We had our biannual swim test yesterday. Most of the company did the bare minimum basic-level test, and then sat up in the bleachers with their MRE's, watching the handful who volunteered for the intermediate test. I was in the handful of course. We couldn't do the advanced test, because that takes five days and we only had the facility for one. But we got to try the MCIWS indoc, which is supposedly just as good and only takes an hour or so. So now I'm qualified to go to swim instructor school. But obviously the motive was to show off, and here's me cashing that check.
- Floating in the diving pool, I had to take off my pants, tie the legs together, and blow them up, to make a flotation device. It wasn't hard, but it was funny.
- The second hardest thing was the 25 yard underwater swim. It had to be deep, too. Making a ripple on the surface would disqualify us. I tried going calmly and efficiently, as instructed. I made it about 75% of the way before I started to panic, but then I thought of a trick: Instead of giving up and freaking out upward, I could freak out forward. So I quit the calm efficiency thing and went nuts for the rest of the way. It might have been unsafe, but how often do you get a chance to pass a test you haven't prepared for, at the mere cost of a minor risk to your life?
- The hardest thing was retrieving some rifles and helmets from the bottom of a 16-foot diving pool, while wearing a uniform and boots. It wasn't even part of a test. The test only required us to drop them. But we couldn't leave them there, and the instructor sure as hell wasn't going to get them. My ears are still feeling that one.