The Path Lies Before Us...
By Cadet Cameron Petrie
As the military ball approaches, anticipation is growing around the Detachment as cadets anxiously await enrollment allocations to Field Training, rated positions and active duty dates. In just a few short weeks many of our lives will be changed forever and it is important to stay focused and remember just exactly what is important.
For me personally, this time last year was one of the more nerve-wracking times of my life. I had heard from other friends at Detachments around the country that rated positions were out a few days prior to the military ball and despite my best begging, pleading and bribery, then Detachment commander, Col Hargis was having none of it. It was hard to fathom that an entire lifetimes worth of dreams were going to be decided by a group of strangers I had never met. The Colonel pulled all of the applicants aside at the end of the ball and instructed each of us to open a letter that was given to us earlier in the night. The letter contained our rated positions and even though it was exactly the answer I wanted, it didn’t really mean anything. You see, upon receiving your jobs, you still have to pass a physical; one of the more rigorous physicals you will ever endure. This thought had not quite occurred to me, and again, last August, I found myself in the same anxious state sitting in a flight surgeons room at Wright-Patterson AFB awaiting my physical results. As I waited for the Doc to come and give me the good or bad news, I started pouring over all of the things from my childhood to now that could have effected my chances of being a pilot. Every time I fell off my bike or hit I took in a hockey game could have potentially ended my career before it had even began.
The point I am trying to make is this - there are always going to be goals and finish lines that you are trying to achieve in life, and as soon as you reach them, something else is going to be waiting beyond that. Chuck Palahniuk wrote in his book Choke, “The feeling is less like an ending and more like another starting point.” That’s the way we all need to approach these milestones. In the end, we still have a job to do, whether it be training the GMC or beginning our careers as officers. I am a firm believer that everything in life happens for a reason. You may not know what that reason is right away, but looking back in five years you will see that everything that needed to happen to get you to that point will have happened. Do not let an EA a job or a date define you, as it is not your end, but the start to your next beginning.
- Learn more about SLU’s Air Force ROTC Detachment 207