Monday, November 24, 2014

Biloxi Blues III Did Sergeant Greenwald try to kill me?

A couple of days ago I posted about memories of US Army Basic Combat Training. I used an Army video oftheir current obstacle trainiing or at least a version of it filmed .for publicity purposes . The best version I coul do justice to my statement that I believe Sergeant Greenwald tried to kill me shows a different version of the inclining wall than we trainees faced in 1967. Above is what appears to be to the best of my recall an illustration of the wall we each scaled rifle in hand with bayonet affixed.

I followed Greenwald´s instructions and was about to scale the wall when the Company Field First Sergeant appeared and stopped me from making a shish kebab of myself. I know because he dressed Greenwald down then and there  in front of me and several other privates and told him, not me directly, that I could have been killed.

Our training in those days took more risks with the soldiers´lives than depictions of curren ttraining indicate.     

Not only we scaled the taller wall one handed with bayonet affrxed rifle  a barbed wire course at night, with rifles and bayonets, while live machine gun fire flew over our heads.hand. We crawled under the .arbed wire with our bayet affixed rifles cradled in out folded arms in front of us while live machine gun fire whizzed overhead. It was a draftee, you can´t quit and go home all male affair. We were led in macho marching songs that are not heard in today´s BCT.