(said in best Sidney Portier voice)
If making SGT felt seminal, making WO1 feels ten times that. A new realm. A new experience in the Army. Things won’t ever be the same, and I can already feel it.
It’s interesting, when I think about it. My mentor when I came into the Army was a CW3, and from the time I was a pre-Basic troop helping out on an SRP weekend, she had plans to send me to WOCS and get me set up as a Warrant. For the first five years of my USAR career, she became more and more insistent, until she finally retired and said, “Sergeant Torgersen, you will go and do this thing!” Well hell, what can you say to that other than, “Yes ma’am!”
WOCS Ph. III was a tough two weeks, punctuated by blowing my (already blown) left knee two days before the capper — a six mile ruck march out of the Alabama woods. Short distance, yes. But not easily accomplished on a fucked up knee. But after mile 1, either God or the motrin or the endorphins kicked in, and I was humping like a mofo. Because I wanted it. In spite of the pain. I wanted the bar. It was so close. All the effort over this year and last, between the packet process and Phase II and Phase III… Nothing short of a coma was going to keep me from finishing my mission and getting the bar.
I’m home now, and feeling pretty damned good about things. I am sure the reality of being a mere “wobbly” will set in soon and I’ll find a whole new vista of peaks that I have to surmount, because one thing about Army life is your work is never done. Ever. Not until you die, or retire. And sometimes not even then.
Anyway, I flew out for Ft. McClellan on September 11. Take what significance from that you will. I myself found it not just a little…. Deep? Interesting? Without 9/11/2001 I’d not even be in the Army Reserve right now. And suddenly 8 years later I am a gottdamned Warrant? How does this happen, especially to a computer geek like me, with bad eyes and a bad knee and no delusions of being any kind of Rambo?
I have said it before on other forums, my initial want, upon enlisting in 2002, was to participate. That’s all I wanted. To participate. To give back in some meaningful way. Not not just be some guy getting PO’d over 9/11 in a chat room. I wanted to do more than that. Put my money where my mouth is.
I still want that. To give back. To help. To be the kind of man that stands up when standing up is needed. Because I won’t ever be a hero, like some of my battle buddies at the WOC school. One guy in Phase III had gone to Iraq with the Marines, then turned around and went to Afghanistan with the Army National Guard. CIB and badges and fruit salad over his left shoulder. I was in awe. He was cool as hell and to see him on the street you’d never suspect he was the kind of man he was, with that kind of history. A real hero.
It’s guys like him I want to do right by. I’m just a 420A paper pusher. My role is to HELP the real fighters who run, jump, fly, and drive into the teeth of battle. Someday the battle might find me, and maybe then I’ll have a little fruit salad of my own, instead of a fruit cup like now. Until then, my mission is to serve and help the warriors with whom it is my profound privelege to serve.
Not much else to say, other than that. Glad it’s done. Glad I did it.
WOBC next year. I hear from the same Marine/Guard dude I talked about above — whose wife went through 420A WOBC recently — that it is indeed, “12-ounce curl time.”
Meanwhile, I am back at my civilian job and looking forward to a productive and enjoyable Fall season.
As Mr. Rork might have said, “Smiles everyone, smiles!”