On April 9, 2006
Usually I dread this sort of thing, even when I don’t resent it. Which is pretty much the rest of the time.
Still, the creative well has run dry for the nonce, and the request was made in the best fraternal customs of the service.
The job I asked for the last time I talked to a detailer: Summat to do over at the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command. SPAWAR, as it’s known, here in Sandy Eggo. Thought it might look good on a resume, having opted off the major command (ashore) track. Having been essentially ineligible for major command at sea, and having a hard time imagining anything ashore worth commanding, that would justify ripping the family elements out of what they’d come to call “home,” for the first time ever.
The job I got the last time I talked to a detailer: Had the previous job in my pocket and decided to go and interview with the incumbent. Case the place, like. After he’d spent 45 minutes unable to tell me anything useful about what he was doing, and after the resident Heavy told me that, “Well, we can always use another O-6,” ran back to my digs as fast as my pins would take me and called the detailer up to tell him, “No thanks.” At which point I anticipated a new negotiation. Fruitlessly as it turned out. After a short but friendly competition between a couple of heavy staffs in the local area, one side “won” and I reported for duty. Doing that voodoo, that I do, so well.
Job I liked the most: Squadron command, hands down. It just duddn’t get any better than that. TOPGUN was hard work but tremendously rewarding. The adversary squadron down in Key West was The Best Job Ever, apart from those previous two.
Job I hated the most: Never really had a bad job. Bad days, certainly. But no bad jobs.
Three jobs I really would like (or would have liked) to have: Air Wing Commander, because you get to keep flying and leading strikes. And there’s nothing quite like being at the front of the strike package with the radar warning receiver buzzing in your ear and your wingmen at your side and the timeline clicking and the blood singing its joyous Valkerie songs in your veins and the target down there waiting for you to plant your flowers, your lovely flowers blossoming red, to black, to grey, and all of it yours from conception, to birth, to the dying part. And then the coming home, to do it all again. Wasn’t in the cards though. Which is a shame.
Destroyer command (I know, I’m a brown shoe, but still) because it’s yours and it’s tangible in a way that a squadron really isn’t, while it’s small enough (unlike cruiser command) to stay out of the way of the elephants, and all of those who groom them. Carrier command? I’m big enough to know that I’m not big enough for that. It’s good to know one’s limitations.
Naval Attache to Paris, because it’s cocktail parties and gentility and swimming with the sharks. Didn’t swing at that particular pitch since it would have played all Harry with the girl’s high school plans, and there’s no guarantee, is there? Could sign up for the Boule Mich, and find yourself in Sunni Pakistan instead, all by your lonesome. Islamabad being an unaccompanied tour.
There you have it. And the tagging stops with me, gomen.