Hundreds Of Army Recruits Stuck In Ft. Benning Hell Amid Backlog


An unfortunate group of Army recruits who recently arrived at Fort Benning, Georgia for basic training will first endure several weeks of soul-crushing boredom as wards of the infamous 30th Adjutant General Reception Battalion, better known as 30th AG.

“Due to the influx of trainees coming to Fort Benning, trainees who enlisted as Infantrymen may be held at 30th Adjutant General Reception Battalion for an extended period of time,” reads a statement posted to the 30th AG Facebook page on July 9.  

The announcement prompted a flood of questions from concerned parents, including one who heard that “young troops who showed up to 30AG after my son did are starting basic before him.” He asked, “Could this possibly be true?” (The answer: yes.)

Meanwhile, a handful of commenters reacted to the Facebook post with the laughing-face emoji. One jokester went so far as to write, “30th AG is 100 times worse than basic training, have fun suckers!!!” adding, “it’s the most boring place you will ever be in your life.”

That’s not an overstatement. If the Department of Motor Vehicles and a beef cattle farm managed to have a baby, 30th AG would probably be it. It is there that many a recruit, including this author, have learned that it is totally possible to fall asleep standing up.

Army Times reported over the weekend that there are upwards of 400 infantry recruits currently waiting to report to the 198th Infantry Brigade for 14 weeks of one-station training. Basic training posts tend to swell during the summer months, as many recruits begin the enlistment process upon graduation from high school.

However, a Fort Benning spokesman described this year’s backlog as “larger than usual.” Some recruits, he said, could be stuck in 30th AG limbo until as late at Aug. 3. The luckiest will ship on July 27.

In the meantime, the recruits will spend their days and nights doing fun stuff like standing in formation in the sweltering Georgia heat. Every 45 minutes or so, someone will forget how to stand at parade rest or accidentally address a drill sergeant as “sir,” and mass punishment will ensue. They will sleep when they’re dead.      

Additionally, 30th AG leadership has “developed and implemented a training plan to keep trainees engaged and prepared for their future [basic training] report date,” according to the Facebook post. Friends and family members were also encouraged to write recruits letters.

“This is wonderful!” exclaimed one grateful mother in response. “They will all be so happy to receive some words from home. Thank you very much!!!!!”

Photo via Facebook | 30th Adjutant General Reception Battalion
(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Moments before Army Staff Sgt. David Bellavia went back into the house, journalist Michael Ware said he was "pacing like a caged tiger ... almost like he was talking to himself."

"I distinctly remember while everybody else had taken cover temporarily, there out in the open on the street — still exposed to the fire from the roof — was David Bellavia," Ware told Task & Purpose on Monday. "David stopped pacing, he looked up and sees that the only person still there on the street is me. And I'm just standing there with my arms folded.

"He looked up from the pacing, stared straight into my eyes, and said 'Fuck it.' And I stared straight back at him and said 'Fuck it,'" Ware said. "And that's when I knew, we were both going back in that house."

Read More Show Less
(Photo courtesy of Philip Stackhouse)

Former Army Special Forces Maj. Matthew Golsteyn will plead not guilty to a charge of murder for allegedly shooting an unarmed Afghan man whom a tribal leader had identified as a Taliban bomb maker, his attorney said.

Golsteyn will be arraigned on Thursday morning at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Phillip Stackhouse told Task & Purpose.

No date has been set for his trial yet, said Lt. Col. Loren Bymer, a spokesman for U.S. Army Special Operations Command.

Read More Show Less
Taran Tactical Innovations

John Wick is back, and he's here to stay. It doesn't matter how many bad guys show up to try to collect on that bounty.

With John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum, the titular hitman, played by 54-year-old Keanu Reeves, continues on a blood-soaked hyper-stylized odyssey of revenge: first for his slain dog, then his wrecked car, then his destroyed house, then ... well, honestly it's hard to keep track of exactly what Wick is avenging by this point, or the body count he's racked up in the process.

Though we do know that the franchise has raked in plenty of success at the box office: just a week after it's May 17 release, the third installment in director Chad Stahleski's series took in roughly $181 million, making it even more successful than its two wildly popular prequels 2014's John Wick, and 2017's John Wick: Chapter 2.

And, more importantly, Reeves' hitman is well on his way to becoming one of the greatest action movie heroes in recent memory. Few (if any) other action flicks have succeeded in creating a mind-blowing avant garde ballet out of a dozen well-dressed gunmen who get shot, choked, or stabbed with a pencil by a pissed off hitman who just wants to return to retirement.

But for all the over-the-top acrobatics, fight sequences, and gun-porn (see: the sommelier), what makes the series so enthralling, especially for the service members and vets in the audience, is that there are some refreshing moments of realism nestled under all of that gun fu. Wrack your brain and try to remember the last time you saw an action hero do a press check during a shootout, clear a jam, or actually, you know, reload, instead of just hip-firing 300 rounds from an M16 nonstop. It's cool, we'll wait.

As it turns out, there's a good reason for the caliber of gun-play in John Wick. One of the franchise's secret weapons is a professional three-gun shooter named Taran Butler, who told Task & Purpose he can draw and hit three targets in 0.67 seconds from 10 yards. And if you've watched any of the scores of videos he's uploaded to social media over the years, it's pretty clear that this isn't idle boasting.

Read More Show Less

The Navy's electromagnetic railgun is undergoing what officials described as "essentially a shakedown" of critical systems before finally installing a tactical demonstrator aboard a surface warship, the latest sign that the once-beleaguered supergun may actually end up seeing combat.

That pretty much means this is could be the last set of tests before actually slapping this bad boy onto a warship, for once.

Read More Show Less
(AP Photo/Denis Poroy)

The Justice Department has accused Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) of illegally using campaign funds to pay for extramarital affairs with five women.

Hunter, who fought in the Iraq War as a Marine artillery officer, and his wife Margaret were indicated by a federal jury on Aug. 21, 2018 for allegedly using up to $250,000 in campaign funds for personal use.

In a recent court filing, federal prosecutors accused Hunter of using campaign money to pay for a variety of expenses involved with his affairs, ranging from a $1,008 hotel bill to $7 for a Sam Adams beer.

Read More Show Less