Saturday, March 5, 2011
Military Basic Training
At the end of our junior year in college, all male students had to go to basic training to prepare for the mandatory draft right after graduating from college. The regular draft at that time was for three years of service, but college graduates only needed to serve one year as an officer at the lowest rank. So the college graduates were really better treated than the general public young males. That was another reason why everyone wanted to pass the college entrance examinations. The basic training was not part of the one year service. Therefore, it was required the summer before the service time. I was assigned to the fourth training center in Taichung.
Yes I played quite a bit of basketball during the three months of basic training, which is fairly unusual. Military groups loved basketball games, treating good players with everything they could provide. I was lucky to be selected to represent the training center. I had a better schedule for my daily life there and was envied by everyone else in the center. The following four were called big fishes, as we had slippery bodies to get away from trouble.
Yes, we did learn how to shoot a gun during our training, besides marching around and singing some songs for days until we were hoarse, looking forward to the weekends when we could take a break.