Bweinh! Goes To Boot Camp — Week 4

July 15, 2007, 6:30 pm; posted by
Filed under Articles, Job  | 1 Comment

Bweinh!’s own Job Tate went through training to become a Seabee in the US Navy.
Read his dispatches here: Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 6 | Graduation

“As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.”
James 5:11

The Navy, since we are not the Army, is not as focused on firearms as our more camouflaged brothers. But one thing we do that the other branches do not is shotgun training. I’ve tried and failed to figure out why they spend so much time training us to take out a dummy at the torso AND the knees in an imaginary environment, but regardless of the reason, they do.

Live fire training — where they train you to shoot the 9mm and the Mossberg shotgun — was a stressful, loud, surreal and challenging course. It was also the moment when the military decision really hit home. While we were firing at paper dummies in a safe environment, it did become real to me that I’m placing myself in a position to both be shot at and to shoot back. My ear gear snugly on and my eyes hidden behind protective glasses, I fought an inner struggle of faith as I emptied 192 rounds into an imaginary person, switched to the shotgun, combat-loaded three rounds, and “incapacitated” his three imaginary buddies.

My job in the Navy will be as a Seabee — combatant construction workers. This job will require me to leave Navy boot camp and go to Fort Leonardwood to be trained by the Army to fight in close quarters. I was raised as a pacifist, albeit a patriot, and I had wondered how it would feel to squeeze the trigger while in uniform.

I was pleased to discover I didn’t like it one bit. It didn’t make me nauseous, as it did some. It didn’t make me inaccurate or even shaky. But it did make me hesitant. As my grandmother would have said, “It caused me some pause,” and I think this is a pause to be nurtured.

I joined this Navy of ours because I want to serve, to help physically rebuild both structures and the image of America abroad. The role I chose will require me to carry both a shovel and a gun, and I know which one I hope never to use. But for the good order of peace and the entity that is freedom, I know I must learn to use both well — but one with incredible discretion.

As a Christian in uniform, it has become more and more apparent to me that we desperately need more Christians in uniform. That pause I spoke of, coupled with an eagerness to defend, was taught to me in Sunday School long before a drill sergeant ever called my name.


1 Comment to “Bweinh! Goes To Boot Camp — Week 4”

  1. Mike on July 16th, 2007 1:58 pm

    Hi Job–just wanted you to know how much I am enjoying this series of reflections from you, Job. They are unguarded, spare and moving. My prayers for you as you learn to use your shovel and gun and all the other tools you will use.

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