So, what has the rest of the crew been up to while Donner’s been having “fun” at Basic Training? Why getting ready for Annual Training, of course. Ordinarily this would take place more in the summer months but I was focusing on Donner; consider this to have taken place at the same time, back in August or so.
A lot of times the Reserves and many National Guard units go to other states for training. One of the reasons we are told this is so we can get training in “another environment”, one that we are not used to and brings unique challenges. Many times I have gone to Fort Hunter-Liggett in California, and even more times to Yakima Firing Range in Washington, for these purposes. And I can tell you this: they have the exact same trees, rolling hills, and sagebrush there that we have here in Idaho, except that we spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to go to these “exotic” training locales. I have yet to do anything in these areas that could not have been replicated in Idaho.
But then maybe I’m overlooking the challenge of moving a unit of people across the country– maybe that, in fact, is the training, and it is for our logistics people and not the line units? If so, I’d like to say that we could do a sort of “road trip Annual Training” and just do a big loop around the Western states for two weeks, maybe camping overnight at random rest stops and then moving out again the next morning, and then come home. Then next year we can just stay at our home bases and do something nearby.
Anyhow, remember that the rest of the 213th Battalion still has the old digital camouflage “ACU’s” or “Army Combat Uniform”. It used to be called the “Advanced Combat Uniform” but needless to say when it’s service life was cut short they switched the name to something more mundane-sounding and pretended that they planned it that way all along.