Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Will Is Taking Over!

Welcome to Part II of yesterday's story!
I was going to write it myself, but since Will did so well on his own, I was happy to let him take over!

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Well hello everyone,

This will be my very first blog post ever, and you can be sure that I'm a bit nervous. I read Janna's blog daily, but never thought I would find myself actually writing for it. You all make it look so easy that I was surprised when I sat down at the computer staring at a blank page for an hour, haha. Please bare with me as I attempt to convey the highlights of my latest Adventure....

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A common military tradition is to hold boards. That's when
soldiers appear before a panel of senior leadership to compete, and are judge on confidence, poise, and general military knowledge. I was lucky enough to win our battalion's board and get the chance to compete at the brigade level, where each battalion chooses what they feel is their best soldier, selected from the approx. 1,200 they have. You are given a list of approximately 25 topics to give you an idea of what to study, but other than that the only thing you know you will be doing is a PT (Fitness)test and qualifying with your weapon. You are essentially handed a vague list and 3 weeks to learn "general soldier tasks". Could be anything right? So when I arrived I met the other 12 competitors and our daunting task:16 separate events! Talk about ridiculous, but the military prides itself in the accuracy with which you are given vague instruction. So away we went.....

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Day one started with a PT test. Nothing too fancy, push-ups, sit-ups, and a 2 mile run. Next up was a weapons qualification. Ok, fair enough, I expected all that. Then it got interesting. A stress shoot. which means you put on your full body armor, run around till you're exhausted, and then try to calm your self to shoot accurately. Once we were sufficiently tired from those we moved on to Land Nav and got two pieces of paper. One was an aerial photograph with a grid, and the other was a list of  numbers. Now mind you we are still wearing 60 lbs of gear, 4 miles and an hour later, that was a wrap. I'll give you a hint, I ran most of the way, haha. I crossed the finish line soaked in sweat, not knowing if Im first or last, and even if I am first, my coordinates must match or I still lose. Thinking I was going to get a rest was a mistake because there was more.

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After more guns, gear maintenance, and wounded soldier simulations, came a battery of written tests to supplement our hands on practice done during the day. {weapons knowledge, first aid, map reading and plotting, cultural awareness, counseling, leadership, NCOER's (a military leader rating system), and AR 670-1 (everything uniforms)} Now personally, I feel all these events would be sufficient to show who is the best all around soldier, but nope, the next day was the main event. We had to appear before a board of 5 Sergeant Majors, the heads of the some of the battalions we were representing. Well over 100 years of military experience and I had to convince them that I know a LOT about the military, haha. Impossible me thinks, but I made it through and was immensely relieved that my month of studying was over. Win lose or draw it was just nice to have it over. All that was left to do, was wait for the results.

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  As luck would have it, when the time came, it was MY NAME they called. 

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Now, I was just excited to win for the bragging rights. But then we got showered in gifts which included a kindle, a nice bag, ipod speakers, head lamps, pouches to go on our armor, and an award. The USO really stepped up and spoiled us, and boy did they do a good job, haha. But that's not all, I was gone awhile waiting for the competition, and the only thing that's better than winning, is mail. Boy did I come home to some. With all of the bloggers that have sent us packages and our family, we've really been taken care of. I'd like to send a special shout out to all of you and to Cub Scouts Wolf Den 1. Your awesome boxes of goodies last all of 30 seconds when placed in front of my platoon, haha. It's amazing to get mail from our families over here, but boxes from strangers feel great. The knowledge that someone who has never met you (and probably never will) spent their time and money to try to brighten your day just a little, means the world. Then soldiers know they aren't forgotten and are appreciated.

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Well, this book is long enough, thanks for reading. I promise not to do it again anytime soon so that you can enjoy my wife's writing like I do.
Bye guys.

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To say I am proud of him is an understatement.
He has far surpassed my expectations,  and I'm pretty sure that he's even surpassed his own. He has only been in the Army two and a half years, and he has already accomplished so much...

I just can't wait until I can reward him properly for his accomplishments. In person.
If you know what I'm sayin'. Haha.

Thank your for visiting today, Mr. Soldier Of The Brigade!





40 comments:

Katie said...

Will, this is so cool! A soldier in my platoon was recognized last weekend at drill for placing first at the boards. I'm not sure when he will be competing at brigade level, but he will be! Actually two of the soldier in my platoon placed! It was cool to have been so well represented. That is certainly something to be proud of. Congratulations :)Soldiers like you keep me motivated and want to be better. That motivating quality is, unfortunately, lacking where I'm at right now. Hopefully that will change, but I'm glad I can get it from somewhere!
Thanks for sharing!

Michelle (michabella) said...

Well congrats to your Hubby!!! :)

Nikki said...

Congratulations Will! This is so awesome! Jana I'm sure you are beyond proud of him! Will thank you for serving our country!

Helene said...

well deserved Will!! And so awesome that you wrote this post!! I can't imagine the pressure he must feel and I am happy to hear that he was rewarded in this way!

Brooke said...

Thank you for your service!


=)


Brooke

Sam said...

Awesome! Congrats to Will!! I know you are so proud of him :) Thank you, Will, for serving our country! And you're not a bad writer either! Watch out Janna!! Haha just kidding :)

Pamela said...

Aww! Yayyy! Love yall!! :)

P!nky said...

Woooohoooo way to go Will! That is so awesome!

You did a fantastic job guest posting sir, if I do say so myself.

Thank you for serving!!!!!

xoxo

Rach @ This Italian Family said...

Congratulations, Will! Enjoyed reading this. :) Thanks for your service to this country. Also, you should know, I think your wife is pretty great. :)

Candace said...

Awww yeah! Congratulations Will!!!

Megan Wadsworth said...

Congrats on Soldier of the Brigade!! That's awesome! What a great way to finish a deployment

Alana Christine said...

Awesome job! I can't imagine how stressful that test had to be!

Miss Rachel M. said...

Will: You are amazing! Congrats on your accomplishment: Soldier of the Brigade! Woohoo!!

Janna: My goodness, he is awesome! I'm sooo happy for you guys--I had the cheesiest smile as I read this post! You're such a great person, I'm glad you have someone soooo awesome as your forever love!

Holly said...

This is amazing! Congrats, Will! Thank you two so much for sharing this story. It's truly amazing what these soldiers do. Thank you!

Michael Z said...

So awesome! Congrats to Will for winning. I seriously got teary at the end of this.

Jen said...

How awesome!!!!! :) Congrats Will!

Kathy said...

that's amazing; congrats!

and this post confirms that i can never be in the military because i would have gotten a big fat F as soon as you had to do anything with maps. i can barely get around my neighbourhood without getting lost let alone doing something with aerial maps/numbers/grids etc.

Erin said...

Congratulations! Your boards are WAAAAYYY more intense than ours in the AF! ;) We just have the board portion, after your application has been approved. So, me in front of a few SNCOs or (like this weekend) me in front of a some officers. They tally your points and determine a winner. Your prizes are a HELLUVA lot better though! We'll get a plaque if we're lucky.

Kenzie Smith said...

Wow! Congratulations Will!! I can only imagine how proud you and Janna are, you did such an awesome job! That test was intense. Thank you for your service and all that you do.

All At Once said...

LOL! reward that man honey! ;-)

Way to go will! I totally dont know you, but the way Janna raves about you warms my heart. I am so happy that you will be home in 2 short days into your wifes loving arms.

Mrs. Pancakes said...

This is fantastic! Welcome to blogging Mr. Soldier!

J and A said...

YAY Will. How awesome. You must be so proud!! Wow. GREAT post.

Nicole said...

That is so awesome! What an accomplishment. I sent this on to my hubby, you know since he served at one time and all :)

Kait said...

This is amazing! Congratulations Will! I am so proud of you and every solider over there :) Can't wait until you're safely back home!

Alice said...

Great job Will!! That is awesome! you are a lucky girl Ms. Janna!

Thank you Will for serving our country!

Georgina Castellucci said...

Thank you for your service WILL! We appreciate your bravery and service to our great country. What a great post giving us insight into your world!

Erin said...

Amazing!!! Thank you for your service and keeping our pretty little heads safe while you're out there fighting for us. Seems like you're doing a pretty damn good job at it while you're out there too! Congrats

ashlyn williams said...

what a wonderful post. really makes you take a reality check as to just how lucky we are to have men like Will!

xA

Nicole said...

Way to go! Janna is always proud of you, and so are the rest of us! Always know that you are supported by the blogging community!

Dee Servance said...

Way to go Will!!!! Woot Woot!! Awesome job! Now those are what I call prizes dang. I think you did a great job for your first blog post. You should come back every once in a while and keep us updated. There is a lot of love in the blogging community.

Jean said...

Awwwww! This made me teary eyed -hime writing your blog & just your relationship/marriage in general! This is so sweet! You two are super awesome! And of course, congratulations Will! Hard work DOES pay off and what goodies you received!

cynthia said...

Go Will, go Will! :) Congrats!
And love the Cub Scout package!
I've been inspired by both of you to send a couple packages and it sure was a good feeling sending them off. :)
Please come home safe and soon!

Elizabeth @The Better Belle Project said...

Congrats to Will! That's fantastic that the USO was able to get them such nice gifts too!

Megan said...

I love this!!! Will is a hero!!!!

Kelly said...

Congrats Will, that is a seriously awesome accomplishment! You did a great job writing your first blog post and I really enjoyed reading it. Thank you for your service!

-kelly

Scribble-N-Dash said...

Congratulations!!! This is incredible... Thank you so much for your service!!

Kate @ Daffodils said...

Congrats Will! That is amazing!

Amanda said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!!! This brought tears to my eyes because I'm so proud of you, Will! As a bloggy friend of Janna's I know how much she sings your praises, but it's even more incredible to hear it all coming from you :)

Kelly { Messy.Dirty.Hair.} said...

Congrats Will!!! This sounds so intense, I'm glad you got such awesome prizes. Nobody deserves it more!

Becca Moss said...

This is amazing. Firstly, congratulations for getting your husband back home safe and sound, Janna! Secondly, congratulations, Will, that is one hell of an accomplishment and definitely bragging rights! And last but not least THANK YOU, for serving our country and doing your part. My husband is also in the army so I know how stressful it can be.
God bless you and your family!
-Becca
faithloveandbabies.blogspot.com

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