I keep reminding myself of all the good things about the army, about training. Besides just the generally good feeling of making progress, I’ve made some amazing friends in my time at Basic. People who I would trust with my life – and one day I might have to. I’ve met some NCOs – yep, the same drill sergeants that make your first few weeks of army life HELL on earth – who have inspired and encouraged me when I was at the end of my mental rope, when I didn’t think I’d ever physically be back to where I needed to be to stay in the army. My drill sergeants are extremely professional and VERY GOOD at being bad-ass, and yet I found out when I had a (unfortunately very public, nasty, drama-filled) problem with my ex-husband, that they really did have my back and went WAY out of their way to help me start to get that settled and behind me. I’ve learned a lot about what being a good leader means from them.
I’ve never worked for anyone that I had this level of respect for. And I’ve worked for quite a few people. Not one other boss did I trust enough to follow their direction without checking for myself. Not that that’s an option in the military, but I never thought there could be people I would trust and respect enough to follow their orders without question BECAUSE I TRUST THEM, not just because I have to.
On my way home the other day, I called to check in with our CQ. One of my flights got delayed, I wasn’t sure how I was supposed to get back to post, or where to go to report when I got back (#newsoldierproblems). I asked my questions, and the drill sergeant on duty knew the answer to everything I needed to know and made sure I knew so long as I kept him updated I wasn’t going to be in trouble for being late. I was stressed over a lot of things, but that 2 minute phone call was liking popping a bubble on my stress over returning to duty. Poof. Gone. Kind of weird but true.
I realize I’m still only in training. This is just the tip of the army iceberg. I know that not all NCOs or officers will inspire the kind of respect I’m talking about – not all the drill sergeants I’ve met do. But the ones that do…that’s the way I want to be.