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Monday, October 31, 2005


On Halloween we got to Trick-R-Treat. However, we first had to earn our candy. The morning began with competitive log PT. We divided into groups, and each group had a task to perform involving a log. One group had to roll the log as quickly as possible all the way across the PT field. Another group had to carry their log the same distance, moving as quickly as possible. Yet another group...

After we got our blood pumping, we got to do LINES training (basically Ju-Jitsu). So far we had been practicing in 1-on-1 groups. This time we lined up with 10 attackers against one defender and hit the defender full-speed (one after the other), with about 3 seconds between attacks. It was fun! Some of us got a little bumped up, but like they say - you can't learn to win a fight unless you practice fighting. Mall-style, no-one-gets-sued type martial arts doesn't cut it if you actually might fight someone who is out to kill you.

It had been several days since we had mail call. In retrospect, I'm sure this was intentional. Mail call happened outside, at night, on a grassy area in front of the company. There was quite a few boxes of mail waiting, including many packages with Halloween candy. We began a new mail call tradition today. The Drill Sergeant picked up a letter, read out the name of the recipient, and the entire class echoed that name. Then the class began a countdown from 5 to 1. On 1, the Drill Sergeant let the mail fall to the ground. If it hit the ground, the recipient had to knock out 20 pushups. It was a lot of fun! We even had a few diving catches (as well as dive-and-misses!).

No food is allowed in the barracks. However, there was plenty of candy in the many packages that were handed out. The solution? 5 minutes of trick-or-treat, followed by 5 minutes to eat everything we got. This was a test of our ability to function as a team. A total of 10 minutes is PLENTY if you organze yourself, but not nearly enough if everyone acts as an individual. The Drill Sergeants had us line up single-file in front of those who had received candy and start to pick out what we want from each of them. This strategy would fail, as at most 1/3 of the class would make it through the line in time. We quickly reorganized, and had those at the front of the line take large hands full of candy, and then move out to distribute to those at the back of the line. We had our treats passed out in 3 minutes flat, and had plenty of time to enjoy our Halloween treat.

Teamwork is a theme that repeated itself constantly in AIT. Learn teamwork - and learn how to take charge and organize a team - and you will do well.


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