The bookouts are obscenely short and the regimentation stifling, but for the most part I’m really, really pleased with what I’m finding at Delta OCS. We’ve got great instructors (the pedagogies of OCS instructors have apparently evolved beyond that of mere muscle memory, which is great for us. Delta used to be notoriously big on insane punishments. They once held a stand-by-bed in the parade square.); and the people I’m working with are probably, as my PC said, the best I’m going to be working with for the remainder of my army life. Nothing beats being able to feel proud of yourself just by virtue of standing in file.

So I hate to say this: some instructors really make me question if the pride that comes with that one black bar is really worth the nine months of shit. I’m not sure what you’re doing as an OCS instructor if you get all snappy and impatient every time a cadet asks you a question (forgive me if I’m mistaken sir but I could have sworn that learning was the point of command school). We learn that officers need to care for the 27 other men in their platoon but that’s really hard to believe if a section instructor can’t even be bothered to get to know the 8 people in his section. It disheartens me that I see officers in my wing slacking off and doing the barest minimum to earn their pay, not because I think I’m any better than them, but because it scares me that nine months of OCS might not change me into a much better person. I’m not sure now that all officers are naturally good at inspiring their men, now that I’ve seen officers who have nothing but criticism and disparaging remarks for the cadets under their charge. To these instructors: I could respect your rank. I could salute you, call you sir. But I could never respect you.


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