Friday, August 28, 2009

A day in the life...

Over the summers I tend to forget why exactly it is that I’m in ROTC. Thinking of all the getting up early, ironing, protocol, endless email, long meetings, and working out (which is not one of my favorite things), I start to question my sanity. It seems I like to torture myself. But then the school year starts, and right off, every semester, I’m reminded why I put myself through all these things.

In the course of a day I can go from being totally apathetic towards it, to being mad, to being extremely inspired and then motivated, only to remember I hardly have time to do my homework. It can be a tiring process, but I normally go to bed happy with my decision to stick with it for another week.

My cadre (the actual Air Force officers and Airmen who are in charge of us) are some of the best people I’ve ever met. My class instructor, who I meet with at least twice a semester, is what I hope to be in the Air Force. The man is just so genuine and doesn’t feed me petty compliments or unnecessary criticism. Yet, he inspires me in a way I believe I can do anything and that everyone will be willing to help. Honestly, some days during field training the only thing that kept me going was not wanting to disappoint him.

He is showing me what it means to be a great leader. True respect, appreciation and investment in each person, while helping guide, and at times pushing, someone a certain way. I hope one day to gain enough respect and trust so that someone doesn’t want to disappoint me.

I’m also so thankful that I’m a part of the Air Force. From day one they stress how this is a family, which I always thought was pretty cheesy. Now, looking at the officers who help me out, I can really see that it is. I watched my friends grow up, in a way. Hearing of their struggles, seeing them succeed, and even better, getting scholarships, is fulfilling to me. I can’t see myself turning my back on it. From stories I hear from the other branches at Auburn, I don’t think they have a sense of family like we do. There is something about the Air Force that does feel like home, although I’m not completely comfortable. But maybe that’s a good thing.

A tid-bit of what we hear all the time:

I hope that the United States of America has not yet passed the peak of honor and beauty, and that our people can still sustain certain simple philosophies at which some miserable souls feel it incumbent to sneer. I refer to some of the Psalms, and to the Gettysburg Address, and the Scout Oath. I refer to the Lord’s prayer, and to that other oath which a man must take when he stands with hand uplifted, and swears that he will defend his Country.

None of these words described, or the beliefs behind them, can be sung to modern music. But they are there, like rocks and oaks, structurally sound and proven. They are more than rocks and oaks; they are the wing and the prayer of the future.

Whether we venture into realms of Space in our latest vehicles, or whether we are concerned principally with overhauling our engines and loading our ordnance here on the ground, we will still be part of a vast proud mechanism which must function cleanly if it is to function at all.
...Crank her up. Let’s go.

-General Curtis E. LeMay, US Air Force

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