July 11, 2009

School Has Started!

Upon arriving in Twenty-nine Palms, CA I was placed in SRC or Student Receiving Center for about a week. After that I was put in BMAT or Bravo Marines Awaiting Training. For about three or four weeks, I forget. My last week there I was assigned to work with MCTOG, Marine Corps Tactics and Operations Group. There I helped fix the computer communications system used by Officers and High Enlisted Marines for there training and simulation exercises. It was a lot of fun and gave me a glimpse of what life in the fleet will be like. Long hours and lots of computers!

After MCTOG I started classes for 0651, Information Systems Specialist. We are using the Cisco Curriculum for all of our studies. We finished "IT Essentials" a 16 Chapter book in a week and two days! It was a lot in a little amount of time. I was able to finish that course at the top of my class. Me and three others in our class of twenty-eight will be able to take the A+ Certification test as a result of our high scores. We are currently studying for CCNA and are on Module 1. CCNA deals with networks and how they work. There is a lot of conceptual ideas that need to be grasped in order to understand how a network works, and lots of Acronyms that need to be memorized. This is new territory for me but we are taking it a chapter a day or a chapter every two days which makes it a little easier.

I have also been promoted from Private to Private First Class. July 4th, 2009 was my six month anniversary of being in the Marine Corps. So far up to this point I have enjoyed it. There have been moments when things were really tough but when its all said and done you realize that we are a lot more capable then we think we are. My goal right now is to excel in my classes and finish first. To do this will not be easy as there are a lot of smart people in my class. Even then I'd rather have this goal then be one of the many in my class who are content with simply getting by. If I can achieve this goal and am found to be in good standing with my Instructors, I may receive a Meritorious Promotion to Lance Corporal. My second goal is to be able to receive as many certifications as I can while I'm here.

As stated earlier, I'll have a chance to get my A+ certification soon. I think we will have the chance to get our CCNA certification and our Microsoft Exchange certification as well. To simply pass a course Cisco requires a 70% or higher. The Marine Corps requires 85% or higher to try and receive a certification. This goal seems more attainable but is still going to require a lot of work.

Graduation is set for October 1st, 2009 and after that I will receive orders for my first duty station. I have requested to remain on the West Coast but as with any request the needs of the Marine Corps comes first.

The days are long here and almost every hour is filled. If I don't write much know I'm studying! To all who read...Semper Fi