Saturday, June 9, 2007

My brain is mush!

Alright well yesterday was quite a busy day for me. Basically, for the past couple weeks I have been studying my ass of for my E-5 (Sergeant) promotion board. Basically to make rank of Sergeant or above you have to attend these promotion boards where they ask you questions on subjects of leadership and general soldier knowledge you should know. Its quite the thing to study for because there is so much to know and so much they can ask.

Well, it had already started off a little tougher than I had expected because normally the day before your board, you get the day off so you can get a full day to finalize any studying and just get in the right mindset. Due to the mission we had yesterday I did not get that day off. I was a little upset, but its ok. Adapt and overcome right? So I finished my little cram session that night and went to bed pretty early.

The next morning I woke up and those of us going to the board headed up there to find out when we would be going and to get our initial briefing. I found out that I would be one of the last ones going for the day and the last one from my company. The first from our company (which was a guy from my platoon) was to go first and they wanted everyone in the platoon to come down at the same time. Down side is, when your done, your done and you can leave. But you had to be there, so for me that meant sitting up there for almost 3 hours waiting nervously to go.

I was pretty darn nervous waiting to go to the board. Its not like I should of been tho. About this time last year I was doing the Soldier of the Month boards back at Ft Bragg. I first won the company board, then won battalion, then brigade and went on to the 82nd Airborne's Soldier of the Month board. The members of that board were the Division CSM, and each of the 4 brigades CSM's plus another one that I dont remember where he was from. Pretty much the top 5 enlisted guys on Ft Bragg were the members of the board. At that board I did pretty damn well and won! So you figure going to a battalion level promotion board with 1 CSM and a couple 1SG's that I wouldn't be nervous, but my palms were sweaty as hell.

I think the main thing that I was really nervous about was having them start talking about my blog, considering just a couple days ago, the article appeared in the Stars & Stripes out here and just about everyone and they're mother knew about it. As much as I prepared myself to talk about it, I knew it would catch me off guard. And sure enough, when it was my turn to go in, the first question I was asked was "So how's the blogging going?" Wow, ok DEFINATLY was not ready for that. But I handled myself well and when it came time for the questions I was knocking them out of the park. To make things even crazier, in the middle of me starting to answer one of the questions, mortars started coming in. I dont really remeber how many there were but it was a few, and as I'm trying to still answer my question, everyone there starts looking around and making calls on the radio. OK, this is awkward. But hey how many people can say they maintained composure in a promotion board when mortars were coming in! :)

When it was all said and done, I left the room excited and happy because I knew I had done well. I later found out that I had scored a 148 out of 150 that you can get on the board! HELL YEAH! I was so glad to finally have the stress of that off my shoulders. I wished I could of just gone back and relaxed and enjoyed my experience, but nope. Had a mission to head out on almost right after I was done.

We ended up doing a raid with the IA. Nothing crazy, just one of those in and out, get the guy/s were looking for and leave. The ride out there I finally rode in the last of the trucks in my platoon that I hadn't riden in. I can now say, in some way or position I have ridden in every truck. I know nothing special, but still cool to me. So my squad was pulling security at one end, and my team was placed at this intersection in the alley where apparently a sniper was shooting. You can always tell if there really is a sniper because all the Iraqi's in the area will run across open areas when a sniper is around. Add that to the bullet holes that I saw all over a few walls in a angle that it could only come from where they said they were. That had us on extra alert. Snipers, though not totally effective, are still a very serious threat. Fortunatly he didn't decide he wanted to mess with the Americans today. We basically just ended up sitting out there for a while pulling security while the IA did their thing. Had the usual groups of kids that wanted to stand around and talk to me, but they knew of the sniper too and it made it a lot easier to get them to go away because I would tell them that I didn't want them to accidently get shot by the sniper. They all understood and kept their distance; just enough to be safe yet still try to talk to me. Ahhh!

When it was all said and done, I was quite exhausted and quite hot. Fortunatly after that they went back to base and dropped those of us off that had the board. Oh yes, this will be great. Finally some time to just relax and have no worries. The only thing is now, that I have something else comig up. Soldier of the Quarter board here in Iraq!

So I knew they had these boards here and my 1SG was looking for people to attend one. I figured, I can usually do good at them and in a way its fun and you definatly learn stuff which is always good. What the hell. I threw my name out there to go and they accepted. At the time I didnt know when or what or anything about it. Well a couple days before my promotion board, I found out that it was going to be 2 weeks after my promotion board. I got the study guide and everything I needed to know and wow was this going to be a lot of shit to learn. I mean... ALOT! What did I get myself into! haha! My brain is totally going to turn to oatmeal by the time I'm done with all this studying. I just hope I can learn all that I can and do well there. I would hate to go and not do as well as I'd like.

So basically I'm taking today off from studying. Giving myself a chance to just relax and enjoy my day off. But tomorrow I need to start hitting it hard because I won't have much time until the board. I'll definatly keep yall informed tho.

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Anonymous said...

Congrats on the strong work. It is your destiny!

Haole Wahine said...

Good going! Do keep us informed. Oh that's right, you've already passed that board. You cannot be silenced! I am glad to see the recognition you are receiving, and the pride you take in your hard work.

Anonymous said...

another blog entry is a welcome sight ... it means you're still with us ... good job on the board ... check six while you're out.

Anonymous said...

Woohoo! Congratulations from NC, USA! Nothing like a little extra pressure at your board =)
God Bless. Stay safe!

Consul-At-Arms said...

Congratulations on your good showing at the promotion board. Excellent work!

(former brigade Soldier of the Quarter)

Anonymous said...

Congrats to you, sir!!! It is an honor to know someone who so unselfishly sacrifices for their country....and blows the board away...and, oh yeah...writes a kick a$$ blog!!

SYLKY said...

Dude, I just looked at the back of Raman noodles package and it's like 5000% sodium, hahaha, I hope that didn't contribute to ur brain mushiness. Congrats for passing; if anyone deserves it, it's definitely you no doubt about it. I found this for you... study tips, LOL:

Don't laugh at the ones that say you have to be in a quiet place with no noise and activity around you to study. We all know where you are. Do your best, and good luck! I'm sure you'll fly this one out the park too.

Keep the blogs coming. Look at all of us you have addicted to it. We're all gonna have to start coming up with a name for us soon, like Ed-heads or something. :-D

Luv ya!!