Captain Grose's Boot Camp pages

 
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Senior Drill Instructor Staff Sergeant Wertjes. Try to say that quickly and accurately ever time you address this representative of the gods. Oh yeah, add about 90 cubic metric tons per square millimeter of pressure and then try it. Did I mention that if you mess it up, your already miserable life suddenly turns to a black mosaic of doom? OK, you get the picture.

One of the first things that we learned to do when we got to bootcamp was how to address the drill instructors. As you can imagine the consequences of straying from this bit of protocol was not pretty. As though the shock of bootcamp was not enough, suddenly we were given another obstacle by being required to talk a strange language in a strange land in strange combinations. First of all, the personal pronouns were gone. “I” was replaced with “this recruit.” Any derivative thereof was also banished so “my” or “mine” turned into “this recruit’s” etc.

And woe be the ignorant little recruit who addressed the drill instructors in the second person. Because of a genetic misfire, all drill instructors instantly process the term “You” as the less polite form of a female sheep, “ewe.” The only correct way to get around that one was to address them by full title and name. Additionally, to even be allowed to talk to them, you must first ask permission. How you ask permission to ask permission is another unfathomable game that I just assume leave alone for now.

A typical exchange in the real world was then transformed into a monologue at the depot. In the real world, to ask to go to the bathroom (if you would even find yourself in a situation to have to do this) would simply be:

“Hey, can I go to the bathroom?”

Oh but in the netherworld of bootcamp, it is not that simple. Here is how it would typically go:

BAM, BAM, BAM. (You pound on the drill instructors hatch not once, not twice, but thrice. No more and no less and you had better practically break your hand in the process!!)

RECRUIT: “SIR, RECRUIT GROSE REQUESTS PERMISSION TO SPEAK TO SENIOR DRILL INSTRUCTOR STAFF SERGEANT WERTES.”

DI: “SPEAK, FREAK!”

RECRUIT: “SIR RECRUIT GROSE REQUESTS PERMISSION MAKE A HEAD CALL.”

DI: “MAKE IT FAST…  AND DON’T BREAK ANYTHING!!!”

You might be surprised to hear that they had somewhat of a grace period for using such formality. I think that the nanosecond is the correct metric for this period and I , recruit Jason D. Grose, was the first inductee to the “thrash the private until he pukes” club for straying from this complicated set of rules. I uttered the dreaded “I” pronoun and Drill Instructor Staff Sergeant Garcia took offense at my obvious defiance to the established rules. It was the first of many thrashings but as far as the terminology, I learned quick. After awhile, it did not seem strange to me to belt out long, uninterrupted sentences at the top of my lungs to request to, you know, (I turn to look over my shoulder) to take a piss.



 
 
 
 

Email -- jdgrose115@polyglut.net
Web -- http://members.tripod.com/~jdgrose115/

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