The tell-all tale of Warrior Leader Course, Part III

22 Sep

All right, this will be the final installment in the entirely too long telling of my experiences in Warrior Leader Course. If you’re just now joining us for this splendid (not) account, you might want to start at the beginning, or even the middle.

On one of the mornings when we marched out to the field, we went through some fog, and the effect was breathtaking. Proof:

  • Day 14 (Sept. 16)– Ah! The Board! Scary! Stressful! Really, stressful and scary! I spent the morning of Day 14 being quizzed by my instructors and my peers and just before 9:00 I got a pep-talk about how there’s no sense in worrying about it anymore, how it’s such an honor because our peers nominated us and how we should feel special regardless of whether or not we fail miserably. Then, 9:00 hit and I knocked on the door three times like they told me to and upon receiving authorization to enter, I opened the door, almost tripped over my feet, walked in, saluted and was told to sit down. That took approximately 30 seconds and in those 30 seconds I went from level-headed to bat-shit crazy and terrified. It’s amazing how you lose your mind just when you really need it. Again, I was given the speech about how this is such an honor and whatnot, but to tell you the truth, I spent most of that time trying to figure out how I was going to speak without using my hands because, you know, this is a board and it’s all about keeping your military bearing and not talking with your hands like a crazy Italian and sitting at the position of attention and being super respectful and whatnot. Anyway, then they asked me questions that I knew the answers to before I went in there, but, and this is just my luck, I totally forgot them once I walked through the door. I mean, come on, I forgot the definition of leadership (leadership is influencing people by providing them direction, purpose and motivation while operating to achieve the mission and improving the organization) which I knew and could practically recite backward before I went before the board, but I didn’t vomit on the board and I didn’t say um too much and while I was the most nervous girl in the world, I got through it and did know the answers to the other questions.I didn’t die in the chair while sitting at the position of attention, so really, that’s a huge accomplishment for me and having gone before board, I’m hopeful that the next time I have to do so, I won’t have a panic attack and hopefully I’ll be just a little bit more calm, cool and collected.Honestly ya’ll, I’m no good at stuff that requires me to show no emotion. If this was about being personable, I could rock it, but it was about being an emotionless slate of military knowledge and that just doesn’t suit me.

    After the board I chain-smoked because I was all freaked out by the whole thing and then I packed up all the stuff that had gotten me through WLC and took it back to my real room and spent the remainder of the afternoon sleeping because I was tired. No, wait, I was exhausted. I got back to my real room at about 2:00 in the afternoon and slept until 5:00. Not just snoozed, I passed the hell out. I don’t think I’ve ever been so tired in my life, and honesty, that nap was the best thing ever. After the nap, I went to a cook-out so that I could laugh and joke and smile with my WLC friends one last time and after that, after I had laughed so hard I felt nauseous, I went back to my room and passed out at about 9:00, because, like I said, I was exhausted.

  • Day 15 (Sept. 17)– Graduation Day. Finally. After two long weeks, we finally got to Graduation Day, and, because I’m being honest here, there were points in there when I thought the whole experience would never end. But, sure enough, we graduated. I didn’t get the Leadership Award, which was fine with me because the guy that did deserved it because he had the whole unemotional thing down pat and really, he looked the part of fierce warrior, while me, well, I like to smile and am, usually, emotionally transparent. You can tell when I’m nervous, seeing as I can’t hide it. But anyway, we graduated, finally, and I was happy and I ended up being in the top 20% of my class, which means that I made the Commandant’s List which only 10 people out of 52 got, and so, yay! I didn’t fail, in fact I excelled and as shocking as that is to me, it still doesn’t stop me from actually being proud of myself for once, which, hello!? Self-confidence is awesome!

So, to end on the cheesiest note possible, I had a lot of fun, I met a lot of great people, I learned a lot and improved my abilities to do all sorts of things and while sometimes it sucked, it was still awesome.

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5 Responses to “The tell-all tale of Warrior Leader Course, Part III”

  1. Ash September 23, 2007 at 11:43 PM #

    I am so proud of you, T. – though I never doubted you would do well. You are an amazing person, and I’m so proud to be able to call you my daughter. Congratulations!!!!

  2. Garrett November 6, 2007 at 11:02 PM #

    First of all, congratulations on passing WLC, and on the commandants list to boot! I am going to WLC at the end of this month, November, and was frantically searching for some insight to the course… I found it. After reading your blogs I have a pretty good idea of what I’m in for. Also, I must say, you are an exceptional writer. Thanks for taking the time to post your experience and good luck in Kosovo.

  3. instatick November 8, 2007 at 3:57 AM #

    Garrett –

    Glad I could help!

    I looked for info before I went too and didn’t find anything. That’s mostly why I wrote all this stuff down. Feel free to send me an email (terra.gatti@gmail.com) if you have any questions.

  4. jeff March 5, 2009 at 1:32 AM #

    I’m sure you wont ever hear it enough but congrats! Im also going to wlc in the very near future and your post has probably been the most helpful I’ve seen yet. well thanks for throwing that info out there and good luck in all you do. (btw, you have a great optimistic outlook 🙂

  5. Pashia July 30, 2009 at 1:37 PM #

    This was a great read – I’m almost done with my deployment and I’m heading to WLC soon after at Ft. Hood. Your blog helped reduce some stress I had about going : ]

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