Alpine Summit

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The Home Stretch

Approximately 20 weeks ago, I left my home and my friends, family and known life to work for the Army. Now I'm nearing the home stretch of my initial training and will soon be a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army. It's a weird feeling knowing I am going to be placed in a position of leadership and responsibility in the world's strongest military. While I'm proud of what I have achieved, I'm also humbled. Had you told me last September that I was going to become an officer in the Army, I would have laughed at you. Now that I'm actually here with only 3 weeks left, it's the far goal I have been working for for so long now. I miss my home, and my family and friends a lot but I'm also very happy with my decision to join and while the first several weeks of service were some of the worst weeks of my life, it quickly improved and has actually become fun at this point!

My plans for now are to go to Ft. Lee, VA and check in with my OBC class where they will send me to Ft. Sill, OK for BOLC II (6 weeks). Crazy, I know, sending me to Virginia then to Oklahoma, but nobody said the Army made sense. My next stop after BOLC II is to go back to Virginia and finish up there for OBC (14 weeks). My assignment preference is Ft. Carson, CO so I can be closer to friends and family, but who knows what's in store for me? When I first started basic training, I was convinced that I would do my time in the Army and get out ASAP. Now that I have been given more freedoms and actually have a much better view of how life in the Army outside of training is, I'm not so sure. Not only has my quality of life improved since basic, but I also have many options should I decided the Quartermaster corps isn't for me. For example, I can try to get branched into something else like Intelligence, Armor, Artillery, Civil Affairs, etc. once I make Captain. My prospects as an officer are much brighter than they were when I was a specialist in basic training.

My budget is still in the works and I'm hoping to get some semblance of normalcy with it soon. The problem is going from living off of $700 per month to $750 every two weeks. In real world terms, that isn't a lot of money, but in the Army where they pay for everything, it's actually quite a bit. You're probably thinking to yourself I must be some kind of horrible business student for not being able to balance my finances, but it's really a matter of 1. finding the time and 2. having the consistent life that helps to solidify and good budget. I'm also trying to establish myself as financially independent while trying not to lost my ties to my parents who are helping to handle a couple of my financial obligations. For now though, I'm doing fine and keeping my head above water.