Out in the hinterlands of the sprawling Fort Dix training facility, the 3rd Herd is on Tactical Bivouac, receiving instruction in the use of the M-60 Machine Gun, the Light Anti-Tank Weapon (LAW), and the M-203 Grenade Launcher. While her troops are attending classroom instruction, which is conducted by other NCO's who are specialists in those weapons, Sgt. Strohl waits nearby with the other drill sergeants who can now take a break from keeping track of their charges. The conversation is generally the friendly give and take of locker room humor. Typical of a group of men who are professionals in uniform. Sgt. Strohl, gender not withstanding, holds her own with the group. Part of her confidence comes from having won the Drill Sergeant of the Cycle Award for their training brigade the cycle before. Dues paid in the army are dues acknowledged.
Outside, under the shade of a clump of black jack oak, the drill sergeants can hear their recruits shouting inside the nearby classroom.
"DEAL WITH DEATH DRILL SERGEANT".
"DEAL WITH DEATH".
"MOTIVATION IS THE KEY, WHEN WE TRAIN SO VISCOUSLY"
"LET US LOOSE AND YOU WILL SEE. WE HAVE PRIDE AND DIGNITY".
The drill sergeants know this signals the end of classroom instruction and it`s time to get back to work.
Later, outside during training with the LAW, Strohl sees one of her young charges having difficulty with the weapon's firing mechanism. Deftly she corrects the problem. Drill sergeants have to know a little about a lot. The surrounding forest echoes to the sound of unison`~clicks' from the trainees dry firing their weapons at pretend enemy tanks.
Bivouac marks the half-way point in the training cycle and the emphasis of practical training has taken on more intensity. For those trainees who are going on to fields in the army other than infantry, this is the only exposure they may get to practical weapons training.