As Mark Twain once explained, “A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way.” This sentiment was not one that I was not very familiar with before I went to boot camp. Like any young testosterone fueled eighteen year old male, I believed that, with some preparation, my, self perceived, athletic ability and wits would propel me to triumph over the challenges presented by boot camp .After all, I had never really experienced any kind of significant failure in my life: my football team won the league championship year after year, I passed all of my classes, I had lots of friends, and I had a happy home with two working parent’s life was good, it seemed everything was an immediate success. That is until I arrived at boot camp, where epic failure appeared to be the only means of success I was able to achieve. But, over time I learned my failures were not negative, they were, in fact, an invaluable step in the learning process that provided me with the necessary skills need to succeed.
Since I believed so ardently that preparation was the key to my success after I enlisted into the Coast Guard I decided to make the most of my time and prepare as best I could both mentally and physically. I relentlessly worked out running what seemed to be never-ending miles on the treadmill, swimming lap after lap in the pool, and lifting weights until my arms and legs reached complete and total muscle failure ̶ to the point where standing under my own body
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The next six months consisted of me reluctantly training junior varsity color guard. The first drill meet came and I, single handedly, lost our team 20 points (a big deal since we are scored out of 100). Needless to say, we didn’t win. I decided to keep at it and give it one more try, but, I wasn’t feeling too good about continuing as the commander. By the time we were on the bus back from the second drill meet I had led my team to two losses. I was done, I was frustrated and tired. It didn’t help that Russell, the kid in charge of the JV military drill team had secured two first place wins, with perfect scores.
The couple of months prior to leaving for boot camp, I was really motivated like most people. My brother had given me a lot of guidance on what boot camp was going to be like. Honestly when I got there, I wasn’t scared. I knew exactly what to do. Two days later I was sent to the hospital because my appendix was about to rupture and had to go into surgery immediately. I was at Paris Island an extra month. When I graduated, I loved being a Marine. Because I felt like I had already made a difference already. MCT, was similar, but I slowly started losing motivation. I was a dumb ass and wore my contacts and 3 days before I graduated I got dropped for pink eye in both eyes. Yes it was my fault and I sucked it up, but another month on Camp Geiger didn’t help. But still I was proud of being a Marine. MOS school went well. I was finally happy to be doing my job and being trained in my MOS. When I found out I was going to Cherry Point, I was furious. It kind of killed everything I had worked for, knowing I was going to the biggest POG base in the Marine Corps. After making fun of me for a while, my brother helped me out and got me back on
I was once the big fish in a small pond, but now I find myself as a worm on a hook in an ocean of big fish. Starting this journey, I can say that I was overcome with all types of emotions all at once: anxiety, fear, excitement, inadequateness, and at the end of it all I was finally calm. Knowing that I had just accomplished something that not even six months ago wasn’t even in my life plans. As a platoon, we performed feats that as individuals or a group you would never attempt let alone think about have accomplished. The slogans during that time of my career were “be all you can be in the Army” or “we do more before 9 am than most people do all day.” Within my first four years I got to travel the world and see places that most people would only dream about from Antarctica to Panama, and even to the pyramids in Egypt, I got to see it all. The military had such a powerful and profound hold on me I couldn’t think of anywhere else I would rather be. I was once told by my 1SG after a very long and trying day he said “Private Williams, where else can grown men and women have this much fun and still get paid. “I thought and pondered on what he had said, and even today 26 years later I still ask myself the same question, and it always goes back to the same answer, wearing the uniform serving my country side by side with my brothers and sisters in
I feel that marines of all ranks should read this book. Near the end of boot camp, I remember my Drill Instructors telling my platoon about how terrible marines sometimes acted when they were clearly taught otherwise in boot camp. I remember them telling me that they wanted to be a Drill Instructor because they wanted to make a positive and long lasting impact on people. They also told us that no matter how hard they’ve trained and honed us in the way they wanted us to be, as soon as we leave, we would still be whoever we wanted to be, it would be our choice whether or not to keep those teachings with us. And they were right, I’ve met a lot of marines that have abandoned them. This book emphasizes on the importance of keeping our transformation, not only for our Marine Corps career but also for the good of our
What this means to me reading up on this is that i need to stop worrying so much about performing physically and expecting it to carry me through my military career and start becoming proficient in all areas and applying myself in areas that might not mean so much to me, or that i don't understand. Also i think i've learned that i need to stop relying on my own knowledge and start becoming a sponge to those who have been in longer than i, and when i am told to do something take it or not to do something to take it to heart and not do it again because it not only comes with punishment but also loss of credibility of those who are in charge of me. Credibility and trust are essential when working with a team of men like we do everyday, so i am going to try my best to be the best and most professional soldier i can be even when no one is looking.
Since freshman year, the Junior Reserves Officer Training Corps (JROTC) program has been an invisible hand of guidance that strived to bring out the best in me. This longstanding program has an impact on me in ways so innovative, it is impossible to find another program filled with diverse exhibitions of life lessons, discipline, and teamwork. JROTC has given me a lifelong readiness to combat the harsh realities of the real world that exist, which in return has helped me better myself and my community in contributions to being a citizen in the United States of America.
In September, I had the opportunity to visit the Naval Academy for a “Candidate Visit Weekend.” During my two-night visit, I was paired with a current midshipman, whom I accompanied to classes, meals, and a sports practice. Personally experiencing daily life at the Academy and meeting current midshipmen has reinforced my desire to join their ranks. The most inspiring thing about the midshipmen I met was the effort that they put into succeeding. Being a part of this culture, even for two days, has shown me that I can work just a little harder, and that I can push myself just a little further. Since returning home, I have done just that in numerous ways.
Honor, Courage, and Commitment are not just values I learned in boot camp. They are the guiding principles and morale’s that were instilled in me by my grandfather as a child and by my faith as an adult. Being privileged to the role of a naval officer its essential, that we not only understand these values but that they become our way of life.
When I went on mobilization to Fort Lewis, Washington and left my son in the care of my parents, I thought my parental duties would be set aside until I returned home. Unfortunately, the soldiers of 351st Ordnance Company would prove me wrong with their excessive alcohol consumption, commonly term “binge drinking,” and destructive behaviors. I would then spend the next year sharing the responsibility with four other junior noncommission officers in the task of taking care of soldiers. Despite the efforts of myself and the others we were not fully prepared to handle some of the outrageous events and lack of engagement from the leadership that would challenge us during the tour. My abilities as a junior noncommission officer and the understanding of leadership were redefined and I learned exactly what it meant to ensure soldiers have proper guidance, leadership, positive morale, and well-being.
The first week at his military school, Wes tried several times to went home. He had access to do a phone call to whoever he wanted to talk, if he would be able to convince that person in five minutes, then he could go back to home. On the phone his mother said, “Wes you don’t go anywhere until you give this place a try” (Moore 95). Wes wasn’t persuaded at first, but the words his mother told him must have stuck. He started doing better in school because he realized what his family has sacrificed in order for him to be there. Gradually, he became sergeant of platoon, a cadet master sergeant, and the youngest senior noncommissioned officer in the entire corps. Even though he was forced to stay in military school; slowly he changed his outlook in military school.
I would like to share with you some of my experiences. I joined the military in 1996, after high school and I went directly to Marine boot camp. There I learned some of my most important personal values such as pride, perseverance, team work, and attention to detail. Marine Corps boot camp is an experience like no other I have had in the world and one I am immensely proud to have. I rose in the ranks quickly, I started as
Our team ended up beating them by a margin of 40 points. We won because we didn’t worry about how good we were before the game. What I learned from our loss is not purely about football, it’s about how to be defeated but come back strong. Since then I applied to the Air Force Summer Seminar and was turned down. It was two years later, after building my resume that I applied again and got in, proving I learned how to handle failure and make a strong comeback to success from a measly peewee football game.
Boot camp was a rough experience. Not only physically, but mentally as well. I had prepared myself for the physical aspect by exercising daily but nothing could prepare me for the isolation and stress one feels when away, trapped in a box with 80 guys who may or may not have a criminal history. It's a place that can break even the strongest of people. At night, if you listened carefully, you could hear the muffled sounds of grown men crying into their pillows. I never cried during boot camp, and after two weeks of not breaking down I thought “Hey, I'm doing pretty
When I joined the military in 2009, I was only seventeen and fresh out of high school. It wasn’t an easy adventure joining the military at young age. Also, it was tough being a female and going through basic training. Doing things I would’ve never imaging myself doing. It was even time that I felt like I made a big mistake joining the military. As I set and listen to my battle buddies making up different justification. Justifications on why they didn’t meet different military requirements. I started to notices those same battle buddies making all kinds of excuses, where the same ones not making through training and was sent home. Right then that was my clarification, that excuses only bring you to failure. I refuse
The discussions surrounding boot camps has always been extremely controversial. Many question the abilities of the inmates to learn with the strict military style regimen ( O’Neill, MaKenzie, and Bierie 2007). Although there are many basic similarities among the boot camps other aspects differ greatly. Each program is constructed differently with