Ground Week "SOLE"

Ground Week, Tower Week, Jump Week.
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Ground Week "SOLE"

Post by GTP »

The early 70's were still an interesting time in our society. Viet Nam was the major news item each evening, Richard Nixon was in his first term, Spiro Agnew had not yet been caught and was still the VP and campus "unrest" was gaining more media attention. Being in uniform was not exactly popular but new phrases for old words were beginning to take shape. Gay was changing from a happy person to a homosexual, coke no longer just a soft drink and soul was music, food and a culture of African Americans.

October 1971 Ground Week: Monday was a holiday so Ground Week didn't start until Tuesday. The OIC (or Ground Week Commander--I don't know the "official" title) was Captain Bob Howard. The PT test was Tuesday morning and then the training started.

On day two, Wednesday, our platoon was "sized" for the run. If you were shorter than the person in front of you, you moved up. Being all of 5' 7" on a good day, I ended up at the front and the run started. About 1/2 way thru the three laps, I was just running along and completely lost concentration--I got out of step. The Black Hat ran me to the rear of the formation. At 5' 7" and the rear of the formation meant I didn't just run, I had to almost sprint just to stay up. Lesson learned--I never got out of step in any run again.

Either Thursday or Friday, we were "sized" and began the morning run of three laps again. This was in the day of running in boots but it was no big deal then. I went to college in Atlanta and we would run late in the afternoons in the old Atlanta Staduim parking lot so running in boots on asphalt was no big deal. As we were finishing the second lap, everything normal, I looked to my right and an Armor Officer, about the same height as me, was starting to have some problems. He would throw his head back and then it would drop forward; he would drop back and almost get run over by the person behind him and then speed up. It looked like there was no way he could make the last lap. A PFC was on his right and he grabbed the Armor Officer's right arm; I grabbed his left arm and we kept on running. At the time, we were probably about 25 meters or more behind the platoon in front of us.

The Black Hat leading the run noticed what we were doing about a third of the way into the final lap. He told us to get our hands off and let him make it on his own. And, he began picking up the pace. As we came around the last turn and started getting toward the end of the run, we were just about to run up the heels of the platoon in front of us. I also was about to learn another lesson--Do you know that when someone is running and then falls flat on their face on asphalt, the sound they make really is a SPLAT?

The young Armor Officer couldn't make it any further and fell face first making the SPLAT sound as he hit the asphalt. Then, the cussing started and people behind him began tripping over, stepping on and otherwise stomping on him while trying to keep up with the platoon.

We finished the run and then had to wait a few minutes for a Med Evac chopper to come in and pick him up. As the chopper was leaving, the Black Hats decided this young Armor Officer sure had gotten a


RS 7-72

US Army Infantry Jun 71 - Jan 81
United States Army Ranger Association

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Tater Nuts
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Re: Ground Week "SOLE"

Post by Tater Nuts »

A sole man.
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Re: Ground Week "SOLE"

Post by Ranger Bill »

You're right, a man falling face first on the asphalt does make a "splat" sound. Reminds me of Ranger School, first week, I think. It hadn't rained enough to keep the mud in the low crawl pit soupy enough to fully submerge, so the friendly RI folks were nice enough to water it for us. Anyway, after the low crawl through the mud, we'd have the pleasure of the log climb. Needless to say, it's pretty slippery and gets increasingly worse as more and more men go up, over and down. One guy falls from the top, lands head first and lays unconscious. Word was he broke his back. RI shouts out "fuckin' pussy. Get this fuck'in pussy outta here. " Anyway, that's how I remember it more than 40 years later, and I'm sticking to my story.
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