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"So I was running copies for Sergeant Thompson, and I was looking for paper in the copy supplies room. Then the Colonel came in and said, 'Christine, go get paper from supply. Why would you get paper in here?' So I went to supply and I came back up, and the Colonel's still there, and he says, 'Christine, I tell you to get paper and you don't even know where to go.' So he leaves and I'm running copies and then Master Sergeant comes in and says, 'Here, I'll make it so it staples them, too!' But the copier's not that high tech, right? So it freaks out and starts spitting out blank pages. Then the Colonel comes back in and starts going off on how expensive paper is and how many trees are dying. So I hit cancel and redo it. And while I'm running the copies, Master Sergeant just starts taking pens out of my uniform and says, 'These are cheap-ass pens. Why don't you get some nice pens to put in your uniform?' and then he takes out a pen with the [other battalion's] logo on it and says 'This is another battalion's pen! Why do you have another battalion's pen?' and the Colonel just looks at me like I killed his kitten or something. Hello, it's a pen! So I tell him that it's just a pen, I use it because it's a free pen and I'm poor. The Colonel says, 'You're not poor. None of you have any idea what it's like to be poor.' Then I'm finally stapling the things for Sergeant Thompson, and Master Sergeant's there too, and he just beats the shit out of the stapler, and it breaks. Then the Colonel comes up and asks what's wrong with the stapler, and says, 'Cadet, what did you do to the stapler,' and Master Sergeant is just like 'Uhhh, it's defective. De-fec-tive.' I HATE THIS BATTALION."
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me: I killed my boyfriend in a STX lane. Again. But it's okay, he was a bad guy this time....
Christine: I used to do that all the time! So great for your relationship :) One time I shot him with a paintball gun!
Tom: You would date a zombie...anything short of it would just not be weird enough
John: I agree with Thomas.
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Frater is a cadet now, too. So he has Cadetland stories!

They were conducting exercises in a local park, and Frater had to be the opposing force. His job was to ambush/jump out of a ditch at the good guys and fluster some junior into getting a "needs improvement" evaluation.

They heard movement on the pathway.

It was the right time.

So they jumped out.

Three big dudes in facepaint, wearing black shirts and camo bottoms, and pointing realistic M4s came screaming out of the bushes at a group of sorority girls.

Shrieking ensued.
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it's over

I'm glad, because I was getting to the point where visiting violence on the freshmen did not seem like a bad idea ("at the position of attention, your feet are together at a 45 degree angle, your knees are slightly bent, your fingers are at their natural curl and your thumbs are resting on the first joint of your index finger, your hands are at the same of your pants, your shoulders are squared, your eyes are facing forward, and your MOUTH IS BLOODY WELL SHUT GODDAMNIT").

Here is really all you need to know:

15 male cadets: [sing Miley Cyrus songs]
Female cadet [shrieking]: DON'T ASK DON'T TELL DON'T ASK DON'T TELL

Seriously, until you have heard a bus full of eighteen-year-old men singing girly tween pop, your ears have not fulfilled their potential.
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I did my first land nav on my own today. It started off badly. I started exactly at the start point (it makes sense, no?) and calculated the direction I needed to go with my compass, and kept EXACTLY on it. I ended up in an obstacle course that was in reality to the west of the point I had to find. I redid it, and ended up in the obstacle course again. Restrained self from just playing around on the obstacle course, went and retrieved Sergeant T, and he followed me around to see what I was doing wrong.

Turns out that the start point is an iron post, and iron--get this--throws off compasses.

ONCE AGAIN SCIENCE CONSPIRES TO THWART ME

One of the other cadets had his compass by his mechanical pencil, and the spring was strong enough to make it spin. He had no idea what was going on and got lost in the woods.

The Colonel came by and told us a story. "Once I found a cadet on a land nav course and asked him which way north was. He pointed up. I said, 'Are you serious?' and he said, 'Yes, north is always up on the map.'"
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"I get philosophical when I'm on anesthesia," said roommate Ani as we were driving past the Johns Hopkins Hospital. "When I came out from under, the tech asked me if I was okay, and I said, 'I'm Army.'"
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Today, I learned about land navigation.

Specifically, it's harder than it looks.

Test Question: Find the location of the stationary truck convoy using [blah blah compass protractor math blah].
Me: Okay, I have an answer.
Sergeant T: [checks]
Sergeant T: ...
Sergeant T: Cadet, this is a pond.

Hooah.
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When we get back, three cadets and the Colonel are missing. We stand around waiting for them. About ten minutes after we get back, the Colonel and one cadet come in with two rucks each. The next cadet that comes in has the other one slung over his back. That cadet is barefoot and holding a pair of bloody socks.
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Apparently my battalion convinced one of the, ah, slower cadets that there is such a thing as a flux capacitator and have been telling him this for months. He actually stood up in front of the battalion and demanded that the battalion show it to him.

Person One: During FTX, I heard a cadet say that he would suck some dick for some chicken noodle soup. I just want to know why this cadet would go to such great length to get some chicken noodle soup.
Person Two: Who said it was great length?
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Major Levy: I am going to go pee now. Hold down the fort. If I don't return, continue on without me. If you get attacked, shoot back. If I get attacked, I will kick their asses and bring back their heads.

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Kate

September 2013

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