Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Order of Merit List

The results of the highly scientific and carefully calibrated rating system that is the ROTC OML have just been released, and I'm pleased to say I'm in the top ten percent, which means I should be guaranteed the branch I want (Infantry).

It wasn't a huge surprise, because despite the great injustice of LDAC my grades and APFT are pretty good. I even got a percent or two for studying Arabic - props to Cadet Command for coming up with this incentive just in time for the end (yeah, right) of our seven-year war in an Arabic-speaking country.

Regrettably, this elaborate formula has absolutely on no bearing on where (and with which unit) I get posted... meaning despite how cool the Army thinks I am, it's going to be dumb luck that determines whether I get to be a paratrooper in Italy or end up schlepping around in a Stryker in Ft. Polk, Louisiana.

To be fair, dumb luck has taken me a long way so far...

Saturday, September 18, 2010


An alumnus of my school and ROTC program was killed in Afghanistan last week. He's the first grad to die in combat since Vietnam. I only met him a few times because he graduated the year before I enrolled, but that made him the first KIA I have ever known personally.

There was a small memorial service at my school.

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Path to Pathfinder

And this is the abridged version of the story.

(As part of my continuing effort to achieve 100% realism in this blog, the emails featured in the comic are the actual ones I received)


I graduated from Ft. Campbell's Pathfinder course last month. I know, I'm kind of a big deal. A lot of mind-numbing studying, chips (potato and corn), and a three-inch-high stack of flashcards and I did it. With the highest average in the class. I was not selected as honor graduate because of a technicality (I failed the "pre-test" for sling load inspection, which was not meant to count as an actual test), though I maintain that they just didn't want to give it to a cadet. The Pathfinder badge was a pretty good consolation, though.
Now, you wonder, after skimming through a lot of words I thought were important, "How did he get the spot?" A lot of good luck, back luck, and good luck again - the ridiculous saga to follow.