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  • Greetings from Benning (IBOLC)

    I'm getting ready to start Week 4 of IBOLC. I'm counting down the days already. If anyone has any questions, post them here. I'll reply how I can.

    Free time is short here. Out on the range or in the field you get lots of free time waiting, but actually free off time is short after the first two weeks and once you start hitting the field weeks.

    I will say that I've adapted to carrying a standard packing list in my ruck, plus IBA and ACH stuff inside as well as an additional 2 quarts of water and an extra camel back quite well. They denied my request to hire a sherpa though.

    My cadre are pretty good. They are honest and up front. Our ruck marches with all that load are at the air assault pace. Prior to our first four mile ruck our Platoon Trainer said verbatim "Gentlemen, this is going to be a traumatic event for all of you. A lot of weakness is going to come out. Do your best and give it your all and you'll be fine".

    What I dont like and have a hard time with is the grey area of being in between a trainee and an adult. There are times when we're treated like adults/junior officers and in a split second that will change and we're practically back to privates or Officer Candidates again.

    The course is expensive too. Theres a lot of stuff my platoon trainers have mandated we buy. I'm out about $600 - $700 or so and we were told to bring $200 for this stuff.

  • #2
    Re: Greetings from Benning (IBOLC)

    Out of curiosity, what type of gear are they having you guys pick up (out of pocket)?

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    • #3
      Re: Greetings from Benning (IBOLC)

      Originally posted by collk22 View Post
      Out of curiosity, what type of gear are they having you guys pick up (out of pocket)?
      Anything and everything. I'm not going to lie, this aspect was a little annoying.

      Oh and the fact that you were recommended to get a haircut every week. Who does that? Maybe the parents/relatives of someone in the 2-11 owns the barbershop right outside of post.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Greetings from Benning (IBOLC)

        Go in with your buddies and get a set of clippers. $40 well spent at Ft. Benning, when you'd just prefer to be bald anyway.

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        • #5
          Re: Greetings from Benning (IBOLC)

          Originally posted by Polo08816 View Post
          Anything and everything. I'm not going to lie, this aspect was a little annoying.
          Fair enough - anything particularly useful? I don't mind spending money on gear if it is actually makes life easier. I'm quite a few years removed from BOLC these days, so I'm not necessarily current on what's out there anymore.

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          • #6
            Re: Greetings from Benning (IBOLC)

            Sorry, I was in the field again this week.

            The list just grows but I'm sure it's cadre dependent. For awhile we were required to have the entire ranger packing list and carry it all times but the finally wisened up to the fact that not everyone was going or could afford it (international students particularly) and dropped that. We were ordered to buy two sets of shooting gloves with teflon palms, four sets of new (non-issued) eye-pro, two clear, two tinted, at least one, if not two, sets of lightweight boots, particularly nike, new balance or rockys were mentioned by name, two new full sets of ACU's for in garrison only, non-issue knee and elbow pads, etc etc. it just keeps going. I could type for days.

            The biggest thing thats bothering me now is the lack of consistency with standards. The CPT will teach us one thing, then of the other enlisted platoon trainers will tell us its crazy when we do it and teach us another way, then someone else will come along and say thats dumb and give us another way, etc. It continues full circle. They'll set a standard and it changes. I'd normally expect it if we were in that type of environment like OCS but this is just the result of lack of communication.

            Poor planning has been a huge part. For our last two hot meals in the field the cadre didnt follow up on stuff and we got about 70 plates for our (small) company of 120 people. So we had to stand around until someone finished and use their plate over again. We were doing battle drills at different areas and rucking in between them on the hottest day last week and they didnt plan for water. We were all out by the end of the first lane, so they got together a few 5 gallon coolers and had to drive them around all day and we could fill one canteen at a time.

            Its small stuff in a way but those small things are amplified in the field. There are a lot of things I could sit here and cheerlead about and a lot of things that are overwhelmingly negative, but all in all, out of all of it, we're getting the core of course and learning it. I can see why there are some rumors of it being condensed to twelve weeks. I'm positive that it could be done now.

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            • #7
              Re: Greetings from Benning (IBOLC)

              I'm convinced they are getting a commission off IBOLC purchases.

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              • #8
                Re: Greetings from Benning (IBOLC)

                Seems crazy to require you guys to get some of that stuff, especially if you already have it (eye pro, or boots for example). Sorry about the inconsistency; I can understand how frustrating that would be. I consider myself fortunate in the sense that we had a great team way back in the day when I went through EOBC and I didn't have to deal too much with what you described.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Greetings from Benning (IBOLC)

                  Originally posted by Polo08816 View Post
                  Anything and everything. I'm not going to lie, this aspect was a little annoying.

                  Oh and the fact that you were recommended to get a haircut every week. Who does that? Maybe the parents/relatives of someone in the 2-11 owns the barbershop right outside of post.
                  Anybody that doesn't cut their hair twice a week is a dirty hippie.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Greetings from Benning (IBOLC)

                    Hello sir,
                    Where do NG LTs live while at IBOLC?
                    Will you be attending Ranger School? How many NG LTs in your class will be attending Ranger?
                    Thanks,
                    Zexalva

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Greetings from Benning (IBOLC)

                      NG LT's live with the single LT's in a few of the various halls around post. Its basically a private room with a private bathroom, TV, Bed, mini fridge, microwave, cockroaches and all the amenities. You'll spend less than half of your time there staying in your room. Nine out of 16 weeks are in the field.

                      As far as NG LT's attending ranger.. well about 1/4 of in my company is NG and one has orders in hand for Ranger school and he's from PA. The others from PA do not. One had orders from NY but they were canceled. Most of us are just packing up and going home after graduation.

                      If you end up anything like my company and what appears to be most others, your PT will consist of long, quick runs every day, with mondays usually being a sprint about a mile or a mile and a half up the road to doughboy stadium, you'll run all the stadium steps/aisles about five times in circles around the stadium, maybe do a whopping twenty push ups or various exercises in between each lap, and sprint back. The rest of the week will be runs ranging from 3-6 miles at 7-8.5 min miles or so, until everyone is groaning about knee pain and someone has a torn ACL (happened to a couple so far), at which point it will be your weekend, you will rest and repeat.

                      In the field you will run in ACU's and boots and your PT will be running just over two miles at a fast pace.

                      I suggest you work on running before you go. PT the rest of your body in your off time while you're here. In class breaks do pull ups and push ups. Other than being able to run 5 miles really fast, your body will be weaker when you leave here.

                      Ruck marches are a standard packing list, plus your body armor packed and a two quart canteen full of water strapped on your ruck, as well as a full camel back on it, and you'll wear your ACH, bringing it to between 75 and 80 lbs. you do a 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 and 16 mile ruck march.

                      The pace is about a 15 minute mile, so you hit your 12 mile ruck time in 3 hours or less, so its basically between a job and a walk.

                      Make sure you're in shape! It's a party down here, bro!
                      Last edited by show_stopper999; May 7th, 2012, 08:33 PM.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Greetings from Benning (IBOLC)

                        Thanks for the great gouge, sir! I will definitely be working on my running. I am leaving for basic/federal OCS in July and hope to get a IBOLC date in March or April of 2013 (I already have been branched here in CT). I need to work on my sit ups so that I will be able to get the physical fitness badge when I get to training. I'm looking forward to the cockroach roommates!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Greetings from Benning (IBOLC)

                          Originally posted by Polo08816 View Post
                          Oh and the fact that you were recommended to get a haircut every week. Who does that? Maybe the parents/relatives of someone in the 2-11 owns the barbershop right outside of post.
                          This was a requirement for me the entire time I was on active duty, and we had an uniform inspection every Monday morning.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Greetings from Benning (IBOLC)

                            Originally posted by Marine2Guard View Post
                            This was a requirement for me the entire time I was on active duty, and we had an uniform inspection every Monday morning.
                            It was a requirement at IBOLC, but nearly everyone disregarded it as any sane person would do. They would only call you out if your hair was out of control. I'm talking about the clowns that didn't get a haircut for 3+ weeks.

                            For me, a rounded high and tight, 6 in the front and 3 on top, and shaved sides was more than sufficient for 2 weeks at a time.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Greetings from Benning (IBOLC)

                              MOUT Week is done and was by far the most educational and fun week of the course. One week in the classroom then on to Leader Forge I'll start with the BS first and then the good stuff.

                              A few weeks ago we got almost all new cadre and the atmosphere has changed for the worse. Big time. Since then we've had two exams (one of them was major) for stuff we havent had classes on. The CAID exam, which is worth a lot had two huge sections which we havent been taught and wont be taught. Logistics and Signal. About four pages worth of questions. Oh well. Take your best guess. The other was defensive operations. On that test the highest score was an 18 out of 50. I scored a 17. So they gave it a curve and announced we all passed. Most of our classes last about 5 minutes (with 100 powerpoint slides) and are immediately followed by a quiz so there are lots of curves.

                              I've also had an unexploded ordinance thrown at me by cadre. The second incident of the course. I pointed out something in the ground and a cadre member proceeded to explain how the area we were in was an old impact area from WWII up to about twenty years ago and occasionally there are dud bazooka rounds in the ground. He dug it up and threw it at me to "check it out". There was another incident with an 81mm mortar a few weeks before that on the same range. It was also thrown at a student.

                              Our new CPT is never, ever there. When you ask him questions he just says "dont talk to me" and walks away. He's taught one class and he just reads off a script. Our old CPT stopped by and quizzed some of us on classes we allegedly had and left in a fury because nobody knew anything. Last monday the newest Cadre member called up about five students (myself included) out of the blue and told us that basically he was going to find some way to recycle us. No real reason give. I asked for my point break down for the course and he said they dont have them recorded or compiled. Looking back, im pretty sure he had one person specifically in mind and called a bunch of us up so he didnt appear to target one person, but he did try and give me an impossible mission for my graded leadership position.

                              He gave me ten minutes to plan a raid on a compound of five buildings and threw in actual mounted scouts and I had to use them. We had no idea how to use and havent been trained on it, but I made it work. The mission went well enough that he actually told me "Good job, next time I'll just kick you in the face and grade that". That was after he spent the entire planning and maneuver time following me asking me over and over if I was ready to fail my first graded leadership position. I exchanged some words (in a professional manner) with him about motivation through negative reinforcement/threats and how that was how (expletive)'s try to motivate. I passed it though. To the point that some Cadre members were shaking my hand. Plus I made it look cool. They guy who taught us that clearing rooms and buildings was just like Call of Duty was impressed as well.

                              The good... well it's almost over. The coolest part of MOUT week was the surprise combatants inside the buildings. Lots of the Cadre were hiding and didnt have weapons. You'd turn a corner and they'd grab you and put you in a choke hold or fight you. They also set a lot of traps. Despite the new overly negative atmosphere of the cadre, it definitely has some good points.

                              I've learned the most during the OPORD weeks. They **** because to meet our Cadre standards you'll spend 10-20 hours during the week working on them and they are way beyond platoon level, but it pays off. I've passed two of them, so the third one coming up doesnt matter, but I'll try and get a good grade on it. Its a **** shoot. You'll spend twenty hours on an OPORD and you may not even brief it or you may just brief the scheme of maneuver. On the other hand you'll work on it and brief it and they'll want every detail down to how many MRE's the platoon is carrying. I got marked down on one for not having where I thought every individual enemy rifle would be facing and their sectors of fire in an enemy trench.

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