Not a story of personal witness but one told by one of the most professional and hilarious soldiers I ever had the privilege to serve with.
When I arrived to my first duty station in Nov of 01′ I was given to the entrusted care of 1st platoon who’s plt Sgt had just gotten off the trail a couple of months prior to my existence.
Upon meeting SFC S it was immediately determined this guy probably isn’t going to tolerate a whole lot of sh*t being he has one of those patches on his right breast pocket and wore glasses for the correction of his vision but most likely to read how stupid you were. He was a walking talking TM and had track jacks for hands. Made me feel inferior within the first minute of our conversation. You weren’t going to get anything over him. I was informed I would be on his crew.
SFC S never talked about his time on the trail and I got the impression he wasn’t fond of it. DA selected apparently. There was one time though while waiting our turn to make a run at whatever table we were shooting he decided to ask me about my recent experience at OSUT. He asked me who my DS’s were and he knew a few of them. One in particular he explained to me was a real clown shoe. Totally shattered my perception of that guy.
He told me a story about how one time they made pickup of a group of new pvts from reception and once they were on the hill and were in the front lean and rest the Senior DS asked if anybody there wanted to quit? Said no worries if you do. Said you can go back home. All you have to do is say you wish not to be here. Please stand up at the position of attention if you wish to not train with us for the next few months.
Apparently a few sad saps decided to accept this gracious offer. ” Anybody else.” The DS asked? “No? Last chance. Okay you privates come stand over here because you are all going to go home. All you other privates keep pushing.”
SFC S says another DS drives up to the AO with a flatbed truck with the tarp canopy on the back. Its got the removable sections of metal gate around the flatbed. Anybody who did OSUT at Knox knows about these trucks as you were beat to hell riding in the back.
“Okay privates your ride home is here. Hey battle help these gentleman onto the truck they are going home. Say goodbye you.”
They literally let these kids think it was really going to happen. DS drives the truck away and everything with these quitters in the back all while other privates are getting smoked probably thinking the same thing. They are going home.
Unfortunately the truck returns a bit later and the flap of the canopy goes flying open to reveal to these losers the gig is up. “Welcome home privates, did you think it was that easy? Get your asses off the truck!”
Now how do these privates that made this idiotic decision fall back in formation after wanting to quit day one? Genius way to weed out the trouble in my opinion.