Almost a Lieutenant and Almost Home

It’s crazy how fast time has flown here at Officer Candidate School. It’s hard to believe I’ve been sleeping on top of my neatly made bed and not under the covers (to keep it inspection ready) for 90 days already!

Since my last post we’ve spent two weeks in the field learning squad tactics and leading those squads on simulated missions with blank ammunition. It gave us good experience at briefings which will be a good skill regardless of whether we have a combat branch job or not. I don’t know if I have mentioned it, but I am officially a military intelligence officer. As a MI officer I will be doing a lot of briefings to higher ranking officers on pertinent intel topics. Sleeping in the woods for two weeks was awesome too. We had a couple cold nights and some rain, but the sleeping bags are so good I would rarely wake up even through rain. The nice thing about being in the field is that when the sun goes down there isn’t much you can do, so I ended up getting a good amount of sleep.

We also had some more classroom time and an intense history course. We spent 8 four hour days learning about practically every military conflict the US has been involved in since the revolutionary war to now. It was pretty much a college level course condensed into a two week span. All our evening free time during these two weeks was spent studying. More recently we had our 5 mile graduation run where we had to maintain a certain pace. Then just this week we had our final inspection in our dress uniforms by the battalion Sergeant Major and Lieutenant Colonel. That caused a lot anxiety for the class and to make things worse it was probably 80 degrees and we were forced to stand in the sun motionless in our stuffy suits for over an hour while they inspected us and our barracks.

Now it just a weekend away and I’ll be getting pinned as a 2nd Lieutenant. My military career is relatively short so far, but in that short time I feel like I have learned so much, especially here. I feel a lot more confident now to show up at a unit and be in charge of the welfare of soldiers than I was just out of basic training. I’ve also met a lot of awesome, accomplished, and motivated people. I’m going to miss my roommate, Reece, a lot. He’s a classic American man. He’s probably the hardest worker I’ve ever met and he is always doing the right thing. He is humble and hardworking and a good example for me. Meeting him and others like him here at OCS makes me have more faith in the system the Army has for selecting and training officers. You can’t really teach character at this age so it’s nice to see those ending up here already have it for the most part.

In other, non-Army related, news I bought a truck while I’ve been down here. I bought a 1999 Toyota Tacoma. It got quite a bit of miles on it, but I feel a lot more confident buying it down here where they don’t salt the roads in the winter. The frame is in much better shape than anything you would find in Michigan from ’99. The adventure in this truck is that it is a manual. I have never driven a manual, but I have been doing some parking lot drills. I’m pretty excited about learning how to drive stick on the long road trip back north. Hopefully by the time I get back to Michigan I’ll be a pro or at least proficient in driving a manual.

When I get back the job is search is on as well. I’m looking at part time work right now because I will be starting a master degree, thanks to some Army benefits, starting in the summer semester. We’ll see where the search takes me.

Almost a Lieutenant and Almost Home