Females in Combat
Basic Training Tips...
(or How to Come Out of Basic as an E-1)
- If your last name begins with “A”, change it, preferably to something on the low side of the middle of the alphabet. O’adams, O’williams, etc.
- Never, never, never voluntarily fire your weapon. If they try to make you fire it, grab a radio and pretend to be adjusting fire, grab a base-plate and pretend you’re in a mortar section, do anything militarily acceptable to avoid firing your weapon.
- If they still make you fire your weapon, never fire more rounds than the absolute minimum they make you fire. Never, not even one.
- Pay close attention when they show you how to clean your weapon—you might learn how to make it jam. You can’t fire a jammed weapon.
- Never sit on the back row of the bleachers, and never sit on either edge of any row of the bleachers. The first row isn’t good either, but it’s better than the back row or the edges.
- If you are told not to bring something, like a flashlight, to a training session, be sure to bring a good one because it’s sure that you will need it.
- How to pass a Compass Course: Hang around the starting positions and note where the gung-ho teams start. When it’s your team’s turn, head out into the woods just like everybody else. When you’re out of sight, wander over to the finish area. Note where the teams are finishing. If Team A finishes at Post 9, Team B at Post 7, Team C at Post 5, and you are in Team D, then be sure to go back into the woods and come out somewhere near Post 3 before you write 3 on your answer sheet.
- Lines are not lists. Being near the end of a list is good, while being near its beginning is bad. Conversely, being near the end of a line is very bad, while being near (but not quite at) its beginning is the best place to be. (Trust me on this one.)
- Everyone knows not to volunteer for anything. This applies to volunteering information also—never do it. For example, if you are asked whether you took an exam, and you did, then the answer is Yes (Sergeant, Sir, or Ma’am). Saying whether or not you passed that exam is volunteering information for which you weren’t asked.
- If you need a break from training, break your only pair of glasses. While they are making you a new pair, you will want to find someplace that’s cheap, dark, and air-conditioned, and where you can sleep without being disturbed. A movie theater serves quite well.