14 November 2014

Rites of Passage Behind-the-Scenes: Training at Military Schools

Training at military schools--reality vs. the DMA Playlist here--songs featured in book, smoke shows, etc.

You guys, training in military schools is no joke. To be fair, I went to a military university, and not all schools are the same, but I would imagine they all are somewhat similar in their training offers.

At my school, Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force were all represented (this is not the case at all military schools). Cadets chose which branch they would do training with, thus determining the "difficulty level" of the physical training they would endure. The "toughest" cadets did Marine Corps PT or a specific group within the Army group, the Ranger PT group.

If you couldn't hack any of those, meaning you couldn't pass the physical fitness portion of the test, you'd be stuck in remedial PT until you tested out. Remedial PT cadets trained more days than the branches did, but it was a lot of getting you up to par so you could go into a branch for training.

A "typical" day in my Corps of Cadets looked like this:

5:30am--PT on PT days, wake up to iron uniform on non PT days (we'd wake earlier to iron on the days we had to train)
7:00am--Morning Formation and then breakfast.

8:00-4:00--Classes and study time--we were not allowed to sleep during the day--our doors had to be propped open if we were in there, so many times instead of studying we would sneak to the chapel to rest/sleep, just like Sam and her friends in the book!

4:00-6:00pm--studying/room inspection/company training time

7:00pm--Company time/room inspection/smoke shows (I'll talk more about these in a later behind-the scenes post), marching, etc.
8:00-10:00pm Mandatory Study Hall
10:00-11:00pm Room cleaning
11:00pm--Lights Out (flashlights on to finish cleaning/homework/whatever needs to be done)

On some nights we'd get a lot less sleep, especially if motivational marches were done (I figure we did these about once a month).

On Saturday's we'd sleep in about an hour longer and then do company training all morning. Saturday afternoon and Sundays were ours to study, sleep in the chapel, or watch movies in the library.

Military school is definitely not for the faint of heart, but I actually enjoyed the schedule. I do well when my days are filled with things to do. The more of a schedule I have, the more things I can get done. Maybe that's why being a work-at-home writer is a bit of a struggle for me. I need to find more things required of me throughout the day!

Remember, ask questions in the comments and I'll be happy to answer them!


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