Thursday, October 23, 2008

Off to Newport, RI

Today is Thursday the 23rd. 2 days before I make the drive up to Newport to start my training. It is a long haul so I'm gonna split up the drive and visit some friends on the way. I have been feeling pretty nervous lately but I guess that is normal? The last time I went through any training that could even be compared to this was over 9 years ago. It also doesn't comfort me to know that I am one of the older candidates in my OCS class... the majority of the group is in their mid to lower twenties (I am 27). I know, I know... I'm not that old right? Well my body tells me different (my Mom says it is from too much partying and the booze), still... I have to stretch ALOT. Anyhow, I'm ready to do this. Ready to get it on. I will have very little communication for the next couple months, but I expect to get on a computer closer to Christmas and over holiday break (Christmas is the only time of year leave is authorized at this command). Here is a cool website that has some slideshows and an in-depth write-up on what happens at OCS for those of you interested.

It is also in my "Blog Links" on the right side of the page, the title is Pushed to the Limit.
Well... I guess this is goodbye for now. I look forward to posting some more pics after OCS. Maybe a few with me in a speedo? I think I will. Just so we can have before and afters (I am guessing I will lose around 20 pounds)... here is the before (this is for you Mom/George).

Friday, October 17, 2008

You've Got the Controls

About 2 weeks ago I got a real treat. The Air Ops Officer and Asst. Officer pulled some strings and got me in touch with CDR Robin "Hood" Higgs out of the S-3 Weapons School* at NAS Jacksonville. They have a training plane (the T-34C) that is the same exact plane that the students going through flight school fly. Personally I think theirs looks a little cooler. CDR Higgs took me up for a couple hours and let me take the controls the majority of the flight. It was my first real taste of Naval Aviation. I had a blast. At one time in the flight CDR asked me "What do you want to do now?" I replied, "Why don't you take the controls and do something fun, you won't scare me." I was fully aware that the T-43C is fully acrobatic... He proceeded to walk me through the procedure of an Aileron Roll. And then did one. Wow! It was nuts. So fun... kind of like being in a roller coaster. We had hardly leveled out when he came across the comms and said, "You ready to try it?" I was a little hesitant, but there was no way I could pass on that invitation. He started to talk me through it... "Nose up, more... more... little more. OK, hold it... now when you are ready push the stick hard to the left." I did. Wicked. I had a smile on my face for two days after that flight and knew instantly that my goal over the next couple years is to get my own set of wings. Thanks CDR Higgs, I will never forget that flight.

*S-3 Weapons School is a training command for S-3 pilots. It could be described as "Top Gun" for the S-3 platform.

Cleared for Take-Off Launch!

Hey guys!

Well I decided to put my computer skills to use (Mom, you should be happy) and make this blog for friends, family, and whomever else wishes to visit. I named it "Cleared for Take-Off" for two reasons... one should be obvious. The other is that I feel like I am at a turning point in my life. I don't think that I ever really believed that I would finish my degree. I didn't plan on staying in the Navy very long either. I didn't really have any direction and was on a path that wouldn't have went far. That all changed when thankfully I met a beautiful woman who inspired me and believes in me and our future. Thank you Jimmel. Back on topic... you can read my intro above and check out my profile to learn more about me. I really hope everyone enjoys reading my posts and checking out the many pictures to come. I will do my best not to bore you! Thanks for visiting, visit often, and leave me comments so that you can tell me how I can improve the site. Jax crew: please keep it PG-13, my Mother might be stopping in...