[ Welcome | Articles ]

Tales of the Young Woodhead - or How I almost did not become the old Woodhead
Tales of the Young Woodhead - Cadet Basic Training (CBT)
Tales of the Young Woodhead - or Wwhere is my book?

Tales of the Young Woodhead - Cadet Basic Training (CBT)

    (With a last name of Wood, my roommates named me Woodhead. Was this a less than polite way of calling me a blockhead?) This happened too many years ago for me to reveal how many.

    The first two months of any individual’s stay at West Point is called Cadet Basic Training (CBT). However, it was more commonly referred to as Beast Barracks. These ‘New Cadets’ received rudimentary training on small unit tactics as a vehicle for learning to work as a team.

    This was to be our first ‘field training’. 2d Company (“The Deuce is Wild, SIR!”) new cadets were to learn Ambush/Counter-Ambush tactics. We had been informed we would be ambushed enroute to our bivouac site. (We were using blank ammunition, so no New Cadets were harmed in the exercise.)

    The Upper Class (the leadership) had taken a wrong turn enroute to the training location. We New Cadets, not knowing the intended destination, were unaware of the discussion and map review taking place among the leaders. All we knew was we were to get down on one knee, then face out holding our rifles at the ready. So, we assumed, this is it! We are about to experience our first ambush.

    Meanwhile, back at the main campus (West Point), the band was preparing to practice. Coincidentally(?) the piece they decided to practice was the theme from the movie Patton. The strains from the music drifted up to us as we nervously anticipated an impending firefight. Our eyes got wide, and we looked at each other in astonishment, thinking “Wow! You really DO hear dramatic music before you see action!”

    What really happened was, our leaders figured out our route, we got back to our feet, and resumed trudging to the actual training site. And, for those wondering, if there IS dramatic music playing during intense action, I never heard it over the gunfire.

Go to top