I just got back from the field and have decided that I am in no way cut out for the ARMY. Good thing I joined the NAVY!!! The field is like bare bones camping without any fun. We get up at 5 and go to bed at 11 or 1 am. We work non stop and eat cold, prepackaged IMP meals that were made 4 years ago and look and taste like dog food. We never have any time to brush our hair, or bath so we use baby wipes to keep clean and our fire team partner is with us at all times... our Hootchies (basic tent - think 2 tarps attached together to form a small, small triangle tent) are awful and cold and we spend the entire week outside without any fire to keep warm.
You will all have to excuse me for my grammar as my mind has melted from the stress and lack of sleep. I'll try to list off what happened to us in the field so you can all understand...
Monday we arrived in the field. It was cold, and wet - alternating between raining and pouring all day - we worked hard doing all sorts of missions until about 1 am, meaning we had been awake and running around for 20 hours. It was COLD and we were all on the verge of hypothermia... it sucked big time... Tuesday was better weather wise, I had my assessment for my mission, which I passed - thank god!!!! But we worked hard all day and when we finally went to bed at 11:30 we were woken up at 12:30 with a fake fire alarm and the "bad guys" shooting at everyone in the camp... we all had to jump out of bed, get dressed in full combats with helmet, webbing, rifle etc and try to defend our camp.. then we were hauled out onto the road and screamed at for not doing well enough... GREAT TIMES!!! Wednesday was better still, we had a long day but luckily there was no raid in the night and we had a moment to nap in the afternoon. Thursday was stressful as the people who didn't pass their first attempt had to try again and it was tough to be enthusiastic and energetic as we were all quite worn out. Friday was the 7km rucksack march and obstacle course (affectionately names the DEATH FORCE 5000). The march was awful. The rucksacks were heavy, our boots were giving us blisters and the pace was fast, plus my rifle is getting rather tiresome to carry around... The obstacle course was suppose to be fun. Last week when we ran it we did so with only our combats and helmets, this time we had our rifle and webbing (belt type thing that goes around our waist and holds all sorts of goodies like magazine (think bullets) and canteen etc). Needless to say most of us were injured as it was hard to navigate 10 foot walls and 2 story cargo nets with all the equipment on us. I fell from a 12 foot wall and didn't hurt myself too much, I went over the cargo net and bruised the bejeezes out of my arms and legs, and also managed to slink along a rope suspended 20 ft in the air all without too much trouble.... However, when it came to doing the Tarzan rope I caught my heels on the 4 ft wall and fell on my ankle so I am now hobbling around like an idiot... My entire platoon is wondering who beat me up and my entire body is covered with enormous bruises that are quite disgusting... GREAT TIMES!!!
Now we are all running loose in Victoria trying to relax and prepare for the next phase... scary stuff I tell you!!!!
Alright, I know none of that made any sense but I'll try to re-iterate it sometime when my brain is not shut off.
Thanks for the good thoughts and letters.. As I am back at the base for a week I'll try to write back to everyone that sent letters..
Love you all!!!!
Naval Cadet Spencer (AKA Lady Spencer, aka Linda!!!)