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Newsletter 09-40
June 2009

Introduction: Captain I. C. Foresight’s Family Lineage

These recollections of my training nightmares are dedicated to the men and women of Training and Doctrine Command whose superb and untiring efforts have produced the United States Army's most highly trained Soldiers. The art of transforming civilians into warriors who are capable, confident, and willing to defeat the enemies of our great nation is its charter.

A hundred and thirty-five years ago, my great-great-great Grandpapa Foresight, who happens to be the third cousin of the renowned Lieutenant Backsite Forethought of the Boer War, stood in the snow of Valley Forge with General Washington and Von Steuben, struggling to transform poorly fed and ill-equipped farmers and merchants into American Soldiers. I guess you can say that Grandpapa Foresight along with a few other notable patriots was the first to implement our Army's initial entry training. In addition to his keen sense of drill and tactics, Grandpapa had a tendency to sleep only a few hours nightly; however, he dreamed the most vibrant and realistic dreams, often waking terrified. After a while, he learned to trust his dreams. In fact, the dream he told General Washington about crossing the Delaware River in the vicinity of Trenton, New Jersey on Christmas Day worked out pretty well for the old Continental Army.

To our family's bewilderment, this gift has been passed from generation to generation ever since. My great-great grandpapa trained General "Black Jack" Pershing's Doughboys of World War I. My grandfather used the family talent to train Patton's 2nd Armored Division during the Louisiana Maneuvers of World War II, and my father used it to train infantrymen bound for Vietnam from Fort Polk, Louisiana. Finally, I, Captain Foresight IV, am currently using the family gift to train American Soldiers in support of our Global War on Terrorism. We Foresights, whether cursed or blessed, have had the uncanny ability to dream and re-dream an assortment of training events over and over with sometimes devastating effects and ever-altering outcomes.

The following tales are my recounts of dreams I have had while serving as a company commander of an initial entry training company. I hope that by reading this narrative you are able to glean some knowledge from the basic training principles and lessons that I have learned. I hope that by highlighting these agonizing, nightmarish experiences you can use this knowledge to train more effectively our country's most valuable resource-America's sons and daughters.

With respectful acknowledgement of The Defense of Duffers Drift by Captain E.D. Swinton, DSO,. R.E. (later Major General Sir Ernest Swinton, K.B.E., C.B., D.S.O.) and Center for Army Lessons Learned Newsletter 08-39, Nightmare on Wazir Street.


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