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Nobody on the bus expected it to be this bad. Everybody, including myself, thought of it as a two week vacation. When we signed our names on the boot camp registration we didn’t know what we were in for.
Everybody on the bus was jumping up and down, screaming and yelling through the whole trip like swarms of grasshoppers. The officers on the bus were trying to keep everybody quiet, but had no success because we all knew that they couldn’t do anything to us while we were on the bus. Finally the officers gave up and started talking among themselves.
“Everybody off the bus!” screamed one of the officers.
We had arrived at the Recruit Training Company off the coast of Lake Michigan. This is the place where they train actual adult navel recruits that are going into the navy as a career. When we got off the bus we were forced to do pushups until nobody could do anymore. We were being punished for being so loud and insubordinate on the bus. Some people started crying because they couldn’t do any more pushups, but still were forced to do more.
You are probably asking, why didn’t they just stop and refuse to do the pushups? The answer is because your parents paid a lot of money for you to go to this program. A fee of about five hundred dollars all together. That money is for the uniforms, bus ride, reserved tickets for the bunks, and money needed when on the base.
After that the worn out bus load was escorted to a room with other cadets from other cities. All together there was about four hundred kids from all over Michigan going to this camp. Every camper was assigned to a special squad. I was assigned to division six. When I arrived at my barrack with the rest of the division I was assigned a bed. All of the recruiters were told to stand perfectly still in front of our beds until our drill instructor got their. After standing there for a good ten minutes, some people started moving around. Little did we know it was a setup from the start. The drill instructor was already their watching us the whole time. He walked out calmly and everybody moved fast to get back in front of their beds to stand still. But it was no use, he saw what we did and now we were going to pay for it.
“Everybody outside!” The instructor yelled.
What did we have to do? Of course more pushups, but if you couldn’t do any more then you ran a whole mile on the track.
After that we marched to the cafeteria to eat lunch. We had to march everywhere we went. The food on the base was good, as a matter of fact it was the only thing I liked about the camp. Here, you had to eat completely silently and if you talked your meal is over and you go outside to do various kinds of exercises until everybody was done eating. I never spoke a word in the cafeteria because the food was valuable to me. After all the push ups and sit ups and squat thrusts make you quite hungry.
After lunch we went back to the barracks and let go for the day. Meaning we all got to talk and get to know each other better. I made some friends during that time. One was Desmin who had long black hair that he was quite proud of. Another was Marshawn who never wanted to do what he was told and got in trouble a lot. Then there was Collins who was quiet and didn’t really ever say anything but when he did everybody listened because he only said things that were worth saying. The three of us had to do the most pushups because we got in the most trouble.
Finally we were able to go to bed. Some people thought it was goof off time and they got out of bed. Now in boot camp everything is about team work, so when somebody messes up in a group or deal then everybody gets punished. The people that got out of bed got caught that night.
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Drill instructor, Military education and training
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