Wednesday, June 4, 2014

My Military Journey (Part 1)

(I have been working on my class project for the past few weeks.. so I have not had as much time to contribute to my blog. Interestingly my project has been a team effort of starting a craft brewery. I don't have any background in the beer business but, it has been interesting enough. )

As a former Army junior military officer I have often reflected on some of the past training and experiences. I had a good friend Chuck, at the University of Central Oklahoma who in the summer of 1997 went to the Marine Corps Officer Candidate School. I was still deciding what going to college meant, and how I would forge my own future. So we talked about what he did over the summer and he told me how he went to Quantico, Virginia for 13 weeks. He told me about running every morning and carrying a four man log. He told me about the crucible at the end of the course.

Since I decided not to pursue a degree in Computer Science I decided I needed a new path so I signed up for training at Fort Knox.  I still had no idea what I was getting myself into. I spent a majority of my twenties in a military uniform.  I figured the Army basic would not be as tough as the Marine Corps but, there are quite a few similarities instead of 13 weeks of training we did 12 weeks between our sophomore/junior and junior/senior years of college and instead of the crucible we did a 2 week long training of situational exercises. I was able to follow up with training with a mechanized artillery unit at Fort Carson, Colorado. I spent an additional few weeks in the field for their summer training exercise.

When I arrived I always thought of the military was pushups situps running and drill sergeant yelling at you all of the time. What I didn't know was how their leadership training would change my perspective and ultimately my career path. I had no idea what it meant to be an Army Officer. After signing up I knew that we had to develop leadership, but what did that mean? That meant that my next two years in college in addition to doing regular course work you have to develop and assess your ability to lead with the 16 leadership dimensions. This comes in handy for every job I have had since the military.

The Categories are:
  • Character
  • Presence
  • Intellectual capacity
  • Core Competencies
I have run through numerous cycles of training where we would look at things from a leadership standpoint where we would use these categories since running the hills in Fort Knox, Kentucky. Ultimately this goes into an accession  package. First I had to complete  my next 2 years of school.