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comment by violinist
violinist  ·  107 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: [Trip Report] Combat Field Training 2017

Good on you, that trip looks like both a lot of fun and pretty exhausting! A few questions- Hubski regulars may already know some of the answers, so forgive me if I ask things you’ve already answered somewhere else.

How many miles of “rucking” did you do most days? How big was the group? When you didn’t build a hooch, did you sleep in a bivy, in a sleeping bag, or just out in the open? How many in your group?

And a couple of general questions. What are you studying at Westpoint? Is it a general study track for becoming an officer, or something specific like pre-medic or engineering? Pardon my ignorance, I don’t really know how it works there.

And good for you being finished with the trip - sounds like it’s a relief to be back in the front country.




nowaypablo  ·  107 days ago  ·  link  ·  

It was hard to keep track of distances. Some mornings back at camp we had to wake up and ruck 6 or 7 miles for some graded events. In the field, we usually didn't have more than 3 movements a day of around 3km. The most we moved at once was an unknown distance of about 4 hours at night when the pointman was unable to negotiate a river crossing.

During field training exercises we operated as a platoon on the highest level, about 45 people including 4 squad leaders (rising juniors at WP) 1 platoon sergeant (junior) and 1 platoon leader (senior). Ideally, I would sleep with a sleeping bag inside my bivy. In reality, I wrapped myself up in poncho on the line and did not sleep :( If it rained, which it did almost every night in the field except for one, I huddled next to my buddy on the line and we did our best to preserve warmth under a space blanket, which is a plastic blanket designed to trap heat.

I'm majoring in Economics and trying to fit a Stats minor in my schedule at the moment. I'll graduate in 2020 with a minimum 5-year service requirement, beginning as a 2nd Lieutenant and ending roughly at Captain. I hope to leave after my minimum and hop into a master's degree and a career in finance.

Thanks for asking! I hate talking about it in person with friends because I feel like a giant douche. At the same time it's so much going on at once that I feel like I need to talk about it just to center myself!

snoodog  ·  105 days ago  ·  link  ·  

How do you keep your sanity and not make mistakes on no sleep. Is that something that you can manage or do you just end up making mistakes because of it and dealing with them as they come? I get tunnel focus pretty quickly during sleep deprivation, and memory goes to shit as well do you just learn to deal with that?

nowaypablo  ·  105 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Helps to keep moving and have a task on hand. You only really feel tired once you stop moving. If you're not moving, keeping your body preoccupied somehow (I like to throw a handful of sunflower seeds in my mouth or some chewing tobacco if you hate yourself) helps you stay awake and focused.

The problem is we spent a lot of time laying down in the dirt, not moving for hours looking down the sight a rifle and fighting with ourselves to stay awake. That's when a buddy comes in handy, a lot. But there were times when I spent an hour or two in a state of neither really being awake nor asleep. It definitely sucks.

In reality the best thing you can do is get your work done thoroughly and complete your task so you can finally go to sleep. You can have all the caffeine you can find to buy yourself time, but you better have a good reason for depriving yourself of sleep, and hope that reason is a clear-cut mission you can accomplish soon.

Long story longer I don't have an answer for your question cause there really isn't one, you just have to learn to succeed in that state of mind :P