Field Training

Field Training

The climax of my training will come during the last three weeks, which will be spent in field training. This means that we will camp out, or bivouac, in nature's great open spaces. Perhaps nature is all that the songs and poems claim for it, but it's certainly different, to say the least, from our life in the barracks.

Sleeping on the ground under a pup tent, washing and shaving in cold water, using the good old ground or a stump as a mess table, and having the sun as the only light, is our intorduction to life in the great outdoors.


However, we are here not for comfort, but to learn how to conduct ourselves in bivouac under actual field conditions. Our training is based on the assumption that the enemy is near and our actions must be such as to keep him in ignorance of our location or even our very existence. That means that we must practice all we have ever learned about camouflage and concealment and that we must be constantly prepared to meet his attacks whether they come by air or by land.


In addition to the actual practice we receive in field sanitation, camouflage, concealment, and cover, each unit is busy with many different field problems which teach us how our units would operate in actual engagments with the enemy. For the first time, we are able to see how all the different units in the regiment operate in unison to defeat the enemy. We learn how much each of us is dependent upon the other men in our unit and how it, in turn, is dependent on all other units. It really makes us realize how much real cooperation means and also how much each individual can contribute to the success of the whole group.


When we get back in the barracks and begin reflecting, as we unconciously scratch our chigger bites, we realize how much we've learned and how much we still have to learn to accomplish the thing that we all set our hearts on.

We hope that when our time comes, we will be as worthy of your admiration as those fellows who are carrying the ball over there now.




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