Saturday, July 12, 2014

Joining My Unit

Hey y'all!  This weekend has been a big one for me, because I got to check into my unit and attend Future Soldier Training and battle assembly {the new name for what's popularly known as "drill"} for the first time.  Thursday morning I met my recruiter and we went to check into my unit.  I met with a financial adviser and took care of a bunch of paperwork, then headed downstairs to meet my company's operations NCO.  When he gave me my unit's schedule, I was so excited to find out that we would be having battle assembly this weekend.

Since I'm enlisted in the Army and am getting paid, but haven't been to BCT {Basic Combat Training} or AIT {Advanced Individual Training} yet, I have to attend Future Soldier Training at my recruiting station every Thursday afternoon.  We work towards the goal of becoming as prepared as possible for BCT.  This week was the first time I attended, and it was just PT {Physical Training} in a formation.  I was fortunate because my knowledge and experience from JROTC enabled me to fit right in and understand everything that was going on.

I was so anxious on Thursday night because Friday at 0630 was the check in time for battle assembly.  I live about an hour away from my unit, so I had to be up and ready to go super early.  When I arrived at the Army Reserve Center, I signed in and waited for formation.  I joined second platoon, got my task for the day, and went to work.

Because I haven't been to any training {BCT/AIT} yet and I'm still a Future Soldier, I'm really not qualified to do any real or serious jobs.  My unit had a MUTA-6 this month, which meant that we'd be there Friday, Saturday, and Sunday this weekend, and everyone hard at work on a mission that I still have no idea about.  I did all the work I was assigned and, even though it wasn't glamorous, it was still important.  Although I was initially disappointed with my assignment of KP {kitchen patrol}, I've realized these past two days that ya have to start somewhere.  I may not have got to do anything cool or fun, but I did get to serve my country, and that makes it all worthwhile.  That's why I wanted to join the Army.  Mission accomplished.

It made my day when I was scrubbing the tables down after lunch and a member of my unit walked up to me and told me that he was once a future soldier on KP too and that it was worth it.  He reassured me that it gets better.  I can't wait until my first weekend back at drill after I graduate from AIT, because I hope I meet a Future Solider and can tell him or her the same thing, because I already know that he's completely right.

Plus, I got to meet a lot of incredible people from a unit that I'm proud to call myself a part of.  Showing up for battle assembly at only seventeen years old and without an ACU {Army Combat Uniform} for the first time, I never expected anyone to pay me any attention.  I couldn't have been more wrong.  I got to work with some of the coolest people who told me so many awesome stories about BCT and AIT, genuinely answered all of my thousands and thousands of questions, and treated me like I'd been drilling with them forever.  They showed me around, taught me the basics, and in only two short days became my friends.  I couldn't have asked for a kinder welcome from my fellow soldiers.

I have one more day at drill tomorrow and am truly looking forward to returning.  It's been such a great learning experience for me this far and I know that by working hard and not getting discouraged, I'm setting myself up for success.  It's a privilege to be able to learn from such dedicated soldiers and I can't wait until I truly become one.  I'm shipping for BCT at Ft. Jackson in 345 days, and it will be here before I know it!

Yay for officially becoming a member of 324th ESB!  "Ready anywhere anytime"!


  1. Melissa, YOU ARE AWESOME, Girl. I can't even imagine the excitement you must feel and how much adrenaline is coursing through your veins :) So, so happy for ya and can't wait to tell you in person...

    1. Thank you! Looking forward to seeing you soon :)