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Alright. so this is my first journal entry, and I'm not ENTIRELY sure what this livejournal thing is all bout, but I wanted to start keeping track of my thoughts, and so I figured this was the best way to go. As far as I'm concerned, not a soul could ever read these and I wouldn't give two shits. I'm doing this for myself.

I am looking forward to drill this weekend. I told one of my SGTs about wanting to deploy with the next PSYOP unit going anywhere, and he told me volunteering for deployments would be addressed at the NOV drill. I really want to deploy. I need to deploy. Yes, I want to go to college, but at the same time, I signed up for the Army to do things. Not just to take advantage of all the amazing benefits. I have a sort of tentative plan for how I would like the next five years to go. Ideally, I would deploy in the beginning of 2010 and get back just before fall classes start at OSU, but honestly, that'd be cutting it close. Anyway, I would most likely be back in the states towards the end of 2010, and then start winter quarter at OSU. All my classes would be paid for because the Post 9/11 GI Bill is fucking awesome. I want to study military science, but I haven't decided yet if ROTC is the way to go.

If I do go through the ROTC program, my plan would be to deny commission when it comes time for that decision (junior year I think??). Nothing against officers, I just don't see myself being one. I would finish the program, however, and so even though I would not have the officer's pay or rank, I would have all the same military knowledge. At this time, my original enlisted contract would be coming to an end. I most likely would reenlist, but I can't be sure if I would stay reserves or switch to active duty. It's obviously tough to tell what will happen five years from now, especially in my personal life. Obviously there are several things that would greatly affect my decisions for my military career. The other thing I am unsure of is if i would reclass when I reenlist. PSYOP seems pretty sweet, but if I had to choose any other MOS I'm almost positive it would be Combat Support Military Police. I'm pretty sure five more years of military experience and thinking will be sufficient enough for me to make a decision when the time comes.

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I think you'd make an excellent officer and that you should actively go for it. Let me know if you want to hear my reasoning.

In the Marines, we have a term of what the military is like outside of bootcamp, MOS school, and the reserves which we call "the fleet". Once an enlisted Marine is out in the fleet, they're not really treated like a 'real' person capable of making decisions for themselves. Not until they reach E-5, or even E-6. My time in the Marines being an non-NCO, and even when I was a corporal, I was basically treated like I was incapable of taking care of myself. I was told when to clean my barracks room, how to clean it, if it was clean enough.. and that's just one example. I was once pulled into my First Sergeant's office along with my NCOIC and lectured about the importance of taking out the trash every day. From my memory, I had a gatorade bottle and one other bottle in my trash can when the First Sergeant walked through. He basically seemed incredibly unfair, and I highly doubted that the First Sergeant took out his trash every day.

I loved being a Marine, but these are the situations which made me feel like I needed to get out and be my own person. There are more examples, that's just the one that sticks in my head. Also, I realize this is probably the extremist Marine, and you won't have to deal with it to that degree in the Army, but I still think being an officer is the better way to go.

So.. why do I think that you should be an officer?

First off, you avoid all the BS of having someone continually over your shoulder telling you how to live. You're treated like a real person, you're expected to be able to be the example and you don't have to prove that you're not a child that needs to be supervised at all moments.

Second, you're treated better. As an example, on the ship.. there's an entire section of the ship "officer country" which all the officers berth. You share a room with one other person, rather than beeing stuck with 200 other people in the belly of the ship. Again, just an example of the better treatment.

I think one of my biggest regrets when I entered into the Marines is that I really didn't know about any commissioning programs. I thought that I had to be accepted into the military academies and that was the only way to become commissioned. If I had to do it over, I would have definitely looked into ROTC, anything really. Anybody that listens, I'd make the same recommendation.

I'm interested in hearing why you say, "I just don't see myself being one." I mean, I do have thoughts, but I'm curious from your point of view.

(I write too much.)

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