I was at Fort Benning Georgia in August 1988 to attend jump school. I had done my basic training here four years earlier with Sgt. Smith who would be my black hat true instructor for airborne school. I was standing in formation at five in the morning. It was cold now, but Georgia has hot, humid daytime temperatures that were draining mentally and physically for a student from Northern California. I knew I wanted to be here even though there would be physical and mental stresses, challenges and the possibility of serious Injury. The students would be weeded out at every point. I did not want it to happen to me. During my four years in the Army, I learned that I like to be an independent, resourceful, goal oriented problem solver. In the infantry, I had to obey the orders and not think for myself. Uniformity in everything was demanded.
I had to pass jump school to attend Special Forces school where I had a slot waiting for me. I wanted to be a Special Forces ambassador in uniform so I could represent my country abroad. Special Forces trains a host nations military by teaching it essential skills. I wanted as many overseas assignments as I could get. My respect for Special Forces and my desire to be part of this elite group gave me my motivation to continue and never give up. I wanted to be in one of America’s best units.
As I was waiting in formation for physical training to start, I expected the session would last for about half an hour. As I started the jumping jacks, sit-ups and push-ups. The session kept going for a very long time. I had no idea when it would end. There were five instructors who kept yelling at our platoon of 25 men. They ridiculed and hara...
... middle of paper ...
...at they cut down the trees to recover the parachutes.
NOTE TO SELF TALK ABOUT GRADULATION THE AIRBORNE WALK PINNING OF THE SILVER WINGS.
After all my jumps in as many countries and different types of aircrafts I have jumped
I can’t not forget that moment. Ever. I look back at my beginnings at Fort Benning Georgia were I started my airborne training and went on to Fort Bragg North Carolina for the special forces qualification course. Not only do I have airborne brothers but I have Special Forces brothers throughout the world.
Physical training where is especially challenging because we had members of seal team four training with us to get there’s they had just graduated from there SEAL school and could run five minute miles all day and night even though I was in good shape is still kick my butt. The normal pace for running at any Army school is a 6 ½ minute mile.
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