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Ft. Jackson, SC, fall of 1975 - how to stop fights

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Old June 27th, 2010, 04:20 AM   #1
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Ft. Jackson, SC, fall of 1975 - how to stop fights

We were outside (one of the Drill Sgt. blows the whistle and everyone runs from the assembly area to their barracks and part of the way inside (some guys inside, some outside and many in the doorway, on the porch/stairs) the Drill Sgt. blows the whistle again to signal for the return, at a run, to the assembly area - you know you did it, too. One of the biggest cluster***** I was every involved in while in the Army.

Anyway, you get hot, tired, thirsty, etc. and two guys got to pushing and then swinging fists. This of course caught everyone's attention and as we all know the only person(s) who should be getting your attention are the guys in those funny looking brown hats. Not having your attention (at all times) pisses them off so they stop "teaching" whatever it was they were "teaching" and they come over to find out why you aren't paying attention.

They broke up the fight (after pushing through the ring of bloodthirsty trainees ringing the fight and shouting/pushing each other to get closer and see some real blood) and put everyone at attention where they stood. One Drill Sgt. told another one to go get the "gloves" and then proceeded to explain that fighting would not be tolerated. Since these two guys had "volunteered" to demonstrate the way any future fights would be handled the Drill Sgt. wanted us to pay close attention as he stated the rules of the upcoming fight.

The other Drill Sgt. returned with the "gloves" and they proceeded to put them on the two guys hands while he continued to explain to them, and us, how the question would be settled.

1. both trainees got down in the push up position facing each other (the distance between their heads has to be such that their gloved fist can reach the other's head).
2. upon the command of "UP!!" they would rise to the ready position (both hands still on the ground, toes on the ground, body straight, head up and looking at the person opposite them)
3. upon the command "GO!!" they were to strike their opponent with a gloved fist or to use that gloved fist to block the strike of their opponent.
4. upon the command of "STOP!!" they were to have both hands back on the ground
5. at the command of "DOWN!!" they were to drop back down to the ground

The above was repeated until the Drill Sgts. were satisfied that NO ONE, let alone these two guys, had any interest what so ever in getting into a fight for the remainder of the cycle.

Think about it. No foot work. You can't move away. You have only one hand/fist to use and you have to decide whether to strike or to block. And in between the commands you have plenty of time to look your opponent in the face at close range while the Drill Sgt. lets the apprehension (dread??) build between the UP and the GO commands.

There was no winner in that contest (except the Drill Sgts.) and I don't recall anymore fights between trainees, though it came close a time or two.

I hadn't thought about that one for years but making that list in the other post brought it to mind.

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Old June 27th, 2010, 08:17 AM   #2
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I came close to getting into a fight with one of my good buddies his name is Danny Dufore he was from CT. We were tight all throughout basic. There were three guys that formed a click and were nothing but trouble all throughout basic. Anyway one day Danny failed a pt test and the three guys said to Danny that I was making fun of him behind his back. This was not the case at all. Danny came over to me a ripped my tshirt right off my body. It had been sweat in and washed so many times it came off like a pieice of paper towel off the roll. Before anything could happen SFC Fitch was on top of the situation. He had his smoky the bear hat up against my fathead so tight I thought I was going to get a cut. Needless to say at the end of the day Danny and I were still friends and SFC fitch had the three trouble makers jacked up in front of the CSM who happened to be undescribable. The three wererun so hard for the rest of boot that they all failed miserably and were let go from service. Felt good standing tall with Danny on graduation day. We all were talking about those three loosers wondering what they were doing. The summer of 82 the best summer of my life.
Thanks for sharing your story and bringing back some memories!

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Old June 27th, 2010, 11:05 AM   #3
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We had a few fights in basic but they were broken up by the recruits pretty fast. Once I was sent to Germany however, we handled fights differently. If you had a beef with another guy, two sets of boxing gloves were taken out of the closet and the two guys, plus anyone else who wanted to watch, went behind the barracks to settle the dispute. Whoever won was right and whoever lost was wrong. Rank didn't matter either (we had a fair share of NCO's and Privates duke it out as well). If you called the MP's because you were a sore loser, as one guy did, you got beat on by EVERYONE later that night. There have been SO many times since then that I wished I could have settled disputes like this in the civilian world.

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Old July 2nd, 2010, 12:04 PM   #4
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at jackson in basic we had some who had seen all the "movies" and thought that they would try some of that hollywood s..t, now I worked in bars as bartender and doorman/bouncer at nights so i was used to loud drunks starting trouble and having to put them out . there was a gang of about 6 mostly punks from the city 1 or 2 was tuff but mostly punks alone but they thought that they were bad..s when it was 6 on ? the di's job is to make it tuff on recriuts to see who would make it some were weaker than others and the gang felt that they was making it hard on all and was going to be di's too with threats and punches and midnite "blanket party".
some of the weak guys was in my squad I was a squad leader and they came to me for help .me and 2 other squad leaders went face to face with the gang letting them know we were in charge after beatdown they got the point we were going to be a team weak and strong the strong to help the weak when needed,if there was to be a fight it would be sanctioned given a time when no di was there and all in unit would referee fight aand 1on1 man to man unless someone would stand in for them .someone in gang went rat and told di I was acused and pulled aside sfc asked me I told him truth( he trusted me I had military drivers lic. and went to motor pool alone and around base with vehicle and the scrounger I could "find" stuff ) he said this is what they like to see teamwork being a unit not bullying the weak but working to overcome weakness getting mission done not blaming weak for failure of unit, he then put the rat next to me my bunk my chow buddie my shadow for me to help him understand and to break up gang . we did become friends and beer budies and he did not rat out the beer to the di ...lol...



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Old June 6th, 2011, 06:41 PM   #5
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In the early 1970's we had some nasty fights in my Cav Squadron at Fort Hood. The fights often involved weapons & Fort Hood was a nasty place during the Vietnam War. I learned quickly as a duty officer to follow the MP's into the Squad Bays. Later after Vietnam in Kitzingen, Germany I carried a loaded Browning HiPower in my field jacket when I was a duty officer.

That was a rough time for the Army. It took that to get to the more professional level it is now.

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