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Hearken back to 1978, Fort McClellan, Alabama.  Cadet Donovan is engaged in CTLT, or Cadet Troop Leading Training, which was a 3 week add-on to ROTC summer camp.  Cadets fanned out across the Army (West Pointers could score CTLT in Europe or Korea, but not us cheap kids at land grant universities) and were supposed to assume Lieutenant-level leadership positions in actual units.  Some units were good at actually letting the cadets get their teeth into it.  Others treated the CTLT cadets as tag-alongs.  I got lucky.  I spent three weeks as the functional XO of a Basic Training company.  The real XO, Lieutenant Bacon, went on leave to take care of some family business, and Captain Sensel turned me loose with good guidance and a benign overwatch.  She could do that because the Senior Drill kept a good eye on Cadet Donovan.  Both Bacon and Sensel were Old School WACs, and sharp as tacks.  The Drill cadre were of the same quality.

My three weeks coincided with a lot of range time, which was fun.  This was the last all-female BT company, they went to mixed units the next cycle.  They re-segregated back in the 90's, I think, and I just realized I have no idea what the set-up is today.

Cut to the hand grenade range.  Put a hard-chargin' strong little fireplug of a female trainee in the grenade pit with a Drill Instructor.  The Drill's job was to make one last review of the already-practiced-with-dummy-grenades Proper Way To Throw A Grenade - and to kick a dropped one into the sump and toss himself and the trainee around the blast shield if that happened.

There was a row of pits, and the Senior Drill and I were in the tower to the center rear of the line, doing the Safety Officer and NCO thing.  The young Private listens closely (she was a good troop) to her Drill, repeats back the instructions, gets permission to proceed, cocks her arm, and throws that live grenade as hard as she could. 

Did I mention she was short? 

The grenade hit the lip of the concrete pit and bounced back.  Not into the pit.  No.

Did I mention she was strong?

It bounced back under the *tower* where the Senior Drill and myself were standing.  He hits the klaxon, people are yelling "Grenade!" and dropping behind cover, and the Senior Drill and I just stand there in the tower, casually crossing our legs.


They were throwing the "offensive" baseball grenades, which came in two basic types - one that was designed to fragment into little tiny pieces, or which had notched wire coiled around the inside.  These have less blast and lighter fragments because they are intended to be thrown by attacking soldiers who might well have less cover.  Defensive grenades, intended to be thrown from cover, can do more damage.  This one, well, it just went bang and it sounded like sand hitting the floor of the tower.

The Senior Drill and I casually uncrossed our legs and set about making sure no one was hurt and starting up the requisite notifications.

No one was hurt.  Not even hearing.

In the video below - there may have been some hearing damage.

*Been There, Done That, Got The Tee Shirt.


I think most of the hearing damage incidental to the incident on the vid took place during the five minutes *after* the drill got the troop back up on his feet.

BTDT, Got the Shredded T-Shirt, too...
Gee all the fun stuff happens to you.  Attacked by grenades, shot by AK-47 and who knows what else.  I had to settle for being the classic stupid 2LT firing a 203 using the leaf sight and launching a live 40mm grenade, oh, about 40 meters and it exploded.  The range NCOs were a little cross with me.  Did I mention I was OIC at the time?  Of course you redlegs tried to take me out the summer of '82 but that's another story., 

We had one of those cadets when we ran a range this summer. She spent most of it following my chief around like a puppy and asking questions. :)

The grenade thing made me nervous. Not so much the grenades, but the PV2 having a severe panic attack next to me while clutching two live grenades. You couldn't pay me enough to be a DS. I hope I never get picked for that.
When I commanded from 2003-2005, it was integrated.  Interestingly, when I went through the orientation for incoming cadre, I sat next to a female major who had prior enlisted time, who was solidly of the opinion that the Marines have the right formula with the trainees being gender segregated, with all cadre for that company being of that gender as well.  Eliminates all sorts of problems.

Personally, I agree with her.  Let 'em learn appropriate gender behavior and relations in AIT.
I hope I never get picked for that.

No problem, Saker -- they don't pick the cute, perky types to be drills, they pick the outdoorsy, combative ones who like splodey things and want to stab spiders with knives...

Oh yeah, I forgot.  Lucky me, I was sent to Germany in August 1973 to Friedberg, Germany, where Elvis was stationed obviously earlier than my appearance there.  I got to lead a scout battalion in the 3/32 Armor.  Elvis was in the scouts of the 1/32.  There was Elvis memorbilia everywhere.  So I made it over as an ROTC pogue in what I believe was the only year ROTC went overseas for CTLT.  I believed we were considered pests.    
Wow, dude.  Even if they considered you a pest, they gave you a *battalion*!?!

;^ )
Blast. I guess I'd better just try to be a warrant officer then, and avoid all that nonsense.
"...the outdoorsy, combative ones who like splodey things and want to stab spiders with knives..."

You say that like it's a *bad* thing.
DL, you sound like one of those hairy scary Swamp Wimmin we used to have around here.  Sadly, they've mostly all been chased away by the Golfocracy.
She's a Marine Wife.  Pretty much the same thing, living, as they do, amongst dangerous predators.
JTG, they couldn't have been too scary if they were chased away by paisley-wearing old pharts armed with nothing more than hollow aluminum tubes.

*tugs on hat*
Aww, shucks, John.  That's the nicest thing you've said to me.........whadda ya want now?
Oh, I'll just keep you wondering, methinks.
Sir, no excuse for my error.  I need to stop commenting from worq
You say that like she's recently had an attention-span implanted or something...
Really. It doesn't help your spelling any, either. 

Sometimes, Jim, it's just better to step away from the keyboard, rather than stoke the commentariat...
*Perks up*

She has implants?

Oh, wait.  Never mind.
Dl, they aren't very formidable individually, but there are so _many_ of them!  Are you familiar with the phrase, "nibbled to death by ducks"?
 "paisley-wearing old pharts armed with nothing more than hollow aluminum tubes."

Those would be "BIG paisley-wearing old pharts"; unless Bill was present and you'd have to mention his really splendid winter tan, all squinty eyed from peering out across the vast stretches of Arab desert ...

@Armorer, Just be glad you can remember back to the 1970's.

You write, "*Perks up*

She has implants?

Oh, wait.   Never mind." 

Nah, if this is truly TINS, There's a question that needs to be asked.

Would this be better? "HE has implants?"
Grumpy, I don't need implants. Last time I was on a trampoline, my nearly-sixty-year-old moobs bounced right well, thankyouverymuch.
JTG, Don't brag, Don't ASS-U-ME, one day they'll land before you do. You'll be like the bare foot boy in the cow pasture, WATCHING EVERY STEP! For me, 60 is history.
Well, technically I *do* have implants.....titanium screw and staple holding one ankle together and a pin in one hand.
 "... and a pin in one hand."
... lost the grenade, again?


'Tis better to have the pin in one hand than the live grenade, yessss?

Insufficient data for a meaningful answer.  It very much depends on where the grenade is.

If the live grenade is in your hand - you can at least throw it at Heinrichs (and right now, he can't throw it back, what with that Blood Eagle he had done).

If it's at your feet, and you're staring at the pin...
"Insufficient data for a meaningful answer."

Hey!  Where in Da Rulez does it say answers have to be *meaningful*?
@DL Sly  "Hey! Where in Da Rulez does it say answers have to be *meaningful*?"

Has it ever stopped you? 
*Meaningful* is such a relative term.....I'm gonna haf'ta take a fifth..........or three...... and get back to ya.  Rumor has it that there's a hurricane a comin' this way, and if it's anything like the last three I've been through, it'll be pretty boring.  But, I've got steaks thawing to grill, and we're plenty stocked on liquor and beer.
Silly people, living where there are hurricanes.  Tornados are much easier to get along with.
Tornados?   Yeah, nothing funner than being in one of those old rickety wooden WW2 barracks in the 3000 area of Ft. Sill when those blasted tornado horns started going off. Then standing in water in the culverts until the all clear sounded.  LOL
In the Pac NW we get storms like this every year -- well except they tend to be closer to 40 degree temps instead of 85.  We don't take off from work early.  Kids don't get out of school early.  Hell, we don't even name them.
Wussies. I've lived in Southern FL for 50 years, off and on.  For hurricanes, you put up the shutters, fill the bathtub with water, buy a bottle of clorox and some propane and some dry cells, and Stock Up on Beer. (The Powers That Be  might be right pissy about alcohol sales before, during and after a hurricane.)