Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The End

Well that's it, that's all - I m fini with the basic training aspect of my military career. The goodbyes were awful, there were tears - a lot of them - and more tears. In the end Jamie and I were able to get off base and off the island. Our facebook status' are all filled with sad messages, and we are all suffering from disconnect and reintegration back into regular society. I have a million pics to post, sadly I am stuck in a hotel room in Kelowna and have no desire to go through the 500 or so that I've accumulated so you will all have to wait a few days or so.

As I mentioned before I am in Kelowna so I should be home tomorrow. Funny thing is that I have no home - I think I've secured something in the way of accommodation for the time being and perhaps something for the near future but who knows where I will end up. As for my employment - that is also up in the air. I thought I would be working at the ship's office for the 8 months before my next phase of training in Quebec City, but I've just received an email asking me if I would like to go back to Victoria for an 8 month stint with the Port Security Unit. I also tried to look into moving to the east, Ottawa or Quebec City with the military or even just with a good job.

So, now I have a huge decision to make, and I need to make it fast - crap! I hate this all so very much. If anyone out there has a nice paying job preferably in Ottawa or Quebec City let me know - I'm game for almost anything!

Alright, I'm off to play more on facebook. We can catch up later.
Jamie and I in the hall outside my room - we were told to be out there at a specific time and much to our surprise we waited there for a good 1/2 an hour before anything happened. But, hey that's the military's motto - "Hurry Up and Wait" so we did. (We are wearing our greens - aka our combats)
Jamie and I in the field - I am sitting on my cot (this was the 3rd time in the field so we slept in mod tents on cots unlike the first two times where we slept in Hootchies in the dirt) And yes, that is my rifle.
I am giving it a bath after the field (I named it the QE II) - they told us to take it into the shower but I thought to take it one step further.... Gehlert almost killed me when she saw this.... hahahahaha!
The aforementioned Gehlert and I on grad day in the hallway - we look so fancy! (we are wearing our DEUs )

Davis and I in the hall before grad - he looks so daper!
Jamie and I at the Gun room after the grad parade - Acting Sub Lieutenants at last!!!
In the Navy at last!!!! Jamie and I on the sweep deck the HMCS NANAIMO for our day sail - see our fat stripes on our shoulders... wicked! (here we are wearing our Naval Combats)

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Week in the Field

Well, I did it!!! I managed to get my ass in gear and work through the most grueling, scariest, most nerve wracking weeks of my life... I passed my final assessment in this damn course I'm on. The week started on Monday with the departure for the "field"... basically we packed up our rucksacks, got on a bus, drove into the woods and hunkered down for a week of hell. We were up at 5, running 3 hours taskings(missions) for 2 days in preparation for the assessment taskings starting on Wednesday, eating random things out of these god awful things called IMPs - individual meal packs... stuff made 4 years ago and vacuum packed into foil packets.. with some extras like fruit drink crystals, chocolate bars (in the lunches), compacted bread, peanut butter and cookies or crackers... so I pretty much ate chocolate bars, crackers and canned fruit for the entire week.... then it was off to bed nearish midnight. After were were all asleep and recovering from our long long day we got to do this wonderful thing called a "stand - to" where someone (people caleld Fed Platoon who attack us during our taskings) comes and attacks your camp with crazy amounts of blank ammo and the ENTIRE camp has to get up and defend it for an hour or so... it was great! (I'm only being half sarcastic)

Wednesday came and our assessments began - we had 16 members in our group and each one had a 3 hour task to lead. Fun thing was that we had to create a complete set (15 steps) of written orders (that were marked) to support our leadership and get briefed from the Officer in Command - this was also very scary and realistic! So Wednesday came and went, 7 members got their turn to lead and I became a lackey for the day, I shot when I was told to, screamed "Yes IC (stands for in charge, that's what we refered to them as) a lot... and then ran around the woods attacking people, looking for downed pilots, conducting reconnaissance missions, setting up camp security, setting up observation posts etc etc etc... it was tough work. Then it was Thursday and it was my turn (you didn't know it was your turn until 2 hours prior). My mission was search and rescue and I was scared to hell that I could fail and then get kicked off the course... as this was it, your entire military career hinged on this one bloody task... anyhoo, I managed to draw a really funny assessor and got through it with a really good mark... After me we had about 6 more missions left plus 2 re- tests, and 1 re-re-test (if you failed they gave you 2 more chances to pass). Needless to say with 3 hours of sleep (if we were lucky) and crazy amounts of running around in full gear with rifles and helmets shooting at people all day we were all quite tired.

Yesterday (Saturday) came and we were on our 13km rucksack march. Now for those of you who don't know what a rucksack is... it is a giant backpack full of gear that has several things strapped to it... like an air mattress and a bag containing 2 sleeping bags, a ground sheet, a bivy bag (the waterproof bag that your sleeping bags go into) and a wash basin shoved into it. In any case, it weighs a lot.. like 40-50 lbs and we had to wear this, and our combats plus webbing (a belt thingy that has several packs attached and a set of cutlery and your magazine pouches(think bullets) and your water bottle) and your helmet and your rifle (the picture to the left is the rucksack without the sleeping bag and air mattess attachement which would be on the underside of it)... while wearing combat boots. The march started at 6 am and ended about 8:26... I was within the front 12 people for the entire thing and was ridiculously, even deliriously happy when I finished... my feet took quite a beating but I can still walk and am still smiling.... so I guess it isn't all bad!

Graduation parade is next Saturday and my mom and sister plus some others are on their way out to see me receive my Queen's Commission... I can't hardly WAIT!!!

I'll be home at the end of July so we'll all have to celebrate then!!!