Saturday, March 22, 2008

Graduation

We got our DA form 1059s, the form saying we are now qualified in our military job (MOS or Military Occupational Specialty). There were four different groups and ours was last. We were all seated at tables and went up one at a time to receive our certificate from the course instructor then shake hands with the instructor, NCOIC (sergeant in charge) of the school and the school commander. At the end of the ceremony the NCOIC, an master sergeant with close to 30 years service who is younger than me, told the group he wanted to bring one of the students to their attention "Specialist Gussman who has a 23 year break in service and has the patriotism to return to duty after all these years." I got a round of applause and some very quizzical looks. In the hallway later a couple of guys from other classes said, "That's way cool what you did." I didn't really do anything, but it felt like I just won a race--and I didn't even sweat.

Last Class

This last class covered the 1500 gallon-per-minute water purification unit and finished up the smoke generator. We then took a test on the smoke generator and went to lunch. After lunch we presented plaques to our instructors. My roommate got them made at a local trophy shop for each of our instructors. Neither of the instructors had ever received a plaque from their students, so it is apparently an unusual gesture. Before presenting the plaques, the guy from Las Vegas whom our instructor had dropped for pushups on a half-dozen occasions took charge of the class and ordered all of us to the Front Leaning Rest (pushup) position. We then did ten pushups together yelling out "One sergeant, two sergeant. . ." as we did them. The instructor then said she would accept all of our pushups for the ones our class clown owed her. It was a great way to end the class. After we were dismissed, I rode my bike, went to the gym on Post and went running. The 20-somethings in the class got a case of Miller. All three of them can max the PT test without working out. Even the one of them who smokes can run two miles in under 13 minutes. Different ages have different workout schedules.

Who Fights Our Wars: Sons of Veterans

Myles P. Caggins, III, promoted today to Colonel Today, I heard one of the best speeches of a man honored in his profession that I he...