Monday, June 14

A big reveal! This time, it's Noah's business, not mine

A few weeks ago, Noah sat me down on the couch and said there was something he had to confess.

"I've been...on a website I don't think you'll be very happy about."

"Um, WHAT?"

Turns out that was the most suggestive and potentially horrifying lead-in ever to tell me that he'd been looking into joining the Army National Guard. He wanted to become a soldier.

Anyone who has known Noah for any amount of time was surprised by his decision to become a police officer, and probably more surprised that he'd want to be in the Army. But as I've watched him change from a quiet, boyish guy into an exceptional man these past few years that I've been his wife, nothing surprises me anymore. I know that he is capable. Believing in him has helped me believe that I can do things I never thought I could, such as sleep alone in an empty house for many nights in a row, single parent a baby for days at a time, and reconsider my stance toward sci-fi.

We consulted several friends who have been in the Army and subsequently in the National Guard (and been deployed with both). I gave the okay to talk to a recruiter.

Noah's recruiter urged him to consider Officer Candidacy School (OCS). The NC National Guard is in dire need of officers, and Noah's qualifications make him a prime candidate. He's not one to brag (I, on the other hand, am): He scored in the 98th percentile when he took the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Test, which is the most widely used military aptitude test in the world. His recruiter said she'd never seen anyone score that high.

Now it's a matter of working out the details. What unit would he join? When and where would he go to basic training? What's his unit's place in line for overseas deployment, and are we okay with that? Would he take the longer, weekends-only route for OCS, or the faster but more intense (and a longer chunk of time away from home) route and go away to OCS? Etc. etc. etc.

This isn't a decision we're making lightly, or one we're making without tremendous ethical considerations. Since Noah joined the police, we've had to rethink and reevaluate our Ivory Tower beliefs about the use of force, the role of government, and war. In my experience, Noah's philosophical/faith dilemmas are precisely what make him excellent at what he does.

And just like that, I'm on my way to being an Army wife.


Dan said...


Unknown said...

yeah, what Dan said.

Meadowlark said...

Two thoughts - ask him if he scored above a 98/143 (don't remember why it's a two part score. I think 99/150 maxes it) Tell him it's a personal challenge ;)

Has he considered AIR National Guard. Much, much, much better life than Army National Guard. Nothing against the Army but they say "HooAhh" the Air Guard says "Who? Us?"

Congrats on whichever he selects. He'll work much harder in the Army and he WILL deploy more.


roysie said...

Wow! That IS huge! (If his mind's not already set, he'd probably ace the Foreign Service Test, and/or he'd be an excellent Diplomatic Security Officer.)

Locusts and Wild Honey said...

Look, if you're trying to outshine my 97 on my Statistics mid-term, it's NOT GOING TO WORK, NOAH.

Ahem. Oh yes. Higher callings and all that.

Well, I've said it once and I'll say it again. He seems like EXACTLY the kind of thoughtful, ethical person I pray holds these types of jobs. I know you shall not tread lightly down this path and I can't wait to see where it takes your whole family.

Dori said...

My personal feeling on any form of training like that--don't drag it out. Go in, immerse yourself, keep your head around it and finish. I think the long haul only on weekends bit would drive me crazy. Either way it's going to kick everyone's collective butts. We spent six weeks apart last summer due to training...and you know what? We survived. Amazing.

From one military/LEO wife to another...whichever and whatever ya'll decide...I've got your back.

Erin said...

Update: Noah's also talking with Air Force and Navy Reserve recruiters; we're just farther along with the NG so I know more about it. I'll keep you posted!

Meadowlark said...

HOORAY for Air Force!!!!
My heart may belong to my beloved Corps, but my mind knows that when you've got a spouse and family behind you, the Air Force is a SWEEEEEEET deal!

stephanie said...

wow huge news! my fiance is in the air force and from what i've heard, the AF is pretty good when it comes to families & deployments. the support system is supposed to be good too...which i hope is true since i'll be moving with bfff when his time is up in AK next year. looking forward to more updates...

Anonymous said...

Whoa. I mean ... Just whoa. That is amazing, and even though I'd mourn WSPD losing a fine officer, I concur with Locusts & Wild Honey: Noah is exactly the kind of logical, thoughtful person who should be out there to bring balance to all the testosterone-driven meatheads and madness.

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