For the last 4 weeks I've been taking a Port Operations and Security course. I just aced my final exam and got my certificate!
This course has been a cast iron bitch. (emf) It is supposed to be cake for MSTs like myself. However, I never went to Marine Science Tech school, see, I'm the enlisted equivalent of a ninety day wonder. I came in under the REBI program which allowed me as a civilian with an useful skill to enter the Coast Guard Reserve as a petty officer.
This is good in a sense 'cause one jumps right to E-4 pay. It's bad because one misses all the CG specific instruction in basic training. There is a lot of stuff from knots to procedural minutiae that everyone is expected to know....that I just skipped.
Thus I've been playing catch-up for the entire time of my enlistment. This was complicated by my injury. I took another class (Boarding Officer School ) almost as soon as I was called up to active duty. This is a 5 week course and on week 4 after much struggling I was put out because:
1) I had hurt my knee and couldn't perform the hand to hand quals.
2) I wasn't supposed to be in the class anyway given my level of experience. (I as informed as they put me out)
Shortly after I hurt my knee...again and was on light duty for a month.
A few months later after some deploymets, I hurt it again and it was discovered that I had, in fact torn my ACL ligament back in April.
So my mobilization consisted mostly of desk duty, and waiting for, and recovering from, surgery.
I did take a Command and Leadership class, but it is really gratifying to have passed a course as hard as this (not everyone who started the course finished), especially when I had missed a good bit of the prerequisites. (as I found out yesterday)
I'm pretty much recovered from surgery, (though I'm still overweight and weak...which I'm correcting) so that even though I come off title 10 on December 31, if I am called up again, I'll be an actual useful member of the unit and not a fifth wheel.
After a year of failures it is just cool to actually achieve something.
And the four weeks of mind numbing learning about the CFRs is over, YAYY!!! I'm off to see The Return of the King!!!