Whew! What a day today was!
Woke up early (what's new?!) and went to formation. We piled onto buses which took us to a land navigation site on Fort Jackson (St. Lowes?). We had a tasty breakfast at the field which was awesome! We spent the entire morning splitting up into teams and conducting land navigation. This is where squads use a compass and map to plot points and find markers that are hidden in the woods. The key is to plot the points as accurately as possible, then walking precisely where the compass directs. A few inches in the wrong direction could eventually take the team hundreds of yards away from the markers. This is close to what happened with our first marker. We missed the first one by about 100 yards or so. The next two were pretty good though! So we definitely figured it out pretty quick!
We had MREs for lunch (Meals Ready to Eat). A lot of people complain about these - but so far I don't have any real problems with them. It's fun to open the bag and see what kind of "snacks" and dessert are in there! I had some sort of egg omelet which wasn't too bad. The granola cereal included was amazing though!
Most of the afternoon was comprised of WTT training and testing - (that is "Warrior Task Training"). Several stations were setup in the field which would test us on various information that we had learned over the past few weeks. Today was the "training" day, so we could visit the stations, learn about what we would be tested on, then "test" the following day. However, because we had enough time (and because I had studied a lot already), I was able to "test" on almost every station today! Some of these tests included: reading a topographical map, identifying features on a map, using a compass, using a gas mask, setting up and using an Army radio, using the phonetic alphabet, first aid, managing an airway, etc. I rather enjoyed these tests!
After all was said and done, we had another hot dinner, then waited until the sun was down before beginning our land navigation. This was the same thing as day land nav, except no light (go figure)! It was pretty fun walking through the woods, looking for our markers, and counting our paces along the way! We managed to hit all of our points almost dead-on!
After getting back to the site, we had to wait for the last couple of groups (who got lost) to find their way back before we could go home! I didn't actually get to the hotel until after midnight!
I had to be up really early the next day as well....it was crazy!
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