Thursday, July 10, 2008

Long time coming...

It's been quite a while (can't really count the "I'm 47% Nerd!" tests as posts, can you?) since I last posted.

Why does that make me feel guilty?

Well, to recap the last six months...

I went to the USAF school I mentioned in my December post and yes, it was hard. Very hard. We lost 4 of the 12 that started the class. As one of the instructors was so very fond of saying: "This is AMMOS, not EMMOS!" AMMOS stands for Advanced Maintenance and Munitions Officer opposed to the Easy Maintenance and Munitions Officer School. Suffice it to say that many nights were spent studying and the most telling indicator of all would be the number of trips downtown (the school is at Nellis AFB, NV...VEGAS, BABY!):


Yep...5 trips downtown in four months! I've been TDY to Vegas for a week and been downtown more often than that!

Many nights working late, a couple of nights with no sleep at all. There was the night when our paper drafts were due the next morning and we were leaving for one of the four TDYs from our TDY location and ALL of our class was up all night writing. 3 am emails asking for coffee and references to or locations of various formats and the like make for entertaining reading when you're rested. Needless to say the plane ride was spent sleeping!

As for the course itself...worth every minute. All the abuse (I've never been told I suck so many times in my life...and that was in the first two weeks!) makes for great learning. Try to imagine an environment where each and every single thing you do is graded. Briefings, exercises, tests (I could write an entire post about the tests alone!), physical fitness training and your ability to teach first and foremost, are all evaluated, daily. All weaknesses are identified and fully exploited. If you have a "scab" (read that as: personality trait which would make you defensive) it is picked at incessantly. But, and this is the real point, it is all done very professionally. I particularly appreciated the manner in which feedback is given. The good, the bad, and the ugly. Little time is spent on the good. More time on the bad, the most time on the ugly.

By the end of it all, you're worn down. You're ready for graduation and looking forward to the opportunity to put some of the new things you've learned to the test.
You can't leave without taking something with you...the tatoo is of the image that dedication or what? (Yeah, it's fake...but it was a great gag!)

So as I'm driving back to the house in SC, somewhere in Texas, I get the phone call from my boss: Congrats on've been tasked. You're headed to the sandbox in August.

Time to get to work!

Just in case you're wondering...the T-shirt says: My drinking team has a hockey problem.


Becky said...

Congratulations on graduating!

Rude1 said...

Belated congrats! Was Lt Col Powell the commandant?


Rude 1,

LtCol Powell wasn't the Commandant yet. It was LtCol Decker. I know LtCol Powell though...lived in his house in Layton UT for a couple of years! Great guy!

Thanks for the thoughts!