The tell-all tale of Warrior Leader Course, Part II

21 Sep

Before I jump into the details of my second week at WLC, there’s a few things you should know. 

  1. During the first week of WLC, I woke up at 4:30 every day.  That’s early.  But, at 5:00, when the sun is just rising, Kosovo is at its most beautiful.
  2. At some point during the first week of WLC, my calves became of topic of discussion.  They’re big.  That’s all you really need to know.  The guys in my class were very much impressed with them and decided that, to put this in less offensive terms, I was the most masculine of my peers based solely on the size, strength, and awesomeness of my calf muscles. 
  3. Land Navigation involves, in case the name itself doesn’t give it away, plotting points on a military map using a eight (or four, or six, or ten) digit grid coordinate, plotting a course for finding those points, then wandering around in some sort of logical manner until you find all your points. 

Now that you understand all that, whether it’s actually important to the story or not, let’s review Week 2:

  • Day 7 (Sept. 9)– In an attempt to keep this short(ish), let me just say that Day 7 consisted of the following: the end of classes, study time, test review, and me playing the role of Ms. Smarty-Pants and realizing, ultimately, that I’m a Hermione at heart. 
  • Day 8 (Sept. 10)– Day 8 was, to say the least, busy.  We were in the classroom before 8:00, at which point we took the written exam (40 questions, open-book, took me 30 minutes), then reviewed the written exam to find out how many of us had failed miserably (not me, although I did miss two which made me feel like a mega-loser all day), and then headed to the Land Navigation site.  Once at the Land Navigation site we practiced, both as a group and with a partner.  As the day wound down, I assumed the position of squad leader, which essentially means I was responsible for 8 of peers.  I accidentally stayed up late and ended up trying to be a good squad leader and helping one of my classmates who was having a tough time with Land Navigation. 
  • Day 9 (Sept. 11)– Still a squad leader, I tried desperately to avoid making an ass out of myself when I marched my class to chow.  After breakfast we headed out to the Land Nav site for the actual test.  Let me just say this: I didn’t understand Land Navigation very well until Andrew took me aside and gave me a short, but informative, lesson on it.  Then, once I started WLC, we spent hours talking about it, and so, when it was finally time for me to be evaluated on my land navigation skills, I was feeling super confident.  At 8:20 in the morning on Day 9, I was walked to my start point, given four points to plot and find all by myself.  By 9:20, I was at my last point, and headed back to the tower to turn in my work.  I was the second person from my class to return and the first female.  I was elated.  I found all four of my points in an hour, and, it seemed, I had finally figured out Land Navigation.  Because I finished so quickly, I got to spend two hours waiting for the other members of my class to return, at which point we ate lunch and went into the field and played Army.  All in all, it was a fun day, a good day, and a rewarding day. I didn’t fail miserably as a squad leader, and I didn’t fail miserably at Land Navigation.  What else could I ask for?
  • Day 10, 11 & 12 (Sept. 12, 13 & 14) – Days 10-12 were spent outside.  We woke up, we ate breakfast, we went on a nice little road march out to the field (that’s what we call it when we go outside and run around and play Army, attack the “enemy,” and do all sorts of things that Soldiers are supposed to do in combat).  Once we got to the field, we set up a hiding place in the woods and laughed and joked and then we went on a mission and tried not to get killed by the other classes and then after that we came back and talked about why we got killed by the other classes and ate lunch.  After lunch each day, we went on another mission and commenced with some sweating, and yelling, and even some laughing and joking.  The whole point to these three days was to give us a chance to be evaluated on our leadership skills while in a tactical environment.  My evaluation took place on Day 12, the last day of evaluations, and, to be honest, I didn’t pass with flying colors, but I didn’t fail miserably either.  Lastly, for days 10-12, I looked like this most of the time:

    terragatt.jpg

  • Day 13 (Sept. 15)– At the end of Day 12 my class found out that, for the last big mission, we would be playing villagers.  My class was chosen for this because we were hilarious and fabulous, and maybe even a little crazy.  We marched out to the field as usual and once we got to our hiding place in the woods we went a little crazy.  We were told we could make costumes if we wanted to and so we did.  We looked ridiculous, but I was happy because I got to wear my hair down.  Our sole mission was to bother the Soldiers that came to invade our “village.” It was fun, maybe even too much fun for Army training.  After that we wandered around picking up expended ammo and trash and then headed back to our hide out for some much needed lunch and down time.  After I took a nap in the woods and played UNO for the first time in maybe 12 years, we grabbed our gear and started the march back.  Once back at the classroom, I discovered, much to my surprise and delight, that I had achieved an overall score of 91 and that I had exceeded course standards.  This was a good shock, especially since I came into WLC expecting to fail miserably and hate the whole experience.  As Day 13 wound to a close, an unexpected nomination that I fought like hell to avoid landed in my lap.  We, meaning several of my peers and I, were approached by one of our instructors and told we had to nominate someone for the Leadership Award from our class.  We all pointed to the smart, wholesome, adorable boy in the class and I thought all was settled.  But then, about 15 minutes later, as I was preparing to play a game of extreme UNO, whatever that is, the smart, wholesome, adorable boy told me that my scores in leadership were higher than his and therefore, the Leadership Award nominee had to be either me or another female in the class.  So we talked to the class and they voted me in, even though I tried to convince them I sucked at life.  They didn’t buy it.  So instead of doing a brain-dump on Day 13, I spent the evening studying for the board I had to go before on Day 14. 

 That’s all for now, because, yet again, I’ve written way too much and I should probably considering doing some work so I can avoid losing my mind next week. 

Oh, and if have any questions about WLC, please email me, or leave a comment, cause, you know, I like correspondence and whatnot. 

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10 Responses to “The tell-all tale of Warrior Leader Course, Part II”

  1. titus2woman September 22, 2007 at 5:41 AM #

    WOW~I saw your pic, and OH how I realized that I MISS YOU! and daggone it~you’re beautiful even like that! ~I give up~ I love reading about your experiences! (((((HUGS))))) sandi

  2. Thor September 27, 2007 at 10:27 PM #

    I read your story and I am impressed on how well you did in WLC. I was wondering, my unit gave me about a months notice that I will be going. What do you suggest that i do to prepare more? You dont have to mention APFT, im just 7 points from breaking 300.

  3. E. J. May 2, 2008 at 5:40 PM #

    Don’t know why I googled you, but this is a great story, I hope everything is well. Still here in Kosovo and I’m done to about 58 days. WLC was great to bad you weren’t here for BNCOC…

  4. busta August 6, 2008 at 12:32 PM #

    lol.
    i thought your depiction of events were told in a very light mood.
    it’s like a soldier saying it in Disney Channel. and it’s not a bad thing.

  5. PEter September 17, 2009 at 11:48 AM #

    Hi, I realy liked your explanation about the experience at WLC, you have a way of keeping the reader attached to what you have writen, you should probably expound and may be write a book or something, an ARMY book may be.

    did you guys have to bring in class A’s?

    I am going to be attending the upcoiming class and they are making us bring class A’s now, sucks.

    Its all right, has to be done.

  6. Jacob Pederson February 28, 2011 at 2:41 PM #

    Hey,

    I, was randomly googling WLC stuff to get mentally prepared i suppose and obviously came across your blog. I know its a little late on comments, buut yeah.

    You kept me reading more and more, haha i didnt wanna stop. Your really good at writing, and i hope this is something you continue to do. In a few days i am flying to Ohio to complete my WLC, i feel like land nav may be one of the things that may give me trouble, also..the standing in front of the class instructing a class. i usually get pretty red and nervous ha. Anyway, thanks for your post, it was awesome. good luck in the future.

  7. Ron October 9, 2011 at 10:07 PM #

    Hi– thank you for sharing your WLC experience- I think that it very considerate of you to spend the time to give those coming behind you an idea of what to expect– am getting ready to go to WLC in two weeks– what do you recommend that I do to prepare? I’ve passed the APFT and can pass it again…. Any suggestions would be very much appreciated! Thank you

  8. Andrea Gigante April 8, 2012 at 10:54 AM #

    I was googling information about how to get better prepared for WLC. Unfortunately I will be going this Thursday, so it leaves me with very little time to study. I came across your blog and found it to be more than helpful and very well written. Could you give me any type of advice for key points I should look into before going. It would be much appreciated.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. The tell-all tale of Warrior Leader Course, Part III « questionable rationale - September 22, 2007

    […] 6,823 hits The tell-all tale of Warrior Leader Course, Part III Saturday September 22nd 2007, 10:26 am Filed under: DEPLOYMENT All right, this will be the final installment in the entirely too long telling of my experiences in Warrior Leader Course. If you’re just now joining us for this splendid (not) account, you might want to start at the beginning, or even the middle. […]

  2. As promised, the tell-all tale of Warrior Leader Course, Part I « questionable rationale - January 27, 2008

    […] Click here to read part two of this tell-all tale. 5 Comments so far Leave a […]

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