To people who have never served in the military, many of the duties and requirements seem strange, and frankly, pointless Often, to those actually serving, an order can seem just as goofy.

 In basic training, when I was instructed to have the 30+ men under my supervision carry out some seemingly nonsensical activity, the only reason given was: "good training, good training". I'm sure my 3 homeschooled children still hear that phrase in their sleep. It was such a perfect response to the question "why", when they were required to do some chore, obvious to an adult, that I just could not help myself !


  Most folks have seen photos of the cute ladies trying to distract the guard at Buckingham Palace as he stands at attention. On the surface, what possibly could be the value of being trained to stand motionless, un-distracted by anything?A drill sergeant ( DI if in Marines) would say it's "good training", but a psychologist would say it is a valuable lesson (training) in the "positive transference of learning". Which is a fancy way of saying "whatever one learns in situation 'A', makes performance in situation 'B', easier, or almost automatic".


  Almost anyone who has served in the military can quote: 


GENERAL ORDER #1:
 "I WILL GUARD EVERYTHING WITHIN THE LIMITS OF MY POST,AND NOT QUIT(i.e. be distracted) MY POST UNTIL PROPERLY RELIEVED."


  Standing at attention is the main exercise, repeated over and over, used to train a soldier's internal general order #1 muscle. The goal is to take a 19 year old male, easily distracted by everything, and harshly train him to be distracted by NOTHING, so that in combat, he may save his own life and others fighting with him.


  I was the smallest guy in our 150 man trainee company at Ft.Knox. We were broken up into 5 platoons of roughly 30 men each. Typically, the  tallest or largest  guy in each platoon was picked as the platoon leader or guide, a trainee sergeant, who was then given increasingly more and more responsibility, until he virtually ran the platoon for the drill sergeant.


  Platoons 1-4 had monstrous sized platoon guides who stood out front, in every morning formation. .However the 5th platoon had ME.


  Sgt Stevens was the drill sergeant of the 4th, who stood next to me as I gave the 5th platoon report in morning formation. For entertainment, before the 1st sergeant arrived, he would stand me at attention, and try to get me to laugh, or respond as he totally abused me verbally about my lack of bulk, and my fancy GA Tech  education.


  He had read my file, seen my IQ scores, and delighted  in screaming, nose-to-nose, and the conversation always went the same: "Yeah, White ,you think you're so damn SMART, don't you White?" 


“NO, DRILL SERGEANT". 
"Are you calling me a LIAR"? 
"NO, DRILL SERGEANT."


 "So, just because you graduated from GA Tech, YOU DO think you're SMARTEST (censored, extremely graphic)  S.D. out here, don't you, White?"


"NO, DRILL SERGEANT" 


"I've got my EYE on you White, and when you finally screw-up, your a-- is GRASS, and I'm going to be the LAWNMOWER".


 I NEVER flinched, NEVER even smiled, I LOVED every second of it. You see, Sgt. Stevens reminded me of my Dad, Abe White, in fact, it only made me homesick.


  So, with that background on my ability to STAND at attention, I share Hannah's final SHOT.


  Standing my post,oblivious to ALL distractions:


  Friends, please meet the incredibly talented photographic artist, daughter of my great friends Candee and Larry, my sister in Christ: Miss Hannah Abad,


  Proprietor of LUCERE IMAGERY: 


 Thomas Avery White

General Order #1

Thomas Avery White
Thomas Avery White
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