Forged in Fire and Dirt

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Overland USA

Rank VII
Member

Educator I

5,862
Rolling Meadows, IL
First Name
Michael
Last Name
Bogan
Member #

8750

Ham Callsign
WRJC877
Boot Camp has a special meaning for those of us who have served in the military. It’s meaning is not lost on civilians but for members of the armed forces, it brings back memories of good friends, a pivotal moment in our past and a time when we evolved, from who we were, to who we are.

When I saw this thread my mind was flooded with thoughts about what to write that would remain true to my understanding of what Boot Camp meant to me and honestly I was lost. But when I compared my military experience to my Overlanding experience the common thread seemed to be people and friends. I will never forget the friends I met and made in boot camp and the experiences we shared. I haven’t felt that type of comradery since leaving the service. Until I began Overlanding.

When you set out on a trail or a journey with a group it’s only a matter of time until your common ideals and purpose cement your friendship and bond. Initially, we are very different, different backgrounds, different personalities, nearly always different vehicles. But we have banded together to go where we have not been and in doing this we commit to working together to arrive first together and second safely.

Some of the lessons I learned in Boot camp that can be applied to Overlanding are as follows:
1. Learn to live outside your comfort zone. We all have things we are uncomfortable with. It's when you push those boundaries that you will reach your true potential. So when your given a task or have a goal to achieve that gives you some hesitation, embrace your fear and push on.

2. Don’t be afraid of failure. Life is a learning experience and it’s through our mistakes that we truly learn. If you are not learning you are not paying attention. Once you learn this fact of life it will serve you well through anything you choose to do in life.

3. Always give 150%. Anyone can do what’s asked of them but completing a task with attention to detail and enthusiasm, to ensure its completed better than anyone has ever done is giving it your best. It doesn’t matter if it’s scrubbing toilets or winching your buddy out of a pond. Give everything your all!

4. Smile, even when it sucks! Some of you may know what I'm talking about but for those of you who don't, I'll elaborate. Imagine being colder than you've ever been, wetter than you ever thought possible, hungry enough to eat whatever garbage is put in front of you and so tired you don't know if your next step will be your last. Smile because it will keep you a little warmer, you won't notice how your wet clothes cling, you'll eat eventually and your next step will get you through however many steps are necessary.

5. Much easier to be organized than to get organized. Being organized is the key to a smooth operation and it all starts on an individual basis. When in the military it's important to know where, exactly where, your gear is and some of you might think that's a little anal retentive. It is obsessive but when lives depend on you, something as simple as securing your gear doesn't seem excessive. Once you're in the field it's too late so take the time to organize. Being organized, before you start, out will save you lot's of time later.

6. Help weaker teammates. Every chain has a weak link and there will always be people who just don't get it. It is a team effort and to be successful the entire team has to succeed. You'll know who needs help and develop a workaround. When you figure this out you'll learn that those people also have their strong points and will be able to help others in their area of expertise.

Overlanders come in all shapes and sizes, come from different places. We begin the journey as individuals. Somewhere along the journey, sometimes while overcoming obstacles, or during a break, we start to realize that those differences, so noticeable in the beginning, are not so important. We have overcome the hardest obstacles, the ones in our mind, to realize our commonality; We are like-minded individuals with common values and goals.

Nearly thirty years ago I forged a bond with a group of boys, all of them there for different reasons, but through the journey we emerged men. Not nearly so long ago I set out on a trail with a group of strangers who through this journey became friends. I look forward to future journeys and new friends.
 
Last edited:

Kent R

Executive Director
Staff member
Moderator
Member
Supporter

Member II

4,312
El Dorado, Ca
First Name
Kent
Last Name
Reynolds
Member #

1632

Ham Callsign
K6KNT
Service Branch
Retired Firefighter
Boot Camp has a special meaning for those of us who have served in the military. It’s meaning is not lost on civilians but for members of the armed forces it brings back memories of good friends, a pivotal moment in our past and a time when we evolved, from who we were, to who we are.

When I saw this thread my mind was flooded with thoughts about what to write that would remain true to my understanding of what Boot Camp meant to me and honestly I was lost. But when I compared my military experience to my Overlanding experience the common thread seemed to be people and friends. I will never forget the friends I met and made in boot camp and the experiences we shared. I haven’t felt that type of comradery since leaving the service. Until I began Overlanding.

When you set out on a trail or a journey with a group it’s only a matter of time until your common ideals and purpose cement your friendship and bond. Initially we are very different, different backgrounds, different personalities, nearly always different vehicles. But we have banded together to go where we have not been and in doing this we commit to working together to arrive first together and second safely.

Overlanders come in all shapes and sizes, come from different places. We begin the journey as individuals. Somewhere along the journey, sometimes while overcoming obstacles, or during a break, we start to realize that those differences, so noticeable in the beginning, are not so important. We have overcome the hardest obstacles, the ones in our mind, to realize our commonality; We are like minded individuals with common values and goals.

Nearly thirty years ago I forged a bond with a group of boys, all of them there for a different reason, but through the journey we emerged men. Not nearly so long ago I set out on a trail with a group of strangers who through this journey became friends. I look forward to future journeys and new friends.
Well said! probably the best description of overlanding I have read. After 30+ years in the fire service I understand what it is like to bring back the memories and the camaraderie that we once had and are now getting with the Overland Bound Community. I was hesitant at first to get involved watching the forum from the beginning, but now that I am involved and it is an awesome feeling, I have made some really great friends and it reminds me of days gone by.
And thank you for your service along with all the past and present members the the military!
 
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Overland USA

Rank VII
Member

Educator I

5,862
Rolling Meadows, IL
First Name
Michael
Last Name
Bogan
Member #

8750

Ham Callsign
WRJC877
Well said! probably the best description of overlanding I have read. After 30+ years in the fire service I understand what it is like to bring back the memories and the camaraderie that we once had and are now getting with the Overland Bound Community. I was hesitant at first to get involved watching the forum from the beginning, but now that I am involved and it is an awesome feeling, I have made some really great friends and it reminds me of days gone by.
And thank you for your service!
Thank you for your service Brother!
 

Road

Not into ranks, titles or points.
Member

Advocate III

3,379
On the road in North America
First Name
Road
Last Name
Dude
Member #

6589

Some of the lessons I learned in Boot camp that can be applied to Overlanding:

1. Learn to live outside your comfort zone.
2. Don’t be afraid of failure.
3. Always give 150%.
4. Smile, even when it sucks!
5. Much easier to be organized than to get organized.
6. Help weaker teammates.

Overlanders come in all shapes and sizes, come from different places. We begin the journey as individuals. Somewhere along the journey, sometimes while overcoming obstacles, or during a break, we start to realize that those differences, so noticeable in the beginning, are not so important. We have overcome the hardest obstacles, the ones in our mind, to realize our commonality; We are like-minded individuals with common values and goals.
Well written, @poopie. Thanks for taking the time to put down your thoughts on lessons learned.

Here's to us all remembering and embracing these points.