At first there were 18.
Even though the Soldiers of the 211th have been training together since October 10, and even though the Soldiers of the 211th have bonded well, there has always been a hole that we couldn't fill...until yesterday. We had 20 Soldiers on our battle roster when we arrived at RTC on 18 October but we had 2 Soldiers who couldn't train with us, so we were incomplete. These two Soldiers were attending school and graduated while we were at RTC so they were waiting for us when we returned to Bryan in November.
And then there were 19.
Unfortunately, we lost a Soldier off of our battle roster at the end of RTC for reasons known to him. That was a dark day for me and for the rest of the unit. I hated saying good-bye to this Soldier. I hated sending him back to his unit in Tennessee. Our family was losing a valuable member...someone who contributed to the high level of professionalism in our unit as well as the high level of...insanity.
We then went through a few Soldiers who didn't work out for various reasons before we finally wound up with SPC Soles. He arrived yesterday and we were happy to welcome him into our family. I hope nobody warned him about our unit. :) I told him he would be "up to his ears in alligators" and today he spent most of the day inprocessing and enduring Power Point classes, getting caught up on the required training. Like a trooper, he did everything asked of him.
And then there were 20.