Posted by lex, on Febuary 13, 2006
I know that some of my readers are young officers and midshipmen, and because nothing ever really changes in the service but the faces and the names, you are by now, or very shortly will be, very likely tired to death of senior officers telling you how envious they are of what you have in front of you. I know that I was, back in the way-back. It was always some grizzled and graying captain – maybe at a winging ceremony, maybe at a “tie cutting” after the first solo, who’d look out into all the fresh faces and say, “I’d give it all up and trade with you in a minute.”
To the extent that I took them seriously at all, I guess I always thought that they missed the flying, maybe were jealous of the new technology we were going to get our hands on. But looking back on it now from a different perspective, I think I may have misread them entirely.
I may have mentioned a few weeks back that I’d been to one of those career “transition seminars.” The command I work at is gracious enough to provide the most superannuated and enfeebled of us the opportunity to attend these workshops, which are designed partly to help us translate “blowing stuff up from 30,000 feet,” “landing on an ice-coated carrier deck moving crabwise through the sea while pitching up and down twenty or more feet in a forty-knot gale” and “partying like rock stars in foreign ports” into hard-hitting, high impact, hire-this-guy-yesterday bullets on a corporate résumé. Over the course of three days you also learn how to negotiate for compensation packages with people who smile at you while secretly regarding you as a line item cost to be minimized, whether to wear cuff-links to the interview (don’t), and are encouraged to “Cheer up there, big buckaroo – it’ll all work out. Somehow. Promise.”
08-07-20 There may have been more to this post; there was a more link at the bottom, but in the Wayback Machine it led alas….nowhere – Ed.