PT at McKall
by John Crump

I know, I know, the PT pit was lined with broken glass when
you FOGs went through the "last hard class".  But one of my most vivid
memories of Phase I was having to stomp down the frozen glaze over top of the
wood chips in the PT/hand-to-hand pit at McKall.

I remember one day in particular.  We had been sent back to Bragg after
Survival in Phase I cuz it was Thanksgiving.  There was a VERY nice spread
awaiting us at the SF Co.  Everybody ate too much then headed out in search
of beer or anything else to make us numb.  We had to be back at a designated
time on Friday night to get back to McKall.  Everybody reported, stuffed and
way hung over.  On Saturday, at McKall, they woke us up an hour early.  We
were to do a Rucksack Race.  We didn't know the distance.  Just run until you
get to the instructor at the turnaround point them come back.  OK.
And..."the first ten finishers will not have to do PT for the rest of Phase
I".  Well, I heard that, but we had been "mind-fucked" so many times, that I
think no one gave that promise a second thought.

Turns out that I came in #8.  But we had all disregarded the "no PT" thing.
The top finishers had all just done their best, as usual.

Next morning we fall out for PT - stomp, stomp, stomp.  The NCOIC called out
10 names, including "Crump", and says, "drop".  So I drop and start knocking
them out.  Then the NCOIC says, "I told you that the top 10 finishers would
not have to do PT for the rest of Phase I.  Either get the hell outta here or
do PT."

Discretion being the better part of valor, we beat feet. Now you have to
understand that at the time there was enough hot water in the showers at
McKall for about 8 (of 100) guys to get some.  As the top 10 finishers walked
back to our hooches, the pace quickened.  We all knew that at the same time
we had realized that we could have our first hot shower in weeks.  We all
raced into our hooches, then to the showers.  I have to admit that we
violated the creed "Never Fuck Your Buddy" by using up every drop of precious
hot water.  It was wonderful.

Then we went back to our hooches.  As it turns out, a guy in my patrol, Mike
Collette, had finished #1.  He was easily the best guy in our class.  Mike
and I settled back into our fart sacks as the rest of the class had not
returned and the mess hall wasn't opened yet.

Prolly an hour later, the door to the hooch busted open, waking us.  The guys
were VERY pissed.  It had been the worst ruck march ever.  They were throwing
their rucks around, tossing LBEs against the wall, and kicking the bunks.
Mike peeked out of his fart sack.  (It was one of those days when you zip it
up right up to your mouth and can see your breath.)  He says to the mob,
"Hey...goddammit.  Would you guys keep it down?  There are guys trying to
sleep around here."  That was the point when I unassed my fartsack as quick
as I could and made it out the back door.  Mike?  Well, the other guys beat
the crap outta him.  He's a tough MF, but caught up in his fartsack, he was

John C. - Remembering