Jesse has been selected for several things over the last couple of months that are really great for his Army career. I say career lightly because, as we all know, once October 30, 2012 rolls around, he rolls out to inactive ready reserves and the door will close on his Army career as we know it. Anyway, last month, after getting off of paternity leave, he was informed that he and six other guys had been chosen to be a part of the "hot squad" for the next year in their DCRF mission. Basically, it just means that some of the best guys in the company were chosen to all come together and essentially be the brigade sergeant major's entourage whenever they deploy somewhere stateside. Their mission is just that if there is ever a national disaster, they would deploy to that location and help out for as many weeks or months as needed. It was a huge honor to be chosen to be a part of the "hot squad" because it looks really good to all of the higher ups, especially when it comes to promotion time.
Well, a couple of weeks pass, and one of the staff sergeants in Jesse's company called him and asked him if he was interested in being on the Warfighter team. Rather than me try to explain it, I'll just copy and paste what the team is from the website: "The warfighter competition will test the abilities of military police Soldiers in a variety of military occupational skill-specific tasks, as well as mental and physical fitness over a four-day period". Anyway, this is a HUGE honor, as you have to be extremely physically and mentally fit to even try out, much less be asked to be on the team without volunteering! So, Jesse did the mandatory try out and officially made the team the following morning. Since then, he and the four other guys on the team have been HARDCORE training every single day. His entire job each day is training for this competition in September. That means, PT starts at 5-5:30 with some extensive ruck march each morning, followed by PT at the gym, then lunch, and the rest of the afternoon is spent in the gym again, working hardcore to get in better shape for the competition. I honestly don't know how he's keeping his eyes open at this point, much less continuing to work out at the extensive rate he's required to.
This morning, he did a ruck march that was 6 hours long. Six hours, six! I can't even imagine. He had awful blisters that popped up the day before yesterday, and when I mean awful, I mean d.i.s.g.u.s.t.i.n.g. Blisters that literally cover his entire foot. So that was two days ago, and after today's six hour cross country ruck, he basically has blisters on top of blisters. In fact, he even has a blister on each of his hips that are about 1.5-2 inches in diameter where his rucksack rubbed. Not to get so graphic, but I'm just trying to get the extent of this training across. It's hardcore stuff. So, tomorrow we're off to get some brand new boots for him to hopefully prevent his feet from dying anymore than they have. Although tomorrow is Saturday, he still has to train, but hopefully only for a half day or so.
All of this work better pay off in some sweet promotion points. He's hearing that he'll get all kinds of awards (= promotion points!) and hopefully they'll throw a couple of 3 or 4 day weekends his way. He's not doing it for the rewards and recognition, but that doesn't mean I can't silently hope and pray for them in his place. ;)