27 July 2010


Six years ago, I passed through this same training organization to be reclassified as a civil affairs type. The Army was pouring us into Iraq, so our group of trainees was large. They divided us into eight or ten separate "classrooms." At the end of the class, the students with the highest averages, it was decided, would compete to be the "Distinguished Honor Graduate." They decided to have a "board."

Boards, in general, consist of subject matter experts quizzing you on whatever the relevent topic might be. Usually it's a healthy portion of random Army trivia for promotion and Soldier of the Quarter  boards.

So there was SGT Abby, with all of four months in the Army.
Maybe, I suggested to my instructor, someone ELSE should do this board thing, since i really didn't know very much about the Army.

Nonsense, he replied. This was a CA board, to evaluate our performance at CA school. It would be CA FOCUSED.

Liar. it was entirely Army-trivia-focused. If the Marne Corps had not provided me with excellent "military bearing," it would have been awful. As it was, the board members merely looked perplexed by the presence of someone who couldn't SPELL "Army."

Let's now return to the pesent, and the conclusion of THIS course.

You four, explained the instructor, have the highest averages in the class. So, tomorrow at 1030, you'll go before a board...

Oddy, one does not seem to be allowed to opt out of these "opportunities." We know that, because we asked.