Saturday, April 21, 2012

Avoiding Responsibility

While I was in the Navy, I didn't want any responsibility for other people.  It was a constant theme.  In boot camp, they called me in to the office to meet with one of the company commanders and the base minister.  My grandfather had passed away.  Because I was in boot camp, I wouldn't be able to attend the funeral.  They were so impressed by how I took the news that they asked if I wanted to go to officer candidate school.  I declined.

During boot camp, I was a squad leader.  I carefully managed to avoid becoming the recruit commander, even to the point of declining the position when it was offered.  My commander even threatened me that if another had to be chosen, he would force me to take the position.

The rest of my Navy career, I avoided advancement like an illness I was afraid of.  I even didn't take the courses required to advance so I wouldn't have to take the advancement test.

After my first deployment, they offered to send me to a seminar at BYU.  I was really looking forward to it.

A week before I left, one of my chiefs found out that I was ducking advancement.  To qualify to take the next test, you had to have all your correspondence courses done in four days.  He told me that if I didn't qualify for the test, I couldn't go to the seminar.

Because most of my courses contained classified material, I could only do them at the detachment.  I couldn't do them from my barracks.  In four days, I spent nearly 70 hours completing 5 correspondence courses on various subjects, like radio theory, encryption protocols, and geographic and military characteristics of Arab countries in the Mediterranean, gripping stuff.

I qualified to take the test.  And the really funny thing is, because I was at a seminar at BYU, I couldn't take the test that year.  Irony for the win.

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