Monday, October 3, 2011

Miscellany Monday

Miscellany Monday @
lowercase letters

Everyone still hanging in there?  It's been a while since I've done one of these.  I know, I know, I owe you stories from BMT and tech school, but there's so much to say and not enough time and motivation to tell you about it.  It'll come in due time, I promise. 

This was my first weekend in the "Operational Air Force," my first UTA ("Unit Training Assembly").  In layman's terms, it was drill weekend for me as a Reservist.  Just a quick catch up for non-mil folks or those not familiar with how the Reserve works.  I do my normal weekday job and one weekend a month I do my Air Force thing, with an additional two week commitment during the year.  There are more opportunities for me to do training, but I'll explain those later.  Of course, deployments are always a possibility.  Miscellany Monday about my AF experience!

1.  Saturday I showed up around 0630 or so, for a 0700 meeting.  In the AF, you always have to be 15 minutes early.  I met up with my friend W, who's my girl!  She and I left for BMT together, were in the same flight together, and now we're back in the same wing.  We may not necessarily see each other at UTA much, but it's good to know that she's there.  We had a good group of folks in-processing with us, including quite a few prior-service folks.  There was a Sailor, a Marine, and a Soldier in our group, as well as a few active duty folks.  We take all kinds!

2.  Taking a "First Day of School" style picture?  You better believe I did!  Looking bright and cheery, even at 0545 in the morning!  Just as I'd heard from everyone, the dress and appearance standards tend to go out the window when you hit the real Air Force.  I made an effort to look squared away, but I saw enough faux pas to give my MTI a heart attack.  Females truly are the worst when it comes to dress and appearance too.  [Yes, I used the word "females" - it's a BMT thing.]  In our Commander's Call our First Sergeant addressed "the new" AFI 36-2903 [the manual on Dress and Appearance standards].  Um, really?  Not new folks, it's been in place since mid-August.  Then again, you're talking to me and I was not only reading it for fun during Personnel school, I have the AFI on my iPad for quick reference.  Yes, I'm that big of a nerd.

3.  I was more than excited to be eating at the DFAC again.  Three free meals a day, with just a swipe of my CAC [military ID] card?  Game on!  I ate tech school style on Saturday too - my tray was loaded down.  So much for portion control!

4.  I finally got access to my Career Development Courses (CDCs) online.  That's one of the next big steps in my training, and a big hurdle on the way to my next promotion.  My supervisor is very proactive and encouraging when it comes to our career development and promotions.  I think it's going to be a great environment for upward mobility.  My unit is largely high ranking individuals, both enlisted and officer, due to the fact that I work with a bunch of pilots.  Many of them are commercial airline pilots as well, which is pretty awesome.  When do I get to go for a ride?!

5.  I went to training on Sunday for a few hours with the rest of the personnelists in our wing.  It was as though tech school threw up in my ears.  I heard every acronym in the books, and they don't pause to explain them.  Back in my office there were high expectations for me as well.  Regardless of the fact that I'm fresh out of tech school, there will be no handholding by my supervisor.  I'm in a 7 level slot [AF skill levels for jobs are 1 (brand new to the AF), 3 (graduated from tech), 5 (after you finish CDCs), 7 (after more training), and 9 (you're the superintendent)] and I got the impression that they most definitely expect me to perform at that level.

Ok, enough blogging for now, I'm supposed to be working on my CDCs - reading more about personnel, answering questions, etc.  I have a lofty goal right now of being done with these in a couple of months, not a full year.

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