The Bow-Tied Blogger

The life and adventures of one soldier and his various journeys.

  Saturday, April 07, 2007

Thomas' Adventures in NCO Academy land

Well, the whole thing started one warm early morning on Mar 22. MY sponsor picks me up and I get my M16A2 rifle along with all my stuff ready for Howze Theatre. I am in processed and weighed as well as taped as I was 199 lbs, 15 lbs over the maximum weight for my height. I pass all of that and eventually head off to the Academy itself, where I meet my squad, am assigned a room and get acquainted with everything. The day ends and I am tired form lack of sleep so I get a good 5 and a half hours or so.

Friday is my first day in class, and the room is shared with another squad. I learn about leadership and prepare for my PT test the next day. Nothing significant occurs, beyond I am still very nervous and uncertain about what will come. Saturday is the same except I pass my test, so one hurdle crossed. The rest of the day focuses more and more on leadership and counseling courses, which leads into Sunday and an exam on the subjects. I pass the exam with 97.5%, but am annoyed I missed one question as I had open notes and could search through the documents containing the regulations.

For the next Monday-Thursday, I complete two more steps. I give a class on giving First Aid to a bleeding extremity and/or severed limb, as well as demonstrate a session of physical training. I do well enough on both (95%), along with demonstrating Garrison Leadership, though I did worse on that, receiving only 87%.

The next Friday proved my worst day yet as I had Land navigation, trying to find 4 points with a map and compass, yet the weather was awful and I foudn only one point, plus I got lost. Luckily that was a practice session and I passed the land navigation the next day finding all four points. That was my toughest challenge yet, but it gets tougher for me.

That Sunday until Wednesday morning, we went to the field and did combat infantry tactics. As a Finance soldier and desk jockey, this is not my strong suit. I froze up as team leader during one attack, though i was considerably better at the second chance. I received a 79% for tactical leadership which was quite low, but I passed and that was important.

My total score was 91% for the course, though I did not make the top 20%, but that is fine as I am not that good on PT or tactical stuff. The only thing I had left was the graduation and the seats were packed in, which is bad as I am somewhat claustrophobic and had a mild panic attack, but I made it through and will never have to take that course again. Now, I can be a non-commission Officer in the US Army and maybe I'll get promoted within my remaining year and a half or so, but with Finance I doubt it, but I'd enjoy the extra pay.

Not much of a description, but a brief account of the last two weeks of my life.

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Blogger Irina Tsukerman said...

Congratulations again! That sounds pretty hard, but I have to say that the land navigation course sounds interesting, almost like an adventure, since you weren't in any particular bodily danger at the time. : )

4/07/2007 09:02:00 PM  
Blogger Thomas Forsyth said...

Well, that is one way to see it. I may try and attmpt land navigation in NYC, though I don't know where grid coordinates are available, or have a GPS tracker to verify. I will do a recon of Ft Hamilton from the subway though.

4/07/2007 09:05:00 PM  

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