09 May 2011

The Army, the Warrior Ethos, and Basic Combat Training

On Friday, I called an Army recruiting station to schedule a visit that took place today, 09 May 2011, at 1000.

As I'd been through the process before, I sat through what would have amounted to several weeks' worth of paperwork in a day.

My new recruiter is an E-5 (Sergeant) and has been in the Army for 6 years now.

Upon being asked by one of the recruiters what I would be doing this coming Friday, 13052011, I explained that I wasn't sure if I was scheduled for work (but that I would have no problem calling in sick if they needed me to be available). "You're joining the Army on Friday, Buddy," was his reply.

The exchange was surreal. My Air Force recruiting experience has caused me to develop a wary disposition regarding one's odds of getting into the military. But the Army recruiter pointed out that the Air Force has been downsizing for some time now, which can explain the night-and-day difference between their recruitment processes.

I didn't expect the quick turnaround, but I am hoping to be off within 2 weeks. Assuming all goes well with my pre-screen, I'll go to MEPS, have my physical, select my MOS (military occupational specialty, the equivalent of the Air Force Specialty Code), swear in, get my ship date for basic combat training (BCT), or boot camp, and finally enter the DEP.

I first learned and memorized the Warrior Ethos, or Soldier's Creed, in an Army ROTC (Reserve Officers Training Corps) class I took while at university.

At that time, I had already begun the recruitment process for the Air Force and adopted its ethos, the Airman's Creed. I never thought I'd make the transition from blue to green.

Part of the urgency with which I've been moving stems from issues with my ASVAB scores, which expire 2 years after taking the test. It's already been 8 months since I took it, and though I still have time, I just want to make extra sure that I'll be enlisted well before they become null.

With a new set of physical fitness standards to strive for, I'll be preparing myself for the 10 weeks of BCT at 1 of the 5 forts in the Southern and Midwestern United States where recruit training is conducted.

Today was both exciting and scary. I feel closer to serving than I've ever felt before, but I also hope that the recruiters didn't just put a whole lot of false hope into my head. Here's to hoping.

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