Straight from Basic Training, Ep. 2: Rifle & Bayonet Training

Trainees learn rifle and bayonet defense techniques, then practice what they’ve learned against each other during pugil stick exercises.

Read Transcript

I’m Private Justin Erceg; I’m from Lake George, New York and I’m currently at basic training at Fort Knox, Kentucky.

I’m Christopher Williams; from Bessma, Alabama and I’m in basic training at Fort Knox, Kentucky.

Erceg: Rifle and Bayonet was very physical, the repetition that goes into it is very monotonous.

Wynn: They teach you the fundamental techniques of survival, but you have to learn from what they call repetition and blunt force. We have to keep doing it so that your muscle memory can keep you going.

Erceg: Having the drill sergeants throw so many instructions at you and different movements is; it was very hard. I honestly didn’t expect it to be as hard as it was.

Wynn: It was kind of hard. After that first hour, of trying to keep focused. You have to actually put the first foot forward in paying attention to what the drill sergeant was saying, and also just apply it.

Erceg: Today was the first day we actually got to use our weapon, instead of keep it by our side. It made me respect my weapon a lot more.

Wynn: Most people think when you have a rifle you just have to use it to shoot. But I also learned different strategies, to cripple your opponent, to give you a better advantage.

Erceg: The Pugil stick exercise taught me, that I need to be more physical fit. I just ran out stamina big time. The first round was ok, then after that it was down hill from there.

Wynn: It was more fun actually getting out there to interact with your peers and your bunkmates, and have a little fun. But also show that you do have the physical aspects of survival that they did teach us today.

Erceg: Five rounds for only a couple of minutes, was very tiring, it drained me.

Wynn: I’m one of the older Soldiers in the platoon here. I want to be the one that they say ‘hey if Specialist Christopher Williams can do, it then I know I can do it to.’

Erceg: It’s hard to adapt to the things they tell you to do, but once you start doing them, you start working together as a team the drill sergeant they start to build your confidence up, and they help you progress as a team.

Degree: A lot of stress is off our minds to know that the confidence course and the gas chamber are completely out of the way now. We can just focus on things to come. Right now, I’m just looking forward to whatever is next.