14 January 2010


This afternoon, I had the opportunity to lead a training session for our four degrees (freshmen). Em had the idea to take them to the LZ - a fairly large hill near the Chapel - and have them do a sort of chutes-and-ladders on the way up, then form up at the top, facing the Springs, and leave them there to see how they reacted.

So we sent some upperclassmen out to the hill, made sure the four-degs had water and watchcaps, then I ran them over to the hill. I tried to march them, but I'm terrible at that, so I had one of them call a jody for cadence and told them to follow me as we ran over there. Once we got there, I had 'em stretch out and get ready.

We sent them up the hill in teams of four, but they got pretty blended together. At each tier, they had to answer a knowledge question. If they did anything wrong, they went down one tier and we did some push-ups or 8-count body builders or jumping jacks or flutter kicks or something with them. I put one of our firsties at the top, since I knew it'd take them a while to get past him, and we didn't want it to go too short.

Once everyone got to the top - for them, after about forty minutes or going up and down and lots of push-ups and flutter kicks, we had them run around doing fireman carries, then formed them up, at ease, towards the Springs. Most of the upperclassmen said some thing, positive or negative, about their performance, and I herded the upperclassmen who weren't talking to the back. I put them back at attention and reminded them why we're here: to fight for those people, out in those houses, who may or may not respect us.

My three best friends from high school don't believe in war. But I'm here, because God wants me to be here, and so that they can live in a country where they have a right to be anti-war. And I'm here to keep their country safe so they don't have to fight.

Then we snuck away, behind the four-degs' backs. Hiding in the bushes, we waited to see how they'd react. In a few minutes, they started running away, and we thought that was that. But then Em noticed them dropping - they were joining their classmates in squadron four, who also had a training session on the hill.

We couldn't have imagined a better option for them to take. We let squad four figure out what was going on, and then once they separated out our four-degs, we rounded 'em up and took them to Mitch's.

I'm glad that went so well, and I'm really impressed with our freshmen right now.


  1. When people say they are against war I always ask them how they would propose to have ended tyranny, slavery, facism, communism and now terrorism.

    It's too simple to say you are against war, we are all against war. Those of us who have been in war are probably most against it.

    But there are some world problems that can not be solved by sending flowers or Hallmark Cards.

    I appreciate your willingness to serve and your tough message to your freshmen had a positive outcome. Good for you. You will make a great leader.

  2. I think Jesus would have an answer to your question. He didn't give flowers or cards; he gave life.

    And we will do even greater things than these. But it's easier to go to war.

    I do think there's a better way. But for now, this is our best option. But even this option could be improved.