Ryan is halfway done with Officer Candidate School. Yay! 🙂 His class finished the classroom portion last week and went through “SOCR”, Senior Officer Candidate Review where they got to take off their black ascots and put on their white “Senior” ascots and received their “Senior Privileges” (which means that during study time during the week they can go off post). They also announced/selected their branches. Prior service candidates, like Ryan, already selected and knew their branches by the time they got to OCS. For college option candidates who have no prior military experience, they had to compete for points during the first half of the school. Those candidates with high points got their first pick of branches. Ryan came home with his branch insignia on last weekend. It’s actually pretty small so his collar covered it up but I think they secretly like it that way. 😉
This week the class went into the field for the first week of their four week field training exercise. His class is actually pretty fortunate. Typically, the field training exercise is four straight weeks but because the Columbus Day holiday falls at the end of their first week, they get a four day holiday before starting the three week stretch. Ryan and I have joked that it only rains here when he has to go into the field. The superstition is still going strong because it started raining last night and poured all day today. The class is more than likely wet and miserable and the mosquitoes are probably about to pick them all up and carry them away. Ryan was able to text me today and told me he got a “Go” on his first try with Land Navigation. He’s always been very good at that, his prior MOS (Military Occupational Specialty) was Cavalry Scout so he did a LOT of Land Nav in his initial training.
Once they finish in the field they have 2 weeks left to do “Recovery” (cleaning and resetting after being in the field) and Out-Processing paperwork. The final week is graduation rehearsal, the “Dining-In” (a military dinner with lots of traditions and toasts and speeches and such), the class formal and then graduation. After his commissioning, I get to pin his “Butter Bars” on (2nd Lieutenant bars, 1 on each shoulder, are gold) and I am SO looking forward to that day. 🙂 I think I’ve worked as hard for those bars as he has. They need to make Army Wife rank. 😉 I know we have some family coming in for his graduation so I’d like to have a little party. That’s totally not Ryan’s style but I know that my parents, SIL and local friends will want to congratulate him on such a momentous event…Ryan, I mean, the new LT, will have to just suffer through. 😉
We don’t have any orders beyond OCS, we’re still awaiting them. After OCS is BOLC II (Basic Officer Leadership Course II) which could either be here or in Oklahoma (he’s requested that he be stationed here for that school since Aidan and I are here already). After that is his branch OBC (Officer Basic Course) in Arizona. Aidan and I will stay here for that part of his schooling until he finishes and we get orders to PCS (permanent change of station which is Armyspeak for move) to another post.
It’s been a wild ride for the past 2.5 years but getting to Officer status has been our goal all along. We’re so close to achieving it. I pray (and ask that you do the same) that he stays healthy and is successful with all his remaining tasks.