Well, I can let the cat out of the bag. I get to go to GRADUATE SCHOOL!! Those of you that know me well know that I nearly said "adios" to the Army after some burn-out and other issues following my 2nd Iraq deployment. THANKFULLY, God re-directed my path and I ended up having the opportunity to command some very fine Military Police. I am SO glad to have stayed, and it was burden off my back when I made that decision. We all have crazy decision times in our lives, and this was mine. I am a planner. I like to know AS FAR OUT as possible what I am doing. It doesn't bother me in the least that I had to sign up a year in advance for Ironman! So, in that line of thinking, I was doing, as we say in the Army, some "leaning forward in the foxhole" and planning what I would like to do post command (my current job). My "dream" job, and truly one of the opportunities that drove me stay in the Army, was to return to my alma mater, West Point, and teach. The majority of the faculty at West Point are active duty officers. This fall I completed and submitted applications to a couple of departments for consideration to join their faculty. The boards that review the applications met this month and made their decisions. I was accepted as a primary nominee for one department, and an alternate for another department. Needless to say, I have accepted the primary nomination and will return to the Department of Social Sciences to teach American Government (politics, public policy, and strategic studies). Cadets and Faculty simply refer to the department as "Sosh." I was an American Politics major when I was there, so I am ecstatic to have this opportunity to go back and be on the other side of the desks and the assignments!
Before I head back to teach, I must first earn my Master's degree. So, after I finish command in the Spring of 2010, I will attend graduate school for two years (Fall 2010-Spring 2012). My JOB will be STUDENT. My responsibilities will be to study, write, and prepare myself to be an instructor in the Sosh Department. I will then move back to West Point, NY and teach from Fall 2012 thru Spring 2015. Have I mentioned I'm ECSTATIC!! Not only will I get to study, in depth, subjects that I enjoy and will stretch my mind, but I will also, and more importantly so, get to play a role in molding, mentoring, and shaping future leaders. I am excited about re-entering the academic world, though, I will confess I'm slightly nervous and intimidated. I read my senior year thesis again the other day and realize I was smart 7 years ago...I have to regain that!! :) I also remember all of my instructors as EXTREMELY intelligent. Thankfully, I don't have to fit that bill perfectly till 2012. I have a lot of learning left to do! Attending a civilian university for two years will be an experience I haven't had. I may not know what to do when I don't have to wear a uniform everyday! (I think I'll figure it out!)
Soon I will begin the grad school quest as I will have to apply to several. I do need to re-take the GRE so I can get a more competitive score and ensure my acceptance to the program I want. My 1st choice in schools is the Univ. of Texas in Austin...we will see!!
In the meantime, I still have a very important and privileged job, and I take that seriously! So, I won't be jumping the gun or getting short termers thoughts with only a year out. The chances to command are less and less after where I am, so I intend to enjoy this time and make as positive of an impact as is possible!
There you go! That's my big news!