‘Heavy equipment’ training

In April 1975 I enlisted in the Army. The very nice recruiter suggested after my testing that I pick combat engineer as my Military Occupation Specialty (MOS) since I had come from working on a farm and had operated tractors and other farming equipment. I would be operating heavy equipment.
After about two months at Ft. Leonard Wood, Mo., after the marching and rifle range portion of our training, we were in our combat engineer training, putting in minefields, building bridges, setting off demolitions, C-4 explosives, etc. One day we were sitting with our instructors discussing our upcoming training. A recruit from New Jersey asked “When do we learn how to operate heavy equipment?” (It was on my mind to ask as well, but I’m glad I didn’t.) The response from the drill instructor was “The more dirt you put on your shovel, the heavier the equipment!”
And that was it for our heavy equipment training!

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