INTL ALERT Academy, Basic Training, Spring 2006

My mind raced, from one thought to the next, wondering, waiting, as the plane touched down in Dallas / Ft. Worth, Texas, and taxied into the Gate. I knew what I was doing, but I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I had prepared as much as I could, but some how began to feel that I wasn’t quite ready. But ready or not it was here, and it was up to me to make the best out of it. I met up with other fellow recruits outside the terminal, and waited for the bus to take us to our destination. Some were very shy, and obviously sheltered young boys, others were wanna be men, and others just stayed silent. We boarded the bus, and AlertBasicTrainingBefore.jpgmade the two hour long bus ride to Big Sandy Texas, our home for the next 9 weeks. when we pulled into the Alert Academy Campus, we all had our own idea of what lied ahead, but only some of us vocalized it. We were joined by the remainder of the recruits, and commenced to have a lunch, a warm up briefing, and we were then sent of to the start of “R Night”.

Although the night seems now as just a blur, the details are still etched forever in my mind.

Basically in a short amount of time, that was really many hours, we underwent briefings, instruction, hair cuts, push ups, discipline, surrendering our personal items, and receiving our issued items, more push ups, and everything we needed to know, at least for the time being. It was a very tiring process, and by the time we hit our bunks at the barracks, it seemed that morning was already there. From then on our mornings consisted of wake up, before light. AM watch, which was our devotional time. PT, Showers, Cleaning, inspection, then Breakfast, then, on with the day.

Throughout the 9 weeks of Basic Training, the days varied in length, depending on our activity, but they were always busy and full of learning.

There was never a dull moment, and when things did slow down, it was only for a moment, before some big event. Even our sleep was disturbed at times, to embark on a training exercise or hike, so we were constantly at a state of alert. Although similar to the military in some of the training methods and physical activity, The Basic Training of the ALERT Academy is in a league of its own. The strong Christian Principles and beliefs that it is founded upon come through in every way possible, and create a foundation in which they base their training upon. Discipline, Leadership, Manliness, Endurance, Humbleness, Strength, all are words that would describe the qualities that the training reveals and builds within the recruits through their time. AlertBasicTrainingPTStretch.jpgIt all depends though on the mentality of the person coming into Basic, and what their goal is that they wish to reach during the nine weeks. Some do not open themselves to the instruction and either drop out, are dismissed, or they barely squeak by, and gain nothing.

We were constantly placed in situations in which to learn in grow, whether we knew what we were doing or not.

I however, growing up hunting, spending a lot of times outdoors, working in Alaska, and being raised by a strong Christian family, thought that I knew more than I did, and also was very confident in many of the tasks, but unfortunately was a bit too confident at times. But that was when I was humbled, and brought down low, which is one of the main goals of the training. To tear a boy down, in a good way, and not leave him their, but build him back up, spiritually and mentally to be stronger, and to depend upon God for strength, not oneself. They use many different methods to do this, which would be to many to number, but they all lead back to the fact of taking away the “I” mentality, and replacing it with “Them”.

Our regimen started somewhat slow and then picked up as we learned the ways of being a recruit, how to dress, how to march, how to sing, how to speak, and how to clean.

Cleaning was something that most of us had done some of before, and thought we knew how, but this was different. We were inspected every day, and we had to meet the requirements or else. Firm discipline was enacted upon the slothful, AlertBasicTrainingRunning.jpgbut at the end of the week, we had to all work together as a team to pass as one unit, or suffer together. But that was again the purpose, to build unity and cohesion between the boys that were quickly becoming men. We were made up of Squads of 7-8, which were a part of a Platoon which was three squads, and our two platoons made up Unit 35. Aside from cleaning we also did a lot of Hiking and running. again this was something that most of us had done before, but not like this. We never walked somewhere, unless marching, so we were running, and during the hikes we also did a lot of running.

The hikes consisted of every scenario imaginable. Swimming rivers and lakes, climbing mountains, sweltering heat,

shivering cold, pouring rain, and in the night. This time also built us together, helping each other through the hard times, carrying them, singing with them, and with every step losing the pride of self, and building strength in unity and in God. AlertBasicTrainingHikePushup.jpgIt is amazing what you can do when it is not your own strength. The possibilities are endless, and so were our days, it seemed, but we also had a lot of fun through competition, and rewards. We spent time living off the land in a survival situation, and in those hard times, some people stood out, and took charge and accomplished much, but some did not, but through it all we came out victorious, and stronger in mind and body. I made a lot of really good friends there, and although they live all over the country, and even in other countries, our bonds grown during our time together continue to stay strong. A kinship that is true is strengthened with time.

Physically we grew stronger through PT every morning, and the continual bodily exertion through out each day, but spiritually we grew even more, which is a far greater gain. We memorized scripture every day, and quoted the entire book of 1 Peter at the end of the nine weeks.

Chapel was held each morning, and devotional time, and mentor-ship from our leaders were given immensely. It was those leaders that impacted my life so much, and helped me along, the good times and the bad, and it was such an honor to stand with them, at the end of our Training, on the promotion stage, as men. It was also amazing to get to talk to them one on one, with out the protocol, and the formality, and to find out that they too are people, some younger than myself, and to find out the amazing men they are outside of training, and to see how God can use them to impact so many boys lives and turn them into great men, ready to serve this nation.

This is a quote from ALERT Academy’s website, “Prepare Generations to be Followers of Christ” our goal is to prepare you for the calling God has placed on your life!” It shows through all of the programs that they offer, and they make a huge impact on this country as well as others. They have a three phases of ALERT Training. Basic Training, ERT, and Advanced Training. After Basic, you then go into ERT, Emergency Response Training, which is basically nine weeks, focusing on a little bit of each advanced program they offer, as well as gearing the then deemed “Responders”,

to be able to go out and serve in Disasters, Churches, and anywhere that they are “deployed” to. It is the second phase that I was privileged to go through in 2007, with unit 36, and will be expounding on that experience at a later date. The Advanced Training, The third and final Phase is where one can get occupational skills such as, pilots licence, EMT, Paramedics, Dive Master, and many other options through their multifaceted training facility, which also includes a program for women called STEP, a program for young boys similar to Boy Scouts, called Cadets, and a few other misc. trainings. It was such an honor to go through the ALERT Academy, and I wish that more young men could go through it, and find out what it truly means to be a Man of God.

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