Monday, March 29, 2010

Better Late Than Never............Right?

Sorry it's been awhile since I last posted. :) Things have been just a little hectic over the past month, but I have a lot to report. Joe graduated from Commissioned Officer Training on April 9th!! I am so proud of him. Here is a picture of him in his dress blues - doesn't he look so handsome? I'm one lucky girl! :) He ended up doing really well both physically and academically. On his final PT test, he scored a 97.5 (out of 100). He was 3 seconds away from getting a perfect score on the run (and scoring 100% on the test). He got full marks on waist circumference, push-ups, and sit-ups. I think he did amazing, but of course, being the perfectionist that he is, he was disappointed that he missed out on a perfect score.

Here is a picture of us at the Dining Out the night before graduation. Dining Out is essentially a military formal, and was a lot of fun. Joe is wearing his "mess dress" in the picture. Wikipedia (as usual) does a good job explaining the military Dining Out here. The day following the Dining Out was graduation day. My mom, step-dad, and sister were also in attendance for the festivities (miss you guys!). There was a ceremony where various awards were given out, followed by a reception, then the graduation parade. Unfortunately, my camera stopped working, so I only have one picture of Joe and my step-dad Jim right before the ceremony.

As soon as graduation was over, Joe and I were on the road to our new home - Hurlburt Field! We love Florida so far, and I will post another update in a couple days of all that's gone on in the past week & a half. (Promise!) I'm hoping to get Joe on here to post some of his thoughts on OTS and his first (almost) 2 months in the USAF. God Bless!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Officer Training School: 1 Week Down, 4 More to Go

I did get a chance to talk with Joe a bit more this weekend. He sounds tired and a little overwhelmed with the amount of work, but says that he is learning tons. Above is a picture of the OTS sign at Maxwell AFB. He described to me their typical day, which lasts around 18 hours. They rise at about 4:30 AM, march off to Physical Training (PT), return to the dorms for a shower, march to the cafeteria for breakfast, spend 4 hours in class or training, lunch, 5 more hours of class or training, dinner, and so on until about 9:00 pm. Then there is homework, laundry, tending to their uniforms, etc.

He told me that almost all the meals are "tight" meals. This means they must eat at the modified position of attention, and be completely silent. Apparently, he has developed the reputation for being the quickest eater in the class (I'm so proud!) They only get 5 minutes or so to eat, and the only items that must be finished are 3 full glasses of water. I'm not sure I could finish 3 glasses of water in 5 minutes, let alone eat a full meal. I'm glad Joe's speed-eating has come in handy for something other than being the first to get a second helping at home. :) He did say that the food is not good, so maybe it's a positive thing he has to shovel it in quick, as he doesn't get a chance to "savor" the taste.

Joe did also explain a little more about the structure of COT. His OTS Class, Commissioned Officer Training (COT) 10-03 (third class of 2010), is divided into Flights (15 people) and given a designation based on the NATO Phonetic Alphabet: Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta, Echo, Foxtrot, Golf, Hotel, India, Juliet, Kilo, Lima, Mike, November, Oscar, Papa, Quebec, Romeo, Sierra, Tango, Uniform, Victor, Whiskey, X-Ray, Yankee, Zulu. He is in the Juliet Flight, and I'm not sure what their mascot is (if they have one).

COT is composed of medical professionals, attorneys (JAG Corps), and chaplains. The medical professionals consist of: Medical Service Corps (MSC) MBAs or Masters in Finance who are the hospital administrators, Nurse Corps (NC), and Biomedical Service Corps (BSC) who are the MDs, DOs, PhDs, DPharms that are medical practitioners. Joe's Flight has two JAGs, including himself. The other JAG happens to be his roommate.

Many in his COT Class were civilians that were directly commissioned as officers due to advanced education/experience, but there are a fair number that were prior-enlisted before receiving their commission. He says that the prior-enlisted are an invaluable resource, as they provide guidance in terms of learning to adapt to the Air Force culture. Below is a picture he sent me last night - he doesn't look miserable, right?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

1st LT Joe in His Uniform

Check Joe out! Doesn't he look nice in his ABU? I hope to post a picture of him in his dress blues soon. He said things are going well, just staying extremely busy. He did get an "excellent" rating on his initial PT test yesterday!! I knew he wouldn't have any problem with the physical aspect of training. :) I'm hoping to get more of an update from him this weekend.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Joe's First Day

I was able to talk to Joe last night briefly, and he seems to be doing well. He said he was "corrected" a few times already, once for calling a female training instructor "sir" instead of "ma'am" (oops!!). It's hard to imagine someone else yelling at him (just kidding!)

Today will be his first official day at training and this morning they are supposed to do the Crossing of the Blue Line, which you can check out on a video here. The video also gives other info on Commissioned Officer Training.

Keep Joe in your prayers as he is going to be worn out with a lot of things to learn in the next week especially. I hope to be able to talk to him more this weekend about his experiences and post a picture of him in his uniform.

Monday, March 8, 2010

So the Adventure Begins

Well, Joe is off to Maxwell AFB for the next 4 & 1/2 weeks at COT. I'm going to miss him terribly, but I know the weeks will fly by until we are together again. I have so much to finish up here in Louisville before heading down to Florida - 2 more weeks at work, taking the GMAT, packing, and coordinating the move to name a few. (Whew!) I'm so thankful I have my family here to help me out as well.

Please keep Joe in your prayers, as this whole experience is brand new to him. He appreciates all your kind words and thoughts more then you can know. I plan on posting updates on his "adventure" fairly regularly. Maybe he'll get a chance to post something (probably not, but maybe).

Before he left, he did ask me to give him a military haircut. I hope this is acceptable and in "regs", but it's a good thing I've been cutting his hair now for the past 10+ years so I wasn't too nervous. He asked me to cut it a little shorter then required, but he still wanted some length on the top. What do you think? It will take some getting used to, that's for sure! I still think he's so handsome! :)

I guess that's all for now. I'll post an update soon with his reaction to the first couple days of training. God Bless!

P.S. - Congrats to the Locketts on the birth of baby Jack!! He is so precious and Joe & I are both thrilled to have a new little nephew to love on. Can't wait to visit!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

COT Starts in 2 days

I wish I knew how to post pictures because I might be able to show you what nervousness feels like. I'll have to learn that later. Anyways, its been a bit of a journey even up to now. I've failed to get my uniforms ahead of time, as recommended by everybody who has ever done this. It isn't my fault though, I drove all the way up to Wright-Patt and gave the gate guards my orders and picture ID. The guards protective instincts kicked into overdrive and they decided NOPE we will not let this guy on because we don't want to be responsible for what this 26 year old 152 pound lawyer from Kentucky in a Black Honda Civic (that is ever so slightly dirty) is gonna do when he gets on base and trys to buy clothes. Oh well, all this means is that I'm gonna get yelled at when I go to buy clothes at COT.

As far as preparedness for training, I have good news and bad news. The good news is I am in good enough shape to take care of business. The bad news is I don't know enough about drill procedures, class procedures, dining procedures, studying procedures, and saluting procedures. I may be in the same boat as most on some of this, so I won't worry too much about it. As one ALJ in Louisville Kentucky put it to me (before I left my prevous job) "It may be in two weeks or 10 years, but nobody's gonna remember or care about your screw ups. So don't stress yourself out."

In other really good news, I get to join one of the most amazing and talented group of professionals in the world. Having talked to many of them, I have come to realize that the lawyers in the military are truly an elite class unto their own. They are great people, great lawyers and great countrymen. I am excited to serve my country in this capacity as it truly is a blessing. For those of you who picked me out of a crowd of well-qualified candidates, I hope to do you all proud.

One last comment before I go, thank you to everybody who has supported us with prayer and encouragement. It has been hard to leave home again but this is a journey that we feel we were called to take. This is something we have to do. I want to give a special thanks to our parents. My father has been unexpectedly supportive of this decision, and it is appreciated. Thanks all. Hopefully Becky will get to post while I'm in training. I'll catch you up when I get out.