Getting NCOified

I'd like to say I'm taking a break from homework to check in, but actually I'm still waiting to get started. Everything is in PDF, and this computer doesn't have Acrobat Reader, so I'm slowly downloading it from the local coffee shop, that being the only place around I could find with free wireless. Well, to be fair, it cost me $2.37 for a 16 oz americano--I am not willing to be a total leech.

What homework? It's day two of Basic Noncommissioned Officer Course, better known as BNCOC or "bee-knock." As my beloved pointed out, this would more logically be pronounced as "bean-cock," but for some reason that version has not become popular.

Acrobat Reader is just the latest in a long line of silliness. I arrived at the course to find out that we had homework every night (no problem) requiring a computer (fairly big problem). If I had known that in advance, I could have borrowed a laptop from someone, but it's a little late once we are already going. The first night, I could do the homework at my company, since it was drill weekend and there were people there late on Friday night.

I talked to SSG Huggie Bear that night, and he offered to bring in his spare laptop from home the following evening. Sweetness. Around 2100 that next evening, I called him up and we made small talk about drill, during which there was some hilarity involving lieutenants and maps and rucking an extra two miles in the blazing sun. I asked whether I could still borrow the laptop. From the other end came a small voice: "I have failed you." I drove up to Huggie Bear's house and grabbed it and we talked for a few. Back in the barracks by 2200--too late for me to concentrate on much of anything, but fortunately I was familiar with the topics already.

We don't actually turn in the homework--we just go over the stuff in class, and it's rapidly apparent whether you know anything about it. The test is in a few days--it's to our own advantage to do the homework and be familiar with the material.

My days are running from formation at 0645 to the end of PT around 1730 or so. Go back to barracks, shower, and get dressed in time for the dining facility to close at 1800--I haven't managed to make it to dinner yet. Homework conservatively takes a minimum of 90 minutes--or will, once I get Acrobat Reader--each night, plus additional projects to prepare (a 5-7 minute briefing, a 50-minute class (to teach), a PT session to plan, etc.) and some extra duties once or twice a week.

At this, it's still slacker and less of a pain than WLC last year, which went from 0530 to anywhere from 2030 to 2230. And I can wear civvies once we're dismissed for the day. Big morale boost.

Anyway, I'm busy, and I won't have intarweb access much at all over the next few weeks, but I wanted to update and let people know where and why.

Also, I am the WA National Guard's newest Staff Sergeant. We can discuss whether this is a good thing or not (for the Army--obviously, it's awesome for me) at a later date.

Also also, we're moving to Gig Harbor soon--the fourth time in a row I will manage to be somewhere else when my household moves. Go me.

Also also also, my son is rolling over--and over and over and over. Apparently he can move about the house pretty good, albeit only in two directions. He does this little cough thing with a huge grin which suggests to me that real laughter is not far off.

Alright, the coffee shop is closing--at 2000 hours? What the hey?--and AR is done downloading. Time to go to work. Some more.




Congratulations Staff Sergeant Sig!


It renews my faith in bureaucracy and the military in general and the Army specifically, that they promoted you. Sometimes, the hyper intelligent DO actually succeed.