Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Real Deal

I'm in the real thing now, the "real" Army, an actual post, an actual job.  I've been out of college for almost nine months, and finally I get to Warner Barracks in Bamberg only to hear they might be closing this base in a couple years.  I will still get to stay in Germany (fingers crossed) but apparently in a different area.

I will not be enjoying Germany this summer though if approval goes through because my unit is trying to deploy me with a company that is already in Afghanistan. I obviously can't write much about this, just enough to say that this would all be happening pretty fast for me.  How do I feel about it?  Well, it is what I signed up for in the Army.  I didn't sign up in war time thinking I would avoid it.  It's also a great opportunity for me to get tons of on the job training, and an opportunity for me to hurry up and get a platoon - which is a key leader position for someone of my rank.  It's also a transportation position which is awesome because often junior officers are lumped together as logistics if they are transpo, ordnance, or quartermaster.  That's only supposed to happen at the captain level and above.  But it's not uncommon for someone like me (a transportation officer) to get put into a quartermaster or other 'loggy' related position that's not my actual branch.

Anyway, a lot of people (Soldiers here, and the family I've told) are asking me if I feel ready.  Honest?  I don't feel ready!  How could I?  However, I am more than willing.  If someone asked me if I wanted to do this, my answer would be absolutely.  But ready?  I wish I had studied Pashtun with more concentration, I wish I had more experience in my job, I wish the training at BOLC made me feel more confident than I do now.

I do have a lot of great resources of experience available to me though.  I have a friend who deployed in a similar situation to me, and so I can ask her how it worked for her.  The Army has been doing this for a while now, so I would be crazy to think I was facing a unique challenge - well at the general level anyway.  I know even if I got all the preparation I wanted, there would still be suprise challenges along the way and that's why the Army has been leaning towards leaders who are critical thinkers.

I think that everyone pauses and hopes they are prepared for this.  It all seems so fast, I do know that I am willing, it's my job on top of it all.  Is there someone else?  If there was, and leadership deemed it better, they would send that person.  I've got to remember I've been trained up for this.  No one said it would be simple.  I may have to take a break from the blogging for a while, but I'll keep a journal downrange, and I'll still write until I get deployed - about everything, the whole moving to Germany experience.

Which reminds me, I don't have an apartment yet, hopefully will do some looking this week.  I would like to have my own place before I leave.  I do have a phone though which I have been looking forward to endlessly!  I got a plan with O2, a German phone company, it's the cheapest plan, although the phones are full price (which is expensive here, I shudder every time I do the euro-dollar conversion).  I still haven't finished inprocessing, there are hours of online training I still have to do.  I have had a full week though.  My sponsor has been nice, but my unit has been busy because they have a range (shooting range) next week.  My commander is actually a Military Intelligence officer but he requested a command position and he interviewed for and got it.  It just goes to show there's a million and one different ways to do a career in the Army.  I went to two different Italian restaurants in Bamberg already, and the food is pretty good.  I also finally saw my friend who graduated in 2009 and has been stationed here the whole time.  She is awesome and doing Pathfinder school, so good for her!  Tonight is the Super Bowl and I was invited by another West Point grad to a party - which is cool, since otherwise I wouldn't really have a thing to do tonight.  Somehow it's another move to a new place in which I've somehow managed to have something to do from the very first weekend on.  How do these things happen to me?  I am most certainly grateful!

No comments:

Post a Comment