Reporting for Duty

Training for the Women's Army Corps

“They don’t give you much spare time, I tell you.”

“Well, you live in the barracks. A lot of people. And basic training means you learn all army. You have the drilling — everything. You dress for army dress and what you would be doing in the army. And it’s just a lot of stuff you’re not used to. But I got settled and liked it, and went on several years.”

“We had revelry at 8:00. That’s when you had to be completely dressed. And when you blow that whistle that means you fall out and you better be completely dressed. And then you had retreat at five o’clock and that means you have to be there at five. And that means you’re dismissed but that don’t mean you’re not finished if you have work to do. You have all the cleaning to do and your uniform, and the barracks. They don’t give you much spare time, I tell you.”

“Oh, all kinds of physical training you do. You have marching and drilling — different things, calisthenics, anything. Exercise, you had it. And there was no getting out of it. You did it or else.”

“You make friends that even surprises you, the people that you’re friends with. Really close. But you meet people that you’ll be friends for life and some of them that you can’t stand to be around. They’ll probably feel the same about you.”

“At Fort Oglethorpe they had the place where they had prisoners. And they had a fence, you know a metal fence up high where they kept them. And I was never inside of one of the buildings, but you could see them. And I have took stuff out of the mess hall in my hand and when I passed by I would give it to some prisoner pressed up against the wall. Because I felt sorry for them.”

Editor’s Note: At Fort Oglethorpe, Faye Edwards went through basic training for the WACs. Later, she was responsible for training new soldiers. While at Fort Oglethorpe, Edwards met prisoners of war that were being held on site.