King of Battle

Our family and friends now began to wonder when the training would ever end. I began to wonder whether they would ever get the lingo straight.

When DH arrived in Oklahoma, several friends announced to assembled groups that my husband was “deployed” to Oklahoma, in “basic training” in Oklahoma, or “stationed” in Oklahoma. A few others expressed relief that he was obviously not going to Iraq since he was already “deployed to Oklahoma.”

Hmmm…well, at least they are thinking of us!

As I patiently explained each time, DH went to Basic in Georgia to become a soldier, OCS in Georgia to become an officer, and Field Artillery Officer Basic Course (FAOBC) to learn to be a Field Artillery Officer. This remains a blur to everyone to this day.

DH’s trip to Oklahoma was relatively uneventful although he did enjoy the passing scenery of religious billboards.

As DH had about a week before FAOBC classes began, he started some research on a topic of historical military interest and perhaps modern relevance- something about Athenian Democracy that I hope he will publish one day.

He also purchased and set-up a new computer. Without me around to handle all things electronic, he has become somewhat fascinated with technology.

Once OBC began, DH learned all about the “King of Battle,” including the various types of artillery. Family members were invited to join a field training exercise involving a call for fire from Howitzers. The booming artillery was a big hit for the kids.

Predictably, DH acquitted himself quite well on both the physical and mental challenges. For his first physical fitness test, Marc beat his previous high score and earned a 295 out of 300! Always searching for new challenges, and perhaps spurred on by this accomplishment, DH elected to do pre-Ranger physical training.

Ranger training prepares soldiers for special operations, although many Rangers are in regular units. Ranger training is nine weeks of some of the most demanding work possible. The soldiers are flown all over the US for jungle, mountain, and desert field exercises. To prepare and select officers for Ranger training, the Field Artillery branch requires pre-Ranger training during Officer Basic Course.

Completing pre-Ranger training would qualify DH for Ranger school but not require him to elect Ranger training.

As the FAOBC students were now actual officers, they had a lot more personal space and time. DH found an apartment off-post since I would be joining him once the school year ended.

When he was not in class or completing homework, DH had some free time to join his friends for dinners and movies. While this made it a little tougher for us to be apart, he deserved this break after all the hard work of OCS.

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