Jeff's First Week at Boot Camp.
"My first impression of Boot Camp was boredom. A lot of routine and not much of it very challenging. I definitely did enough to prepare physically. Mentally, I'm way ahead of the curve. So when it came time to find an R-Poc, I didn't hide like my dad recommended. They asked for people who could pass the fitness test and had leadership experience. With a few other qualifications, they narrowed it down to about 12 of us with me being tenth in the line. They had each of us stand and state who we are, job field, etc. They were checking for command voice and other things. They went through the nine before me, talked amongst themselves, saying things like "maybe" or "possibility," but told most of them to just sit down. They got to me and I sounded off and they didn't even check the rest. I was their man. Immediately things stopped being boring. My official title is Recruit Chief Petty Officer, or RCPO, so I don't know where "R-Poc" comes from. Now I'm the head of 87 recruits and they look to me for everything. I have less time to do our assignments and I'm expected to do them better than everybody else.
I have people coming up to me every other minute asking question and offering suggestions. At least they all respect me. You would love to see me leading this division. I really have my own little army now. A bunch of guys were messing up regularly and not caring (easy things, like standing at attention and military bearings) and it was holding the whole division back. A couple of clowns even disrespected me in front of other recruits, so a few nights ago after TAPS I stood in the middle of our barracks (pretty big because there are 88 beds in there) and I gave what many now are calling the "Braveheart Speech." It was very calculated and it had the perfect effect. At one point a know-it-all spoke up and talked back to me a little. Unfortunately, I had to break him. I didn't want to, but in about 30 seconds the kid was incapable of speech. I had to do it because the kid (married and 21 years old) made it public knowledge that he wanted my job. He even approached our Recruit Division Commanders and told them he was ready to take my place if I make a mistake. After my speech I went over to him and he was crying in his bunk. At first he didn't want to acknowledge me, but I quickly brought him around and we "truced." He thinks of me now as a close friend and even wanted to be my bunkmate when we changed barracks, but he got beat out by another, faster, kid.
I'm now their fearless leader and most of them really respect and admire me. A few just obey me, but they're the exception. I have a lot of work and responsibility, but at least I'm not bored anymore."