An entry in Pvt. Martin's diary:

August 9, 1942

Camp Toccoa, Georgia

More long marches tomorrow. Then, obstacles with Foley and weapon training with Moody. Everyone is dead tired. Another guy got RTU (Returned To Unit) yesterday. He begged the Sgt. to let him stay.

My unit, the 506th paratrooper regiment, is an all volunteer unit. I'm lucky to serve with these guys. There's no one I'd rather have watching my back.

Our officers drill us continuously. I've trained for months and I haven't even jumped out of an airplane yet. The army has never had an airborne unit before, and that makes the brass nervous, and what makes the brass nervous makes us drill even harder.

Camp ToccoaEdit

Camp Toccoa, GA - U.S.A.
  August 10, 1942
  0900 hrs

Cpt. Foley: Alright, listen up. Private Martin, you're on the obstacle course and doing weapons training today. Before starting the obstacle course, read each of these important signs and do what they tell you.

Private Martin looks at each of the five signs.

Foley: Good. Now check your objectives.

Private Martin checks his objectives.

Foley: You'll notice that your current objective is highlighted. In addition, the location of your current objective is marked by the star at your compass. As you approach your current objective, the star will move towards the center of the compass. Approach your current objective.

Private Martin follows his objective and goes near Cpt. Foley.

Foley: Move five paces to the left.

Private Martin moves five paces to his left.

Foley: Now five to the right.

Private Martin moves five paces to his right.

Foley: Five paces forwards.

Private Martin moves five paces forwards.

Foley: Five paces backwards.

Private Martin moves five paces backwards.

Foley: Approach your current objective.

Private Martin moves towards his new objective.

Foley: That's it. Close enough. You will notice that objective is checked off and you now have a new one. Alright Martin, open the gate and run the obstacle course. Go! Go! Go!

Private Martin goes through the gate and joins up with Private Elder.

Elder: Martin, good to see you. They've got your sorry butt here too, huh? Hey, good luck.

Martin and the other soldiers run the obstacle course.

Foley: Move it, ladies! This is not your Aunt Fanny's dance! Jump over 'em! Come on Elder, get the lead out! Not bad. Now hit the dirt and crawl forward under the barbed wire.

Soldiers crawl under the barbed wire.

Foley: Sergeant, fire up those machine guns!

Sergeant fires the machine gun.

Foley: Those are live rounds, boys - stay low! Stay down. Climb these ladders, Privates! Let's go! Let's go! Let's go!

After climbing the ladders, the soldiers go back down at the other side of the wall.

Foley: Private Martin, proceed through that door. Sergeant Moody's gonna take you through weapons training. The rest of you ladies stay right here.

Martin goes through the door and sees Moody up in a tower.

Moody: Eyes up, Private. I'm up here, in the observation tower. Grab one of those M1A1 Carbines from the table.

Martin grabs an M1A1 Carbine.

Moody: To get more ammo, grab it from any loose weapon of the same type you are carrying.

Martin grabs ammo.

Moody: Approach the fence and fire six rounds at the target. Your accuracy is defined by the tightness of your crosshairs.

Martin fires six rounds.

Moody: Fire six more rounds at the target, in different stances and while moving. You will be more accurate while not moving and in the crouching or prone positions. These skills could mean your life.

Martin fires six more rounds.

Moody: Alright Private, move on to the next area.

Martin moves to the next training area.

Moody: Grab a Springfield rifle from the table, switching it for your carbine.

Martin picks up the Springfield Rifle.

Moody: Turn to your left, move to the fence, and fire two rounds at your target.

Martin shoots two rounds at his target.

Moody: Now fire two rounds at your target, while aiming down your sight.

Martin shoots two rounds at his target while aiming down his sights.

Moody: Alright, I hope it's clear to you that you will be more accurate while aiming down the sight. Alright Private, move up to the next area.

Martin moves to the next area.

Moody: Unless you've got three hands, you can only carry two weapons, besides your sidearm and grenades.

Martin replaces one of his weapons with the Thompson.

Moody: Fire ten rounds at your target, first from the hip, then aiming down your gun sight. Compare your accuracy. Get used to firing both ways.

Martin fires ten rounds at the target.

Moody: Take a few steps while aiming down your sight. You're gonna move slower this way.

Martin moves while aiming down his sight.

Moody: In close quarters combat, you can hit your enemy with the butt end of your weapon. This is called a melee attack. Try it with your Thompson. Don't screw around kid, this is for real.

Martin performs a melee attack.

Moody: Now switch weapons, Private. Unless you are as dumb as you are ugly, it may dawn on you that each weapon is good for different situations. Make the wrong choice and you could buy the farm. Fire three more rounds at your target.

Martin fires three rounds at your target.

Moody: Outstanding private, proceed to the next area.

Martin moves to the next area.

Moody: Pick up the frag grenades from the table. Pick 'em up.

Martin picks up frag grenades.

Moody: Throw a grenade into each of the openings before you. Rock and fire! Move behind the concrete post and lean out to the left, then the right. This will help protect you from the enemy.

Martin throws several grenades at the openings while leaning left and right.

Moody: Alright Private, move on to the next area.

Martin moves to the next area.

Moody: Remember Private, if you get hurt, grab one of those health kits and use it. Don't be a hero, they will save your life. Our last station will be explosives. Pick 'em up partner.

Martin picks up the explosive.

Moody: That's a lot of firepower there, treat it with respect. That stuff doesn't care what it blows up. Place your explosives on the cinder block wall.

Martin plants the explosive on the wall.

Moody: Note that a stopwatch has appeared. This will tell you how much time you have to get your butt out of there unless you want it blown off.

Martin retreats to a safe distance. The explosive detonates.

Moody: Good job Private, well done. Keep your weapons with you and clean at all times. You're dismissed.

Martin exits the training area.

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