After 2 and a bit weeks of being stuck in camp and trekking in jungles, I’m finally done with my annual military reservist and I can try to get back to regular civilian life again.

One final group shot before loading up into the trucks

One final (blurry) group shot before loading up into the trucks

This recent in-camp training was what’s known as ATEC stage 2, which is kinda like the final exam for a unit’s operation life. What it involves is going out into the jungle to take part in a series of missions to see if your unit has what it takes to complete mission objectives, survive and win battles, and all that stuff. It’s a big deal for a unit… if you care. And well, most of us don’t.

One week from now, I’m not going to remember what nonsensical rubbish our douchey Commanding Officer said during his “inspirational speeches”, nor am I going to remember the grade we got at the end of our evaluation. I might remember how tiring and mentally draining the missions were, but even now I’m starting to lose interest in that.

What I will definitely remember though, are the other guys in the medical platoon with me. We’re a big mish-mash of various religions, races, and backgrounds, and we all work in completely different industries. A lot of the time, the only thing we have in common is the fact that we’re currently all wearing the same uniform.

But when we’re climbing through the muddy jungles and we get to a difficult obstacle, I know the guy in front of me is going to turn around and help me over it, just as the guy behind me knows that I’ll do the same for him. This camaraderie is the same reason why a bunch of unfit guys who spend most of their time bitching and moaning about being forced to serve in the army will never try to get a medical excuse to avoid going on missions, and we always trek all the way to the end without giving up and dropping out.

Because if you’re not there, someone else has to pick up the slack for you… and nobody’s going to let that happen to anyone on our team.

Me and my Conan-inspired camo-paint, while waiting for the choppers to show up.

Me and my Conan-inspired camo-paint, while waiting for the choppers to show up.

It’s quite a special feeling to be part of a team that looks out for one another like that, with everyone focused on a common goal. I’ve been in some work places with terrible political backstabbing and power-games, and I have seen how devastating that can be for everyone.

I hope that when I find a new job, I will be put into a team as cohesive as this one.

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About Drew

I love videogames, movies, my wife and my dog (in no particular order).

4 responses »

  1. letizia says:

    great photos, very bad-ass 🙂

  2. Mitzie Mee says:

    Welcome back from the jungle:)

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