School on Saturday

When I was just a young buck in Hawaii, I was dumb enough to get into trouble from time to time. Now, my leadership, rather than going to the trouble of a court martial or non-judicial punishment for what were really rather minor infractions would invite me to attend “The School of the Soldier”.

Now, in the service, you can’t be punished without due process, either by court martial or by the commander making a determination that you did in fact commit an infraction against the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Just because you joined the Army doesn’t mean you don’t have Constitutional rights.

Additional training and instruction, however, is another matter. As I say, I was invited to attend “SOS”. It was more or less a command performance.

What is School of the Soldier? Bright and early on a Saturday morning, you and your classmates would get up and start with some very vigorous physical training. Like pushups and situps until you puke, followed by a run long and fast enough to make you puke again. Because PT is good for you. Then, after a quick breakfast and change into uniform, classes would begin. Fun stuff, like how to dig a fighting position. And of course, in the Army, you learn by doing. Then other fun stuff, like how to low crawl to avoid being shot (a surprisingly exerting way of crawling, by the by). Then maybe a good class in field sanitation and the importance of keeping garbage cans squeaky clean. How to put up a pup tent. How to take down a pup tent. How to do it again. And again. And again. You get the idea. Some of the instructors were very creative in finding niches of our military education that needed reinforcement.

Of course, all of this instruction and training came from Sergeants who were not very happy to be working on a Saturday. After all, THEY didn’t screw up, did they? Or maybe they did, and that was why they were invited to be the instructors.

I only went to School on Saturday once. I’m a quick learner sometimes.

2 thoughts on “School on Saturday”

  1. Never had the Samoan First Sergeant. He was the PSG for 2nd Platoon. I thanked by stars I got 1st Platoon with the crazy little Latino. But yeah, I’ve had some “kinetic” counseling from time to time.

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