Two weeks ago, I began the 4.5-month journey to becoming a Security Forces Officer. As you recall, I finished Officer Training School (OTS) as a Second Lieutenant in June, and have been eagerly anticipating this technical school so I can finally receive the education and training for the job I've been trying to do for the last 6-months.
As an enlisted Airman, I was trained in personnel and human resources. In order to be selected as an Officer, I had to compete for a spot within a new career field--and Security Forces was where I applied and was subsequently chosen for the job as an Operations Officer. Security Forces is so different than anything I've ever done before, and it was exciting to think about learning an entirely different skill set and put my mind & body to the test with some new tactical and strategic training. To say that I was absolutely elated to go into SF would be an understatement.
In the time between OTS and the Security Forces Officer Course (SFOC), I worked as the Operations Officer at our Air National Guard base. While I tried to learn the job as best as I could, it was necessary for me to go to SFOC to receive the foundational training so that I can effectively perform my job at home. I've been waiting and waiting to get down to Texas to get this ball rolling and finally--it's here!
The school is 18-weeks long. We will learn everything from the basics of Security Forces including base defense and law enforcement fundamentals to leading troops in a deployed field environment. This school is a challenge for me--since my background is in health and wellness, everything I'm learning is so new. In addition, the field training, rucking, and Combat Agility Drills (CAD) we are expected to perform are quite physically demanding. And while it may all be a challenge, it's so fun so far. I'm learning things, building friendships, and experimenting with leadership techniques every single day.
Needless to say, if this blog is a bit quiet for the next several months, I hope you can understand. When I go on temporary duty assignments (TDY), I try to give my full attention to the training and fully submerge myself in all aspects of the course. Prior to saying "adios" for the next several months, check out a few photos of my first couple weeks in Texas below.
There are some great trails around our base. I like to run or ruck them to help build my endurance every chance I get!
We spent week 2 on the firing range, learning the basics of the pistol, rifle, shotgun and grenade launcher. I was so excited to have achieved Expert Marksman on both the pistol and rifle. My aim needs some work, but for now I'm just having fun learning new weapons systems!
During week 2, I was our Class Leader, a.k.a. 1st In Command (1IC). This was during our end-of-day de-brief and prep for the next morning with our Squad Leaders.
Rucking the trails by our base. Our base weight for our rucks (at this point in training, anyway) is 35 lbs prior to adding water. When we ruck as a flight, we are in full uniform and often running (read: shuffling) while we do it.
Rucking with the guys. The friendships I'm building here are so invaluable. Everyone seems like a family already. And if I'm going to be gone for 4.5-months, it's so great to know I'll be surrounded by a great group of people!
With four more months to go, I'm sure I'll have plenty more to share as the days tick past. Though it's only been two weeks, it feels like we've been in school for much longer than that already. While I love being in this TDY environment, I sure do miss home. But as with every training I've gone to, this brings me one step closer to my dream career of being full-time in the military and helps build my future with Daniel and my someday-family to be that much stronger.
As one of our fallen Defenders, 1st Lt Joseph D. Helton, Jr. said, "Don't be a weaksauce." And Lt Helton, to you I will do the honor of living every single day to learn, grow, fight, and never be a weaksauce. 4-more months to go... let's do this! HOOAH.