Flashback: 12240 Jim Sullivan’s Drill Class

Above: 12240 Jim Sullivan is first on the left in the back row.

With thanks to the Class of 1979 and 12215 Dave Mowat

During our recruit term we used to have drills classes every other day.  As a way of making sure that we held on tight to our FNC-1 rifle, the drill instructor sternly warned us one day that if we were ever foolish enough to drop the weapon, we better “damn well hit the deck before the rifle!”  Several days later, during another drill class on a cold morning with the same instructor, and following one drill movement, the rifle slipped from Jim’s hands and made a very loud clanking noise as it struck the pavement.  We all immediately froze, looking first at the fallen rifle and then out of the corner of ours eyes at Jim.  However, cool as a cucumber, Jim lifts one finger in the air, motioning for the drill instructor to “wait one”.  Then he slowly bends down and gently lays beside his rifle, adjusting his head so it rested comfortably on his cupped hands, on the barrel of the rifle.  The instructor looks at him in complete disbelief, and then quickly turned away, but we could still see his contorted face trying to suppress a laugh.  I cannot even remember what he did to us after that, but whatever it was, it was worth it!

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