Wednesday, August 29, 2007

A FAQ about us

Nate, proprietor of the Dungan Domain sent me an email asking several questions. As I began to write a response, I realized that it might be beneficial to many of the readers to see the answers. So here are the "frequently asked questions" about the recent events.

Are you on a military base?

Sorta is the short answer. Because Sarah and I are married, we qualify for housing, so we live in an apartment a short distance away from the base (about a 10 minute drive). However, due to the training schedule, there will be days where it is not conducive to go home. For these times, we have a residence at the BOQ, or Bachelor Officers Quarters. This allows us the flexibility to have a family life and continue training.

Are you paid to attend this school or do you have to get jobs as well?

Military schools are full-time jobs. Generally we're working 0700-1600...and other times, we stay all night in the field. We receive active duty wages (salary) during training (which can be looked up online if you're bored).

How long until you are done?

The Basic School is 6 months. Due to rules at TBS, Sarah and I cannot train in the same company, so I must wait until the next class starts sometime in October, while she will begin her training in a week when she picks up with Fox Co.

Then what?

We will go back to Mike Co (a holding company) and wait for our MOS (military occupational specialty...or job) school to pick us up.

You go back to everyday living and do your reservist stuff each month until they need you somewhere?

After our MOS school, yes. Now there is some talk of a required year of active duty after the completion of training. This has to do with how Officer promotion boards work and is aimed at keeping us competitive with our active-duty peers.

I am kind of uneducated in this whole thing.

You aren't alone. There are many who don't really know what military training is really like. People usually refer to the boot camp portion of "Full Metal Jacket" for their concepts of military training...which is an awkward way to look at it. Most training outside of OCS and Boot Camp are far (with a huge exception for various special forces and SERE (POW training) courses). To put it in perspective, military courses do usually have a civilian counterpart that will transfer to college credit. My old MOS, 0612 Field Wireman could be transfered as a Basic Telecommunications credit. At TBS, this course actually can be transferred as leadership credit in some Masters degree programs...a fact I plan to use to my advantage when I finish my training time.

Hope this helps some. If you have any questions, just let me know, and I'll do my best to answer them.

TBS Check-in

Sarah and I checked into The Basic School today. It was pretty busy, but the staff ensured it was pretty stress-free. It should be a pretty easy day tomorrow, just very busy again. For me, it was great to see several of my platoon mates from OCS 194. I'm looking forward to the new training.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Found it...

Our car that is. After some prayer and some high pressure from the car salesmen, we will (upon receiving some paperwork) be owners of a 2005 Nissan Altima. As for the important stuff, it's a 5-speed with the 3.5 liter V-6. It has lots of power for...well, everything. Definitely have lots of fun driving her around. It's Sarah's car, but I still find time to drive... Pictures will follow shortly.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

By Request...

My sister-in-law has requested pictures of our apartment, so I suppose I can put up some pictures. Pardon the blurriness of some of these, but I dislike the way the pictures with flash look (yes, worse than a little blur).

Heh, I need to sell my old uniform items. Anyone need a size 38 regular service and dress coat...or some slightly used Lance Corporal chevrons?

I'll have to update it after we continue settling already looks a lot better, though we have a lot more work to do...

Saturday, August 25, 2007

More Move Blogging

We successfully emptied our u-haul in about 4 hours of work and are now settling in (more work)...unfortunately at a cost:

I think Sarah's pretty blasted at this point (and so am I). The worst part for me was hitting some of the worst traffic ever in Lexington, KY. Yeah, stay away from Exit 110 on I-64/I-75 East/South after's bad.

Anyway our place is a complete wreck as we put everything back together, but it's starting to look like...well...something. Anyway, I need some sleep.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Move Blogging

It's been hectic, so I haven't been keeping up with the blogging. Sarah and I have been working on relocating to Stafford, Virgina. Tomorrow we move into our new apartment with most of our belongings (the washer and dryer are in storage, as the new apartment has a set). I'm excited, but still have a load on my mind as we pull everything together before TBS starts...especially the car (we're car hunting as my sister now has the Buick).

Anyway, I'll try to post some pictures of the new stomping grounds as soon as I can.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Now you can see it.

I finally got some downtime (well, maybe some time to procrastinate some), so I can finally post this up. Here's the pinning of our 2nd Lieutenant bars. Instead of waiting around the crowded flags in the main atrium that most pinned their bars on in front of, we moved deeper into the museum to the first flag raised over Iwo Jima...a well suited place to become a 2nd Lt:

The flash came from someone walking by and taking random pictures. After my bars were set, Sarah recieved hers:

I still don't feel like an officer yet. That whole candidate mode hasn't left me yet...and to some degree my Lance Corporal mode hasn't either.

Currently, we're still in the mad dash to pack up everything for our move to Stafford, VA, where our new apartment lies. It's a beautiful place that will hopefully act as a good R&R spot while we begin our time at The Basic School...the next step in our training. The Basic School will actually teach us what we need to know to become fleet-ready Marine Officers. After completing TBS, we go to our MOS school...or our job school. It is likely that we will get deployed in some fashion after our MOS school for a year...and then, we begin to drill like other reservists. It's a long haul ahead, but I believe it will hold many important lessons and events for both our lives. All in all, I look forward to what God plans for us. It's an adventurous road that we've embraced, but someone has got to do it.

Saturday, August 11, 2007


I'm still in denial about making it through it hasn't hit that I'm now a Marine 2nd Lieutenant. Will post more as I absorb it.