First FTX in Camp Atterbury

Poetic_Mind

Army leadership training in progress...
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Well... this past weekend I did my first FTX for ROTC. Friday morning we left Dayton for Camp Atterbury, IN( AKA Hell on Earth). Once there we immediately went into land nav and did 2 more iterations. One of which was a night land nav. The night one was terrible b/c we were stuck in a large forest in pitch darkness trying to find specific points on a map shooting asmuths(terrain association became uselss even though it worked perfect for the day ones).

The second day we did various lanes in the same forest( Recon, Movement to Point contact, Squad attack, FLRC... all of it was hell). That particular day were in the forest for 10 hours straight getting consumed by the thorny vegetation and fired upon by the OPFOR placed in the area prior to the exercises.

The last day was easy enough. We shot the M-16 all day. My only issue was I never was able to zero in my rifle. Had dead center shots but the last one always was off. I not sure if it was my breathing, trigger pull or just changing sight, but i did fix it near the end. We ended the shooting with a qualification course of 40 targets. I managed to hit 28 of 40, which is passing at least.

We stayed in barracks where we only had about 3 hrs of sleep total both nights there and time from that was taken away b/c of night watch. As far as food, the MRE's were complete shit. The entire fucking weekend i was constipated as hell, some of the MRE's were just plain not edible( the veggy Omlet im particular :p) I really ended up just munching on the snacks that came with the MRE's.

Overall I learned a lot( esp. land nav and shooting). FTX was hell but worth while. We will be doing one more this year and it will be at the same place sometime in March when it is still Winter in Indy, so im quite certain itll be a bit worse.
 
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08steeda

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Only the beginning my friend! Try going to a SERE school or something similar!!!

You need to shoot more! ;-)

Good Luck and keep us posted on your endeavors!!!
 

AWP

Formerly Known as Freefalling
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Take this post and save it. In 4 years this weekend will be a non-event and you'll probably be surprised at how much complaining you've done.

Things are only going to get worse.
 

Centermass

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When you're cold, tired and hungry, and have someone launching an advance on your position to try and kill you and those with you, I guarantee the last thing you will think about is being cold, tired and hungry. Worry more about getting your zero nailed down on your weapon instead of the bill of fare. You're in training to be an officer. Only your soldiers can rat fuck MRE's......(sarcasm)

Like Free and others have said, you're not even out of the gate yet and have a long way to go. Mental toughness in the face of a Veggie Omelet speaks volumes of a mans character.
 

Scotth

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That particular day were in the forest for 10 hours straight getting consumed by the thorny vegetation and fired upon by the OPFOR placed in the area prior to the exercises.

Was it raining? I still remember the DI telling us, "If it ain't raining it ain't training". You will find out as time goes on it's all about attitude. You can let alot of things bother you that you can't change or you can choose to ignore them an drive on with the mission.
 

Poetic_Mind

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Was it raining? I still remember the DI telling us, "If it ain't raining it ain't training". You will find out as time goes on it's all about attitude. You can let alot of things bother you that you can't change or you can choose to ignore them an drive on with the mission.

Lol actually, it was rainy for at least part of the whole operation. I dont mean to really complain. It was shit, but I learned so much from FTX. I hate that I had to really learn everything there though. At our previous lead labs they taught us the stuff we had to know for FTX but we never got to apply it until the FTX, so thats where the real learning was. It was also hard on the MSIII's b/c they did not know what us MSI's knew or didnt know. Nevertheless our particular platoon got our bearings and we suceeding in all of the lanes we were faced with. The Winter FTX will be interesting come early March...
 

LibraryLady

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... The entire fucking weekend i was constipated as hell, some of the MRE's were just plain not edible( the veggy Omlet im particular :p)...

That's not 'constipated as hell', that's just a little irregularity. After you've done a month of shitting every 10 days if you're lucky, then you can talk to us about 'constipated as hell'. Look on the bright side, you didn't have the explosive trots while attempting to dig a cat hole.

... Mental toughness in the face of a Veggie Omelet speaks volumes of a mans character.

Quoted for the truth. Food is fuel. Sometimes it tastes delicious, the rest of time it's just fuel.

"Somewhere a True Believer is training to kill you. He is training with minimal food or water, in austere conditions, training day and night. The only thing clean on him is his weapon and he made his web gear. He doesn't worry about what workout to do - his ruck weighs what it weighs, his runs end when the enemy stops chasing him. This True Believer is not concerned about 'how hard it is;' he knows either he wins or dies. He doesn't go home at 17:00, he is home. He knows only The Cause. Still want to quit?"

NousDefionsDoc from www.professionalsoldiers.com


LL
 

AWP

Formerly Known as Freefalling
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I hate that I had to really learn everything there though. At our previous lead labs they taught us the stuff we had to know for FTX but we never got to apply it until the FTX, so thats where the real learning was. It was also hard on the MSIII's b/c they did not know what us MSI's knew or didnt know.

You're "young" in the Army so I can't beat you up too bad, but I don't think you're getting the big picture here.

The learning IS in the field. You can sand table it, talk about it, butcher-block it, walk through it in a parking lot or field (and I personally like this method for learning TTPs, especially for new troops), but to really learn it you have to get out there where visibility is reduced, you're uncomfortable, you're unsure of what is going on.....

PLUS, you and the others are ultimately in a leadership school, an assessment and selection process for a commission. Your MSIII's have to learn how to deal with guys like you...because what do you think they'll encounter at a unit when they are a 2LT? As a 2LT do you think you'll have all of the answers, that you won't be confronted with something you're unfamiliar with?

This may not make sense to you now, not fully at least, but it has a purpose. From your description I think you're taking it all too literally, the trees are obscuring your view of the forest.
 

RetPara

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In your worst nightmare.....
Son... we'll put aside the fact your from Ohio... we can discuss that later...

Much of what has been said already in this thread is dead on the money. You are learning how to think critically and make life or death decisions while in God awful physical circumstances. The upper classmen leading you are learning how to lead and teach in those same circumstances.

The ROTC instructors are grading all of you all the time whether you or they realize it or not. Someday their lives, their friends lives, or even the lives of family members can depend on the decision you make after you haven't slept for well over two days, can't remember when the last meal you had was, in 35 degree weather with rain and high winds.

If this was easy to do, the millions of dollars our nation invests in this annually would not be needed and we wouldn't bother. It takes 2-3 years minimum for a young soldier to hit their full stride as an effective soldier. We raise and groom young would be officers for YEARS. We may trust an 18yo with driving a tank. If he breaks the tank, it merely costs money to fix. If a young officer makes a mistake; people can be hurt or die.

You have chosen to take a path less traveled. It is less traveled for a reason....

I recommend a book... I gave it to every young officer that I ever raised.... it's 'Starship Troopers' by Robert Heinlein. You may have already read it. If so you need to read it at least twice more. Your first read was for entertainment. Your second read was to critically examine how the main character transitions. The third time; look for the philosophy of leadership the RAH puts forth. The writer was a Naval Academy graduate and was a Naval officer. So he did have education and training to speak of.

You have a great resource of experience, education, and knowledge here. Don't hesitate to ask the stupidest or most uncomfortable of questions. Many of us have probably already asked that question and give an interesting number of permutable responses.

Remember.... every great General or Admiral started as a 2LT or Ensign....

Good luck....

RP
 

0699

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...

I recommend a book... I gave it to every young officer that I ever raised.... it's 'Starship Troopers' by Robert Heinlein. You may have already read it. If so you need to read it at least twice more. Your first read was for entertainment. Your second read was to critically examine how the main character transitions. The third time; look for the philosophy of leadership the RAH puts forth. The writer was a Naval Academy graduate and was a Naval officer. So he did have education and training to speak of.

...

RP

I think I read ST about once a year while I was on AD. And everytime I read it I picked up something new or saw something from a different perspective.



Or maybe I'm just slow. :D
 

Totentanz

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PLUS, you and the others are ultimately in a leadership school, an assessment and selection process for a commission. Your MSIII's have to learn how to deal with guys like you...because what do you think they'll encounter at a unit when they are a 2LT? As a 2LT do you think you'll have all of the answers, that you won't be confronted with something you're unfamiliar with?

To add on to this... you're not the only one getting trained. Those MSIII's have to go through their own training, and that means that they need troops. Guess where you fit into that picture... ;)

Some days you're large and in charge, some days you just gotta be joe, and roll with the punches that come with having a leader-in-training calling the shots.
 

Poetic_Mind

Army leadership training in progress...
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To add on to this... you're not the only one getting trained. Those MSIII's have to go through their own training, and that means that they need troops. Guess where you fit into that picture... ;)

Some days you're large and in charge, some days you just gotta be joe, and roll with the punches that come with having a leader-in-training calling the shots.

Well... I understood right away the FTX was for the 3's just as it was for us 2's and 1's. In fact, the FTX may be for the 3's more than us soley because they needs to acquire lots of leadershipe exp from the FTX's for LDAC, which is what the FTX's are centered around from the get go.

I really have no issue with the 3's being in charge. I look to them as mentors, and have looked up to them so much more after FTX, so I know how low I am down the totem pole.
 
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