Inspired by this thread on reddit I decided to write about one of my many memories of basic training.
It’s been a few years, but this happened at Fort Benning, GA.
Every training cycle has a few kids who aren’t cut out for the military, but we had a kid that was exceptionally bad. He was so overweight I don’t know how he made it past screening. His personal hygiene was bad enough that his scalp turned green during reception. Hell, be barely even made it through reception without quitting - he kept talking about how he hated it so much but didn’t have a choice about being there. Turns out his dad was a retired Vietnam-era Infantry 1SG who got tired of his lazy ass and issued some not-so-veiled threats about what he would do to him if he didn’t go make a man of himself.
Needless to say, his brief time at the Benning School for Boys was not pleasant. His lack of enthusiasm for PT and all around shitty attitude made him a favorite of the Drill Sergeants. I can’t remember when he quit, but at some point he decided to take the crazy route out, got placed on suicide watch and got to enjoy the good life while we kept suffering. Or so we thought. The Drill Sergeants were not done with him yet.
Fast forward a couple weeks and we are doing skill testing for a phase change. I’m in a fire team and we are doing some variation of sentry testing - challenge/password, how to detain someone, prisoner searching, etc. Our team gets set up in the empty bay and the Drill Sergeant gets the show on the road. Lo and behold, this fat booger-eater waddles into the room as our first test - complete with the suicide watch roadguard vest and missing boot laces. We give the challenge and he fails - so we do what we are supposed to do, complete with extremely uncomfortable positions and searches. Drill Sergeant sends him out and does round two. It’s him again. This time he passes. He did this for every single fire team in the company.
This in itself is kind of a dick move by the Drill Sergeants - having to be treated like a prisoner by your former peers while you rot slowly in the hell that is Fort Benning. The icing on the cake, however, were the challenges and passwords. They were all names of junk food. Every. Single. One.
To this day I remember pointing my rubber duck at this kid and screaming “BUTTERFINGER” at him, only to hear his tiny, pathetically broken voice squeak back “twinkie”.
Other random things - my battle buddy got sent to the hospital and went AWOL from there. For the rest of the cycle I got to be That Guy Who Lost His Battle Buddy. And I also happened to be in the same platoon as this kid and this guy. The former was a piece of shit then, and the latter happened to sleep in the bunk next to me.
Life is full of crazy.