Training Day 1; July 6, 2005
Training began bright and early this morning at 0400. There are over six hundred students here for the four week course, most of whom are in the medical profession. I have only met 1 other chaplain. I have already had the opportunity to speak with and provide encouragement to some of the younger students who are very new to the military environment and find this program overwhelming already. The program is stressful these first few days, and very busy during the entire program. The focus at this point is on equipping everyone with the skills, basic knowledge, and tools such as curriculum materials and uniforms so that they may accomplish the purporse of their training. Also we are doing in processing such as filling out necessary paperwork and moving through medical evaluations. We will soon be moving from this first phase of inprocessing to a stress on academics, some of which has already been introduced.
I am assigned to Falcon Squadron Q flight. The class is called a "student wing" and is seperated into three squadrons composed of 6-7 flights. Each flight has around 16 people. I have had the opportunity to speak one on one with our flight company commander, the officer assigned to overseer the training of our flight, and am very impressed with his professionalism and concern for his personnel.
Today weather complicated our training to some degree as a tropical storm is coming through and we had tornados in the area. I spent a great deal of time trying to secure my remaining uniform items, which was a slow process due to the number of students processing. I missed the evening meal taking care of this, but fortunately had some protein bars in my vehicle, so that worked out ok. Soon we shall have two important events, in a whole mix of events. One is called "Crossing the Blueline, a sort of initiation ceremony. The second is our first PFD or physical fitness diagnostic. This is what I have been training for for the past six months with my emphasis on working out.
We have been informed that due to the abbreviated nature of our program, we will not have weekend liberty as normal. So for instance, this Saturday is a full training day and Sunday is a 1/2 training day. We are up around 0430 and awake and working until midnight.
Three weeks remain to accomplish many things.