Fort Benning, Ga. - How to get a one-day pass

I took my basic training at Fort Benning, Ga., Sand Hill barracks, in the spring of 1966.
Our drill instructor offered any man who could run around the outside of the barracks the fastest a rare one-day pass off post. We had only completed 4 of our 8 weeks of basic training, and we were all told that there would be no passes while in basic training.
Our barracks was a two-story wooden structure with a roof overhang of 3 feet on all four sides. However, there was an additional 3-foot overhang all around the building starting just under the second-story windows.
Our drill instructor wanted us to run around the overhang under the window. About 15 feet high, with a slight slope down.
I must admit that a lot of us recruits had already discovered this trick. Some of the guys were already going out on the overhang to sneak up on their buddies further down the barracks floor.
Four guys did the run, I mean fast-walk. A black guy, who was also the main jokester, won. He had family in Savannah, Ga.

It was the beginning of a new life for us all.

Arthur D. Sapin
U.S. Army

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