Pro Deo Et Patria- An Army Chaplain

I am a chaplain in the US Army, serving in Iraq. I'm keeping a blog to share my thoughts and experiences while deployed. They are my thoughts and they don't necessarily reflect the opinions of the US Army! :)

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

A week in the field

Tomorrow morning we leave for the Capstone FTX. I’ve talked a little about it in my last post, but essentially it consists of four day and three nights in the field where we put together everything we have learned. We leave at 0430, which is actually a little later than I would have thought, simply because of the heat, and the desire to get the TOC and our tents set up early. We have a 4.5 mile road march to the field, which isn’t too bad. We will be wearing our uniforms, with a Kevlar helmet and the body armor. I believe someone said today that the body armor weighs around 17 pounds. The helmet, I would guess, is maybe a few pounds. We also need to carry the pro-mask (protective mask) which is used against chemical or biological agents. The standard is that we must be able to put it on fully within 9 seconds. There will most likely be some sort of “situation” throughout the week where we will be required to put them on, and continue whatever we’re doing.

We will also be carrying our ruck sacks, which are metal frame backpacks containing everything we need for four days, including uniforms, wet weather gear, an extra pair of boots, towels, entrenching tools, t-shirts, underwear, socks, etc. I would guess that all of the gear weighs around 50 pounds total?

I’m really excited for this part of the training. Once we’re done, I’ve got less than a week left, so this final phase is going quickly.

I’ll be out of communication for the rest of the week, but will update this blog on Friday when I get back. Keep us all in your prayers. We’ve got some soldiers struggling with injuries, as well as some soldiers who didn’t pass their final APFT, and will have to do a make up before graduation. Overall is should be a great week.


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