Death By Power Point
We spent three days (Oct. 25 - 27) in academic classes -- no doubt necessary for deployment, but so tedious that we started referring to them as "Death by PowerPoint." . We covered the general orders for the Army and the Central Command (CENTCOM), basic first aid, sexual harassment, etc. All said and done, we battled the sleep monster for about eight hours of straight lectures each day.
One day went to refreshing our memory on the first aid tasks the Army originally taught us in basic training. The morning was devoted to classes, the after noon to a series of practical exercises designed to test our knowledge. Hopefully, we'll never have to use what we learned.
Aside from the thrilling sessions of monotone PowerPoint slide regurgitation, time is flying by for the unit. We are constantly busy -- pilots studying aircraft emergency procedures and operational limitations, crew cheifs managing the maintenance of each individual aircraft. We are also starting to pack to depart for Yuma, Ariz., the next stop on our training schedule.
The Battalion held an officer's call at the Ft. Dix club on Tuesday, Oct. 25. Since this was the last task for the day, none of the officers were happy that we had to attend this mandatory "fun" meeting. We were required to wear civilian clothes and catch the bus down to the club. When we arrived, Lt. Col. McMillin, BN CDR, shuttled us into the large ballroom portion of the club. We all sat down and anticipated a long meeting filled with professional devlopment activities or something equally exciting.
To my surprise, Lt. Col. McMillin kept his opening speech short, lasting only long enough for the bartender to pour three pitchers of beer. He complimented the unit on it's progress, presented a couple of gag awards and then directed the officers of the unit to develop handles for each soldier.
Some of the first handles issued were:
"Eclipse": issued to CW3 Phillip Brashear for his enormous head, slang for a big ego, so large it hides the sun when he walks past you.
"Caveman": issued to a First Lieutenant for bringing and eating a Meal Ready to Eat (MRE) in the Officer's Club, a rather nasty form of nutrition compared to the Officer's Club's civilian food.
Overall, this gathering of officers was a lot better than the classes. Several more pitchers of beer arrived and disappeared before we had to catch the last bus back to the barracks. Many of us who were new to the 2/224th AVN were able to meet and get to know some of the veterans, some of whom have more than 20 years of service. It was a great ice breaker after the first week of our preparations.
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