One week down….

WOW!  Has it been one week already?  It has indeed.  I am still facing an extremely steep learning curve, but lots of prior service classmates here are a huge help to me.  The early mornings are taking some time getting used to, but this is the Army, so that is to be expected.  Last week we did all of our in-processing (medicals, insurance, payroll, family notification, dog tags, initial weigh-ins and PT assessments, and organizing our class of 66 members into three platoons of 22 students each). 

For this course, I am in the “10th Mountain Infantry, 1st Platoon, 4th Squad.”  My battle buddy is Southern Baptist and he has a hair razor, so we have been able to assist each other with many things.  He gave me a very short buzz cut yesterday.

We were issued our 75 plus pounds of body armor (including helmet) and gas masks, along with sleeping pad and sleep system, and high tech safety googles and rain gear last week.  This coming week we will be doing PT twice daily, beginning at 0530.  We will be issued earplugs.  The Army did an eye exam on me and is issuing me a new prescription and two new sets of glasses.  They also told me that I need to protect my hearing from now on, since I have a somewhat difficult time at hearing the very faint high pitch sounds.  Later this week we will go to experience the gas chamber.  I am told that the following week or so we will have an exercise where we crawl on the ground under barbed wire with live bullets flying over our heads.  Probably high enough to not do damage, but I won’t be standing up anytime soon! 

We have been assigned the task of preparing a sermon, order of worship and bulletin for a post chapel service, and we will preach that sermon to our peers.  We also must prepare an outdoor service for our platoon.  Now that is something I can do.  I plan to use my last little service from Camp Ben Hawkins as a starting point.  We have to visit 5 different worship services on post.  Today we attended a Protestant service and a Catholic Mass at the main post chapel.  The Protestant service featured the INCREDIBLE FEBC-Daejeon Children’s Choir, and message by Dr. Billy Kim of South Korea.  What a fantastic message and performance!  The Catholic Mass was very nice as well.  It was a packed house. 

We are learning how to march, do all the precision movements, and how to dress properly in our various uniforms.  We are also learning who to salute, where to salute, and when.  Much to learn, but the nice thing is that once we learn this stuff it will (hopefully) become second nature.  Out of our class of 66 there are only 10 Active Duty.  And I have been told by more than one officer in the know here that sometime during the summer, they Army put the brakes on somewhat in the hiring of new Active Duty Chaplains, and supposedly have lowered the accession age again.  Who knows.  All I know is that I love the Army.  People look out for you.  The buddy system is VITAL here.  Without it, I would not have made it through the first week.  We are all relying on each other to get through.  You don’t go it alone in the Army.  One Team, One Fight.  We have a tight squad of five students.  One Cooperative Baptist (me), one Nazarene, two Southern Baptists, and one Reformed.  We study, eat, PT, worship, drill, and hang out with each other.  We learn our creeds and our test information, and help each other with our uniform wear and our drill movements.  (In a way, I guess it is what the BSA troop patrol system should be like, or at least the Woodbadge patrol system – and this sort of reminds me of the Woodbadge patrol system, but just image 12 straight weeks and weekends of Woodbadge with no let-up – and you have CH-BOLC).

Below is my mailing address, for those interested in sending me something (but please don’t send more than one item a week from you — because my arms will blow out from all those pushups we must do if we get mail at “mail call.”  LOL)  Right now we are “crawling,” but they tell us in time we will be “walking,” and then we will be “running.”  Well, I need to get to sleep right now, because I need to wake up at 0400 so that I can be ready to leave for the PT run at 0450 tomorrow morning.   Hooah!  Oh, by the way, our class motto that we shout when we come to attention is “Sacred Warriors!” (That is the meaning behind the Lakota term Wakan.

CH-BOLC (Class #12-001)

CPT. William S. Beaver


10100 Lee Road

Fort Jackson, SC 29207-7090



One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Jodie Rhymer on 25 September 11 at 23:56

    I love hearing about your experiences. By your descriptions, I feel as if I am right there with you. Except I can’t do push ups or run very far. LOL

    Keep up the good work, brother! I am SO proud of you and love you very much!


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