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I started this blog to keep in touch with my family and friends during my time attending Commissioned Officer Training (COT) and the Judge Advocate Staff Officer Course (JASOC) at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama. Now I'm done with training and back in the "real" world, but I'll keep updating this blog with any interesting developments from my JAG career.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Week 3 (Days 13-19): Wearing Blues and Little G

This week we had our first Consolidated Written Test (CWT).  It covered a number of lessons from three disciplines:  Leadership Studies, Warfare and International Studies, and Profession of Arms.  For example, the test included questions from lessons about the Principles of War, the Department of Defense, Problem Solving, Decision Making, Conflict Management, Team Building, and Situational Leadership.  Each lesson involved one or two readings plus a one- or two-hour lecture.  The lectures take place in either our Flight Room (with just the flight and our individual flight commander) or in Boyd auditorium, a 400-seat monstrosity of plush red seats affectionately called the “Big Red Bed” or the “Coma Dome.”  I’d tell you that I have yet to fall asleep in class, but one of the Air Force core values is Integrity First.
Mugging in the Coma Dome before class.

Me and Father John in the Coma Dome.  The wall behind us says Integrity - Service - Excellence, which reflects the Air Force core values of Integrity First, Service Before Self, and Excellence In All We Do.
In any event, the CWT went pretty well.  I ended up missing two questions out of 40.  And I really shouldn’t have missed those.  Overall, our entire class did really well; we were told by the OTS staff that our class average on the CWT#1 was the highest in many years.  And Echo flight sure did represent!  Our collective flight average was enough to win us Academic FOW for the Guardians Squadron for the second week in a row, as well as overall FOW for the Guardians Squadron.  Unfortunately, we did not win any overall class honors, as Golf flight took home every single one – academic, athletic, and overall.  It was a great showing by them.  But we were still happy with our performance.  A lot of the competition is settled by chance; if you happen to have a lot of brainiacs or athletes in your flight, you stand a great chance of dominating one aspect each week.  If you have a good balance of both and no stragglers, you stand a great chance of winning honor flight.  Golf has that, and they’re going to be hard to beat.
This week we also got to wear our blues for the first time.  Below are some pictures.  We had official pictures taken, so I hope to scan and post those soon.  But the picture-taking also afforded other flights an opportunity to steal away our little guardian (affectionately dubbed “Little G”) – the prize for winning academic FOW.  It apparently is a time-honored tradition for flights to “steal” the prizes that other flights have won, and our bringing Little G to the flight photo session gave other flights an opening to do so.  Of course, there are rules of engagement, which they ignored.  If Little G (or another prize, like the longsword that Foxtrot won) is in a commander’s cubicle, it cannot be stolen.  If it is in a cupboard or otherwise hidden, it cannot be stolen.  But if it is just left out in the open or handed to another flight, that flight can steal it.

Little G was taken even though we put him in a cabinet in our flight room.  So somebody isn’t playing by the rules, and we’ll have to figure it out.  It’s a fun kind of cat-and-mouse game to play, but to be honest I couldn’t care less.  Whoever steals it must return it within 24 hours.  And I’m not here to mess around stealing other flights’ stuff, especially when we have so much real work to do.  We strongly suspected Delta, since they were shut out of the awards last week. 
On Friday before Hall Call #2, Little G turned up in our Flight Commander’s office along with a note reminding Echo flight to work on our “Situational Awareness.”  A pretty good joke.  And since I’m hoping we hold on to Little G for the duration of COT, there should be plenty more opportunities to have him stolen. 

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