Are you thinking about becoming a warrant officer? If so you might want to check out this new book by CW4 (R) Jim Boroch. Chief has compiled years of experience and expertise into a quick and easy read how-to book. He includes personal experience and a few comical war stories along the way. My favorite part of the book is when he explains what to expect when you arrive at school. Here is a glimpse into the book…
First 3 Minutes
I checked my watch, mentally cataloging the time as 1442. It was sweltering hot outside and the air conditioning was `straining to keep the car interior below 95 degrees. I rifled through my dog eared processing papers for what must have been the 100th time, mentally checking off the pages against the WOCS checklist propped up on the glove box door. My Class A’s itched, and I felt the sweat beads roll down my back. I recently changed out of my jeans and t-shirt 4 miles up the road at the Enterprise gas station and I could sense the humid October heat was causing the uniform’s creases to sag. The Sun sparkled off the highly polished brass in the WOCS courtyard, causing my eyes to squint. Across the quad a more eager candidate, similarly dressed, casually cut across the grass to the 1st WOCS HHC orderly room door. I noticed his Class A’s sagged a few degrees more south than mine, no doubt due to the harsh Alabama sun’s direct exposure. I noticed his 82nd Airborne combat patch, polished combat boots, airborne wings and maroon beret. I saw we had the same Staff Sergeant rank on our sleeves and that he had a few more awards than I. This guy would be competition for Distinguished Honor Grad.
A TAC Officer rounded the corner and immediately took up an intersecting course with SSG Airborne. I watched intently, having only heard rumors of TAC Officers, to see how this meeting went. The TAC Officer wore a black baseball style cap, black t-shirt, starched BDUs, and possessed a skull piecing stare that totally fixated on SSG Airborne. Before SSG Airborne could say “Good Afternoon, Chief” the TAC Officer pounced on him, disregarding the in-processing paperwork in his right hand. You never, ever, carried anything in your right hand, I learned later on. “What do we have here?” shouted the TAC Officer, his clear, mocking, sing-song voice cutting the afternoon haze like a knife blade. “Someone wants to be an NCO!” Like the howling of a wolf call to the pack, 8 TAC Officers appeared from nowhere and encircled the confused candidate. In a flash he was on his back, on his stomach, doing flutter kicks, pushups, mountain climbers, dying cockroaches, the commands shouted at him like the retort of a 50 Cal machine gun on full auto. Within moments his Class A’s, moments before proudly displaying his military achievements, were soaking up the red Alabama clay like an old sponge. SSG Airborne, to his credit, gamely counted off the repetitions, his voice barely audible over the staccato retort of barked commands.
As quick as I could I ripped the now offending Staff Sergeant stripes off my sleeves, picking the green threads off and trying to smooth down the vacant incriminating needle holes. The sweltering heat in the car, now benefiting me as an impromptu dry cleaner, steamed the wool fabric flat. The proud day I earned the rocker on those chevrons was now just a vague memory. I gathered my paperwork, killed the car’s ignition and as quietly as possible pocketed my keys so as not to draw undue attention my way. I picked a route to the orderly room door that could only be described as nap-of-earth navigation, staying downwind and keeping to the low laying areas and shadows. I avoided all eye contact with the TAC Officers who were momentary distracted with their prey. As I triumphantly crossed the HHC door’s threshold I couldn’t resist the urge of one more glance at SSG Airborne. The sweat was pouring down his now red face as he gathered his scattered papers and beret from the ground and attempted to straighten his disheveled uniform. As suddenly as they appeared the TAC Officers disbanded, their need for utter dominance temporally sated. One TAC Officer caught my eye and his grin said it all, “Don’t worry, you’re next!” A glance at my watch reveled it was now 1445. My first 3 minutes of induction to the Warrant Officer Candidate School was complete.
NOTE: Currently Candidates report to WOCS wearing ACUs and Patrol Cap. I recommend you remove rank for the Patrol Hat and ACU jacket before signing in.
The book is available for pre-order at a 25% discount through G.I. Pubs and it’s coming very soon to Mentor Reader.
Let’s give a warm AskTOP welcome to our newest SME, 1SG Gibson! He has already shared a very personal and timely story with us. Take a look.
I used to have a reoccurring dream after I returned home from my last deployment. It always began and ended the same.
I am running down an alley towards my truck. I am at a full out sprint with bullets skipping the dirt around my heels. I feel as though I cannot run fast enough but finally make it to my vehicle. I jump in, look at the floor board then glance down the alley from which I came. I scream to my driver to move out. No response. I look over to the driver, noticing that my gunner’s legs are not in the gunner’s position, and see that my driver has been replaced with an Insurgent… [read more]
The AskTOP team has been busy busy busy lately.
Meet Lucky and the gang at DBS!
The Mentor Enterprises team (publishers of AskTOP.net) have launched a new military humor network called MilitaryToons.com. The debut member comic of that network is Delta Bravo Sierra, a miltoon about war, love, and safety belts in Afghanistan. We’ve partnered with a number of prominent military cartoonists and more strips are coming! Drop us a line if you’d like to get involved.
New Q&A system now testing
We’ve been planning to re-vamp the Q&A process on AskTOP for months. Testing began last week on a development server and we plan to throw the switch within a couple weeks. We are now receiving upwards of three questions a day on average. This volume is taxing our (very manual) system and we badly need to expand. Our plan is to open up the question asking/answering process and remove some of the more centralized aspects that slow things down.
We’ve changed up the front page quote box so that it will show reader feedback about 25% of the time in place of a leadership quote. This feedback comes from folks who have filled out our 30-second survey. If you want to see your comments added to the homepage, please check out our survey. Be sure to let us know how we can continue to serve you best.
[Edit: This post previously mentioned a visit to Fort Leavenworth relating to Army Center for Lessons Learned. This was published in error. The work Mark is doing at Fort Leavenworth is not directly related to CALL. I apologize for the error.]
SME Doug has brought to our attention another unintended side effect of our recent server migration. It looks like we accidentally enabled a “subscribe to all posts” feature that was causing some grief. If you were affected by this, I apologize for the flurry of new post notifications you may have received these past couple of weeks.
It was apparently sending out notifications every time a new document was added to The Arms Room. Classy. This should all be straightened out. Let me know if you see any other problems like this and we will get them hammered down ASAP.
For now, go ahead and club the new guy for breaking things. His name is Cameron.
If you happen to be on the lookout for ways to film with your iPad, check out Caddie Buddy.
We aren’t very happy with the quality of the AskTOP introduction video. We have been working to refine our process ever since our initial foray into video recording. The camcorder we used is subpar, the script was lacking, and we had to fight a wicked echo in post production.
One day someone had the bright idea to check out the video quality on our office iPad and compare it to the video we captured with the ancient camcorder. Lo and behold, the new iPad is an excellent video recorder. I found a very cool iPad tripod mount online and I have been waiting in anticipation for its arrival.
That day came last week. I finally got a chance to play with it yesterday and it is a slick accessory. There are a few different options out there on the market and this one is a little more expensive than most… but it also has some features that most iPad tripod mounts lack.
With that problem crossed off the list, we are another step closer to uploading some more videos for you YouTube-types out there. There are definitely times when I don’t feel like reading and would rather sit back and watch a clip instead.
As far as the echo problem goes, we’ve been considering building a makeshift recording booth with some sound deadening material and some thick canvas curtains or something similar. We have a big conference room and lots of space to play with, but it has high ceilings and has generally terrible acoustics. I’m excited to be heading in the right direction at least. Hopefully we will be able get a couple of test shoots done and have some new videos up in a few weeks.