Over at OldAFSarge’s site, he is talking about the time he almost went into the Army, but for some stubborn recruiters. Don’t know why it stirred an unrelated Army memory in me, but it did.
Come to think of it, there was for many years a retired psychologist in my car club. He wasn’t just any psychologist, but worked with felons in the California Dept of Corrections. He told me that he thought I was an interesting study.
While I think the observation was funny, it’s probably best not to delve to deeply as to why he thought I was interesting .
In any event I remember – like it was yesterday – an incident at then Ft Ord and my Drill Sgt, Sgt Claiborne. He was a wiry guy, a Staff Sgt, just back from Vietnam.
We had just been in the Army a bit over a week as I recall. Just gotten our shots and issued uniforms.
Our fatigues, or what they call now BDUs – Battle Dress Uniform, were that deep olive drab that told everyone we were right off the boat.
We had just been issued M-16’s with one empty 20 round magazine, and were standing in the parade ground listening to a talk about the weapon.
I was always a curious sort, and put the magazine into the weapon. I had been shooting since I was 12, and was comfortable around firearms.
Drill Sgt Claiborne was talking for another 15-30 seconds when his focus zeroes in on me at the front. With a magazine locked (but not loaded!) in the rifle. The silence is overwhelming.
He walks over to me and grabs the rifle.
Took the magazine out of the rifle, threw it halfway across the parade ground, and hands back the weapon.
All this was done without a word said.
The whole incident lasted maybe 30 seconds, but I remember it just as clearly today as 43 years ago.
He walked back to in front of the formation, and resumed his talk.
Taught me a bit about conformity and the need to “blend in” with the group.
And, of course, firearms safety the Army way.
And don’t draw attention to yourself in basic training!
Any memorable experiences?