For some reason, I expected that my upcoming Army vacation – Basic Non-Commissioned Officer’s Course (BNCOC) Phase 2 – would be more or less a reprise of my last few Army schools. Going to class every day, doing a little Army stuff here and there, but mostly left to our own devices. Sure, being at Fort Gordon for 12-16 weeks sucks, but I figured at least I could do a little off-season bike riding and catch up on my video games, reading, and drumming.
Then I made the mistake of watching this video on Youtube:
It’s a slideshow from a BNCOC class from 2008, but I assume the setup is pretty much the same. Waking up at 0430, PT every day, class, followed by 2 hours (!) of cleanup details, plus what I assume to be CQ duty at Signal Regiment HQ. As I watched, I shaded from despair to righteous anger. I’m an E-6 in the United States Army! The National Guard! The Signal Corps, for God’s sake! We’re supposed to be the smart ones! I’m going to have to buff floors and clean the chrome corner-protectors on the walls at a headquarters building, at the ripe old age of 30? I didn’t go warrant officer in an attempt to avoid this exact type of ass-hattery, and yet, here we go! And a six-day FTX tacked on to the end? “Cover me while I program this router!”
I calmed down considerably today, and realized that for the majority of the class (who will be active duty soldiers), this type of activity will be more familiar. In fact, for them, it may be a vacation of sorts. For this National Guard Signal soldier, though, it’ll be a return to the strict structure of the “real Army” that I thought I’d never see again, a structure that quite frankly doesn’t exist in the Guard (at least, not around here).