OCR Interpretation

The Rio Grande rattler. ([McAllen], Hidalgo County, Tex.) 1916-1917, March 16, 1918, Image 15

Image and text provided by New York State Military History Museum

Persistent link: http://www.nyshistoricnewspapers.org/lccn/sn87030234/1918-03-16/ed-1/seq-15/

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GAS ATTACK 13 REAL WAR CONDITIONS IN MANEUVERS HERE. New Intensive Training' Plans Include Use of Real Gas. More intensive training for the 27th Di­ vision is the plan of its comm anding gen­ eral, Gas attacks w ith real gas w ill he one of the features. The gas will h u r t you if you don’t get your m a sk on in time, hut it won’t be dangerous. The experience of be­ ing gassed for practice will not, however, be a pleasant one, and the man who hasn’t the gas m ask drill down so pat th a t he can leap out of a sound sleep and adjust this protec­ tion in a tw inkling will have a bad hour or two w ith the gas, and probably a worse fif­ teen m inutes w ith his captain. M ajor General O’Ryan in speaking of the planned training, which will include m a ­ neuvers on a large scale, said. “It is a splendid body of men. The morale is high, and the officers and men alike have been severely tried by the usually severe w inter. From now on, during the rem ainder of our stay here, we will work faster. The m aneuvers we have planned will be made very realistic—th a t is they will approach actual conditions as nearly as possible. The battalions going to the target range will m arch the entire distance, instead of going by train as heretofore. There will be some very interesting work in the trenches. We are planning to give the men a touch of the gas that will test them as to how much they have learned about gas defense. Those who are caught napping when the gas alarm is given will suffer for it. It will not be the deadliest kind of gas, of course, and it will leave no lasting effects, but those who in ­ hale it will undergo a good deal of pain. I suspect it will take som ething of th a t kind to teach some of the men the needed lesson. Then there will be some lively skirm ishing and field work, and the commanding officers and the men under them will get some new training and tests th a t they have not had heretofore. '‘The physical condition of the division is as good as it ever will be,” Gen. O’Ryan con­ tinued. “It Is even better now than it will be after we get into the thick of the fighting, for then we will have sick and wounded, and the ranks will be constantly filling up w ith new men. But we have done about all the prelim inary training of the kind th a t we have had up to now th a t is needed. From now on we will more nearly approach war conditions until we get rig h t into the real thing.” There will be frequent inspections from now on of every organization in camp. Spe­ cial attention will be paid to personnel, sol­ dierly bearing, condition of equipm ent, etc. The training work is to be intensified, but w ill be of a new kind and more varied than heretofore. There have been few idle days for the division during the six m o n ths th a t it has been here, and there will be none at all from now, bu t the officers and men alike are eager for the strenuous days th a t are “If I joined some branch of the service, could I take my pick?” “Y e s; and if you enlisted in the Pioneers, you’d get a shovel, too !” ahead of them, for they are convinced th a t before a very great while they w ill be on their way “over there.” There will not be any more of the restlessness that comes from tarrying too long in one place and doing the same old thing until one grows stale. BIG IM PROVEMENTS PLANNED AT K. OF C. So many men are coming to the H a ll of evenings th a t the w riting accommodations are being strained to the limit. To m eet the added demands being made, more than one hundred and seventy-five feet of folding desks will be built into the east and west walls, so th a t all who come may have ample space to unfold their ideas. One is alm o st tem p ted to add at length. The north inside wall has lately had an addition, called for by the splendid movies being shown in the hall nearly every even­ ing. Several friends have given us a fine screen, on which the pictures show more clearly and evenly than on the old movable one which form erly hung there. It is a joy to watch the film favorites of town and country disporting them selves on the w h itened surface of our new curtain. One of the most interesting pictures seen recently was the W ar D epartm ent films of boxing and bayonet instruction. A goodly audience greeted the first appearance in our little house of Kid McCoy, Benny Leonard, F rank M oran and other knights of the screen. The assistant secretaries are planning a series of vaudeville and m u sical entertain­ m ents th a t will he well w o rth while. There is many, as the parodist rem a rked, a social bud so fresh and green, th a t w astes her ORIENT YOURSELF, I prom ised Gus, the philosophic second loot of our Fifty-um ph Pioneer outfit, to type out his latest bit of optim istic advice to the throng of officers who came but lately from the alkalined arroyos of Texas and the dry, frozen north to this well, som ewhat m isty camp. Gus says th a t one of the first things a young officer m u st learn in the m ilitary game is to orient him self, especially as re­ gards the social topography. D u ring the first week he was here, like the rest of the newcomers, lie felt a bit chilly and damp. He came, he saw—-and even oggled—but he couldn’t conquer. EYery tim e he cheerfully broke some one’s floating rib in one of the catch-asm atch-can hops on the top floor of S p a rtanburg’s great, w h ite hostelry, he tried to negotiate an appointm ent w ith his cap­ tured Cinderella—but no. N o thing but a series of sugar coated squelches came his way. Each girl would laugh her silvery R o b e rt W. C h a m b ers’ laugh and would w a ft this mockery at Gus as she floated away w ith another p a r t n e r : “Ah’m so sawwy, but I’ve a date w ith Lieut. Brown on Monday, Sergt. Sm ith on Tuesday, Pvt. Jones on W e d n e sd-a-a.. H e r voice died away in the whirlpool of chatter about her. The disconsolate Gus would slink tow ards the squatters’ bleachers, gingerly rubbing his shattered shoulder blade as he went. He became bluer and bluer—alm o st indigo—and he cam e to curse the place, the game, the w eather and the life. Sixes and sevens had Gus in their grip un­ til he bethought him self of the orientation philosophy. He got out his m e n tal alidade and slope board and took a few backsights on his social traverse. The discovery came to him th a t he had been flivvering by using a depressed compass. He began a scheme of correction by smiles. Now, so he avers, lie is triangulating perfectly. The date books are open to him, and the sm ile of the eternal fem inine has transform e d the valley of mud into a vale of green enchantm ent. Being one of the kind th a t wishes the same good luck to his fellows as befalls him ­ self, Gus puts em p h asis on this advice: “O rient yourself.” D. H. H. KNOCK-KNEED. Passing a hand over his forehead, the w o r­ ried drill-sergeant paused for breath as he surveyed the knock-kneed recruit. Then he pointed a scornful finger. “No,” he declared, “you’re hopeless. You’ll never m ake a soldier. Look at you now. The top ’alf of your legs is standing to a t­ tention, an’ the bottom ’alf is standin’ at ease!”—London Fun. sw e e tness on a millionaire, and the assist­ ants have taken on the particular job of fathom ing some of old Ocean’s dark unfath­ omed caves and gathering in a pearl or two th a t lies hidden in the ranks of the m en at W adsworth.

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