Thursday, January 21, 2021

Whiz Quiz Washout (Part 3 of 4 Parts)

dontravis.com blog post #482

Photo Courtesy of en.wikipedia.org


At the end of Part 2, Technical Sergeant Bley hung around even though he was off duty. He obviously wanted to talk privately to his second, Sergeant Bemis.

 

****

WHIZ QUIZ WASHOUT

“Don’t you think it’s time to ease up on Corso?” I asked. “He’s handled everything you can throw at him like a trooper.”

“Shit no, Tom!” he snapped. “He’s a queer, and I want him out. And I’m gonna break him yet.”

I rose and stood in front of him. “No, you’re not. You’re going to treat him like everyone else. He gets his dose of bullshit, but no more. There’s not a shred of evidence the kid’s homo. He’s as much man as any of them.”

“How come you standing up—”

“I stand up for all my men. That’s my job! Yours, too, Staff Sergeant Biers. We’re not here to vent our private prejudices on these trainees. We’re here to make airmen out of them.”

“Shit, Tech Sergeant. To my mind, getting a hard-on for your Pecker-Checker is evidence.”

“Nothing like that happened, Wayne,” I sat back down and tried to ease things a little.

“You calling me a liar?” His redheaded dander was rising.

“No. I’m saying you misunderstood the medic. I talked to the man, myself.”

“Well, fuck, Tom. Never thought you’d take a pickle’s side against me!”

“I’m not taking anyone’s side. I’m just saying treat him like anyone else. Do you hear me?”

“I hear you. Loud and clear!”

It seemed to me he’d said that before.

***

Discord among TIs is not a desirable thing, but it happens often enough. We were both well trained, and I doubt any of the flight noticed the clouded air between us. They had all they could handle struggling with the PC final assessment, meeting Air Force personal hygiene standards, keeping spotless quarters, a second clothing issue, learning the military codes and courtesies, and drilling—endless drill pad marches, road marches, cross-country marches, parade marches. Handling all that and trying to satisfy two of the meanest motherfuckers they’d ever run into, their Training Instructors, gave us cover for our strained relationship.

I kept a sharp eye on Wayne, and while he tended to pick Corso for the shit details, the real harassment reverted to an acceptable level. After another week, I relaxed my vigil. I shouldn’t have.

At the beginning of WOT 4, I arrived for the morning set-up to find pandemonium in the dorm. I walked halfway through the bay before anyone noticed me and called the flight to attention. Then trainees in various stages of dress scampered for their bunks, abandoning the two men scrambling up off the floor. Corso and Flight Leader Windle had obviously been fighting. Wayne’s pet hadn’t been doing well. Windle nursed a split lip; Corso didn’t have a mark on him. I noticed that the two had been mixing it up down near Corso’s bunk. That meant Windle had approached Corso. When Biers breezed in, prepared to let out a bellow, I took charge, holding up a hand to stop Windle from returning to his bunk.

“Stay right there, Trainee Windle!” I disdained his title of Flight Leader to raise the man’s anxiety level. “I’m not going to ask what’s going on because I don’t want to know.” I raised my voice and acted like a TI, “I won’t have personal fights in my flight! Is that clear?”

“Sir, yes sir!” they shouted in unison.

“If you haven’t learned you’re a team by now,” I bellowed, “then I doubt you’ll ever learn it! Nobody…nobody…is going to disrupt this flight. I’ll ship the two of you out before that happens. Do you understand me?”

“Sir, yes sir!”

“I can’t hear you, ladies!”

“Sir…yes…sir!” They would have made a good chorus; they sang on key.

“Nothing will go into the record…this time! But if there’s ever a next time, you’re dead meat. Now drop and give me twenty and then go get yourselves cleaned up!”

I caught the look in Wayne’s eyes and understood what had happened. He’d allowed his personal prejudice to poison his judgment. He’d probably told Windle about his suspicions and suggested that the Flight Leader take care of the problem. Corso hadn’t been willing to take shit from another trainee like he did from his TI. Good for Corso.

Wayne pouted for the rest of the day.

***

The chickens came home to roost near the end of the week. Wayne Biers had set things in motion by calling my attention to Justin Corso that first week, and now, damn his eyes, I was getting sucked in deeper and deeper. I found myself thinking about the good-looking trainee more than was normal. Fuckups usually dominated my time, but Corso was no screw-up. He was one of the best in the flight.

The Supply Officer issues and controls supplies, but most TIs store a few items for use during field training. I scrounged up a detail on Saturday and commandeered a truck for the two-mile drive to the Quonset hut housing the equipment. I’m not certain whether I brought Corso along by accident or design. Whatever the reason, he was one of the five trainees I tapped for the detail.

 

 

****

Are things coming to a head? Looks to me like it.

 

Now my mantra: Keep on reading and keep on writing. You have something to say… so say it!

 

My personal links:

 

Email: don.travis@aol.com.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/donald.travis.982

Twitter: @dontravis3

 

See you next Thursday.

 

Don

 

New Posts every Thursday morning at 6:00 a.m. US Mountain time. 

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Whiz Quiz Washout (Part 2 of 4 Parts)

 dontravis.com blog post #481

Photo Courtesy of en.wikipedia.org.

Last week we left Technical Sergeant Bley eyeball to eyeball with Trainee Justin Corso after the recruit admitted that although he had shy kidneys, he’d managed to pee in the cup. So technically he didn’t fail the Whiz Quiz. We pick up their conversation below.

What is it about the first paragraph lately. Again, the program failed to respond to my commands

 ****

WHIZ QUIZ WASHOUT

I damned near violated the basic tenet of the TI code and laughed at his look of contrition, but I kept my face straight, staring into those deep, iridescent opal eyes. He stood a good inch under my five-eleven, but we were about a par in the weight department. One seventy.

“Then we’ll have our answer soon. Urinalysis tests are an important part of your life now, Trainee, so you’d better learn to piss on command. You’re gonna have a Pecker-Checker staring at your dong every time the Piss Bottle Man gets thirsty. Understand!”

“Sir! Yes, sir!”

“And you’d better start controlling that dick.”

Confusion twisted his handsome features. “Sir?”

“You keep getting an erection in front of your Pecker-Checker, you’re liable to get a fist upside your head!

The kid’s tan slowly flushed a bright crimson. “Sir! That didn’t happen, sir!”

“You calling your TI a liar, Recruit?”

Corso finally became flustered. “Fucking A!” He got control of himself before I could pounce. “Sir! No, sir. I wouldn’t do that, sir. But he wasn’t there. I did not get an erection, sir!”

As we left to catch up with Sgt. Biers and the rest of the flight, I looked over his gear. Expensive stone washed jeans. Good-quality linen shirt and standard New Balance white running shoes. This California sun worshiper did not come from a destitute background.

***

Biers leaned on Corso mercilessly. I didn’t interfere, because I was curious about how much he could take. Every trainee in the flight, all sixty of them were run ragged to the point they virtually had no time to perform all their duties, at least to the impossible standards we set. Corso came as close as any, even with the distraction of extra harassment. In my opinion, he should have been Dorm Chief, the trainee Flight Leader, but Biers wanted a man named Windle, claiming the kid’s two years of AFROTC had at least taught him his left foot from his right. There wasn’t much doubt about Windle’s reason for enlisting. He was aiming straight for OTS, Officer’s Training School at Maxwell AFB in Alabama.

Biers found fault with Corso everywhere we went: finance, personnel, career orientation. Wayne didn’t even like his haircut—and he was shaved damned near bald like every other trainee in the squadron.

Corso was a standout at PC, physical conditioning. His athletic form and crisply executed sit-ups and pushups drew the eye amid a mass of sweating, straining, sloppy young bodies. He’d built those muscles in a gym and kept them toned in the surf near his home in Monterrey. Unlike the punks from the Mean Streets of a dozen cities, his muscles were not for show, they had strength behind the definition. Windle, by contrast, would be doing good to pass his PC assessment during the third week of training.

Our Rainbows received their uniform issue and graduated to Baby Flight status, recognizable by the white running shoes they wore with their BDUs, battle dress uniforms—what used to be called fatigues. They’d live in the sports shoes a week before donning boots to accustom their tender toes to walking and marching and running instead of being carted everywhere by jalopies and convertibles and subways and escalators.

Corso was handling Wayne’s double load of shit more or less equitably when I conducted a graded inspection upon return from the drill pad during WOT 2, the second week of training. Biers took one side of the bay while I inspected the other. My attention was drawn across the room as Biers unleashed on Corso. He held the trainee’s clothing drawer in his hand, and I had just enough time to see everything looked to be folded and in its proper place before he upended it onto the floor. Then Biers tossed all the uniforms in the wall locker on top of the mess.

“Who taught you to stow your gear, Trainee?” Wayne roared in Corso’s ear. “If you ain’t learned the Air Force way by now, you ain’t gonna never learn it! Might as well pack up and ship out! Drop down and give me twenty!”

Corso’s jaw muscles worked overtime as he assumed the position, but he snapped off the push-ups quickly and cleanly before coming to attention again.

“You straighten up that mess right now! You hear me, Trainee Corso?”

“Sir, yes sir!”

“Well get to it! And I’m gonna inspect it again after chow. Understand?”

“Sir, yes sir!”

I let it go, but hung around for Wayne’s second inspection even though I was on short duty that day. There wasn’t a thing wrong with the clothing drawer, but Wayne dumped it on the floor again, anyway.

Now it’s a normal part of BMT to demand perfection when none can be achieved, but my junior TI was carrying it a little far. He had a hard-on for Corso, and nothing the kid could do was going to satisfy him.

During a break while the flight was scouring its bay, Wayne wandered into the orderly room.

“How come you still here?” he asked, removing his campaign hat and wiping his brow with a stubby hand. “Ain’t you got nothing better to do than hang around and mother your kiddies?”

“Nothing planned tonight,” I said. We both knew every TI put in long hours, especially during the early part of the six-week BMT course, and was jealous of every spare moment of free time.

 

****

Now Bley's altering his pattern of behavior.  What gives. Maybe we'll learn next week.

Now my mantra: Keep on reading and keep on writing. You have something to say… so say it!

My personal links:

 Email: don.travis@aol.com.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/donald.travis.982

Twitter: @dontravis3

 See you next Thursday.

 

Don

 New Posts every Thursday morning at 6:00 a.m. US Mountain time.

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Whiz Quiz Washout (Part 1 of 4 Parts)

 

dontravis.com blog post #480

 Photo Courtesy of enwikipedia.org


I trust everyone made it through the holidays okay… although that’s a matter of great faith in these times. I lost one good friend—about whom I lamented on this site a couple of weeks ago. And the terrible pandemic sweeping through the world and robbing so many of their lives, seems to be gathering strength, rather than waning. We’re all betting heavily on the vaccines about which we hear so much and see so little.

 

This week, I’d like to start a four-parter. I call it the Whiz Quiz Washout. The reason becomes quickly clear. Let’s get started. (By the way, don't ask me why the first paragraph is different. That's just the way the Web Site gods decreed. Nothing I did changed it.)

 ****

WHIZ QUIZ WASHOUT

A uniform is a powerful thing. Any kind of uniform: street cleaner, cop, army, navy—it doesn’t matter. But an airman’s uniform is something uber-special. Desert camo or dress blue, it doesn’t matter. Let’s face it, a uniform is just cloth and buttons and zippers until someone puts it on. Then it confers power and grace and beauty on the man or woman wearing it. That uniform is why I made the U. S. Air Force my career.

I had returned from a dispute with the finance weenies over my housing allowance to find Wayne Biers, my junior Training Instructor absolutely apoplectic. Wayne was a Staff Sergeant in the first of a three-year assignment with the Basic Military Training Command at Quarrels AFB. In my opinion, he was only marginally qualified to be an AETC Instructor. He came to the program from one of the NAF support units, and I’m not certain his Mississippi high school diploma, a requirement for a TI, was genuine. Oh, he was smart enough, but he tended to be narrow in his opinions. The incident that set him off this time was a case in point.

“He’s a fucking queer, I tell you, Tom!” He had left our Rainbow Flight standing at ease on the drill pad to come inside the orderly room and pour his homophobia out onto my desk. “Rainbows” is a time-honored term for Air Force recruits so new they haven’t even been issued uniforms. “Flunked his whiz quiz,” Wayne went on.

“He tested positive for drugs?” The question was perfunctory. We didn’t get test results back that quickly.

“Fuck no!” Wayne’s five-foot eight frame wiggled like it was infested with chiggers. “Couldn’t piss a drop and started getting a hard-on for his Pecker-Checker.” Outrage heightened his normally ruddy complexion. “Pulled a boner right out in the open. I say we wash the faggot out. Get rid of him before he infects the flight. Hell, the fucking squadron.”

I paused a moment, studying the slight man almost dancing in agitation in front of my desk. Was my assistant’s homophobia driven by fear? “Biers, you do know Don’t Ask-Don’t Tell is coming to an end, don’t you?”

“Hell, I know that. Fucking shame. Then they’ll be able to tell you even if you don’t ask. All the more reason to ship this guy before that comes down the flight path.

“You saw this with your own eyes?”

“Yes. No. Well, I seen he was having trouble pissing. And the tech told me about the hard-on later. I tell, you Gley, he was the last one outa there. Rest of the flight was in formation ‘fore he come out looking whipped.”

“What’s his name?”

“Corso. Justin O. Corso. I got him waiting in the dorm.”

“You get the rest of our pickles to their next appointment, and I’ll go talk to Corso. But you treat him just like everyone else until I tell you different. Do you hear?”

“Yes, Tech Sergeant. I hear. Loud and clear.”

“All right, get those Rainbows moving. I’ll bring Corso when I’m finished with him.”

He did an about-face and left, most likely figuring he’d got his lick in, and I’d fall into line. That was one of the things I didn’t like about him.

The comforting sound of TIs counting cadence and the more or less uniform stamp of marching shoes soothed my subconscious as I snatched a quick glance at the trainee’s file. Corso was twenty years old. Older than most Rainbows. College grad with a major in history. OCS material. So why had he enlisted?

When I entered my flight’s bay on the third floor of the big dorm, I got the shock of the day. It was an expression of my own prejudices that I’d expected a pasty-faced, androgynous creature cowering in fear. Instead, a sculpted, handsome, dark-haired young man snapped to attention the moment I blew through the door.

“Sir! Trainee Justin O. Corso, reporting as ordered, sir!”

The voice was deep and manly. He looked like a fucking Air Force recruiting poster—well built, handsome, masculine. Too damned handsome. I left him at attention. Hoping to take him off guard, I spoke without the normal TI bluster, probably the first time that had happened to him since he boarded the bus at the airport for the short ride here.

“I’m Technical Sergeant Thomas Gley, your Senior MTI…military training instructor. Staff Sergeant Biers tells me we have a problem.”

“Don’t know…uh. Sir, I don’t know what the problem is, sir!” He recovered fast.

In the best TI manner, I leaned forward and put my face in his. “What’s this I hear, Recruit?” I shouted. “You gonna be the first trainee in history to washout over the whiz quiz? What’s the matter with you?” I barely restrained myself from asking if he was gay. That wasn’t allowed nowadays…DADT wasn’t gone quite yet. “Well, answer me!” I roared.

“Sir, bashful kidneys, sir!”

“What?” I asked, rocking back on my heels, distracted by his musky aftershave. I took another look. Jeez, this kid was fucking beautiful. If I was queer, I could go for him, myself. I flashed back to a TDY in BFE where I’d shared some experiences with another young tech. BFE—Bum Fucking Egypt—but it had been a great place for me for those few months. I hadn’t thought about what happened over there in five years!

“Sir, bashful kidneys, sir. Have trouble pissing on command. Always have. Uh, sir.”

I took a deep breath and leaned in again. “You’re not trying to stall until some drugs clear your system by any chance? If you are, you might as well forget it. I’ve had every trick in the book tried on me, Corso.”

“Sir, no, sir! I gave a sample, sir. I complied with the requirement, sir.”

“So you managed to pee in a cup.”

He glanced at me through sheepish eyes. “Yes, sir. Finally managed it.”

 ****

Wonder what’s building here? As someone who had shy kidneys in the military, my sympathies lie with Airman Corso. Course, the way he looks doesn’t hurt any.

 I believe I forgot my mantra last week—the mantra that rat Mark Wildyr appropriated for his own use. Just kidding, I gave him permission. Keep on reading and keep on writing. You have something to say… so say it!

Tune in next week.

My personal links:

Email: don.travis@aol.com.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/donald.travis.982

Twitter: @dontravis3

See you next Thursday.

 

Don

New Posts every Thursday morning at 6:00 a.m. US Mountain time.

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