Volunteering in the Army

Discussion in 'Competition Shooting' started by sarge_257, Dec 19, 2010.

  1. sarge_257

    sarge_257 New Member

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    This happened to Sarge way back at the beginning of his career in the Army. And it was to influence him the rest of his life.
    When Sarge turned 19 yrs of age and was looking at the draft letter to come any day, he did what any red blooded boy would do, he enlisted.
    Now his Dad had some advice for his only son, one of which was: "Don't ever volunteer for anything in the Army"
    And during basic training they asked for volunteers with a driver license and Sarge just laughed. His Dad had already clued him in on that one. Those who jumped up and volunteered had visions of driving a truck and not having to hoof it with a heavy pack all day. Imagine their dismay when they found themselves on the handles of a wheel barrel hauling coal to the barracks funaces.
    And then after basic training, on the bulletin board was posted this request for volunteers.
    WANTED
    VOLUNTEERS FOR THE COMPANY PISTOL TEAM.
    sign below:
    Now Sarge scratched his head and tried to figure out how that could be anything but shooting a pistol? "Maybe it is a caulking gun and I will end up on a ladder" he thought. "Naw they hire out maintenance here at the post"
    Well in spite of his better convictions he signed up for the Company Pistol Team.
    And it turned out to be just that. What a lark! Instead of being on KP or Duty Driver rosters he was excused because he had practice sessions. All he had to do was draw a pistol and some ammo and go shooting. Sarge was in HOG Heaven.
    But all good things come to an end and after 6 mo the final match was over and Sarge went back to being on the duty rosters.
    Here Sarge was, washing dishes in the Mess hall. In comes the Duty Driver. "Sarge, the CO (Company Commander) wants you over to the Orderly Room right now, and he wants you in Class A's!" said the breathless soldier.
    "OHHH MY GODDD, what did I do now?" thought Sarge.
    Sarge had never even been in the Orderly Room much less talked to the CO. And if he wanted him in Class A's it must be a Court Martial!
    Hopping out of the Jeep at the barracks Sarge hurried and changed his grease and water stained fatigues. Then he double timed it to the Orderly Room.
    The CQ (Charge of Quarters) was waiting for him and ushered him into the old man's office.
    "PFC (Private First Class) Sarge reporting as directed, SIR" He rattled off, standing stiffly at attention.
    The Company Commander waved a salute his way and told him "At ease Sarge, have you been into any trouble?"
    Well that was a leading question. What should Sarge confess to. This didn't seem like the time to baring one's sins, especially if the CO didn't know about any of them.
    "Nothing that I can think of, SIR" Sarge came back.
    "Well I got this request from the Battalion Commander, General Sumerset, and he wants both of us over at the Battalion Headquarters in one hour."
    Sarge gulped and pressed his knees together so they wouldn't start shaking. The last thing he needed was to look guilty.
    "YES SIR" Sarge answered.
    So they got in the CO's staff car and to Headquarters they went.
    It was a very very quiet ride.
    At the door the CO again queried Sarge about anything he could think of that might make a 2 Star General want to see him.
    Sarge denied everything.
    As they reached the conference room the General's Aide grabbed them and hurried them into the room and sat them down. Sarge looked around and found that there was a half a dozen soldiers sitting in here and all with their Company Officers accompaning them.
    "Well" thought Sarge, "at least I wasn't the only one that did something wrong."
    The minutes ticked by. The thought hit Sarge that the other people in this room were all behind him, and they might be the firing squad! He was starting to panic!
    Finally the ringing of footsteps came marching down the hall. The Aid jumped up and in his best falsetto voice yelled "ATTENTION"
    "Rats too late to run" thought Sarge.
    As the thunder of everyone snapping to attention died away the General entered the room with his commanding stride.
    "As you were, as you were," he said as he strode to the podium.
    "I would like to welcome you men and commend you on a good performance yadda yadda yadda yadda........ he went on for about 15 minutes and then folded his paper and the Aide called attention again, as he was heading for the door. No doubt for another important engagement.
    The Company Commander looked at Sarge. Sarge looked back at the CO.
    "I still don't know what this is all about?" he said to Sarge.
    Then the Aide walked down the rows and passed out something to everyone. When he got to Sarge he handed him a Trophy. Then quickly passed to the next person before Sarge could even figure out if he should say thank you. Sarge showed it to the CO. After reading the inscription he looked Sarge in the eye and said, "First place huh? Maybe you will make a soldier after all. Congratulation CORPORAL Sarge. Which meant to Sarge that not only had he won his first only trophy in his life but he was now an E-4 and would not have to do KP any more. YIPPPEEEE!
    Of course Sarge being a well trained soldier did not yell and jump up and dance a victory dance, he merely smiled and said "Thank you sir. I appreciate your confidence in me."
    And that was how Sarge got involved in the shooting sports and went on to win the highest award the Army gives. Out of the 750,000 soldiers that have tried for the medal only about 700 of them have earned the GOLD EXCELLENCE IN COMPETITION award. That happened to Sarge 15 years latter at the Army National Pistol Winston Wilson Matches at Camp Robinson, Ark. And it also made him come in 4th in the nation in the NRA 3 gun pistol match. Damn that was a good match.
    So maybe it was a good idea to volunteer, at least for that one time.
    Sarge
     
  2. nhsuper44

    nhsuper44 New Member

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    Thanks for another great story !! Terry.
     

  3. mach1337

    mach1337 New Member

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    Sarge im in the navy. you know what navy stands for" Never Again Volunteer Yourself" yeah lol.
    Congratulations on your achievement. that is one in a million (well really close).
    When/if the zombies invade im bringin the pistols to your place!
     
  4. Neophyte1

    Neophyte1 New Member

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    Congratulations

    sarge_257: Sir, Congratulations for the "Gold Medal".

    me no volunteer hahaha, me was the "latrene queen'' for a week:) me no volunteer at ''hell's kitchen'' mid-nite shift, lolol for 2 weeks, lolol What fun your stories are in bringing back some of my silly.
     
  5. sarge_257

    sarge_257 New Member

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    I have lived in my neighborhood since 1977 and there are some NRA nembers on our street. The have all agreed that my bunker will be the rallying place if the the big cloud ever goes up. And there are other non-members that have mentioned they would be hard on the NRA neighbors heels too. LOL
    My Dad and Mom were very proud of my accomplishments in the Army and every time I went back home to Sioux City, my Dad would get a pistol match set up between me and the local city cops. (My Uncle was on the force) It was just too easy, they only practiced maybe twice a year.
    Sarge
    Sarge
     
  6. Bigdog57

    Bigdog57 New Member

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    In my Navy Daze, I got some pretty good duties as a 'volunteer'. One was Midnight Cleaning Detail between classes at Great Mistakes, Ill. We were a group of four young squids sweeping, waxing and buffing the floors of the Electronics "A" School at night. If we were there past 2AM, it was a hard night. First I had to make morning muster with the classes, before they marched off to school. Then my Assistant CC let me sleep in. He'd pop his head in my barracks room - "Seaman Bigdog!" "Present!" I'd answer from my bunk. "Okay, get back to sleep!"
    Ah, those were the days...... :D

    Later on board ship, I volunteered for the Security Force (we had NO Marines), Electronic Test Equipment PO, Duty Divisional Damage Control PO. Kept me busy on those long boring voyages.
     
  7. mach1337

    mach1337 New Member

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    Bigdog funny you say that. Im a Fc so i know what you mean a out waxin the floors in the a-school building. i was on drill team so i had no duty days. was sweet untill i went to dahlgren.
     
  8. Yunus

    Yunus New Member

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    Best advice my dad ever gave me and it was in regards to joining the military. He said

    "Don't be first, don't be last and DON'T volunteer!"

    I've volunteered a few times and had it work out well but never like your experience.
     
  9. ironsights

    ironsights New Member

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    Great Stories, I found it was not smart to volunteer in the Marine Corp, and in boot camp it was certain that you were doomed to heavy lifting and sweating.
    After returning from Vietnam in 1969, I had 18 months left on my enlistment and oh no I volunteered for the wrestling team at Treasure Island in the San Francisco Bay. It turned out to be the great Zoom, we wore sweats and ran and wrestled 4 days a week and on Thursday or Friday we traveled to Navy or MC bases in the Bay area and wrestled and were then given a 48-72 hour pass. I then volunteered for the baseball team which traveled the coast playing every third day, great duty and a bump up to E5. Every once in a while the gunny or the LT would try to scare us with shipping the poor hitters or wrestlers to Nam, but since I already serve there....... it was a great Zoom.
     
  10. sarge_257

    sarge_257 New Member

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    volunteering

    I didn't know they had sports teams like that in the service. I guess I was so wrapped up in shooting that I never checked the Military Newspaper.
    Sarge
     
  11. AleksiR

    AleksiR New Member

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    I got the same advice as Yunus from many of my friends before I started my service, never be first, never be last.

    I did volunteer many times though. During the basic training I was usually one of the first to volunteer since I really wanted to go to the reserve officer school and my brother told me this would help me getting there (showing you were motivated etc.). When the first stage of NCO course started I was starting to feel a bit unmotivated ´cos I thought I wasn't doing so great but eventually was chosen to go to the ROS (or RUK, Reserviupseerikoulu in finnish) and really loved my time there.
     
  12. ironsights

    ironsights New Member

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    Sarge,
    you had a shooting team! the MC, had a great baseball team most reservist who were playing pro ball and got in the MC resevre to avoid the army's 2 year hitch. The greatest Zoom was the Band, even in bootcamp they disappered for days on end and never stood inspection or went to swim classes or rope tying BS. Yes, volunteering was good for them,not for 03's
     
  13. sarge_257

    sarge_257 New Member

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    volunteering

    I almost put in to be a recruiter but then the chance to shoot thousands of the Governments ammo stole me away.(we had 5000 rds of semi-wad 45acp, 5000 rounds of .38 spl wad cutters, 5000 rds of 45acp 230 gr hardball and as much .22LR as we wanted, issued to us every year.))
    Sarge
     
  14. MrGrumpy89

    MrGrumpy89 Member

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  15. hydrashok

    hydrashok New Member

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    Great story, and thank you for your service!
     
  16. sarge_257

    sarge_257 New Member

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    Shooting handguns

    Here is why I stayed in the Army for 24 yrs.

    After my 6 yrs with the Army I took a break in service and went to college. It was all paid for by the GI Bill and I got a check for living expenses every month. (I was married and had 2 boys by that time) After I graduated and got a civilian job, a old Sargeant talked me into joning the Army National Guard. I found out later he just wanted me on his pistol team which he was the team coach. That was fine with me because instead of going on 2 weeks summer training we went to 2 weeks of pistol matches. We checked out Army sedans and stayed at very nice hotels with all our meals paid and with expense money added on to our TDY check. When we went to the Nationals (if we won the reginals we got to go to the Nationals), then we flew to the Nationals. Got rental vehicles and again all expenses paid. Now when time came around for me to reenlist, I was waiting at the door. Who could resist or turn down using some of the finest guns made, and 5000 rds per pistol (3 centerfire pistols per team member and one .22 Target pistol) just for practice every year. I still have some of that practice ammo cause I quickly learned that I could just shoot 500 rds and then reload the cases for more than enough practice. You would have to beat me with a ball bat to get me to turn away from all those perks.
    Of course reupping all the time did get me enlisted long enough to get caught up in the Desert Storm expedition. Which gained me a few good whacks from the Lt. in my life. (Lt. Linda) But what the heck, I was a good shot anyway.
    Sarge