So, I did it.
I joined the Arizona Army National Guard.
On Wednesday, June 20th, I swore in and signed all of the paperwork. I sat around at the processing center for a long time – plenty of time to consider doubts, second thoughts, pros, cons… but when I took the Oath of Enlistment – I was certain I did the right thing.
I enlisted as an O9S, which means that I’m headed to Officer Candidate School after Basic Combat Training – assuming all goes well.
Little did I know, that I’d start with RSP training that same week! RSP is Recruit Sustainment Program. It’s sort of like a head start program for Basic Combat Training. Saturday started with a Physical Fitness Test – the 1-1-1 test. 1 minute of pushups, 1 minute of sit-ups and a 1 mile run. This is half of the distance/length of the standard PFT. I cranked out the fastest mile for the women, but another girl beat me in sit-ups and push-ups… and she is AWESOME. She is exactly the kind of soldier I want to work with. Not just for her fitness, but because she’s an awesome, talented, smart person. She was my Battle Buddy for the weekend. Following the PFT, we were subjected to seemingly endless powerpoint presentations. Not exactly exciting, but definitely necessary. Plus, the history ones were kind of cool.
Sunday, we were loaded onto a bus and headed to Fort Huachuca for the Confidence Course. We counted off and were placed into groups – mine included my Battle Buddy! This is a list of the obstacles on the course: http://www.militaryspot.com/enlist/apft_obstacle_course_exercises_confidence/
The most physically difficult one for me was the Weaver. It took me three tries to complete it. The most mentally challenging one was definitely the Skyscraper. We only went to the third level, but imagine hanging from a ledge about three stories up, being completely dependent on the strength and competency of other people… it’s definitely builds confidence in your team.
It was fun and challenging – and I’m about as sore today as I was the day after I crashed my bike… only it is hard to open doors today!
We headed back to Tucson, and went through a few more presentations, then learned about movements, formations, saluting, and similar things.
I go back to RSP at the end of July. I’m hoping to improve my push-ups and sit-ups between now and then. I don’t have lofty run goals… and I don’t think that the mile was measured accurately. I’ll keep my running focus on Superfrog 70.3 in September. After that, I’ll be able to work on speed for my 2 mile PFT time.
I leave for Basic Combat Training on January. By this time next year, I should be a commissioned Second Lieutenant, and I should be back in Arizona!