Week five has come and gone. As always, the tasks get tougher and the standards increase. It’s a formula we now know well. That doesn’t make it any easier. We have moved on to Mass Formation training. This involves all candidates (the ten of us that remain) and a cadre jumping in one large formation. It’s a nice change of pace from the daily routine of maneuvers with individual debriefs and in-depth critiques. Simply put, the Mass Formations are actually quite a bit of fun. We spend our evenings discussing and imagining what unique formations we’ll do on the next training day. It almost feels like we are skydiving back at our home drop zones. Well, just during the dirt dives and the jump itself. Everything else still hurts !
Some weather rolled in about mid-week putting a serious damper on our training. Naturally the Cadre did not miss a beat. When we can’t jump there are always projects that can be completed. Like digging a pea-gravel pit ten meters wide and one and half feet deep. It started slow with nothing more than hand shovels to dig with. There was no doubt that at the rate we were going it would easily take a week or more to dig the hole. Thankfully a resourceful member of our team managed to make a trade with a local front loader operator. Our hole was dug and ready to be filled by the end of the weather day. We are pretty sure this greatly disappointed our Cadre who seemed to enjoy watching us dig. SFC Bovee in particular! Trust us when we tell you five good idea fairies (our Cadre) standing around telling us how to dig better is no fun at all !
At the end of the week we were surprised by four bus loads of second grade students and their teachers. We spent quite a bit of time interacting with them through packing demonstrations, autograph signings and taking several photos. It was definitely a learning experience for us and the children as well. Our weekend was filled with more tasks than we have ever had. All of this with less people to shoulder the load. Painting projects in the barracks, yard work at the headquarters, equipment repairs and refits. It’s a never ending cycle. Looking forward to week six is a set of mixed thoughts. What can they pile on us next? One more week down, bring on week six !