I'm not being deployed again, although I'm sure someone, somewhere, is plotting that future for me. This adventure is at ILE (Intermediate Level Education) at Ft. Lee, Virginia.
Let me explain: Majors in the US Army have many requirements necessary to move on to Lieutenant Colonel. A Master's Degree is helpful to make them competetive with their peers. This course, ILE, is required and comes in three different forms:
1. The 10-month PCS course at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas.
2. The 16-week course at various satellite campuses across the US. This is the course I'm attending at Ft. Lee from 5 May through 19 August.
3. A two-week residence course, followed by insufferable correspondence courses for 9 - 11 months, then another two-week residence course.
To get to courses 1 or 2, an officer comes up on a board and then is selected as either an alternate or a primary. For 3 years, since I was promoted to major, I showed up on the boards as an alternate for the 16-week course. I figured I'd just sign up for number 3 once I returned from Iraq.
But, lo and behold, I showed up as a primary for the 16-week course in January 2009 (while I was at Ft. Dix getting ready to mobilize if you ever followed my blogs). I happily picked the May - August course at Ft. Lee because at the time I wasn't sure when I'd return from Iraq.
So, here I am. Just finished Day Two and, am happy to report, that I am sincerely enjoying this course. The Army is paying me (well) to do what I love to do the most: read, research, and talk. :) I am, after all, a Public Affairs Officer. We are required, as part of the course, to either do a blog, a media interview, or a community engagement. Well, I've been doing media interviews at the local, national, and international level since I was a First Lieutenant...as well as community engagements. So I thought I would blog. I hope you enjoy my blog and please...give me feedback!
Get ready...the Games have begun.