Sunday, December 25, 2005
Friday, December 23, 2005
I had no idea what to expect.
I’ve never been to a military ball that was optional.
Or one that’s been mixed with upperclassmen.
I was looking for a buddy of mine when some girl walked up to me and asked me to dance with her cousin.
It turns out that they were there with a West Point Army Cadet.
He had brought his sister and two cousins.
So that family had three girls and only one guy to dance with.
So I got adopted for the evening.
After they left,
I ran into a friend I hadn’t seen in several years.
She was there with I family I knew who had a cadet at West Point.
She asked me to teach her swing,
The music didn’t exactly go with swing,
So I took her outside the ballroom and showed her a little.
The family she had come with came out and saw us,
So I wound up teaching a couple of them too.
Then my parents walked out.
They didn’t know I could dance so they just stood there and stared for a while.
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
Monday, December 12, 2005
We got those little cardboard box cameras and some light sensitive paper.
I took my picture of the F-16.
That's where we do all our Honor Guard training.
I flipped it and reversed the colors so you can see what it's really like.
Sunday, December 11, 2005
Thursday, December 8, 2005
This is great.
There is a group of people who think they’re going into space for four days,
Courtesy of the “Russian Tourism Agency”.
What they don’t know is that it’s just another “Reality” TV show.
Their “Russian” training base is a an old unused Air Base in England.
Their space ship is a prop from the old movie “Space Cowboys”.
I almost feel sorry for these people.
Wednesday, December 7, 2005
It looks like two or three inches.
I looked at the weather and it only gets above freezing once before the weekend.
And then it’s gonna snow again.
For two days.
Then two days no snow,
Then two more days of snow.
I can’t wait to get back to Texas.
Monday, December 5, 2005
Saturday, December 3, 2005
Friday, December 2, 2005
I’m in Chemistry Class now.
The instructor stepped out while we were filling out course evaluations.
While he was out,
Another instructor came in to barrow some chemicals.
He looks around and then says,
“You guys wanna see something cool?”
He cleans off a spot on the desk and sprays this stuff out of a white bottle.
Then he lights a match and sets it all on fire.
Then he says,
And walks out.
Then our instructor walks in.
That was interesting.
Then he steps out again,
and the other instrucotr comes in and sets the desk on fire again.
Then our instructor comes back in.
After the fire dies out,
He starts to teach class.
After a while the other instructor walks in again.
He looks at all the stuff on the desk now, and asks our instructor,
"Can I just set the whole desk on fire?"
Thursday, December 1, 2005
It's my great pleasure to announce...
(In case you haven't already heard)
That Sonlight Robotics will be Competing at Texas BEST this year.
After taking 1st in BEST and 2nd in the competition at the District Level,
They will put their Robot against the best in the Great State of Texas.
After a routine inspection of their progress this past weekend,
I expect them to come home with nothing less than First Place.
I watched several of their drivers control the Robot in a simulated competition.
They drove with the controller behind their back and still scored all the points,
With time to spare.
As I said,
I expect northing less than First Place.
All of you that can,
I’d appreciate if you all pocked your heads in and at least watched some of the game.
(Since I can’t be there myself)
Texas BEST decided not to broadcast the games on the internet this time.
So if any of you have one of those cool Cell Phones that does E-Mail,
Drop me a note and tell me how things are going.
You can get my address from either of my parents or any of my sibling.
Probably from most of the team too.
The competition will be at SMU on Dec 3.
The Games start at 0800 and are projected to last until 1700.
The Awards Ceremony is scheduled to commence at 1700 and go until 1800.
So go out there and cheer on the team.
I’ll be sitting in my room cheering.
(I expect updates every time we compete)
Bring lot’s of noise makers and things to bang on.
(Kids can use their voices, Adults may want a trash can or bucket for beating)
Go out there and make ‘em wonder what hit’em.
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
I've been wanting to share them,
But didn't know how.
Here's the link.
It's also on the side in my links section.
Sunday, November 27, 2005
Doomed for another three weeks of school.
Then two weeks break.
Then back again.
The cycle never ends.
Had a good time during break though.
Pigged out on Turkey and pie and such.
Mom’s a great cook
Went to my brother’s birthday party and saw some of my old friends.
We played three rounds of Laser Tag.
I was disappointed.I must be out of practice.
Went to my old Robotics Club and got to see them.
They’re doing really good this year.
They using all my ideas from previous years.
They go to Nationals this Saturday.
I expect them to walk away with 1st.
Flight home was nice.
They moved me to First Class because I was wearing my uniform.
That was cool.
I’ve heard stories about that,
But never actually seen it happen.
I sat next to a mother and her three month old baby.
I talked to her a little and found out her husband was in the Army and died in Iraq two months before the baby was born.
That made me think really hard.
I’ve thought before about dieing for my country.
I prepared to do that.
But I never thought about what it would do to the people I leave behind seriously.
I’d thought about it a little bit,
Especially after watching “We Were Soldiers”.
(the part with the telegrams and the taxi)
I don’t know if God has a family in store for me,
But I don’t know what I would do about them.
I haven’t got a problem dieing.
I’ve put my faith in Christ and He’ll take care of me.
But what about them?
I know He’ll take care of them,
But I’d hate to be the cause of the kind of grief I saw in that movie.
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
We had a SAMI (Saturday Morning Inspection) even though it's Tuesday.
After the SAMI,
We had what’s called Centrifuge.
That was a bunch of random events including running swimming and other stuff.
I was the guy that stands there and tells the runners which way to run and keep the spectators out of there way.
General Weida happened to be one of the spectators.
I finally got to salute him.
I didn’t realize how big he was.
He’s about my height,
But a ton more muscle.
I heard that some cadet’s went to his house and played Revelry outside his house at 0530.
Then he came out and did pushups with them.
He beat them all.
We found out how our scores matched up this afternoon.
We did really good.
Those two questions I got during Falcon Feud Helped.
My Squad got First place for Academics.
We did good on the rest too.
Of the four categories,
We got one Excellent,
And three Outstandings.
That was really good compared to all the other squads.
This time we "woke up" (meaning: Those of us who actually slept)
to the Warrior Anthem.
It's a parody of "For the Longest Time"
writen about cadets,
ask me to play it for you when I'n home soemtime.
In the morning we had war gaming and Falcon Feud.
War gaming went well.
I wasn’t on the team,
But I heard we did well
Falcon Feud was fun.
There was one team from two different squads.
Each team had one person from each class four each round.
So there were ten rounds of four people.
We went two times against two different squads.
Each person had a buzzer.
We were quizzed on everything we’ve learned here.
Any thing to how many rooms in this building to the phone number for this office to the range of this weapon to the years this person graduated from the academy.
We dominated the other tem.
It was awesome.
We had double their score.
I managed to get two of the answers before he finished the question.
This afternoon was Field Training Exercise
They didn’t put me on a team.
So I stayed here and cleaned for tomorrow’s SAMI.
(Even thought tomorrow is Tuesday)
Sunday, November 20, 2005
It started officially at lunch.
Our squadron’s first rotation was Drill.
So we had to go back to our rooms and change in Service Dress.
Then we grabbed our rifles and went to drill.
The first part was a uniform inspection.
Since I’m on Honor Guard,
My uniform was already set.
So I went around and helped other people with theirs.
Most of them had good uniforms.
I just fixed little things,
Link buttons that were upside down and dusting off service caps.
We did really good.
The inspector couldn’t find anything wrong with my uniform,
But he only spent about five minutes looking.
Then they graded our marching.
We already got an award for best marching squadron in the group,
And my flight is the best out of the squadron.
Everyone said we did good.
We had testing.
It was a 50 question test on everything we had learned during Comm’s Time.
All the Air Force policies and regulations.
That test is going to be 30% of my MPA (Military Performance Average, similar to a GPA)
I think I did well.
And that was the first day of Comm’s Challenge.
Tomorrow should be fun.
We have Falcon Feud and Field Training Exercise.
Friday, November 18, 2005
There's a speaker system that goes through all the dorms.
Every morning Command Center gets on and announces weather and Uniform of the Day at 0630 every day.
This guy just got on and started rapping.
Now he's playing rock over the announcment system.
This is wierd.
Thursday, November 17, 2005
I went to Chemistry and it was perfectly clear out.
I did my Lab and was finishing up when I looked out the window.
It was snowing,
And it was coming down thick.
It's still snowing
The snow from last time hasn't melted yet.
I can't wait to get back to Texas.
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Monday, November 14, 2005
Saturday, November 12, 2005
We had the usual schedule with a few extra things.
We had a formation to retrieve the flag.
It was really cool.
Everyone was out there in formation around the Air Gardens.
After The flag was lowered,
The was a roar coming up behind us.
We were facing the flag,
So I couldn’t see what was making the noise.
But I new.
I know that sound better then almost any other.
(With the exception of the distinct sound of the family car)
It was an F-16.
I know the sound of those engines.
I spent a lot of time by Carswell Joint Reserve Base,
And I learned to identify a ton of aircraft just by listening to them.
But I new this was not just one F-16,
It had to be four.
It didn’t sound like just one.
I new they would probably be in a four ship formation too.
Then they flew over our heads and I could see them.
What a sight!
I couldn’t help but smile.
Wednesday, November 9, 2005
Saturday, November 5, 2005
I went to the mandatory Tail gate parties and had some fun.
Somebody had an old car out there and had spray painted ARMY all over it.
For a buck you could tack a swing at it with a mallet.
There was a pack of cub scouts there.
They gave these kids a baseball bat and they went to town on that car.
It was really funny.
In case you don’t know,
We do pushups for every touchdown.
I was down there pumping,
When I looked up and saw General Weida in front of me.
That was uber cool.
I think Gen Weida is one of the best role models here at the Academy.
Then the Army mascot came over and tried to pick a fight with the Bird.
That’s about all he succeeded at.
Needless to say,
The Bird kicked…
Even after the Bird beat him,
He wanted more.
So a few Fourth Classmen jumped out of the stands and tackled him.
He had enough after that.
Friday, November 4, 2005
We had the spirit dinner tonight.
The food was decent,
But desert was awesome.
Each table got a plate with a one inch thick cake.
On top of he cake was about two gallons of Ice Cream.
That was awesome.
After wards I found one on another table that hadn’t been eaten.
I brought it back to the squad for everyone else.
After the Spirit Dinner,
We had a Spirit Bonfire.
We got all the palates that had been shipped up here over the past year or so and burned them.
EOD (Explosive Ordinance Disposal) lit it for us.
They put some kind of explosive in it.
It burned nicely because the air could flow through the pallets.
Thursday, November 3, 2005
In case you haven’t heard,
The Air Force just recently got a ton of new people in high leadership positions.
We got a new Chief of Staff, Secretary of the Air Force, and Superintendent.
We have new Commandant on the way too.
The new Secretary of the Air Force was sworn in today during lunch.
Here at the Academy!
In honor of the event,
Our new Superintendent put all the fourth class cadets At Rest for the meal.
We were all psyched!
We usually eat At Ease.
At Ease means we can move around,
At Rest means we can talk too!
The only problem,
None of us new what to talk about.
We were so used to not talking,
We had trouble trying to talk.
But it gets even better.
This afternoon, we had a briefing from our new Chief of Staff.
On top of this being the best briefing we’ve ever had,
He put us all at rest until the end of the football game this weekend.
Let me explain the significance of this…
On the Terrazzo,
We’re at attention.
Ok, we’re pretty much At Attention every where.
There are a few select places where we are At Ease,
And even fewer were we are At Rest.
At Attention means we stand perfectly straight,
And square all our corners.
We have to stay to the right of all the hallways,
Use only the outside stairwells,
And great upperclassmen by name.
(Not easy when there are over 200 we’re supposed to know)
When on the Terrazzo we have to run.
Not just run,
But run on the Marble strips.
And not just any Marble strips,
Only the most inconvenient ones.
We’re At rest only in Fairchild Hall (the classrooms) and our rooms.
Something like this.
We had some wild wind today.
The computer said it was at 41 mph when I looked.
I think that was average though.
The gusts were much higher.
I was standing at an extreme angle just to keep from getting blown over.
That was wild.
and on top of that.
The sun just finished setting.
It'll be dark by 1800.
Tuesday, November 1, 2005
Monday, October 31, 2005
Sunday, October 30, 2005
Saturday, October 29, 2005
Comm’s Challenge is a four day event that takes place just before we lweave for Thanksgiving break.
Yesterday was field day training.
That day will consist of running all over the base from station to station completing various tasks.
I signed up for Land Navigation, but they put me on the Chemical Warfare team.
Then they took me off of that and I wasn’t on a team.
Then I got put on the Wargaming Team.
Wargaming is play computer games.
I wasn’t to thrilled about that.
Yeah, it’ll be fun,
But where’s the challenge there?
I’d rather have a field job.
Today they asked for volunteers to go to training since not all of the teams were there.
I volunteered and got put on the Combat Search and Rescue team.
I was excited about that.
I did Search and Rescue back home with Civil Air Patrol.
The only difference here is that I’d be carrying and M-16.
In the end they switched me over to Chem Warfare again.
I wasn’t to disappointed with that.
It was better than sitting on my rear playing computer games.
This is about how training went.
First they bus us to CATM where the rifle team shoots while we do the sub-event.
Our sub-event was running a course while carrying water jugs and pallets.
Running in BDUs with boots is challenging enough. Carrying five gallons of water too?
All the stuff I do in Honor Guard made this all seem easy.
Are squad got the best time on record.
After that we ran two mile to the next event.
While the Combat Search and Rescue team went to do their event,
We all took a hundred question test on basic knowledge.
They’d show us a plane and ask us to give the crew, or manufacturer, or the weapons capacity.
They’d show us an Air Force Specialty Badge and ask us to name it.
Or an award and ask what it represented.
Then we ran another mile or so.
There the Tent Set Up team did their event while we did a PFT.
That consisted of Pullups, Situps, Pushups, and a 600 yard sprint.
I maxed the Pushups and Situps and did a few extra incase someone else couldn’t max.
Then we ran about a half mile to the Obstacle Course.
We had a team that ran that for time.
One of our guys ran the O-Course in 6:04.
That’s six minutes and four seconds.
The fastest anyone had heard of it being done was eight minutes.
Then we ran another half mile to Land Nav.
While that team was out in the woods finding their way,
We went to the finish point while trying to decrypt a cipher they had made.
From there we ran to Chem Warfare.
I don’t know what the sub-event was because I was in the main event.
I had never seen Chem suits before,
And they were timing us to see how long it took us to put them on.
I did well considering.
From there we ran back to CATM and got on the busses to go back to the Hill.
Monday, October 24, 2005
but I could just make out the words "Sijan" and "Evacuate"
I figured if it was important they would broadcast through the hallway speakers.
It was a bomb scare.
They evacuated all of Sijan Hall for an hour and a half.
Fortunately I life in Vandenburg Hall,
So it didn’t affect me.
There was suspicious package found inside.
This what happened.
A fourth classmen was putting his paintball stuff in the storage room.
On the way, he set the package down and forgot about it.
Regulations say that to put something in storage it must have your last name and class on it.
Cadet Fourth Class is abbreviated C4C,
Which looks suspiciously close to C4.
To top it of,
The cadets last name is Boom.
So the box had “C4C BOOM” written all over it.
Sunday, October 23, 2005
31 day until I can set foot on Texan soil again.
Exactly one month from now,
I will be boarding the plane that will take me home.
Then I get four days at home.
Four short days,
And then I’m back up here.
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
We march to just about every Noon Meal (Lunch).
This gets most annoying,
Because most of my squad "bounces" when they march.
When you walk normally,
Your head bobs up and down.
They also sway from side to side.
Being in Honor Guard has beaten this out of me.
So I don’t march like that anymore.
So I’m in the middle of this formation moving in a straight line while everything around me goes up and down,
Left and right,
In unison together.
This usually has the effect of making me sick be the middle of the march.
This is great right before lunch.
Maybe that’s why I haven’t been eating much.
Saturday, October 15, 2005
This was a good game at the beginning.
But after awhile,
It was kind of boring.
It got to the point where Air Force just scored point after point.
We slaughtered them.
The final score was 42/7.
As you may or may not know,
We four degrees do as many of pushups as points we have every time a touch down is scored.
I was sitting with my Honor Guard team and towards the end one of them started yelling something about mercy.
I guess he was tired of doing pushups.
We were in an area where we couldn’t get to the field to do our pushups.
So we had four guys hold another in the air and he did them there.
The rest of us did them in the stands inverted.
That was fun.
Thursday, October 13, 2005
We finally got our BCT "yearbooks" in.
They look really dorky.
The cover is a stupid cartoon that some upper classman did during class.
It’s a cartoon of what looks like GI Joe and GI Jane.
And their uniforms are messed up.
I doubt the editing team spent much time getting this ready.
It’s more of a story book with lots of pictures.
With all the camera men that were running around,
I’d think they’d have a better selection of pictures.
We’ve already seen all of these before in other publications.
On top of that,
The captions are really lame.
They detract from the already substandard pictures.
I wonder how much was deducted from my paycheck for this lovely fire starter?
Monday, October 10, 2005
It's been snowing for the past twenty-four hours.
And it’s predicted that it’ll snow through the night and into tomorrow.I miss those hundred degree days back in Texas.
For all of you reading this,
I know your thinking,
“Wow! Snow! Did you make a snow ball?”
There’s a foot of the stuff on the ground!
This isn’t like the snow we get in Texas.
And this is only the first snow of the year.
I’m told this is light too.
BTW I don’t really hate this place.
I just hate the weather.
Think warm thoughts.
Friday, October 7, 2005
I woke up and was running some errands.
I had to get my parade uniform altered a special way.
I have to have special stripes on it.
As I was running the strips,
I slipped a couple of times.
I didn’t think much of this at first.
They usually water the lawn at night.
I thought it was just wet.
Then I noticed all the ice on the strips.
The computer said it was 23 degrees Fahrenheit.
Thursday, October 6, 2005
This weekend is the Air Force vs. Navy football game.
There is something in the military called interservice rivalry.
For those of you who don’t understand what I’m talking about I won’t bore you with the details.
It is sufficient to say that we enjoy poking fun at each other.
Navy, however, went a little too far this time though.
They have several exchange students who are over here for the semester.
On of them lives here with the Bulldogs.
They painted our beautiful F-4 Phantom II Blue.
This is not just any F-4 either.
It was flown by Captain Steve Ritchie (a grad of the class of 1964) in the Korean war and made six MIG kills.
And they painted it!
We are in the process of full retaliation.
We doolies managed to get into the room of the midshipman that lives with us.
We took all his uniform and spread them out.
All that he has now is his running suit.
We have plans for this weekend to.
Since it is an away game,
He’ll be leaving to go to Annapolis to watch it with the other midshipman.
We plan to fill his drawers with water and put gold fish in them.
I think a battle ship on the bottom wouldn’t be out of place either.
Sunday, October 2, 2005
I would have never thought that a girl could be so distracting,
Especially at an event like this.
This girl was very distracting.
She was an Honor Guard Cadre.
(No, not that kind of distracting…)
I was always worried she was watching me to make sure I did everything perfectly.
She would always seem to appear out of nowhere and then disappear.
Then I’d go crazy,
“where is she?!?!”
“She’s got to be hidden somewhere watching me.”
This was a little distracting.
Saturday, September 24, 2005
Two years ago, Cheney King was killed in a car accident.
She was In Cadet Squadron 13 like I am.
I went at 0615 to volunteer.
Around ten I heard that 13 was going to run the 10k together.
I wasn’t expecting to run,
I hadn’t been drinking water or eaten breakfast.
I decided to go any way.
I did it in an hour.
I was happy with that.
I’ve never run that far at once before.
It actually went fairly well.
The music wasn’t exactly to my taste though.
Neither was most of the dancing.
I tried to do the few dances that I knew,
But they didn’t play many songs that went well with what I know.
Fortunately the girls there took it well.
I don’t think they liked the dances that seemed more popular with the other cadets.
Monday, September 19, 2005
There’s nothing to hurt moral more than something like that.
Now I’m glad I don’t have time to go into town.
There’s nothing any of us hate more than the entire cadet wing being stereotyped by one individual’s actions.
One of the 4,000 cadets here messed up,
So now the other 3,999 of us look bad.
I don’t blame the people for the stereotyping,
I blame the media.
I’ve never heard a single positive thing about this place from the public news sources,
Only from people that are actually from here.
I understand the whole, “innocent until proven guilty” thing.
I’m just glad if he is found guilty,
He won’t be here any more.
I might be the one to get kicked out if I met him on the terrazzo.
That is, of course, assuming no one else got to him first.
I wasn’t looking forward to getting on the plane with my uniform this Thanksgiving anyway,
I most certainly don’t want to now.
I never liked hearing “Thanks for all you do for our country”
I’m just a college student.
I go to school,
I’m nothing special.
But I’d rather that than what I know I’m going to get now.
Sunday, September 18, 2005
The Air Force separated from the Army.
We became our own branch, equal to both the Army and Navy.
This Friday is the Air Force Birthday Ball.
This should be interesting.
It’ll be my first military ball.
Hopefully I can remember what little dancing I knew back in Texas.
I hiked Eagles Peak again today.
I went with a friend of mine from back home in Texas.
We had done a lot of work with scouts together.
We staffed a leadership camp for the council.
At the time,
It was right outside of Carswell Joint Reserve Base.
Lockheed Martin builds their F-16s out there.
The Air Force has C-130s and the Navy has F-18s out there.
We got to the point that by listening to the aircraft,
We could tell what model it was.
And look where we are now.
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
They failed us again yesterday.
I didn't see anything wrong with the room.
At least not in AMI (Morning Inspection) order.
Maybe in SAMI order,
We got a 95 today.
I think that’s because this inspector was from out of Squadron.
Therefore, he doesn’t know me.
Therefore, he doesn’t hate me.
Honor Guard went good.
We learned the basics of Saber Drill.
I’m better at Saber Drill than Rifle Drill.
I think I’m going to do Rifle Drill though.
As I was coming back to the squad,
Some of the upperclassmen saw me.
(these were the cool ones)
I was carrying my Rifle and Saber.
They had me show them what I had learned.
I did better than I had during practice.
We had our Spirit Dinner tonight.
We do them before every football game to support our team.
They brought in Domino’s Pizza.
That’s lot of pizza.
They must have closed down every Domino’s in Colorado Springs for the past week.
I heard it took their entire delivery crew to bring it up here.
They kept running out of pizza before they got to our table.
One of our football players got fed up with waiting,
So he got up to take care of it.
He walked right up to a cart and grabbed 6 boxes of pizza.
That was good.
They ordered enough for each person to eat a half a pizza.
Yes, I ate my share.
I haven’t had pizza in eons.
It’s not that I crave the stuff,
It’s just that normally the food isn’t that great here.
So this was a nice change.
Tuesday, September 13, 2005
These rifles feel a lot heavier than the ones we had in Basic.
We reviewed the drill they taught us in basic first.
Then they taught us some cooler versions that we’ll use in Honor Guard.
It’s really awesome.
What used to be just basic drill,
Now has cool spins and frills involved.
It’s a little harder with the heavier rifle.
Monday, September 12, 2005
They failed my room today.
Do you think they care why?
I’ll tell you.
I did the PFT (Physical Fitness Test) today.
I did it with a friend from scouts back home in Texas.
He was really pushing through out the whole thing.
He passed out just after we finished.
After the paramedics took him away,
(It was just dehydration, he’s fine now.)
I went to his locker to get his uniform and book bag.
He lives in Sijan Tower, on the other side of the Cadet Area from me.
I stopped by my room to drop off my books bag.
I knew there was very little time,
So I dumped it all on my bed.
After getting across to his room as fast as I could,
It was time for the mandatory Noon Meal,
So I went to Mitchell Hall (the dinning hall).
When I got back to my room,
I started cleaning.
Just as I started, the upperclassmen tell me to leave everything where it is and they proceed to inspect the room.
So they failed me.
I’m willing to bet that they try to make my life miserable for the rest of the week.
Bring it on…
Sunday, September 11, 2005
You'll never guess what I just got in my “Official Business Only” E-Mail.
Some sent an E-Mail to the entire class of 2009 asking if there were any girls willing to go with him to the ball that’s coming up.
If that sounds bad enough,
Everyone hates mass E-Mails that aren’t relevant to anything.
We read the ones from the Chain of Command so we know what’s happening.
We’ll even put up with Lost and Found E-Mails.
But this has got to be the lowest I’ve ever seen.
The last guy that sent a Mass E-Mail out with a question,
(It was a relevant question, but with an obvious answer)
Got fifty some odd E-Mails within 5 min telling him to go ask his Chain of Command.
I’d hate to know how many this guy got.
On top of being improper protocol,
That’s just a really bad way to get a date.
I almost feel sorry for him.
I know the odds are against him up here,
But they’re not any better now.
Saturday, September 10, 2005
A bunch of us went down to a local Salvation Army and helped out there.
Apparently there are a bunch of refugees in Denver.
We helped organize the place so they can find everything when they need it.
It was fun.
It means I missed the football game.
The team did fine without me there.
I was sure they would.
We creamed ‘em.
The one that was cancelled?
We’re doing it today.
The Warrior Run is a 36 Mile run.
It’s a relay preformed by every class since the class of 07.
The idea is that what none of us can do as individuals,
We can do as a team.
It’s timed so the last group runs into the football game at half time.
I was on the first leg.
Supposedly, that was three miles.
That was an easy three miles.
The Dean, Gen Born, was leading my group.
Gen. Weida, the Commandant of Cadets, was in his car.
He was be pacing the run.
Apparently, we were running to fast.
Gen. Weida kept telling us to slow down.
The second group wasn’t at their spot yet,
And we were going to get there before they would.
We wanted to run faster though.
We had the Dean up against the Commandant’s car.
I mean really close.
There was about foot difference between the dean and the car.
Friday, September 9, 2005
They say it because, even after a whole two weeks, we're not perfect yet.
We went for a nice run in the mountains.
We all met for dinner afterwards.
We talked about all the greatests pranks ever pulled at the Academy and decided which ones to do to our cadre when we're accepted.
Wednesday, September 7, 2005
I was really worried about passing because we didn’t run much in basic.
So even though I’m acclimated, I lost everything I had back in Texas.
The last time I had run the course I was over the minimum.
This time I got a 10:49.
That’s over two full minutes taken off of my last time.
I’m happy with that.
I don’t know why I was worried.
I know that if I plot my progress on a chart,That’s exactly where I should be.
Monday, September 5, 2005
I did absolutely nothing.
That was the first time in a long time.
We were going to camp out Friday night,
But the wind broke our tents at my Sponsor Family’s house.
So we spent the night there.
On the way to the campsite,
The car started smelling weird.
So we went back to the Academy.
I took Dad to the 10th Services Squadron Automotive Hobby Center.
We got to use a professional lift and tools.
And they had mechanics there to help.
All for $3 an hour.
After that I took my mom to the base “Walmart” (BX) and grocery store (Commissary).
Then I got dad to the gas station that’s on base.
We were able to get the gas for 20 cents cheaper because there’s no federal tax on base.
By the time we got to the campsite, it was time for bed.
The next day, we were going to see stealth, but the paper we were using was from Thursday.
That was the last day any of the theaters was showing it.
By the time we got back up the mountain, it was about 1600.
Then we were going to watch the sunset from Pike’s Peak.
When we got there,
We found that it’s $10 a person.
(I latter learned that we could have gone for $35 a vehicle)
And they don’t want any one on the top as the sun goes down.
It was a good weekend though.
I eat a ton of ice cream Sunday night.
Maybe not the best stuff for physical performance,
But It sure put me in a good mood.
Thursday, September 1, 2005
I joined the Honor Guard.
It's been called 3rd Basic,
but I don't care.
I went to my first practice session today.
We practiced a detail for parents weekend.
We preform tommorrow.
In reallity, It's just crowd control.
But it looks cool.
Technically, I'm not on the Honor Guard yet.
I'm a cadidate.
I'm still trying out.
I'll be trying out until sometime in the spring.
Sunday, August 28, 2005
Saturday, August 27, 2005
Thursday, August 25, 2005
They herded us all into a room and handed us bubble grids and grunted "Take!"
That happens a lot out here.
We get surveyed all the time.
This one was to compare USAFA with other colleges.
I can't wait to see the results.
I'm willing to bet that the entire wing put the same answer on certain questions.
My favorite was...
"Should we increase federal military spending?"
I will hunt down anyone who said no.
Monday, August 22, 2005
I go to my second class and look out the window.
I was in the south hall way, so I was looking out over COS.
The sky was really dark.
Then I heard thunder rolling.
They have an announcement that goes over the base speaker when lightning is around.
We've al memorized it.
"Attention in the area, Attention in the area.
Lightning has been spotted in the area.
All personal should use the stairwells and hallways as much as possible.
I say again...
Lightning has been spotted in the area.
Command Center out."
Just after I heard the thunder I begin to recite it.
Just as I got to the first "Lightning has been spotted..."
The entire sky lights up.
It was awesome.
The split second I saw of it was absolutely gorgeous.
Why am I so fascinated with the sky?
Saturday, August 20, 2005
I haven't slept since yesterday morning.
I've been cleaning and ironing all night.
You could perform surgery in here with no risk of infection.
My room got a 95.
The Class of 09 for Bulldogs got a 94.
We beat all the other classes.
ORI went good.
My Flight Commander is very pleased with our score,
even though we don't have the numbers yet.
The parade went well too.
The upperclassmen are so pleased with our performance,
They're letting us watch all the TV we want and order all the pizza we want until 7:00pm Sunday.
Normally, we can't do these things at all.
They're also setting up a movie night for us.
Friday, August 19, 2005
They are a singing and dancing entertainment group that the Air Force sends around the world to boost moral.
Attendance was mandatory.
This was very bad timing.
Tomorrow we have what is called a Triple Threat.
That means a SAMI (Saturday Morning Inspection, the toughest room inspection there is),
An ORI (Open Ranks Inspection, uniforms inspection),
and a parade (they grade our marching).
We would all much rather be cleaning our rooms to get ready for the SAMI.
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
There's not a single cloud up there.
I thought it was so beautiful.
Then I thought back to the weekend when the sky was covered in clouds.
I thought that was beautiful too.
The mountains mold the air currents so that the clouds always look neat.
Why is it that no matter what the weather,
I always stare at this sky with wonder?
Maybe it's because my subconscious mind has realized that I'm here, I've made it in.
My conscious mind hasn't quite realized that.
It's been focused on survival.
What has to be done next.
but My subconscious knows where I am.
and it sees the beauty in everything up here.
even the upperclassmen. ;-)
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
Today is an M Day, so tomorrow is a T Day.
They continue alternating.
On M Days I have...
Physical Education (Wrestling)
Study Skills (an optional class. I never studied in high school)
Military Strategic Studies
On T Days I have...
Math 141 (Calc 1)
Tuesday, August 9, 2005
We are Cadets
We are now Fourth Classmen.
No longer are we Basics.
That feels nice.
We wear shoulder boards now.
It signifies that we are aloud to think for ourselves now.
The big guy in front is C1C Hocking.
The smaller on is C2C Wilson.
They're the ones that pined me on.
Monday, August 8, 2005
Sunday, August 7, 2005
We all went to our sponsor family's house for the day.
(Sponsor Families are our adopted families while we're up here, we go to their house when we can get off base)
I talked on the phone for over an hour.
That was great.
After lunch I played LEGOs with Justin and Ryan.
They couldn't believe how fast I was able to build things.
"Years, and Years of experience"
After that we got on their computer and looked at pictures from Basic.
Then we outside to play football.
Saturday, August 6, 2005
Friday, August 5, 2005
Thursday, August 4, 2005
They canceled the Warrior Run because of rain.
Everyone is really disappointed.
We all wanted to do it.
It was supposed to be a 36 mile relay.
Supposedly it will be rescheduled.
I wouldn't count on it though.
Our schedule are so crammed, there's no room for anything else.
Wednesday, August 3, 2005
Today is Field Day.
Our squad took second.
Our guy should have won the Pugil Stick fight.
He had at least four good obvious hits that weren't counted.
If they had, he would have won.
Then we would have won Field Day and Outstanding Squadron for all of basic.
That's how close we were.
Everyone started booing when they announced the other guy as the winner.
The whole Wing knew our guy should have won.
Cadre were bored again.
Had another beat session in the afternoon.
Then it started raining, so they left us alone.
Tuesday, August 2, 2005
Monday, August 1, 2005
We did the Obstacle Course again this morning.
Just for fun.
I did a lot better this time.
I only skimmed the water with the toe of my boot on the rope swing.
Nothing fun in the afternoon.
The cadre had nothing better to do,
so we had a nice beat session.
Sunday, July 31, 2005
Saturday, July 30, 2005
One whole month out here.
I must be crazy.
We did Operation Warrior today.
That has got to be the coolest course out here.
They gave us real M-16s and a bunch of blanks. (bullets that don't shoot anything)
Then they trained us in small team tactics and turned us lose in the woods.
We were the offensive team in the morning.
We were supposed to ambush the enemy base. (protected by another flight)
As we got closer to the tents, I knew the would have snipers hidden in the trees and bushes.
They would try to take us out and they could because they knew what direction we'd be coming from.
I knew the only way to prevent this was to go wider and flank the snipers.
No one went with me, so I went alone.
I picked off two of them before they figured out what was going on.
Unfortunately, they had already killed a quarter of my flight.
I got a total of four that time.
We got Defense in the afternoon.
We were broken up into teams of four
Our assigned team leader took off, so I took over.
I got the three of us hidden in some bushes behind some rocks on the top of a nearby hill.
We were able to take out the first wave from that direction.
It was either the only wave, or the rest pulled back,
because we never saw anymore from that direction.
We then picked off their main wave that was rushing the base.
I lost count after eighteen.
I did better this time because I was hidden and stationary.
They were in the open and moving.
Also, I found the automatic mode this time.
That helped some.
Friday, July 29, 2005
We went to CATM today.
We learned how to use M-16s.
then we took them to the range.
I got 23 out of 40.
I'm pleased with that.
Considering it's the third time I've used a gun in my life.
My buddies are promising to fix that.
A Cadre from Oklahoma made me clean his gun as well as mine.
He said the reason is that Texas is the only reason that Oklahoma doesn't a have a beach.
I think he's just jealous.
Not everyone can be Texan.
Thursday, July 28, 2005
Wednesday, July 27, 2005
This morning we had the Assult Course.
Supposedly, this is the toughest course out here.
I heard (from a reliable source that was there) that 18 basics quit because it was too hard.
Another 32 were sent to the hospital.
This was all on the first day too.
I didn't think it was to bad.
It didn't seem THAT hard.
The Assault course is a bunch of obstacles with tunnels, barbed wire, mud pits, and various other battlefield like obstcals.
We run it with an M-16 and a Kevlar helmet.
They have cadre running around shooting blanks out of M-16s and setting of simulated grenades.
every time we heard one of those we had to through ourselves on the ground and yell "GRENADE!!!" and jump back up as fast as we could.
Needless to say, this alone was tiring.
On top of that, if there was a line for an obstcale, we didn't just stand and wait.
We did High Knees. (essentially, jumping running in place, but kicking your knees up as high as they go. Not fun)
They gave us real bayonets to run the course with.
That was fun.
Before we did the Assault Course, we did Pugil Sticks.
Those are padded sticks we beat each other with.
It's to simulate hand to hand combat with an empty rifle.
I made it to Flight Semi-Finals.
Then they paired me up against one of our recruited football players.
I got the first two points because I was faster and I stayed low.
I went for his stomach with the bayonet part of my stick.
Then he finally realized what was going on.
He started going for me head.
I don't remember anything from his third point.
I just remember sitting up on the other side of the ring with a slight headache.
That guy can pack a punch.
I'm not ashamed of being beat by him.
I almost won. (had I gotten one more point)
My stick made contact with his stomach just about every time he got my head.
It's just that the effects of his strike were a little more obvious.
He went on to get second in our flight.
the guy that beat him took first for the squad.
I think that makes my performance look pretty good.
I don't think any of my classmates expected me to make it that far.
Not me, but it's a good visual.
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
Monday, July 25, 2005
We did the Leadership Reaction Course again this morning.
We got to all five obstcales.
We made it through all but one.
The cadre say that no one makes it through this one on their first attempt.
They also said we got closer to finishing than anyone else they'd seen.
Time was running out, and our leader wasn't making any decisions.
We had to get a oil drum from one tower to another.
We had two ropes and two planks to use.
We had the two ropes tied parallel to each other across the towers.
there were about two minutes left.
I flipped my knees over one of the ropes and my arms over the other.
I had a classmate put the drum on top of me and I worked my way to the other tower.
We got the drum and two people over before the time ran out.
Supposedly, that was the best that the cadre had ever seen.
In the afternoon we did the Self Aid and Buddy Care Course.
It's essentially battlefield first aid.
So, all the stuff I learned in scouts and CAP, with guns and grenades.
and a lot of low crawling.
Sunday, July 24, 2005
We did the challenge course today.
This course was more laid back.
It was more of a confidence builder.
I've already done most of these things at camps.
It was fun.
There were a lot of high obstcales for people to over come their fear of heights.
There was this one tower that we had to climb by flipping each other over the edge and up to the next level.
You essentially have to trust the other people with your life.
It took us about 30 min to get the entire flight of 38 people to the top.
Afterwards, we watch ten cadre get to the top and back down in 48 seconds.
They did four at a time instead of one like us.
It was cool to watch though.
Saturday, July 23, 2005
First full day at Jack's.
We ran the Obstacle Course this morning.
The obstacle that I failed was the rope swing.
There is a pit full of water with a rope hanging over it.
A cadre holds the rope (Definitely starting out wrong),
and you run up,
and swing across.
The cadre like to let go of the rope early.
I caught when I was already half way across.
Yes I was soaked.
My boots had a gallon of water each and my pants were wet.
This wasn't so bad excpept for to things
1. I was only half way through, and my boots were very heavy now (and yes we were running).
2. The low crawl was next. So now I'm wet and muddy.
The guy I was running it with said I would have had a better chance just jumping without the rope.
I could have gotten along even with these problems,
but there was one more.
This was just the familiarization run.
We still had to do it for time.
We did ok.
Next was the leadership Reaction Course (LRC).
They lock us in concrete rooms and give us a piece of rope, a plank, and a log.
Then we have to get out in 15min.
There are twenty some odd Concrete rooms,
each has a different obstcale with different objectives,
with limited resources.
We have to get across the obstacle in fifteen minutes using just what we're given.
It was challenging.
A storm rolled in and we only got to do one.
Then we sat in a tent and sang songs for about three hours.
That was interesting.
Friday, July 22, 2005
Off to Jack's Valley.
I've been waiting for this part since before I got to Colorado.
Probably before I finished the application.
Marched 8 Miles to Jack's.
I carried two rifles again.
A classmate had serious blisters.
Sang all sorts of Jodies.
We ran out though, so they got recycled.
Then people started making them up.
This was OK so long as they made them up before they started singing.
When we got to Jack's we set up tents.
The last basics that had our tent didn't take care of it.
All the ropes broke, there were holes, and the doors didn't work.
Thankfully, I had used a tent similar to it in scouts.
We were able to fix just about everything.
Thursday, July 21, 2005
PT this monring.
It was slightly better.
We wore Blues today.
We've worn BDUs (Camo) every other day.
We go to Jack's Valley Tomorrow.
It'll be an 8 mile march.
Should be fun.
I've been looking forward to Jack's since the beginning.
We'll be simulating a deployment.
We'll be in tents and all that good stuff.
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
It was much easier than normal.
They bussed us to Peterson AFB.
We got to see all the planes that flew over yesterday and more.
The pilots were there to answer any questions.
We're told that these planes were brought in from all over the world just for us.
There are no dignitaries or anybody who are coming out to see these planes, just us.
Maybe that's why our education is estimated at some $300,000.
Civil Air Patrol was having their Advanced Technology Academy at a hangar right next to where we were.
I noticed a plane that had CAP colors and thought it unusual that they'ed show us a CAP plane.
Not many cadets would care about that.
But I knew what plane that was.
It was the new Airbus we just bought.
They're going to put Hyper Spectral Imaging Systems in it.
It'll help a ton with Search and Rescue.
I remembered getting a briefing about it when I went through ATA.
It was still in the design phase then.
I went to talk to the pilot and he told me that ATA was in the nearby hangar.
I went in there and met the Col. McNeely.
He ran ATA when I did it.
They let me hang out inside their air conditioned build and showed me all their new toys.
All the stuff I used in ATA is gone.
All the stuff I tested has been advanced and they're use version 2.
They let me fill up my Camel Bak with Ice before I left.
I didn't tell anyone about that.
It came in handy,
our bus broke down half way back to the Academy and we had no air.
Monday, July 18, 2005
We did a 7 mile "March" today before breakfast.
We ran half of it.
A classmate was having trouble just before the half way point.
I took the canteen, web belt, and rifle, while others help with the marching.
A lot of aircraft flew over today.
There was a B1-B Lancer, C-5 Galaxy, F-117 Nighthawk, A-10 Warthawg, T-6, MH-60, and many others.
I heard that they wanted to increase moral.
Sunday, July 17, 2005
New Cadre seem really cool.
I think because we tried so hard to stay in line the first day they layed back.
Went to Chapel.
Went to the Rodeo.
It was a moral booster.
They don't want to kill us.
we're too expensive.
That thought is slightly encouraging.
This really is a minimal security prison.
There's a fence all around,
We can't go anywhere alone, and I get one phone call. ;-)
Talked with everyone.
Sounds like nothing happened in Texas over the last few days.
Saturday, July 16, 2005
It was a bunch of events to compete in.
Our squad took 2nd.
by 20 points!
We beat 3rd by 160.
That's very depressing.
We got our 2nd BCT Cadre today.
Everyone was absolutely terrified.
2nd BCT is supposed to be infinitely tougher than 1st BCT.
which means the same for the Cadre.
Everyone went to Bunker's room to figure out how to survive.
They don't seem that bad.
They seem very confused,
like they haven't a clue as to what is happening or what to do.
Needless to say we plan on taking full advantage of the situation.
Friday, July 15, 2005
Thursday, July 14, 2005
One of our Cadre who is really good at drilling drilled us today.
We did it on the Terrazzo in front of all the other flight.
We did a bunch cool drills that they didn't know.
We also did regular stuff with speed and precision.
We ran circles around one flight.
All the other cadre were just staring at us.
So were their basics.
They didn't like that.
I think they were all jealous.
We got our rifles today.
I don't know what to name mine.
We got to try out the simulators.
We flew T-6s in the area.
After we got bored with the normal stuff.
I got my hands on the computer and changed a few numbers.
Instead of 200 knots, we started doing 1000 kn.
We buzzed the runway where everyone else was trying to take off.
After we got bored with that.
We flew up the canyon, @1000kn.
that was fun.
The sky was beautiful tonight.
A storm had just blew through, so the sun was reflecting pink form part of the cloud, and yellow on another part.
That mixed with the clear blue sky next to it was just breath taking.
I'd like to have taken a picture of it, but cameras never seem to do these things justice.
That and basics aren't aloud to have them.
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
Tonight we learned that the three recruited football players in our flight might get kicked out soon.
The upperclassmen don't think they're here for the right reasons.
They're really trying, but can't seem to do it on their own.
We're all trying to help them.
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
This morning was not a march,
It was a run.
That's OK, it was only 5 miles.
(Uphill both ways and in the snow ;-)
I won the Flight's first Drill Down.
What happens is the flight starts in a regular formation.
The upperclassmen calls random commands.
If you to slow, or do the wrong thing, or follow a command that should not have been given, your out.
He calls "About Face" and you hesitate ever so slightly,
He calls "Left Face" and you turn right,
He calls "Present Arms" you give a salute and hold it.
He calls "Order Hands" or "Order Pizza" (a favorite of theirs) and you so much as flinch,
The proper command is "Order Arms"
It was intense.
A lot of our guys are prior enlisted, or Prep Schoolers, or JROTC.
It got to the point where he was calling them faster then we could execute,
so you had to remember about 5 or 6 commands in order.
Eventually it was down to Mcauliff and I.
Monday, July 11, 2005
Sunday, July 10, 2005
Saturday, July 9, 2005
Today was our first SAMI.
The only thing the inspector could find wrong was our boots.
even then only part of them, the sides.
He could see his face in the toe, but not the sides.
So close to a perfect score.
Did the AFT today (Aerobic Fitness Test).
It's a mile and a half run.
I got 13:12.
I could have done better, but I knew it was just practice and a classmate needed encouraging.
We got the rankings today.
Our Squadron is #1 in the group and our Flight is #3
(The Cadet wing is divided into groups. There is only one group for BCT. There are 8 Squads in the group and 36 Flights within all those Squads.)
Friday, July 8, 2005
Stayed up later than normal to clean our room.
We're not supposed to stay up late,
but we have to get everything done.
We have a SAMI tomorrow (Saturday Morning Inspection).
It's supposed to be the toughest inspection there is.
I think we got to bed at 1am.
I don't know for sure because they took our watches away.
Thursday, July 7, 2005
They made me an Element Leader.
I'm responsible for 3rd Element.
I just have to march straight and in step.
should be easy enough.
They told us about the London Bombings at Dinner.
I had a hard time eating after that.
We're craving details.
We know nothing.
Wednesday, July 6, 2005
Tuesday, July 5, 2005
Monday, July 4, 2005
Today is the Fourth of July.
We watched We were soldiers and had a fireworks show.
I cried during the part when the telegrams come.
It hurts to think that one day I might cause that kind of pain.
I'm expecting it to get really tough tomorrow.
I know they'll use this as an excuse to make it harder.
The Flight made our cadre lose their bearing today.
I didn't know what was so funny,
but the cadre were trying so hard not to laugh and couldn't stop themselves,
I started laughing.
fortunately they didn't see me.
Sunday, July 3, 2005
Wow! Today is my birthday.
I didn’t think about that until I entered the date in my journal.
Thankfully no one else knew either. The cadre would have had a little to much fun.
We haven’t been dropped much. Everyone’s kind of disappointed that it’s been so easy this far, but we’re not going to complain. We all secretly wish that it would be a little more challenging so that when it’s over, we can all say “we made it” and be proud of the accomplishment.
Saturday, July 2, 2005
Nothing big today. We’re all waiting to get dropped, but it hasn’t happened yet.
We got shots today. That was a lot of needles.
They also took three vials of blood for testing. There’s a lot of pressure in those veins.
The doctors here are really good I didn’t feel a thing, despite the size of the needle for the vial.
I always wondered what the people in the pictures thought about when they were getting their shots.
The Answer: “It’s that stupid guy with the camera again. Why does he think people would want to see a picture of this?!?!”
Friday, July 1, 2005
Nothing exciting today. We’re supposed to do PC (Physical Conditioning) tomorrow. That should be fun. We’re all wondering when that horrible physical stuff we’ve all heard about is going to start.
The Cadre (the upperclassmen responsible for making our lives miserable) said that they can’t wait for Sunday. They had those evil grins on their faces.
I guess that means something terrible is coming.
Thursday, June 30, 2005
So Ends and begins another chapter in the life of Jason Koller…
With much shouting and noise.
I am no longer an every day citizen of the great United States.
I have dropped to the very bottom of the food chain.
I am no better than the ground I stand on.
I am a Basic at the United States Air Force Academy.
Today is Day 1 of Basic Cadet Training.
Also called BCT, which is pronounced Beast.
For good reason too.
The Challenge Bridge.
Donated by the Class of 1959 (the first graduating Class)
Once you cross it, they own you.
I know the white shirt looks really stupid
We got it at WallMart so my AF shirt wouldn't draw unnecessary attention.
Saturday, February 19, 2005
The projector happened to be on, so we could see what the guy on the computer was doing.
He started to print something adn one of my staff noticed that on of the indicators for the ink cartridge was white.
He said, "Hey, I think you're running out of ink."
I said, "No, that the White Ink cartridge."
"Oh, I didn't know they made those. That's a good idea."
There was an awkward moment of silence,
before the room burst out laughing.
While he was doing this, I stepped out of the class to get some cofee
He asked the staff what one of their visions were.
No one would answer.
Just as I walked in, He asks, "Mr. Koller, I know you've got a vision. Ccome write it on the marker board!"
I proceed to the front of the class and pick up the BLUE marker.
I then ask, "Is it alrght if I use the lingo?"
Then, taking the entire board to do so, I write...
The class continues.
"Mr. Koller has a very large vision...
Thursday, February 17, 2005
The scores are in!
Here they are.
I did: 7
Basket ball throw
I did: 56'
Standing Long jump
I did: 8'1"
I did: 67
Maximum: 65 sec
I did: 61 sec
That's the ast thing I needed for the Academy.
I just have to sit and wait.
Monday, February 14, 2005
Tonight I finished all the requirments for my Billy Mitchell Award.
All I have to do is wait for the paper work to clear nationals.
PT was the last thing I needed.
Here are my scores.
I did: 50
I did: 60
Maximum: 7 min 3 sec
I did: 6 min 46 sec
I did: 37
Paper work should be in Friday