So the LGMT-IT (Leadership General Military Training--Instructional Techniques)
course graduated on Wednesday. They gave me two days off, and I start with
Raven Platoon on Saturday. Raven is a Youth Employment Training program
for First Nations people--kind of a summer camp with a military theme.
We run these kids ages 16-24 through a watered-down, kindler/gentler mini-recruit
course. It should be fun. At the worst, I should have some new Dumb Recruit
© moments for you.
Today Pen and I are going into Victoria for the big Cultural Festival that
they run every year. Lots of food, crafts vendors, and music and dancing
from various cultures around the world. Then we're going on a three hour
sail aboard this wicked cool sail boat, and tonight we'll probably go see
T3. (We watched the first two movies the past two nights just to bone up
on the story.)
Sailing yesterday was great. We took a three-hour tour aboard the Thane--a
fifty-five foot sailboat. The three-hour tour thing made me a bit nervous,
but I checked and there was no one named Gilligan on board so I figured
we were safe. The captain told us Thane was modeled after the Captain Joshua
Slocum's vessel--Spray. Slocum was the first man to circumnavigate the
world solo. Apparently he would wire the papers to tell them what he was
up to, but no one would believe him. I commented that maybe he should have
brought along a witness, but either no one got it, or they just though
I was an idiot and were too polite to laugh.
That happens to me a lot. The other day we were watching an escape artist
do his act on the inner boardwalk. He'd wrapped himself up in about three
hundred turns of saran wrap, and was trying to get out. I said, "On the
bright side, if you don't escape at least you'll stay fresh for days."
Nothing. I wonder if maybe that's why I'm having a hard time selling the
humour in Darkside?
to all my American friends, happy Independance Day!
Tommy Prince Platoon--that's what it's called now, after the most decorated
Canadian Indian....er....American Ind…um…Native Ameri....no, that's not
it....Aboriginal....wait, I've got it....First Nations veteran--is in full
swing now. (Whew! This political correctness bull....er....lingo is tough
to get the hang of.) I'd like to say things are going along smoothly, but---EDIT--Hey!
What the heck?
Oh, right. Sorry. Things are wonderful. The program is working just fine.
The staff is working hard to assimila...train our First Nations youth in
the Canadian military tradition, and blah, blah, blah. How's that for a
Warrant: Did you fall
asleep in weapons class again?
Recruit: I think so.
Warrant: What do you
mean you think so?
Recruit: I closed my
eyes, and when I opened them it was ten minutes later.
Warrant: So, what did
Recruit: How would
I know? I was sleeping.
Today a Master Seaman was making fun of the air force, and more specifically,
the Sea King helicopter. (Granted, even I have to admit the Sea King can
best be described as a thousand whirling parts flying in close formation,
but I'm air force, so it's okay.) As an example, he made reference to a
Sea King that went down in the ocean as it was trying to land on the back
of one of their ships. He pointed out how it floundered in the water for
forty-five minutes before navy personnel rescued its crew, and the ship
finally sank out of sight. To which I replied: "Yeah, but that Sea King
floated for forty-five minutes longer than one of your ships can fly."
Navy people. You have to coddle 'em sometimes.
So we went rappelling on Saturday. It went well. We give them an hour or
two of ground school, and then take them up the tower. At the top we inspect
them to make sure they're rigged properly, then give them the command,
"Ready." They connect up, and on the command, "Position," take up
a position at the edge of the tower. At this point they holler down to
the person on brake, "ONE ON RAPPEL," who hollers back, "ONE ON BELAY."
I had a little trouble convincing one of the female recruits, but after
passing inspection, and hearing the "Position" command, she hesitantly
moved into position.
"I can't don't it, Master Corporal, " she said, shaking like a leaf.
"Sure you can," I told her. "If the Master Seaman can do it, anyone can."
(Okay, that was a little dig at my navy co-workers, but it got a laugh
out of her.) "Just take a deep breath." After she'd taken several I asked
her, "All right, what do you say to the person down below?"
At which point she turned and called out, "I'M NOT COMMING!"
Female Recuit: Can I
speak to you for a moment, Master?
Me: That's Master Corporal,
but I like your attitude.
(By the way, the first
recruit did successfully rappel down the tower.)