Sunday, June 2, 2013

Military Training Day

     Every Korean men are mandatary to join the military when they become the age of adulthood. Most of them doesn't like the idea of leaving the comfortable civilian pop life and wasting 2 to 3 years in a jail when the only crime they have committed is being born in a war country. Then there are the nut cases like myself who can breeze through that like an unremarkable vacation.
     It's been 3 years since I served my time. I'm still bounded by the military law. I have to go to their training once a year. And if war breaks lose I'll be placed back in the military. And if I refuse either of them I could be in jail for a few years. Every men has that in Korea. But lucky me, I love guns and getting dirty.
     Last friday I had another training. An army base within the city, orders through my university. Most engineering schools went there that day so there were bunch of people I know from the school and hundreds of other faces. About 8 hours we were suppose to be there, I think. And there was a random inspection going on in that base from higher chain of command. And I can see in everyone's eyes how they are not enthusiastic attending any of it. They were slow, sloppy and tired a second they entered the base. But I haven't paid much attention to any of that depressing energy.
     They gave me the gear. A belt with ammo pouches and a helmet, an M16 rifle probably from Vietnam War. Then a battalion saying hi to the commander of the base. My squad sent to indoor history class, then outdoor prone practices, weapon assembly, and a shooting range. Last two years they didn't have prone and assembly, and only volunteers shoots 10 5.56 mm (.223 cal.) rounds. This year they had and everyone shoots, but half the rounds given. Beside that there was no jumping jack, no jogging, no crawling, no camping, no roll over and dodging explosives, no bleeding elbows or breaking knees. That's all morning classes. I didn't complain. I thought it was cute. I just had to keep checking my urge to laugh it out loud because everyone else seemed pretty depressed.
     I remember I use to complain about military chow being so not fruity and unhealthy. But that was when my mom cooked me everything. Now it's been over a year living by myself and that lunch I had there, significant health improvement than what I eat lately. I practically drank that plate and it was flooding with kimchi and rice.
     Afternoon classes gotten more interesting. And I can honestly say lot of people actually enjoyed quite a few of them. Inspection team left while we were having lunch and apparently there were some compliments. So the base was applying complimentary 'take it easy' method for rest of the day. Everyone was celebrating cut down stresses of training, while I was getting excited about new training courses I have never seen before.
     A paintball range with war like ambient sound? But that wasn't a paintball. And that wasn't an ambient sound. Those guns were firing electronic signals and it eliminate signals from vests or helmet trainees were wearing if they hits. And war like sounds were responding to all of it. Amazed-balled-me, I ran all over that simulated field and that was a good day. Those lazy ass trainees had their flank wide open and don't know how to shoot a moving target, not to mention how to shoot while moving. There were 10 members in each team and only 2 of my team members were shot in the final score. I was one of the dead guy, but I waked a lot of the opponent team members out with me. Surrounded by my prices, I couldn't have been more satisfied.
     I just pray North Korean army don't come down here. If a ruthless random guy charging out in a battle can solo half the opponent team like that, an organized tactic can wipe them out like rats in a bucket.
     After that fun bit, my squad was sent on a bit of a hiking to get to another course. During that path I saw C.P.R. training, pop grenade tossing, gas mask. Things I was anticipating but we didn't do none of them because time ran out, for whatever training program this was suppose to be.
     Course we took next was searching the permitter while approaching hostile occupied building. My squad leader froze and panicked when he was assigned as a squad leader all the sudden and he couldn't even order 'move forward'. I gave him 2 seconds and I just took over. I made three two manned groups, spreading wider and faster further we go, assigning where each group to go specifically every turn, one group move to flank the hill and another group finding stuff in a bush (Sounds a bit dirty so far). And that was the objective complete, finding stuff in a bush. We rest a bit and moved on.
     And that was the end of the training day, pretty much. Commander gave a bit more history class and speech, say goodbye, return all gears and weapons, sent home.
     I have a few more years left to do this training although I'll be on military code stand by for few more years even after I'm done. And so far it was easy and short because military acknowledges that I'm in a collage. Otherwise I heard it would have been 3 days training, supposedly more hardcore. But I saw some of them when I was in my basic training camp and they all looked sloppy all the same. I'm sure I can be quite excited about it given enough number of .50 cal I get to shoot. Sadly that never happens. It's just breezing through another day.
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