 Christy and PV2 Brown.

PV2 Christy was a tall, Caucasian, medium built fellow. He was also known as the company impressionist. He had big blue eyes and a very wide smile, man…great guy. We as platoon always got a kick out of the guy, especially when we mimicked the drill sergeants. Christy had amazing personality and was also very entertaining, even at the wrong times. Without any doubt, he always reminded me of myself. He was the type of person that was into some of the qualities of interest as I was. Though he was not a very physical fit performer, he was always a squared away individual.

PV2 Brown had a few similarities but, on the other hand, he had a character flaw. At times he lacked good judgment, especially under stress. Brown was a mixed, half Hispanic and Caucasian. He was 5”7, just an inch taller than I. One strange quality about Brown was his father. Two years prior to his father’s retirement, he was the First Sergeant of our company. Basically, he was the senior non-commissioned officer of our company. I guess in Brown’s personal view, he assumed that his training would be favored since his father was a noticed figure. Well, I guess that was the down fall of PV2

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Brown. I do not have a reasonable explanation why we were good pals. I guess in the end we treated each other just the way that we wanted to be.

The shift kicked off and I was preparing all the cleaning supplies for my shift while everyone else headed off to bed. Brown and Christy were posted on both ends of the hall for the security post. I was in the bathroom/shower cleaning for my shift when moments later Drill Sergeant Kirby approached me.

Drill Sergeant Kirby was a pretty good instructor. He was a middle aged man, who was quite distinct

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