A few thoughts on loyalty

  • Loyalty is a fixed preference for the advantage of someone else.
  • Loyalty is not directly related to how you feel about a person. An officer may have soldiers he doesn’t like, whose behavior he doesn’t approve of, and who cause him no end of trouble. Nevertheless, he can and should be loyal to them. Because God is.
  • Loyalty has a reciprocal flow: it flows down from a position of authority and back up again. You have no right to expect loyalty from someone below you, if you haven’t demonstrated loyalty to them first. However, you have every right to expect loyalty from your superiors. Because God is.
  • The combination of God’s personal affection and enduring faithfulness indicated in the Hebrew word “chesed” (חסד) is best translated “Loyalty.”

Career Counseling – Army Enlistment pt. 5

Here’s the part where I blew it. Sort of. It was odd.
I sat down at a desk across from a counselor, reviewed my work and school history with her, and then she handed me a form that said that, considering my degree, they highly recommended I apply for officer school. Wasn’t ready for that. Every other branch I’d looked into had pushed me toward officer training right up until they heard what my degree was, then hey, presto! I was gone. No calls from my recruiter. So when I went to the army, I told them I just wanted to enlist and that I’d worry about officer training later. So here, right in the process of finishing up, I didn’t want that to happen again. And that’s what I told them. The career counselor checked; they didn’t care what degree I had or if I was over the legal age to go to Officer Candidate School. If I had a degree and wanted to be an officer, they’d make me an officer. All right then, it pays better and it’s better suited to my temperament anyway, so I signed.

But that paper sent me off on a goose chase. Phone calls were made to the commander of the recruiters. My documents were gone over with a fine toothed comb. They began initial research for security clearance. The commander showed up, took me into a back room and asked me, “what happened?” Turns out that signing that document was a YES, and my enlistment stopped.

Officer Candidate School, OCS, is a whole different ball game from enlistment. You have to have recommendations; You have to write an essay; you have to have a spotless criminal record; and you have to go before a review board that meets only once a week. Oh, and OCS is an extra 14 weeks of school. You have your basic, and you have your tech school, and OCS fits neatly in between them, making a neat 6-9 months away from your family. Maybe that was something I should have checked with my wife before signing?