While in the Arctic Light infantry at Fort Wainwright Alaska, we were introduced to some hand to hand combat training by one of the C companies Lt's. He was strait out of West Point and by the book, there was much talk about him being a 3rd degree black belt in Judo. As our company was in the sawdust pit about to get some hand to hand training by the 3rd degree Lt, Lt asks of anyone who had a question about Judo. I being a smart ass as usual ( but I always gave 200% when it came down to my job as 11 C mortar gunner) I spoke up and said "yes sir I have a question. Isn't Karate a martial art and Judo is what they use to make bagels?" Oh shit, there were quite a few people with the "what the fuck did you just say" looks, a lot of heads shaking no no no....well...you could have heard a pin hit the sawdust. I just stood there with a smile cause I thought it was funny as hell. My platoon sgt however who was a fucking giant at 6'-8" and about 385...about crushed my shoulder with his hand as he lipped s o r r y to the LT. Well the training started right after that and a couple of volunteers went up as the LT told the first private to come at him and try to hit him. He stated over and over there is no rank here I want you to hit me, kick me, take me down...well as they tried the LT being a 3rd degree black flipped them down on the ground and nailed them in the sternum knocking their wind out. after they stood up he would ask for another volunteer. Well after 2 nobody wanted any part of that shit but then my platoon sgt remembered about 10 minutes ago the embarrassing moment I had created with the judo insult. He said "yes sir right here Garwood wants to be next." Well fuck me now this is going to be very uncomfortable. So again the LT states there is no rank, I cant get in trouble for hitting him..go ahead and try he says...do what ever you want Garwood...."I said are you sure there is no rank sir"...Nope....go for it (in broken engeresh, the LT is Chinese and his english is barley understandable.) Well I just witnessed two privates getting the wind knocked out of them and I figured now is as good as ever to let the cat out. We were all in a cohort unit, went to basic together and our entire tour we stayed together. We were 6 months in and nobody knew much about anyone. There are some things I just kept to myself. One of them was about to show. SO I went at the Lt and set him up with a fake punch with a left, as he goes to grab I stepped into his grab and grabbed myself spinning and flipping him over my shoulder very hard slamming him into the sawdust and nailing him in the gut, knocking his wind... I had a smile and when I looked at my platoon sgt you could see he was shitting his pants and pissed off at the same time wtih his mouth wide open. The Lt hops up like it was no big deal. Unable to talk he motions with his hands to come at him, with this "in pain ...im gonna fuck u up look" so this time was about the same as last time except I knew he would anticipate the flip so I threw a punch, timed it just right, let him reach for my arms and I stepped into him grabbing and then suplexed him, he gets back up and comes at me with no warning, I grabbed his arm flipped him again and knocked the wind out again. Well fuck, I was damn proud of those moves, I didn't take 8 years of taekwondo to let some fucking barker show me up. He stands up grunting and white as a ghost, gasping and trying to speak more than one word at a time...he says..."sumtime u enomee may know martial arwts." For the next year and a half I got every shit detail. When I say shit I mean that literally. In the arctic we had to use 5 gallon buckets with a garbage bag to shit in. Then tie it in a knot and throw it in the shit bag pile when we were out in the field. At the end of the 2 or 3 weeks in the field, when we were heading back to the rear, somebody had to pack the frozen shit bags into MRE boxes and load them on the SUSV. Yes I was a part of every shit detail for 1.5 years until the LT left. Oh but wait there is more...it didn't end there, I am a skilled strategist and planned accordingly. The LT was getting ready to move on and become a Captain, we had one more field exercise. Near the end of the 2 week brim frost exercise, the LT had to give his report. I was in HQ platoon and always near the brass tent. it was about 40 below out and I had ammo guard that eve. We were in full mock up war game with miles gear. Its the laser gear we had in 87-91 which was set of via blank rounds and a laser flash simulating a bullet. Your miles gear goes off and you have to use a key from your laser to turn it off and then you go strait to the dead tent. As I am pulling guard, LT comes walking up to the brass tent for his presentation or sitrep. Him being a "by the book" no nonsense from west point I knew that I must follow through with procedure. "Halt" i said "who goes there?" "god damn it Garwood" lt says. Again I say "HALT WHO GOES THERE?" LT "God damn it garwood, i have meeting!" He was a little testy so fuck that, I am guarding live fucking ammo...I said "I dont give a fuck if u are meeting the president I said halt. State your business." He said " a meeting, a meeting i have a meeting." so I wnet through the orders, advance to be recognized, place your Id on the ground take 5 steps back, and the whole time he keeps saying god damn it garwood god damn it garwood....you could hear the brass tent trying to muffle their laughter, the other tents were already dying laughing, then I get to my favorite part, what's the password? This is the best part and I had every reason to do what i had to do to protect the ammo. The password that eve was "blue river" The military takes great care in choosing words that certain cultures have great difficulty pronouncing for that very reason. Lt says "bu reevah bu reevah bu reevuhh!" NOPE I said as I am firing at him setting off his miles gear and setting of a laugh fest for about 30 minutes. To the dead tent Lt. God damn it garwood you fukeeeng peece of chit!" It didnt end there my CO took over and rode me for another year, I got him even better but that is another story.
Keep up the fire!