Ear protection in boot camp?


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38snapcaps
January 7, 2006, 11:10 PM
When I was in Air Force Basic Training, 1966, we spent a day with the M-16, and then annually I had to qualify with it even tho I was an aircraft mechanic.
I don't remember using any ear protection at any time.

Today when I go to the range to shoot rifles or pistols the noise would be unbearable without it. I participated in a High Power match a while back with AR's and of course when I was shooting I had muffs on. On one occasion, when I was not on the line, I took them off and stepped back about twenty feet to see what all the rifles sounded like and the noise was Really bad. I quickly put them back on! I got to thinking, how did I stand that in Basic. How did anyone, then or now?

Can any of you USAF vets remember if we did or not back then? How about you Army/Marine guys, did you?

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TarpleyG
January 7, 2006, 11:42 PM
In the Corps, in '87 mind you, we had the foam earplugs. I cannot imagine y'all not wearing any but it was before the ramifications of gunfire we're discovered I guess.

Greg

tango3065
January 7, 2006, 11:47 PM
Now days you get a nice rubberized pair and they will hang from your bdu shirt in a neat little plastic container.

progunner1957
January 7, 2006, 11:53 PM
I went through Air Force basic training in Aug. '85 - we had hearing protection then. I still find it entertaining that when we went to the shooting range, the TI's mysteriously disappeared for the day...:D

Ryder
January 7, 2006, 11:58 PM
1973 USCG

No hearing protection issued. Most of us used cigarette butts and cotton balls. I believe noise becomes more painful as you age. It isn't young people that complain about loud music.

No_Brakes23
January 8, 2006, 12:03 AM
Since the Corps is part of the Navy, we are hyper-sensitive about OSHA standards, (Or NAVOSH, which is stricter on some things.) We had PLENTY of hearing protection in '96 when I went to USMC bootcamp. All the AF guys I know used hearing protection, too.

Byron Quick
January 8, 2006, 12:09 AM
1974. Fort Jackson. US Army Basic Training. Every recruit was issued ear plugs with a plastic box with a little chain that clipped through a button hole on our lapels.

carebear
January 8, 2006, 12:44 AM
I didn't wear them doing blank, force on force stuff at SOI. I carried a SAW.

My right ear is no longer "quite so good" and my left is little better. Nice mix of volume variation and intermittent tintinnitis. :rolleyes:

motorep
January 8, 2006, 12:50 AM
I went through AF basic winter 66/67. We had no ear protection. I remember because we were shooting M1's that really didn't want to run 100%. The indicator to the RO that you had a malf was to raise your right hand and stick your thumb in your ear....Worse than that though, I never was issued any hearing protection. Working on the flight line left me with ears that ring pretty loudly now.

38snapcaps
January 8, 2006, 01:54 AM
Hey Motorep! Basic, Lackland AFB, Sept.-Nov. 1966, twelve weeks. I remember because the Vietnam war was heating up they had just reduced it from sixteen weeks, I don't think I could have made it that long. Then I heard it was reduced again to eight, boy what a cakewalk that would have been.

After that Sheppard AFB, Texas, for mechanics school, fighters, jet engines one and two, another twelve weeks. There we were given ear plugs in a plastic container with a chain hanging from our lapel button holes. I distinctly remember using those and/or ear muffs on the flight line, but never when shooting the M-16.

Did you go to Sheppard too? What was your AFSC? Mine was 43151C. Isn't it amazing that I can still remember that number? I can still remember my serial number AF16883206 like my own birthday. The TI had you so terrified of not remembering it if he asked you that over forty years later I'm STILL afraid I might forget it!

Oh, back to guns: When I was at my permanent duty station in Spain, we were supposed to qualify once a year with the M-16. Typical of the military they screwed up my records and so I was called up every six months, which was fine with me, I had a ball firing that rifle. Especially at the end when you loaded up a thirty round mag, flicked the selector to full auto and emptied it all at once! I haven't had the pleasure of doing that since 1970.

Rezin
January 8, 2006, 02:08 AM
MCRD Parris Island, 1989. We had yellow foam earplugs. Our DI made us sew them into our cover with a long bit of thread, so we couldn't forget them. That was it. Yellow foamies.

hso
January 8, 2006, 02:52 AM
I believe noise becomes more painful as you age. It isn't young people that complain about loud music.

Not what the studies show. Of course hearing loss is cumulative and isn't noticed as it's first chipped away, but only after enough is gone to be noticable.

Oh, and I complained about loud music when I was a young person, but I should have thought about shooting noise too. If I had I might not have this near constant ringing in my right ear and the loss of hearing. :banghead:

unixguy
January 8, 2006, 03:07 AM
I don't know exactly when my dad did Air Force basic, but he finished his enlistment sometime in 1967. I remember being told that the little Christmas tree ear plugs were something he kept from his time in the Air Force.

When I did Army BT in 1993, I had the same types of plugs.

kwallace
January 8, 2006, 07:04 AM
Air Force 1982. They issued "ear muff" style hearing protection.

That's part of the reason why I didn't hear their instructions.

They had us wearing the things at all times on the range - shooting or not.

So when the instruction was made to shoot one mag, reload and shoot second mag, I didn't hear it and stopped after the first mag.

TI comes up, picks up my rifle, loads the second mag and rapid-fire empties it into the dirt!

Sheesh!

I heard NO END of that one for the rest of the day!

BTW - I want to comment about Air Force boot camp. It was REALLY lame having us shoot .22 instead of .223. Sure, it's prolly cheaper, but c'mon!

Razor
January 8, 2006, 07:22 AM
BTW - I want to comment about Air Force boot camp. It was REALLY lame having us shoot .22 instead of .223. Sure, it's prolly cheaper, but c'mon!

We shot .223 when I went through in '91.


Basic, Lackland AFB, Sept.-Nov. 1966, twelve weeks. I remember because the Vietnam war was heating up they had just reduced it from sixteen weeks, I don't think I could have made it that long. Then I heard it was reduced again to eight, boy what a cakewalk that would have been.

AF Basic was originally 16 weeks?
Dang, that's a lot of underwear folding and ironing...;)

carebear
January 8, 2006, 07:32 AM
We shot .223 when I went through in '91.




AF Basic was originally 16 weeks?
Dang, that's a lot of underwear folding and ironing...;)

Probably got to eat TWO mre's in that park across the street. :evil:

Ryder
January 8, 2006, 07:38 AM
Not what the studies show.

Maybe I just shot louder guns as I aged? Shooting without protection hurts me now and I don't have memories of that from being young. Pain gets you onboard with the program real quick.

MedGrl
January 8, 2006, 09:53 AM
My father was a west point graduate and airborn ranger...he is partialy deaf in his left ear (he is a southpaw) because of all the firearms training he had...i know he did use little plastic ear pluds but that was a bout it...I've seen these earplugs and used a pair when I was swiming one day while i had an ear infection...I could still hear perfectly if a slightly muted so one has to wonder how well they protected against several decible BANDGs from discharged guns.

Dan0076
January 8, 2006, 10:35 AM
Parris Island 1995. We had the yellow foamies also, with a blue cord that connected them. Sewed the blue cord into out covers so we always had them.

enfield
January 8, 2006, 11:08 AM
1974. Fort Jackson. US Army Basic Training. Every recruit was issued ear plugs with a plastic box with a little chain that clipped through a button hole on our lapels.

Same for Ft. Polk, LA in 1971.

1911 guy
January 8, 2006, 11:18 AM
Navy boot camp, RTC Great Lakes. Chicago in the winter, too cold to anything but wish it was July. The only thing we shot was 1911's topped with .22 conversions on an indoor range. Yellow foamies.

In the fleet, weps training was constant and in large volume. Foamies topped with "mickey mouse" ear muffs. All of which were promptly ditched in any exercise involving coordinated movement, so the hearing loss is starting to show. And I'm not even forty yet! :(

stevelyn
January 8, 2006, 11:36 AM
1974. Fort Jackson. US Army Basic Training. Every recruit was issued ear plugs with a plastic box with a little chain that clipped through a button hole on our lapels.

Same here at Fort McClellan, AL in 1983. Ear plug cases were generally a required part of the uniform in every unit I served in except for one.

hoek48
January 8, 2006, 11:37 AM
When I went thru AF basic in 1979 and LE Tech school we used ear protection. We also used the .22 conversion. I never fired the full .223 until I went to Korea and had to qualify. Big difference between the full .223 and .22

Invisible Swordsman
January 8, 2006, 11:38 AM
1969, Ft. Dix, NJ. There was no general issue of hearing protection for any shooting activities, but you could get ear plugs if you requested them. Most didn't.

motorep
January 8, 2006, 11:49 AM
Hey Motorep! Basic, Lackland AFB, Sept.-Nov. 1966, twelve weeks. I remember because the Vietnam war was heating up they had just reduced it from sixteen weeks, I don't think I could have made it that long. Then I heard it was reduced again to eight, boy what a cakewalk that would have been.

After that Sheppard AFB, Texas, for mechanics school, fighters, jet engines one and two, another twelve weeks. There we were given ear plugs in a plastic container with a chain hanging from our lapel button holes. I distinctly remember using those and/or ear muffs on the flight line, but never when shooting the M-16.

Did you go to Sheppard too? What was your AFSC? Mine was 43151C. Isn't it amazing that I can still remember that number? I can still remember my serial number AF16883206 like my own birthday. The TI had you so terrified of not remembering it if he asked you that over forty years later I'm STILL afraid I might forget it!

Oh, back to guns: When I was at my permanent duty station in Spain, we were supposed to qualify once a year with the M-16. Typical of the military they screwed up my records and so I was called up every six months, which was fine with me, I had a ball firing that rifle. Especially at the end when you loaded up a thirty round mag, flicked the selector to full auto and emptied it all at once! I haven't had the pleasure of doing that since 1970.

AF11799534. AFC 422_1. I think basic was 6 weeks. Did tech school at Chanute. My ear dr says more damage was done by the constant noise from aircraft engines and ground power units than the unprotected shooting. He charted my nerve damage, it shows the- I don't know the technical term- areas of hearing loss.

Ala Dan
January 8, 2006, 12:19 PM
Being a Fort Benning graduate (B-10-2) of the U.S. Army's Basic Training
Command in early January of 1966, I don't recall us being issued any kind'a
ear protection when shooting the M-14 7.62 NATO~!:uhoh: :eek:

chuckles
January 8, 2006, 01:23 PM
Carebear wrote:Probably got to eat TWO mre's in that park across the street.

Nothing as good as MREs. Remember C-Rations? Ham & Eggs Chopped, Ham and Lima beans? Ones we had in RVN were dated early 50s. Nasty stuff there. The park was beautiful though, we could watch the Army doing close order drill and PT from where we lounged.:evil:
To the topic; AF basic 1965, M16s, NO HEARING PROTECTION.( I'm shouting because I can't hear myself talk anymore) ;) AP Tech school after basic, qualified with the S&W Model 15. .38Special and the spent casings made decent earplugs. The AF never provided earplugs during my time in. 65-69.

Sleeping Dog
January 8, 2006, 02:27 PM
1966 Ft Bliss, TX. No ear protection, M14's were loud. I still remember my service number, but forgot the serial number of that M14.

Regards.

Teufelhunden
January 9, 2006, 01:08 AM
will hang from your bdu shirt in a neat little plastic container

...until that particular peice of decoration gets seen by a Gunny, who will :cuss:

MCRD Parris Island, 1998. Yellow foam connected by a blue cord, again, sewn into the cover.

-Teuf

No_Brakes23
January 10, 2006, 08:55 PM
MCRD Parris Island, 1989. We had yellow foam earplugs. Our DI made us sew them into our cover with a long bit of thread, so we couldn't forget them. That was it. Yellow foamies. We had to attach them to our covers in '96/97 at Edsen.

DannoU
January 10, 2006, 09:19 PM
:) U.S Army Air Defense Artillery - Fort Bliss, Texas - 1979 We were issued foamies in a black plastic cylindrical screw-cap type container w/chain. Your BEHIND was "pushin' down Texas"(unending pushups) if you lost 'em too.:banghead:

:evil: So, we saved a couple of cigerette butts from POLICE CALL for the hearing protection at the range. :neener:

;) The word was that the foamies were only used to knock down the top of the frequency bandwidth. Supposedly it would preserve your hearing, at least until you left the service.:scrutiny:

Ralph
January 10, 2006, 10:57 PM
I don't recall having earplugs in basic (1968) and I know I didn't have any when working in the vicinity of these pea shooters. LZ Sandy 26th Arty.
At night when you would think things would quiet down my ears ring awful. I've even reached to answer the phone and it's not ringing.

Bullet Bob
January 10, 2006, 11:12 PM
USAF basic at Lackland in 1970; damned if I remember whether we had hearing protection or not. I think we did, but I'm old enough now to remember anything, whether it happened or not.

I do remember thinking I didn't get to shoot full auto nearly enough!

TrapdoorBilly
January 10, 2006, 11:36 PM
Ft Polk, LA 1969, little rubber ear plugs in a plastic cyl with a screw on top. Don't think they did a whole lot of good.

Carlos
January 10, 2006, 11:46 PM
Very interesting replies. I'm shocked by the inconsistency.

In 74, I went into the Army and went to Basic at Fort Ord. We were issued orange rubber tri-baffle plugs in a little round container with a chain. I still have, and use, them regularly. I don't recall ever hearing ringing in my ears after shooting and using these, many different weapons.

Last Summer a fellow from another gun board sent me three sets of the new tri-baffles, this time in a square box. Gave a couple sets to friends.

I love em, and thank goodness don't have any hearing damage, that I can tell, at this point. I shoot a lot and rock and roll hard.

Double Maduro
January 11, 2006, 03:55 PM
Army, in the '60s.

No protection from M14's, M16's, M60's, 1911's, grenades or the 1/4 pound tnt charges on the infiltration course. Not as a trainee or instructor.

I have constant tintinnitis, sometimes worse than others.

The hearing in my right ear is slightly better than my left. I was taking care of a neighbors house over the holidays and noticed that when I set his alarm I could hear the beeping much longer with my right ear.

General high frequency hearing loss.

DM

captdenden
January 11, 2006, 04:05 PM
Went to basic at Fort Leonard Wood in summer 1967, then to LPC and Infantry AIT at Fort Polk. Had little flesh colored round ear plugs in a cylindrical clear plastic container with chain at both places. The reason I know this, is I still have them. Then went on to travel all over the place for the Army and never went anywhere there was weapon training happenig where the troops didn' have the little plugs. refrad in 69

Joey2
January 11, 2006, 09:41 PM
Parris Island 1963, optional. The corpman had a box of cotton balls for those who wanted. Some used cigarette filters.

I retired in 1989 and still not manditory, but custom fit earplugs were manditory to have on your person.

KC&97TA
January 12, 2006, 11:41 AM
Well back in Aug of 1999 we were given the softy foamys, mandatory... most ranges are mandatory ear protection now. The tactical weapons shooting courses, under 50 meters eye protection is required as well, with flack and kevlar.

After returning from OIF 2 in September 04, I was given some crazy ear exam, were they preasureized and then vacumed and then pushed the button in the booth, after that I had to doe some repeating of words I heard. The lady at the naval hospital showed me the dramatic drop in the frequencey gap in my right ear consistent to a right handed shooter and the drops in both ears were explosive's cause damage. Preventative maintence on personel is a hot issue, keeps uncle sam from haveing to pay disability.

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