Last week, we received another note from Stuart W.—a follow-up to his August letter—now into the beginning of U.S. Army Officer Candidate School.
From Stuart W.:
November 12, 2011
Sorry, it’s been pretty busy out here…I wanted to send a quick update.
Yesterday, I completed my branch selection and classed-up to Intermediate Officer Candidate. I finished ninth out of around 130 people in order of merit, which is a combination of academic, physical, and leadership assessments. Had I not been docked five points for buoyancy (bringing my head out of water on a relatively unimportant combat water test worth a lot of merit points), I would have finished fourth in the class. I’m happy with how I did. All the career options I was considering were on the board when it was time to decide my career branch, and I selected my first choice…We’ll see if I get my wish, but the odds are looking good.
On the physical side, I’ve found myself at OCS to be regularly near or at the top. This has enabled some helpful (yet troubling) decision making on my part. In particular, it allows me to wake up earlier (and get less sleep every night) so that I can spend more time studying for exams and doing other important things. I was able to do this before four to five-mile runs, because I knew I had the endurance to make them on five hours of sleep. This helped me score well in class rank. From the performance side, our primary test is the runs, and I (excel) there. Short of beating D-1 college track athletes, I was able to run pretty much faster than anyone at OCS. I started out my three-mile run with a 6:36, and I only got faster from there. My four-mile run was at a blazing 6:23 pace, and my five mile was at 6:26. I believe this has a lot to do with POSE running, as my latest two mile pace was only 6:11, and my fastest single mile ever is 6:02. While my sprint speed is not very high, I’ve found that POSE has allowed me to maintain a near top run speed over distances, which paid off at OCS. Further, as a Platoon Leader one week, I was asked to program PT for the platoon for a week. It was a large success, and was a significant reason why my trainer gave his first excellent garrison leadership rating to a candidate. That rating is weighted at the end of the course, and puts me currently around the top one to five in the class for final Merit standing.
I recently did an obstacle course and took a very strong shot to the ribs on an obstacle, however X-rays suggest there was no break. It still hurts to breathe deeply and hurt like hell for the first eight days, especially when doing pullups, but it’s starting to feel better.
…In three weeks, presuming I make it, I’ll be an Army officer which is very exciting.
Alright, well…I’m hoping to come by DC once I graduate (on) December 21 from OCS and begin my Armor branch training in Fort Benning.
Registration is open in MINDBODY for our Barbell: Weightlifting and Powerlifting Team (our Running Team is on break until January). Just a few roster spots remain for the start of the next month, beginning December 1. Visit the Sunday, December 5 post and the Teams page for more information on the program and details on how to register!