Sunday, October 14, 2007

Busy Busy Busy

I'm a bit frustrated with myself that I've been posting so little recently. I hate trotting out such a tired old excuse, but I've been busy. My current course of instruction is about the most intense course I've ever taken. It's not the single hardest thing I've ever done, but never have I done something so difficult for so long without a break: ten hours a day of wanting to pound my head against the wall in frustration. Some days it takes all my ambition to go get dinner instead of just crashing out for the night right after class. God be praised, however, that I have good teachers and some great classmates, and we somehow manage to laugh our way through it all. Also, despite the frustration and fatigue, I am incredibly thankful to be among the few assigned this supplemental course in addition to the basic course. Many of my colleagues will be first dealing with this same frustration not in a classroom but in Iraq, and with soldiers' lives on the line. I do not envy them.

In other career news, I received final word on the status of my assignment. The sergeant-major in charge of recruitment for Special Operations brought up my case with the HRC (Human Resources Command) to see if there was any way to switch my assignment to a Special Forces group. Unfortunately, the 82nd Airborne is in a state of "critical need" for soldiers of my particular skill set, and absolutely cannot give up my slot to the Special Forces. On the flip side, it is a comfort to know that I am in fact going where the Army needs me, and that I didn't somehow just slip through the cracks in the system. And I need to remind myself that while the 82nd may be the epitome of the "Big Army", conventional-forces world (as opposed to the unconventional-warfare background in the Special Operations community), it is still a prestigious unit and a great place to begin a career. You don't have to look far to see that All-American combat patch on some pretty distinguished shoulders.

So now I'm starting to mull the various paths available for my career. I've got a lot of options, but all of them are going to take careful planning if I don't want to simply float with the current. I need to take my GREs, for example, and start looking at Master's programs so I'll be on track if I happen to decide to begin Active Duty ROTC as early as next fall. I also need to continue to improve my PT score, so that I'll be ready physically if special training like Ranger School or Special Forces Selection ends up being my path. All my life I've made decisions (or rather, sort of avoided making them) by simply doing everything I could to keep all my doors open, so my path would become clear once God began closing the others. It's always worked out for me better than I could have ever predicted for myself, but it's still an incredibly difficult act of trust. I suppose it's pride that leads me to wish I could just write my own script, and I am in constant need of the grace which reminds me who the Author really is.

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