October 16′ Army NG Drill: APFT and Chill

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This October 2016 drill overall was one of the most relaxed drills I’ve had in a while. It was a two day drill and we started with the annual APFT (Army Physical Fitness Test) my whole sub section passed, which is awesome. I don’t have to worry about my officers breathing down my neck about it. I did really well scoring a 280/300. CrossFit has really helped maintain my fitness as I was able to run a sub 14min two mile which puts my run time 4th in our company.
After the APFT we did much of nothing. This year we’re having a winter annual training up north, so we was going to go over CBRNE raid and disposal scenarios. But it rained all day Saturday after the APFT and Sunday and the leadership didn’t want to get everything dirty since we will be leaving in December for annual training. The air assault infantry already called dibs on the drill hall, so we just basically sat around in the barracks studying our RECON pamphlets and did gave out information for our plane tickets.

Next month is a MUTA 8 drill (4 days) and it should be good one. We’re going to range to qualify with our individual’s weapons, so we have more time for field operations for annual training. Then we pack everything up for the C130 ride to winter wonderland. It’s already snowing there just waiting for us southerners. Thank god we don’t have to sleep in the field!

And sorry mom I couldn’t travel back and be with you for your 60th birthday weekend. Hopefully, we can go to beach next time around!

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Start of annual training. 12,600 Rounds of .50cal Ammo!

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12,600 rounds.

Today, I was assigned to draw the ammo that we’re going to shoot for the duration of our two weeks of annual training. I was surprised to see the amount of .50cal ammo! 12,600 round and this is for our company alone. The CBRNE recon platoon I’m in has been given 7,000 of these rounds. Our LT said between battle drills and everything else we will most likely shoot it all…. It’s going to be a really fun AT!

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Keeping track of everything at Ft. Hood.

Whenever I’m not in the field training, I’ll be here keeping track of every vehicle in our company that’s on Ft. Hood.

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January Drill: Recon operations, live fire & range time.

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As I promised you guys, here’s a blog about what exactly happens during my drill weekends. This drill weekend was a MUTA 8 drill. MUTA’s is how we get paid for our weekend drills. One MUTA represents a half of day, so MUTA 8 would be a four day drill.

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*”Hurry up and wait” Army’s truest motto.

This is really my first post about what I do in the Army National Guard, so let me give you guys a little bit of my background. My MOS is 74D: CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and nuclear) Specialist. I’ve been with my new unit for about 4 months now and I love it. My previous unit I was the only CBRN soldier and my mission was to assist the commander in the event of an CBRN attack. There’s not really a threat and definitely being in the guard I didn’t get to really do my job at all. On occasions they would let me to teach a class to keep everybody else in out battalion up to date. When I moved to Austin, Tx a headquarters company had it’s own CBRN reconnaissance platoon. I was really lucky to be able to get slotted into this unit. I just made my E5 and I didn’t think they would have an E5 CBRN slot open, but they did! Now I’m working with 30 other soldiers that have the same MOS. Our platoon purpose is to work in small groups and be the eyes and ears for our battalion

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*CBRN Stryker Reconnaissance Vehicle

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*Remote Weapon System interface

This drill weather conditions were less than favorable. Most of the time, the temperature was in the 40s-50s degrees Fahrenheit with light rain all through out the day. The purpose for us to drill four days instead of two was to give us more time to conduct actual recon training in the field without having to try to compress and rush trying to do it in two days. 0500 Thursday morning we packed our stuff up and left to be in the field for 3 nights. Thursday we arrived at a mock FOB and we would set up shop. Pretty much during out the day we trained on dismount operations, reacting to contact, ambushes, and did a dry run for a live fire exercise that we would do Saturday evening. Friday was pretty much the same except this time we added CBRN elements into the mix. Friday night we would do familiarization training using the M2 browning 50cal machine gun with our remote weapon station. The RWS allows us to engage the enemy without having having to man the weapon manually. Saturday we did our live fire exercise. I wished I could have recorded that event, but for obvious reasons I can’t. Sunday we went to the range and shot all the ammo we had left over the weekend.

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Our commander was really impress with the efficiency and our work rate during the drill. It really makes it easier when you trained with motivated men and women in our platoon. There’s was little to no whiny about the weather. Overall, a great drill in the books. Can’t wait till next month’s drill weekend!

PS: I work for the greatest boss ever, Dr. Bennett!

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-JiNX
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Military Service Tradition

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( I’m able to wear my late grandfather’s nomex flight suit after losing 41lbs!)

This photo was taken when Jamie and I went to see my parents for thanksgiving. It’s an old nomex flight suit! Seeing this and putting it on took me down memory lane. Memories of me cleaning off the graves of past love ones. Some graves dating back to World War 1. Then there’s myself and six other of my cousins that currently serving today. As my ETS date draws near I find myself wanting to become the first air force fighter pilot in my family. I have the science degree for it. Just got to check in with a local recruiter. I don’t really know the opportunities that the Air National Guard offers.

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(It’s a size too small…. and supply still haven’t fixed it….)

People wonder did I feel obligated to join because of my family history. No. For me, joining was to be apart of something bigger than myself and I wanted an adventure. More like a life calling than anything else. I wish we still have the family records of those served during WW1 and after, but after Landry died, nobody seems to know where the records are located. If we ever find them, I’ll be sure to share. Until then, later.

-JiNX
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Get JiNXED #9: Reenlistment Decision

If you didn’t know, I’m a soldier in the Texas Army National Guard, current rank E5/SGT. I have a little more than a year left on my current contract. Overall, I love the guard, but I’m still leaning towards of not reenlisting. I joined the guard to be apart of something bigger than myself and the education. My educational goals have been met, but I still love being apart of the guard. Let’s look at my current options.

Reenlist: When this contract is all said and done I will have served 6yrs. If I do decide do reenlist, most likely it will be on another 6×2 contract. Basically, I’m looking at it as if I do reenlist I might as well make it a career. I think it would be kind of crazy for me to have 12yrs in and not to do 8 more years to so I can retire. Also, I would switch to the officer side. I was tested again and I achieved the 110 GT score needed to become an officer. My leadership say I have the tools to become an excellent officer, but of course they’re not going to tell you otherwise if they think you would be a horrible one. What it all comes down to is: ETS or 14yrs as a officer.

ETS: Also known as getting the fuck out. Doing medical research, I feel like that I am contributing to something bigger than myself. While serving you will sacrifice a lot to serve this great country. You can miss important dates like birthdays, the birth of your own child, family members weddings and many more. Deployments can put a lot of strain on your family. I can live comfortable with this job I have. I can even afford grad school by myself if I choose to go back. With that in mind, I’m leaning more to getting out. I don’t want my family to be worried sick about me going off to fight a war anymore. I want to be there for those important events like my child first word, steps, seeing them off to elementary school and everything that comes with being a parent one day.

Bonus option? Air Guard Pilot: I’ve flirted with this idea many of times. I have a science degree, good medical standing and the asvab score and it was something I fantasized about when I was a kid. That dream has kind of faded as I grew older, but now that I know that’s its a realistic goal the itch has returned. I would have to go to a recruiter and get all the details.

Three options. Not an easy choice to make at the moment, but I have a year to sit down and think what I want out of life when it comes to this issue. At the end of the day, I’m sure I will be happy with my decision.

-JiNX
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Vets’ PTSD Counseling Was Canceled for “Mental Illness Awareness Week”

A former 31B: Military Police soldier was headed into her local VA earlier this month for a regular appointment to find ways to cope with her PTSD learned that her and other vets’ sessions has been canceled. Why you ask? The staff was attending an speech for Mental Illness Awareness Week.

Maj. Leslie Haines, now an Army reservist was told “The session had been on the books for month, so that the staffers could earn continuing education credits.” Haines would later set up a make up session with her counselor, and she’s filed a grievance with the VA over how the original session got canceled.

JiNX thoughts: This is really fucking sad and pathetic. What’s bad is that I’m not surprised at all. A lot of my friends and family are getting out with multiple deployments underneath their belt and waiting ridiculous long times to get the care that they need. I still have a year left, but reading stuff like this doesn’t make me wanna reenlist until they can effectively fix this system. No way this should have happened. Glad they didn’t try and pull this off for National Suicide Prevention Day.

 

– JiNX

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