Today on Tommy T’s obsession with Random Ruminations – “You’re in the Army now” edition

(I’m awarding a no-prize to anyone who can pick me out of this photo of “C Company”)

All right – here I am now at Allen Military Academy. I quickly realized that 9/10s of the attendees were either nerds disinterested in classwork (like me), or guys sent away by their folks to get their sociopathic asses out of their house, or as an alternative to going in the slammer.

Unfortunately, it was mostly the latter. It worked like this –
Rank was everything.
The higher your rank, the more sociopathy you could get away with.
The longer you’ve been at Allen, the higher your rank (usually) would be.
Think “frat house hazing” forever and ever.

Here’s an example – every three months, we had an “Awards Review”. We all stood in ranks at attention, while a kindly lady  (usually the wife of one of the instructors) pinned our award medals on our uniforms, one by one.
Sounds nice and regal, right?
Unfortunately, a Lieutenant from each Company walked along behind the line and stuck us in the ass with a needle so we could pretend the kindly lady had stuck us with the pin that she was attaching the award medal with.
Ah – tradition.

Every morning after  réveillé, we’d form up, and march to breakfast. After breakfast, we’d form up again and march to classes. Lunch, same. Weekends were for drilling, and sometimes, going into town – a 1.5 hour walk each way

We were each issued a M1 Garand, and were training with other armaments I’ll decline to describe here, as I don’t think they were legal. Of course, you can now go to any of 100+ ranges and fire automatic weapons, but I’ll pass on the full armament description. Watch the movie “Taps” if you want to see a similar arsenal.

I made friends with the rangemaster (an active duty instructor), and I shot marksman level with both hands). He even let me use his Walther P-38 (war prize).

I stayed as much to myself as I could, both due to having no interests in common with the other cadets, and just trying to stay off the sociopaths’ radar.

I’m not sure what put me on their radar, but it might have been my only record – “The Horn and the Hornet” – Al Hirt’s album from his TV theme days.
I didn’t get to play it often as I didn’t own a record player, but one day I came back from dinner to find it in the yard in front of the barracks, broken into four pieces.


Then one evening after class, the dam burst. I was grabbed by six cadets and pants removed.

They said they were going to blackball me.

It’s not what I thought.

More next Sunday.

Anyway, here’s my album:.