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Overcoming the Impossible: Story 4574

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January 19, 2017
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It was late fall 2001, and like many days it was equal parts cold and rainy. By this time in our training, our original two drill sergeants had started to fall back as two new ones took over. There was DS D (a man devoid of all personality) and a man I’ll call DS Boston (due to his thick Boston accent). As far as I could tell, to him being a DS was more a job to do than a personality type to be.In other words, he wasn’t capricious when it came to smoking us. When he thought smoking us further wouldn’t be effective, he’d have a heart-to-heart (a “heaht-to-heaht”) with us. There were even times when he would just show up in the barracks at night. Not to train us or mess with us or anything like that. Indeed, I’m reasonably sure that he even showed up drunk once. Sometimes in some ways he could seem casual, perhaps too casual. If a trainee would be casual back, he’d sometimes snap, “sure thing, battle.”Now we’re on our way to pick up our Class A uniforms. We go through the whole boring deal without any issues (well, except where I started singing to myself a song that was on the radio without thinking, and then was made to stand up in front of everyone and keep doing it at full volume).

Then we made our way back to the barracks and hung our Class A uniforms on our bunks, only partially covered by the plastic wrapping. I’ve long since forgotten what we did, but DS Boston made us get into formation behind the barracks, during which time the rain was pouring quite hard.Behind our barracks we had a hill, Hank Hill they called it. It wasn’t all that big, but it was steep enough to use as punishment. “Down the hill go, up the hill go” over and over. All the time we’d spent doing this had destroyed most of the vegetation. On a day of hard rain it was nothing but mud. DS Boston begins with a “down the hill go”.Naturally, as slick as Hank Hill was, it wasn’t always possible to run down or up the hill without falling. Given that this was DS Boston smoking us, some jack ass got the idea to intentionally slide down the hill. Then others followed. We were all covered in mud regardless, but DS Boston hated that he wasn’t being taken seriously.We were made to go back in the barracks and literally “drag [our] muddy asses” (crab walk, in other words) across the barracks (which for us were like two double wide trailers with a latrine sandwiched in the middle). Mud covered the walls, our lockers, our bunks, and the exposed parts of our Class A’s. After everything was sufficiently muddy, we were given exactly 30 minutes to clean everything and get back into fresh uniforms for formation outside.We did not make the 30 minute mark, but the lesson had been learned, and he did not make us do it again as we all expected.No one ever failed to take him seriously again after that.

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