BOLC flew by! On December 1st the class of 18-181 graduated and we all became AMEDD certified Army Officers. However, most of us have another 2-3 weeks here in San Antonio because we still have to do a track for our specific specialty.
The first four weeks of BOLC consisted of the classroom portion where we learned about basic aspects of the Army. During this phase we had to pass a physical fitness test, listen to a lot of briefs, do some group projects, take a mid-term/final exam. As expected, this portion of BOLC was death by power point and an overload of information. Wouldn’t have it any other way.
The next three weeks of BOLC consisted of the Field Training Exercise (FTX). The FTX is where you get to go out and put what you know to the test. I was really surprised at how nice our little FOB (Forward Operating Base…AKA Camp) was. Not only did our tents have AC and heat but we had showers that were available to us EVERY NIGHT and 2 hot meals a day. I felt like we were staying in the freaking Marriott of FOBs. While we were in the field we had to complete the following tasks:
Combatives familiarization. Dissemble/reassemble, perform a functions check and qualify on the M9 and M16. Day and night land navigation. Load and unload causalities into a Field Litter Ambulance. Gas Chamber (This was my third year in a row.. I think I’m good with gas chambers for now on). Simulate Role I-III Care. Litter obstacle course. 4 mile ruck march. Field Leaders Reaction Course (FLRC) and probably other things that I have already forgotten about
My favorite thing about the field was the final week where we got to simulate the roles of care. The roles of care begin with the casualty on the battlefield and ends in hospitals located within the continental United States and other safe havens. I really enjoyed going through each phase and learning about what makes each phase tick. During our Role I simulation I got to be a causality that was evacuated to a higher level of care by a MEDEVAC helicopter. I have been trying to go for a ride in a Black Hawk for at least 3 years now so it really was the highlight of my week.
The other highlight of the field was simply the members of my Platoon. I feel like I got so lucky to have people in my platoon that were educated, experienced, driven, motivated, positive, and supportive. They really pushed me to work a little harder and be a little better. Our platoon motto was “To the pit of misery… Dilly Dilly!” Yes, I know.. That is the saying on the Bud Light commercials but if you have ever been to an Army training then you know that you can be completely miserable at times so we lovingly refereed to it as the pit of misery. It was pretty funny how the simple phrase of “Dilly Dilly” could get you through a difficult task. Our platoon was able to really rally together and ended up wining the title of Honor Platoon. I really look forward to getting to work with some of those amazing people again sometime in the future.
If you have any additional questions about AMEDD BOLC or my experience with it, leave me a comment.
Special thank you to 2LT John Grady for the awesome video of our class.