Sunday, October 6, 2013

153A (the second attempt)

About 3 years ago I revealed that I was applying to be a helicopter pilot in the Army. I was hesitant to broadcast this because there was a good chance that I wouldn't be selected and no one likes to fail. Turns out that I put in all this hard work and completely failed...twice. Honestly, it sucked and it was kind of the first time I'd really put a lot of effort into something and not gotten it. I went through a range of emotions and once I got over myself I decided that I'd just try again. Seems pretty simple but for some reason it took me a while to make the decision.
I have been working for the last 2 years to put in a REALLY good packet and I put even more effort into the process. I wasn't as embarrassed to tell people about it because I learned that failing isn't as horrible as I thought it would be. No one threw poop at me or pushed me down in the hallway at least. This time though, I had more invested so I was again nervous for the results, but for a logical reason.
The results came out 2 weeks ago and I was selected!!! Now I am a thousand times more nervous because I did get picked up. I am so freakin' excited but so, so scared. Jessie Spano scared people. I now have to attend 6 weeks of Warrant Officer Candidate School in Alabama (ie pushups, yelling, running, etc) followed by my biggest fear in life, SERE training.
SERE school is not common knowledge but they put you out in the woods and then you have to run and they capture you and treat you like a prisoner of war. I'm okay with that part but I am not okay with foraging your own food for 2 weeks in the Alabama wilderness. I've done the computer based training and they teach you that it's okay to eat grubs, but not spiders. Give me cancer now God! (SNL quote)
After all that I will go to flight school, learn to fly a trainer helicopter and then be assigned to a specific airframe. This is another nerve racking part of the process. Which helicopter do I choose? I want to fly the Apache, but they don't always get the most flight time and you're more limited to bases you can go to. The Blackhawk is cool but is that the mission I want to fly? I don't know. I am just hoping that the universe can figure this out for me and that I don't die in a fiery helicopter crash before I can hit 20 years in the military and retire. That's not too much to ask.
My personal training will begin as soon as I'm done with Microeconomics and I can put all of my focus on learning how to Army (it's pretty different than the Air Force) and I should be going to Ft. Rucker in 4-6 months. So, the moral of this post is that I failed and it was embarrassing and discouraging but I tried again, even though I was even more afraid to waste all that time and fail again. Luckily I succeeded but I have many more obstacles in my way before actually becoming a pilot and I may fail again. C'est la vie!


Binns Family said...

So proud of you Carrie! And so glad you will be back in the states!

Sarah said...

This is incredible. I am really so happy and scared for you at the same time. haha. I will forever have a vision of you and Jessie Spano morphed together in my head. It's a pretty awesome image by the way. Good luck getting prepared for it all!