Life in an active duty Army family comes with many tear-jerking and monumental moments for your soldier and your family. Some are sad and oh so difficult…while others can be some of the most memorable moments of your life.
Ryan (and TeamGrim) has had many of those! Flight School on the Warrant Officer side (there are Commissioned Officers as well) goes through several phases which are best broken down as follows:
- WOCS: Warrant Officer Candidate School. About 5 weeks of training that is worse than basic (according to Ryan haha) that breaks down the enlisted soldier to turn them into an officer. At the end is a very special graduation where your loved one(s) can pin your new rank on you. Logan & Emma (and I) had the privilege 🙂
- WOBC (A) Follow-on Training for their rank that lasts for about 3 weeks.
- SERE/Dunker: Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape. POW training that is called the best worst school you can attend in the army. Ryan already had this training so he able to bypass it. Dunker/HOST teaches them how to survive a water landing and techniques for water survival.
- Finally, FLIGHT SCHOOL BEGINS: This is being revamped by the Army, but Ryan’s was broken into a few different sections of training where he had “check rides” showing his proficiency in each before he was able to proceed.
At the end of this first portion of training a very special and much anticipated day arrives that determines the course for the rest of their careers: ADVANCED AIR FRAME SELECTION DAY!!!!!!!
Up until Selection Day the active duty flight school students have no idea what air frames will be available when they walk into that room! The board will be revealed (dramatically!) and each student is able to pick their bird from the ones that are available based on the OML (Order of Merit List: ranking by their grades in school, check ride grades, PT Test, etc.). The OML is so competitive that the top people are usually only separated by .001 of a point!!! These people are truly the best of the best in the army!
Since Ryan spent the first 7+ years of his career as a Chinook maintainer his heart belongs to the big girl. We prayed so much over the course of our time here that he’d be able to have his number 1 pick. Of course, he would have loved any rotary wing, but to get your #1 is incredibly special. To add to the intensity, there are well under 200 slots a year so it’s the hardest airframe to choose! Most classes have 1-2, if any, and Ryan’s class had 8 slots available for Warrant Officers!!!!
“You guys, God is an on-time God and His timing is ALWAYS perfect.”
This was totally a God thing! When Ryan’s packet took a while to get a waiver and a few pieces of the puzzle to come together I told him it was all God’s timing. I said “I’m claiming it and God’s trying to put you in a class flooded with Chinooks!!! You guys, God is an on time God and His timing is ALWAYS perfect. He’s taught us over and over again to lean on Him and one of these days maybe it will stop blowing me away.
From here Ryan will move on to his Chinook training that will last approximately 16 weeks. After that he’ll got another short training to pick up his CW2 rank and he’ll be able to pin on those wings at his graduation!!