How I earned my long tab? I don’t think I’ve got a clear answer. I know that if you’re fit and mentally focused – it’s likely you can accomplish the task of making to the other end in these selection processes. There’s less luck involved than other things, but it also comes down to you. Both how you’re perceived and how you perceive yourself. For the most part, the guys who went in knowing they were selected, they acted accordingly. I assumed I would make it.

It’s that reliance, not confidence, in the auspicious that earned my long tab. It wasn’t because I’m some badass. Especially taking into consideration, I was so new to the Army. No combat experience – and some life experience, but nothing like what I’d imagine the men who selected me had at that point. When I reflect over the past years in my life, I don’t see a flow of events that paint the qualitative picture. It’s a series of events. In my life, it’s like I am always cramming for the exam. Then, I fail it but, I pass the exam. Then eventually it will all tie together. Expect and approach selection and your army career the same way – focus on what’s in front of you.

It’s one a.m., right now – I’m finishing some homework and going to move on to the arduous task of studying for a finance exam I’ll be taking over lunch. After some time on active duty, I’ve enrolled in an MBA program while working full time. As usual, that’s only one of the tasks I’ve burdened unto myself. I’ve had to reschedule the exam, which won’t go well. For what it’s worth I don’t feel like anything goes well these days. But one thing is for sure, they go, and I move forward. The other day, I stayed up the entire night, no sleep, like what will probably happen today, and I studied the whole night for an exam that I took in the morning. It was operation management, and while the exam wasn’t the hardest, I’ve had, covered a good bit of information. I was out to lunch the entire ten-week course. But I crammed the whole night and knocked it out. I ended up scoring the mean of all the other students. In that, I’m lucky. This finance is not going to go well, tomorrow.

Just like the Q course you just have to pass. In the end, everything is pass/fail, not just events in the army. I feel like in the Q course, for courses I might not have done as well as I should have in – that acknowledgment of what I don’t know passed me through. The humility can help you pass because the instructors understand when a decent person comes through who isn’t a problem and will grow. I never made any calamitous mistakes, but I was young and inexperienced.

Featured image courtesy of DoD.