Navy Story: El Ratoncito

On a gloomy day, I was brought back to weirder times. It was the summer of 2000. I had been in boot camp for a few weeks at least. The vaccine related crud had passed through. We were cleared to be put into a quasi moronic exercise regiment, (both PT and punitive). I did my best to dodge the ire of our drill instructors, but it would come through on the back of an ill-operator.

This ill operator was a dude we called “Sweet Pea”. Sweet Pea was 120 lbs and a pipsqueak sounding dude. He was jovial and had the patriotic bullshit that enveloped us all. He had dreams and like many others, thought he would be something like the commercials showed us. But it was not to be.

My boot camp division had a rough start. We had many people sent out of our division. We lost one due to drugs. We had one wash up due to actual mental issues. We had one sent home due to pregnancy. Another was a dickhead. The people that were left ended up doing an unholy amount of pushups for collective crimes and screwups. On occasion, we got punished for other people’s blatant f*ckups. It was often forgiven if it was just a one off punishment. But we had one person who made it happen more than once, which rubs me the wrong way, and that person was Sweet Pea.

Sweet Pea was also a crying type, out in the open. (This was something to do in private and when we weren’t in our open bay getting put through the ringer). He wasn’t pulling his weight and we were getting punished for it. It pissed me off to the point that I slid over and kicked him one decent time. (Against the rules, considering you aren’t supposed to touch another recruit).

Sweet Pea turned rat real quick and yelled to our RDC (instructor) that I kicked him. He had already been crying and blubbering. He made it our problem. I got yelled at and made to to do more pushups. I survived but it turned my opinion of Sweet Pea sour. I didn’t lift a finger to help him.

Apparently, I wasn’t the only one who got pissed at him. After a few days, Sweet Pea touted that he was going home to his girlfriend. He was under the impression that he was going to a transfer division, on his way out. I remember him leaving. It wasn’t a short time later that I saw him marching with the “fat kids” division, which usually meant that you had a few weeks tacked on to your time. He wasn’t given the easy pass out. The rumor mill mentioned that he might have been sidelined to the “skills division” where he might have been sent to learn certain language skills or basic math. (Never mind he graduated from high school in Arkansas).

Long story short, things were a little bit better after he left. We still got communal punishment because of anonymous infractions. We had a crew of screw up survivors, but no one was a rat. In the end, we graduated “light” to the point that we didn’t have enough people to staff our division during our graduation, subsequent parades.

Sweet Pea didn’t join us. I did and on time. But I did not mourn and I moved on to worse things…

About freemattpodcast

Lead shill for The FreeMatt Podcast
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2 Responses to Navy Story: El Ratoncito

  1. Pingback: FreeMatt In Review: 1-3 to 1-7 | Mogadishu Matt

  2. Pingback: Navy Story: El Ratoncito — Mogadishu Matt | Vermont Folk Troth

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