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Old 08-16-2008, 02:17 AM   #21
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What's a ratline, some sort of obstacle? If so, none of those here, got all of that out of the way at basic training. The only obstacle here is the language itself.
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Old 08-21-2008, 01:17 PM   #22
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From Wiki,

"The Virginia Military Institute (VMI), located in Lexington, Virginia, is the oldest state-supported military college and one of six senior military colleges in the United States.[3] Unlike any other state military college in the United States, all VMI students are military cadets. VMI offers cadets a spartan, physically demanding environment combined with strict military discipline."

So basically, he's fucked.

"The new cadet, known as a "Rat", walks a prescribed line in barracks while in an exaggerated, painful form of attention known as "straining". The Rat experience, called the Ratline, is among the toughest and most grueling initiation programs in the country. It is best described as a longer version of the Marine Corps boot camp combined with rigorous academics...... After having their heads shaved bald, the Rats undergo their first week "Hell Week" in a long year of intense military and physical training. The initial week is a crash course in everything VMI: how to wear every uniform, how to march, how to clean an M-14 rifle, etc.

Once the first week is complete, life continues to get tougher as Rats await the arrival of the returning students, the "Old Corps". Each Rat is paired with a first classman (senior) who serves as a mentor for the rest of the first year. This pairing is integral to cadet life at VMI. The first classman is called a "Dyke", reference to an older phrase "to dyke out", or to get into a uniform...... During the freshman year, Rats continue to undergo training from the most highly skilled cadets at VMI, known as "the Cadre". The Cadre enforces all rules as the Rats live a life of "sweat parties", early morning runs, late night runs, and countless push-ups. It is hoped they will learn to think under pressure and focus on a team approach to solving challenges.

The Ratline experience culminates with Resurrection Week ending in "Breakout." An event during the second semester where the Rats are formally welcomed to the VMI community. After break out, rats are officially fourth class students and no longer have to strain in the barracks or eat "square meals" at attention."

And there's lots that goes on that Wiki doesn't mention, but those are closely held secrets; some of which are traditions dating from the Civil War (sure hope he's not a Yankee). So he's fucked for an entire year. On the other hand, VMI is one of the best schools in the country and they produce outstanding military officers and leaders, so it will be worth it if he survives.
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