Thursday, July 10, 2008

Ground Warfare Training Military Obstacle Course

Joining the military has always been a yearn of mine. The closest I had ever come would have been through my JROTC stint with its physical training, orienteering experience, and military camps during high school and my contemplation of joining the U.S. armed forces in the middle of college. But I never did; the risk of death in war, the confinement of freedom, and the consequences of going AWOL always discouraged me from making the decision to enlist.

But certain aspects of the military has me envious for the life of a soldier--the camaraderie, the physical fitness, the competition, the distinction, the masculine aura, the pride of accomplishment and belonging, and for some, the opportunity to see the world (and not to mention getting paid to experience these things). I guess the adventurous male spirit in me wants to run free sometimes, and this at times spurred my desire to explore and trek through the jungle and bundoks of the Philippines.

Fortunately for Simon he was able to become a soldier yet avoid the hazards of war, not necessarily the war in Iraq but the conflicts in Mindanao for the Philippines' case. In the following article, Simon elaborates on the training of a soldier while running through the ground warfare training obstacle course at the Philippine Military Academy (PMA).


The ground warfare will be the training ground for the cadets who will be commissioned to the Philippine Army (PA). The task of this ground warfare is to train, develop and instruct each cadet the essential knowledge, attitude and basic skills in the art of ground warfare in order to prepare them with desirable character traits and leadership attributes vital to the PA.

The ground warfare of Philippine Military Academy (PMA) is the ultimate boy’s paradise and to girl cadets as well. This is where the cadets of PMA and alumni can have a tactical and military training. They invite other country contingent to have military exercises and share ideas of tactical operation to each other. This will level up the mutual relationship of both countries.

Only few excursionists can visit the place, and so grateful that I have this chance to see the place. Excited, I performed some of the obstacles and didn’t care if my shirts and body got dirty. This would have been comfortable if you were to wear the military uniform or Battle Dress Attire (BDA) for you to do the hurdles freely without inhibitions. This would be a great experience if first hand I did this military exercise with rifle in hand.

While doing those obstacles, my mind flies back during my training at the military as Candidate Soldier (CS), we always have these jogs and a dozen army exercises every morning and afternoon, everyday is a D-day to us because fault of one is a punishment for everyone, almost everyday we have this punishment, and anticipating what will happen next. Moreover, before we eat our meals, we need to have 40 sit-ups and 40 push-ups and counting, as they always say to us ‘Pampalakas’ [to make stronger]. We used to do this everyday until it became part of our lives; at the halfway point of the training it was like we were just playing while doing those everyday itineraries (jogging, army dozen, punishments, studying, etc). That is why doing these obstacles are now easy to me.

This was a wonderful experience for me to be in the military and will always treasure this for the rest of my life. I believe that we have our own warfare to deal with as I have mine; it is up to us how we will train, focus, and discipline ourselves as we face those trying times in our lives.

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