Saturday, August 13, 2005

Denizens Alert!

Today is another Natal Day celebration for the Admiral of the Castle Argghhh! Moat Fleet.

Happy Birthday, Boquisucio!!!!
...and many happy returns!

After my past recently on the attitudes of some schools regarding the Junior ROTC programs for high school students, Boq provided some interesting commentary on his own experiences in the program as a youth. As a way to mark his Natal celebration, I offer you these remembrances ...

As I stated before, I'm glad to have been a JROTC Cadet. It served me well in gaining self respect, discipline, and leadership traits, which I have carried forward all of this years in the civilian world.

8th grade

For the most part, my high school was just like any other, except that every night I had to shine my brass, and shoes, and prep my uniform for the morning's inspection. Every morning would start with Raising of the Colors / Morning Formation and Inspection. This lasted for half an hour; after which we would fall-out for classes. At noon we would fall-in formation once more and march in units to the Mess Hall... 'nuther 20 minutes formation. For the most part, that was the extent of Martial Activities for the day.

There were few exceptions, as we had Leadership Development Classes once every week. This hour a week, was spent studying military history, citizenship, marching and drilling with Demiled Springfield '03's. Those Springfield 03´s were a beaut. They had the barrel plugged, and the bolt-face soldered-in. Other than that, all mechanisms were operational.

We had an armory in the basement, next to the indoor range. One of my jobs was to clean and lube them prior to our annual inspections. Did a good job, for our school always got the coveted Yellow Star.

10th grade

What I loved the most was qualifying twice as Expert with Small Bore Rifles at the Indoor Range. Ah, the smell of single based propellant going off in the indoor range. Finally, we had two pass-in-reviews per year, at the Parade Grounds/Soccer Field.

For the grand majority of students that was the extent of Toy Soldiering. However I quickly figured out that standing in attention for 50 minutes a day under the Caribbean Sun was no fun at all. For the ambitious amongst us was HQ Company. There, those musically inclined could join The Band. The True Gung-ho could join either the Rangers or the Black Jacks. They would meet every week-end and recreate The Vietnam War at the local jungles and forests.

I first tried out for the Drill Team, but flinging at each other 12-lbs. worth of Ashwood and Steel in the form of WWI rifles was not my cup of tea. But then I found out that the Color Guards would always be on the move; a great plus when the rest of the battalion was forced to stand in rigid attention during the semi-annual parades. The kicker was, that The Color Guard would also be amongst the most called upon to cut classes, as every month there would be a civic activity somewhere in the region requiring the flags to be present. Be it the Rotarians cutting a ribbon downtown, or the Governor of the island giving a speech somewhere.

Of course, we would Raise up, and then Retreat the Colors at the traffic circle every morning and afternoon. More movement and cutting of classes. When I joined at 9th Grade, I first started by escorting the colors either with a sabre, or rifle, then moved up to carrying the school, then the commonwealth flags, and finally the Old Glory itself. During my senior year, I made it to SFC, being in-charge of my little gang of Color Bearers.

Graduation, with proud Mother


Arise, Castle Denizens! Leave Natal Day for Boq greetings here, or at the Castle. I am off to enjoy visiting friends and lovely weather - good cheer to all!!

OOPS - Almost forgot the Present!! Boq - Given your love of language, and mastery of Italian and Latin, I offer a pass to the Vatican Library exhibit. Cheers!


Note that Fusileer6 posted an update on Project Valour IT today, including a link to the new blog for the Project, hosted by Sgt B. Please bookmark it, link it - and spread the word to keep the project rolling!