Day 1 JFTX

15:30-16:30-Travel to USAFA. Four people in a car, four sea bags, and four ruck sacks made for a….close experience. 😉 The whole way up one of the other cadets was trying to invent ways to get out of the FTX. I wasn’t quite sure why. But I found out…. 🙂

18:30-First formation. You may wonder what we did for the two hours in between arriving and our first formation…Well, I would answer if I knew the answer. It involved a variety of tasks such as put your kevlars on, take your kevlars off, put your sea bags here, put your sea bags there, getting flashlights for the flashlight I was issued the day before which apparently didn’t have batteries, etc. 🙂

19:30- 00:01-Yes, 00:01 is a time that actually exists. Fascinating….Anyway, night land navigation. Armed with reflective PT belts, red lens flashlights, neck gators (courtesy of fellow cadet, definite lifesaver), a compass, a protractor, and a map, I embarked into the cold Colorado Springs wilderness and found….one of the six points I was supposed to find. I hope cadets improve this skill prior to commissioning and eventually protecting the country. Just a thought. 🙂 After several hours of marching around in the dark, I set off to find something else. My tent. Since I put my gear in the tent approximately five hours ago in the light and it was now pitch dark and all ten tents looked the same….Well, let’s just say I had to walk into three tents and read the names on several gear bags before I found mine. Now I get why we label our junk. I went to bed in my sleeping bag with the thought in my head that I had 3 hours to sleep. One hour of fire watch and a 04:30 wake up call. It turned out to be closer to about one hour of sleep after the freezing temperatures and lack of Poly-pro cold weather gear made my whole body yell at me all night-I mean morning-to get the heck more gear on or go stinking find a heater. 🙂

Lessons so far: Make a mental note of which tent I’m sleeping in when I first stow my gear.

Master night land navigation.

Always have cold weather gear in, um, cold weather. Even if it’s not issued, find it!

Never expect the first order to match the second order.

Enjoy every silly thing that happens. You will enjoy life a lot….


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