Chapter 4: Smoke Sessions
“Half right, face. Front leaning rest position, move.” – Army Command to get into the pushup position
People often wonder what sort of punishments we get during basic training. Here is one incident.
These two females (thats what we call girls in the army) in our platoon were lined up in formation to go to chow. Both of these girls were on the heavy side – a Caucasian woman, Richards, and an African-American woman, Nabors. Nabors was famous for cutting the chow (food) lines to get her food faster. She was very bad at PT (Physical Training) and a very poor shot. Safe to say, she wasn’t a very good soldier. Richards was somewhat in the same boat. She had an attitude problem, and often took things to a personal level when dealing with things.
I was their squad leader. In basic training, they give the top soldiers leadership positions. I had two team leaders working underneath me, and I reported to the platoon leader. Giving orders was hard – no one wanted to listen to me, and our platoon leader didn’t really have a backbone to do anything about it. But I figured out a way to “influence” them. But that’s for another story.
Private Nabors and Private Richards were squabbling about how Nabors always cuts chow lines. Richards, being semi-special, called Nabors fat (very ironic). Nabors immediately responded by trying to choke Richards out. It ended up going into a brawl, with some of us trying to break these two large girls apart. God knows how they made it into the military. So Drill Sergeant Fluker, one of our female drill sergeants, saw this. We all yell, “At Ease!” (that’s what you do when a drill sergeant walks by).
Nonetheless, Drill Sergeant Fluker marched us all up to the PT fields, which at the time was a bit muddy. She positioned us at one end of the football-lengthed field (1oo yards or so) and with one hand on our weapon, we proceeded to low crawl to the other side with one hand. Now low crawling means you keep your face down in the ground (yes my face was covered in mud) and you keep one hand on the weapon, making sure the barrel doesn’t get any mud in it (who wants their M16 clogged with mud in a battle situation, you wouldn’t be able to fire anything out of it). At the same time, you crawl with your other hand and your two legs. My uniform was saturated in mud, I had mud in my hair, my nose, on my chin; pretty much everywhere.
All because two fat girls were arguing over food. Hooah.