Posts Tagged ‘Sayeret’

What can I say, I’m a certified skirt wearing Tzanchan (paratrooper) now… well at least I will be in 8 months from now.¬† I’ve just done the equivalent of going from being a senior in high school to being a lowly freshman in college. The last week or so of being at Mikveh Alon was great, we all had “broken distance” with our Mefakdot, meaning we learned their names and some details of their normal lives. They also stopped being giant bitches 24/7, so that kinda made them bearable. We were on top of the world, newbies were coming into the base that we got to laugh at their misfortunes while we walked around hardly doing anything. That was then… this is now.

Now we’re at the Tzanchanim base, we’re the scum of the earth. The people without red koomtas (berets), without wings, without anything but our girly looking skirts having proved nothing yet. For those of you that don’t know, Tzanchanim, the paratroopers, wear a “tunic” which everyone refers to as a skirt. It has something to do with the british S.A.S. blah blah blah. I wasn’t really paying attention when someone was telling me, because I was just thinking if I looked pretty in a skirt or not.

tzanchanim skirt ehmmm, tunic... (yerkit in hebrew)

This first week at Tzanchanim was an experience to say the least. We, the Mikveh Alon group, had been on the base the week prior to learn some random stuff about the army that they thought was important for us to know instead of having the week off. Some of it was interesting, but I really would have much more appreciated the week off to do nothing. Basically, as you can tell, I never even wrote a blog last week – that’s how much I cared for that week. While most people’s first week at Tzanchanim was dominated by working around the base picking weeds and other manual labor jobs fit for scum, I was at another gibbush.

“ANOTHER GIBBUSH!??! I read about the hell you went through the first time, why would you do it again?” That’s what you just asked me right? – OK, well if you didn’t ask, you should have, because I’m about to give you the answer. This gibbush was for the sayerot (special forces) units of Tzanchanim. The units are the following – Maglan, Duvdevan, as well as the “Gadsar” units, Palsar (reconnaissance), Palchan (demolitions) and Orev (anti-tank). They all do they’re own special things which you can read more about on your time (it really is intriguing stuff once you get into it).

To make this a shorter blog entry, read the previous blog about the first gibbush, then multiply it 12.5 fold. This gibbush was 50 straight hours, not 4. The entire first day was crawling. I make no exaggerations – other than half an hour of wind sprints in the beginning of the day, we crawled. We crawled straight, we crawled in circles, we crawled up hill, we crawled down hill. We crawled all day… I must admit that I’m actually misleading you a little bit, we did have “breaks”, 5-10 minute ones every hour or so… during which we had to piss and drink our full meemiah (canteen), which is about 3/4 of a liter then run and refill it at the water truck that was parked a good 5 minutes away. Oh what’s that you say? That’s not enough time to drink, piss and refill up the canteen? Of course it’s not, that’s the point. When we got back, obviously late, we had to do push-ups because we were late.

The whole time during the gibbush we were eating the same thing we ate in the shetach at Mikveh Alon, Manot Krav (combat rations), which included bread, canned tuna, corn, beans, pineapple and a little brick of halava to split between 8 or so ravenous guys. I don’t know about you guys, but that churns my stomach a little bit. I won’t lie, I may have had some skidmarks by the end of the gibbush…

After a “pleasant” night sleep (which included getting up twice in the night to do 15 minute guard duty rotations) in a two man tent on the dirt ground, the second day of the gibbush was a little different. We ran up and down hills for the whole first half of the day. Up and down… up and down… up and down. The Mefaked (commander) doesn’t say do this 5 times, he just says “do this”. It’s up to you to do it as fast as you can, as many times as you can until he says stop. This is how they judge you, they want to see your motivation to push yourself. Then after an hour or so they’ll switch up the path that you need to run, usually by making it longer and harder. Oh, haha, I forgot a key element. You’re running with a 10 kg sandbag on your neck/back.

Sometime after the running we started doing a Masa (hike/journey) with aloomkot (stretchers) The stretchers all have 7 sandbags on them, that’s 70 kilo’s, plus the weight of the stretcher, split between 4 guys. Let me tell you that 20 kg’s is not fun to run with at full speed on your collar bone. The second half of the day started off with… you guessed it. Crawling – again. I actually thought the first day was all the crawling we were going to do, obviously I was wrong to assume that. After some more crawling we did mind games! Finally a physical relief. We had to give directions from a map that they had given us the first day. We were to have memorized it in our non-existent free time. I managed to memorize mine while we were doing our hikes, killed it. We did some “game” of trying to tie a not with a rope without letting go of our partners hands (hard to explain without a picture), we did a “rocket defense” game by giving directions to others in the field that were blindfolded. All in all very cool stuff I thought. Later on at night we slept on the concrete floor of the shooting range nearby, since I think they felt bad for us that it was pouring rain at this point. Again, guard duty rotations at night.

The 3rd morning we had one last thing left to do for the gibbush. We had another map test. This time we were given a satellite image of the base and had to walk with the mefaked to find locations on the base using just the map – wooh boy scouts, I killed this one too. After taking down our tents and having one last delicious manot krav meal, we went back onto the base. Here we waited for our interviews and our doctors visits (to make sure we weren’t dead or dying). The interview was to be with 5-6 reservists, probably aged around 30.

My interview went a little like this (but all in hebrew [p.s. they had a form I had filled out the night before]):

Mefaked: so it says here that you don’t want sayeret, why did you do the gibbush?

me: ummm, It was fun, it was a test for my mind and body… not a test for the army.

mefaked: so why don’t you want sayeret?

me: I would have to do 3 years, right now I’m in Machal and only have to do 1 1/2 years.

mefaked: ok, we understand. So what do you want to do in Tzanchanim?

me: I want to go to pluga (battalion) 202

mefaked: ok, if you want to go there, then you will go there. Good luck! See you later!

me: thank you so much (shook all their hands)… thanks again, good day.

 

All in all, I really think I would have made it into sayeret if I had wanted it. I was never last (actually I was right in the middle and very consistent with my physical tests and killed the mental parts)

I’m happy I tested myself. I had fun. I didn’t have to clean the base like everyone else. I’m proud of myself. End of Story.

During the gibbush we all talked about what we'd rather be eating. I said I wanted a steak. I was lucky enough this weekend to go for a BBQ picnic with my girlfriend and family at Mt. Carmel park. If love was in food form... this would be it.

 

Advertisements