In Advanced Infantry Training, we are learning the technicalities of how to do our specialty, our MOS. But in Basic Training we learned how to be a soldier, many of the principles can be applied to even civilian life.
I suppose the principle which will stick with me forever is that nothing lasts forever, even though it might seem so at times. No matter how many pushups and V-ups we do, no matter how long we stay in the front leaning rest, no matter how long we are freezing our butts off lying prone in a hasty, no matter how far we high/low crawl, no matter how much sleep we lose...It Will Not Last Forever.
We simply have to endure until the end. What's interesting is the sweetness of looking back and realizing what you endured. The brain has a safety feature in it that keeps one from remembering pain or discomfort like you remember sights or sounds. You might remember that you were in pain, but it's difficult to recall the actual feeling of pain. Which is why it's easy to romanticize the past. We see the past through rose colored glasses. Yes basic definitely had it's “not fun” moments, but enduring all of that was worth it for the sensation of accomplishment afterwards.
Another thing I learned in Basic is that the enemy doesn't just die. Even with a bullet through the heart, contrary to the movies, a guy will keep shooting back at you for up to 45 seconds maybe not even realizing he's been fatally wounded. He may keep shooting longer if it's a less severe wound. Interestingly, that principle only seems to apply to the diehard terrorist, as our drill sergeant taught us an opposing principle that a bullet through any part of the enemy will make him stop doing whatever he's doing. If the enemy gets a bullet through his hand, he suddenly becomes all consumed with the state of his hand. Bullets and rifles are amazing and dangerous tools and the moment it is not respected as such, bad things happen. I learned that bulletproof vests are a serious mind blower to...