For the past 3 weeks (and the next 2) I have been at Commissioned Officer Training at Maxwell AFB in Montgomery, AL. The experience has been a challenging, yet fun and eye opening experience to the commitment I have made as an Air Force professional.
The first week was a tough transition from our lives as civilians to that of the military. We had early morning drill practices where we learned how to march around in formation. We had the Blue Line ceremony where we symbolically "crossed into the blue" to reaffirm our commitment to the nation. We got used to waking up at 4:30 for physical training and learned how to dress an act the part of an Air Force officer.
We've had extensive classroom hours covering everything from military history, military law, leadership techniques, problem solving strategies, and team building. We've also had fun outdoor leadership activities like Project X, the Assault Course, and WELPS (I don't even remember what this acronym stands for). I've really had a blast getting to know my flight mates (16 officers/flight) and our flight commander.
On Monday we have our second graded test. This one comprises the 26 testable lessons we had LAST WEEK! Tuesday we'll get up and take the Physical Fitness Assessment (PFA) to determine if we meet AF fitness standards. Also on Tuesday we have a short military briefing to present to the class. Wednesday and Thursday mornings will be spent doing the Leadership Reaction Course which, like Project X, will test our individual leadership skills as we navigate an obstacle course with members of our flight under time constraints. Should be fun and a real challenge! Next Sunday we'll head out of the dorms to a near by camp site for three days of Air Expeditionary Force (AEF) training. The purpose being to give us a taste of what a deployment would be like. It will encompass, amongst other activities, setting up a combat hospital and a high ropes course that will undoubtedly test our nerves.
While I'm having fun with my flight and enjoying the challenges of COT, I miss my wife incredibly and can't wait to be back home with her in less than 2 weeks. This experience has also shown me how strong she is and how much she really is a part of me. Like Sarah Miller would say, "mi media naranja." (my half orange)
Hopefully, when I get back I can put up some pictures and maybe some of these ramblings will make more sense. Keep us in your prayers!