Earlier this week I took a military test that would determine my entrance into an elite unit. I had only started training specifically for this test 3-weeks prior. Prior to this, I was merely training for a sprint triathlon that I intended to enter in August, but instead the family and I went to Hong Kong instead. So I was in fairly decent shape. After a grueling 3-weeks of doing two a days, which included CrossFit, swimming and running all in one day, I am ecstatic to report that I passed the test.
After the test, me and the other candidates were interviewed by the senior leadership of the unit. They asked about my background and why I wanted to perform this particular job. A job that includes various schools that, if successfully completed, would last 2-years. After successfully completing the 2-year “pipeline” I would be eligible to be deployed within hours notice to anywhere in the world and subjected to 6-mos deployments at any given time.
During the interview process they would ask me questions about why I wanted to do this job and whether or not I knew what it entailed. They also knew I was deployed before and that I had a family, so I knew the impact it would have on my family and was I willing to put them through something like that again. I explained to them that my family is aware of my intent and they know how much it means to me to reach this goal. I explained that my family has seen how hard it has been for me to adjust to the civilian life since returning from home and being involved with the military and at this type of career/lifestyle brings me happiness, fulfillment and reinvigorates my passion for something.
They finally made their decision and the commander revealed that they would “love to have me join the unit.” At that moment in time, my heart dropped and I felt like I have accomplished something huge. While this is just a small step in a long journey, I was ecstatic to have completed step one. They then continued to talk to me about the pipeline and how my age and health would play a factor in my success in the pipeline. The commander said he saw great potential in me and that my age would actually benefit me more than I think. A lot of responsibility would be afforded to me, merely because of my rank going into the pipeline but because of my age and past experiences. So on top of the physical and mental challenges, I would continue to face leadership challenges throughout the process. I would welcome it and think it would actually be beneficial for me in the process. It would require me to step up my game and not allow me to just fly under the radar and make me step up and take charge when needed.