What's Happening



November 28th

Just two days and I'll be an official Armor officer. 


This "news" is over a week old by now, but my good buddy Jason got married last weekend.  I had just gotten out of the field and had to drive from Knox to Hattiesburg, MS, but it was definitely worth the trip and I'm glad he made me a part of it. 

Jason, Jessica, and the rest of the wedding party.


Welcome to the Army, Mrs. Hillman.


Erika flew to San Antonio with me for Thanksgiving and even though it wasn't the most orthodox Turkey day you've ever seen, it was great to be home.

When I wasn't being put to work helping move into the new house or sitting around doing normal holiday nothingness I was at the movie theatre and saw both Rent and Jarhead

Jarhead was, in my opinion, an excellent movie.  If you want to know the honest-to-God-truth about the emotions a very young man experiences when he joins the military, go see this movie.  I also liked it because when I get to the Syrian border in August I'll be doing the mounted version of what Swofford and his STA buddies did in that movie.  Two thumbs up for this flick.

Rent was, also in my opinion, a huge pile of garbage.  The transition from Broadway to the Silver Screen was horrible and if not for my sister and girlfriend there with me I would have left 20 minutes into it.  Don't waste your money.


After MOBC graduation my buddy Stuart Sparker and I worked a pretty sweet drug deal so that, instead of mowing lawns and raking leaves for the next month while we're in holdover waiting on SLC to start, we'll be working with CPT Smith and his cadre that run the SORO phase of MOBC.  That means we get to help train MOBC students in the classes behind us and help the cadre teach them about FOB operations, dismounted/mounted patrols, MOUT operations, and all the other SORO stuff I mentioned a few weeks ago.  Definitely looking forward to it.


That's all for now.  Pictures from Thanksgiving are coming soon.

Go see Jarhead.




November 22nd

Lots to talk about, but I'll be brief. 

For all intents and purposes we are now finished with the instructional portion of Mounted Officer Basic Course here at Fort Knox.  We had our culminating field training exercise (FTX) otherwise known as The Gauntlet and despite the heat, tornado warnings, torrential rains, and snow flurries we had a pretty decent time and learned a lot.

The funny part about this picture is that it was taken on the first day of the FTX.  Earlier that morning a few of us wanted to start a pool of money that would go to the first person to have to "break track".  The only person against the idea?  Yeah, our buddy Nick, the one who's tank had to be towed back to the maintenance pad.

The view out the center periscope of the driver's hatch.


No vegetation and 2 inches of rain in one night can make for one muddy mess. 


Blue 1 (Me), Green 1 (Andrew Rinehart), Gold 1 (Joe Palumbo), and Recon 1 (Stuart Sparker).  We were the 4 hand-picked platoon leaders for the final company mission.  Within 15 minutes of making enemy contact we destroyed the opposing platoons and only lost 2 of our own 10 tanks. 


We've been at the wash racks the last few days cleaning all the mud from the tanks and after Turkey Day we start out processing.  I'll still be here for Scout Leaders Course until the end of January, but after that I'm headed to 3rd PLT, Alpha Troop at Ft. Richardson.

Some bad news is that NOBODY from Ft. Knox is going to Ranger School anytime soon so that's no good, but I'll get there someday.


Here is that missing picture I mentioned in my November 7th update.  It's of me in the first few moments after we rolled in and secured the area during the SORO exercise a few weeks ago. 

I love this job.


I found out my unit at Ft. Richardson is slated to deploy in August and we're going to Australia for a month in July to train up just prior to going overseas.  More to follow on all that when I get details.


I found out I will be receiving the Draper Award for Leadership Excellence at our MOBC graduation ceremony.  There's only one recipient in each class that comes through here so I guess I've got that going for me, which is nice.





November 7th

(I had to take this part down for Army security reasons.)


All in all it was a great weekend and when I get the pictures taken of me from my buddies I'll put them up. 

We just came off a field exercise and tomorrow morning we’re headed right back out for our final evaluation otherwise known as “The Gauntlet.”  It's a 10 day exercise that puts together all the different phases we've gone through and I've heard it's going to be a helluva lot of fun.  I'll have pictures and stories to tell when I get back. 

Oh yeah, one more thing.  The Cincinnati Bengals are now 7-2 and Army beat Air Force this weekend.





November 1st

I went skydiving this weekend.  It was super-sweet.  My buddies Chris Scogin, Paul Rickmeyer, and Chris Johnson had their very first jumps and had a great great great great time.


(I had to take this part down for Army security reasons.)


Anyway, we're learning quite a bit here and I still love it.  We've got a 12 mile ruck march tomorrow morning followed by a full day of learning more SORO stuff.  I'll tell you all about it when I get a chance.


I have the greatest girlfriend in the world and my mother sent me a Halloween card from Kuwait.  How cool is that?






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