Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Future is Present

Well, it's been a week of emotions! I've been waiting for awhile to find out the decision of the CARE board. Today I found out I did not get the Active Duty slot that I requested, however I was offered a reserve spot instead. My chaplain program manager said that it was like getting a consolation prize. I suppose it's better than nothing and its obvious that is what the Lord has for me right now.

The disappointment was really hard to handle at first and I wasn't sure I wanted to do much of anything. But after speaking to a couple chaplains, and my lovely wife, we decided to accept the reserve chaplain position. There are actually a couple benefits to being in the reserves. First, there is a chance to be called up to active duty at anytime. In fact, after talking to a current reserve chaplain, I found out that there are two week billets, and even 365 day billets. So if I do a reserve tour for a bit, I have a good chance of being active duty when I have even more experience.

But right now, I'm just trying to wrap my mind around the fact that, with the Lord's help, I achieved the dream of being a Navy chaplain. I am not a chaplain candidate, I am a chaplain.

God does give desires of the heart, we might not understand how they will all play out, but He does do all things well. (Psalm 37:4)

And I'll close out with Chaplain Justin Bernard's quote: "CCPO's are not Chaplain Wannabe's...They are Chaplain Gonnabe's..." Today I realized that statement. 

So onward, and forward.

-Nick

Saturday, August 4, 2012

They That Wait Upon the Lord...

Let me begin by saying this: I hate waiting. Have many of us ever spent much thought thinking about how long we wait? We wait at the DMV for our licenses. We wait on our spouses to do something for us. We even wait on publisher's clearing house to tell us that we've not won, but we're entered in the final drawing for 10 million dollars. Waiting is something that I have learned to do over the last several months and I'd like to tell everyone that it gets easier the more you do it. (Kind of like riding a bicycle) but it doesn't.

I can't believe that in December 2010 I decided to resign my full time position at Berean Baptist Church so that I could pursue the Naval chaplaincy. That was nearly 18 months ago. 18 months I have been waiting for a dream to happen. As I look at the last 18 months, I have had many things to wait for. Here is a short list.

1. Acceptance into the CCPO (Chaplain Candidate Program)
2. Commissioning as a Naval Officer
3. School Grades
4. My Disney Cruise
5. A Job
6. IRS Refund
7. Graduation from Liberty
8. Orders to ODS
9. Graduation from ODS (LOTS of Waiting at ODS)
10. Going before selection boards

These are some of the things that I have had to wait for, and as I look back on these things, I realize that the Lord has helped me each and every time. After looking at the timing for each of these things I had to wait on, I realize that the Lord has perfectly (Not coincidentally) orchestrated everything.

Now I am near the final part of the journey. Everything listed above has occurred and is now in the past. I am now I am waiting on the decision that will probably change my life (One way or another). Last Friday I was told that my packet went before the CARE board earlier than I expected. Now I am waiting their decision and I was told I had to wait 2-3 weeks for the result.

I will tell you that waiting does not get any easier. As I write this blog, I have gone an entire week, hoping for a phone call. But deep down I know that everything happens according to his timing. I must wait on the Lord, because I have seen over the last 18 months, that his timing is perfect and waiting on Him always has the best reward.

"But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint."--Isaiah 40:31

Saturday, June 16, 2012

All Good Things...

video
ODS is done! As many can tell from my facebook posts! It's nice to have this step done in my military career. That means there are only two more obstacles to getting a PCS somewhere. Those two steps are CARE board selection and Chaplain School.

Week 5 (The Conclusion)

The last week of ODS was nice and easy. There wasn't too much to do. Monday we had our last organized PT. It was a 3 mile carrier run. Normally these runs aren't too bad, but this day was extremely tiring. We had Lt. Lufkin run with us, and he must have been a cheetah in a previous life, because I the pace was much faster than it had been. I had a hard time keeping up, and nearly thought about giving up. But I pressed through the pain and kept running. After the long run and our cool down. We had a "nice" breakfast at Ney Hall Galley.

After breakfast there was "Personal Enrichment" time. This meant we could personally enrich ourselves. I think most of us decided to take a nap. This time was actually used for those who had not finished the Buttercup and/or the firefighting simulation.

Tuesday:

More personal enrichment time.

Wednesday:

TRAC day. This is where we had chaplain's come in and talk to us about our future careers. Chaplain Moore was fascinating and enjoyable to listen too. He answered lots of questions and really made me excited about the future ministry. I can't wait to be in the fleet! After Chaplain Moore spoke, we had Chaplain Bernard tell us all about being a CCPO. (Chaplain Candidate) Since I'm near the end of my time as a CCPO, I knew most of what he was saying. But I found his information on CARE board selection quite informative.

During this time, I found out that the June CARE board meets on June 27. I also found out that my packet was near completion. I would have to work extremely hard to get the final things ready for my packet if I wanted to get all the information needed in to my recruiter so it would be submitted!

Thursday:

I saw my wife and we had our "Hi Mom's" celebration. The dinner was quite nice and it was wonderful being able to meet the families of many of my company mates. Everyone looked great. Except the one who won our uniform inspection award. He forgot his white t-shirt. It was hilarious. Although Chief didn't find it too humorous. The three chief's gave a rousing speech. Our chief gave the most motivating speech! Hoo-Rah!

Friday:

The day we waited for finally came. It began early with a mile cadence run. It was not too bad, except my knee was hurting quite a bit. Thankfully after the first hill. I got my stride and ran it out. We picked up our final orders and then left base until Graduation time!!

Monday, June 11, 2012

The End is in Sight

ODS Week 4

Well the end is drawing closer and I never thought I'd get this far! Week 4 actually went by very fast and it was great to know that I would be seeing my family very soon.

Most of Week 4 consisted of the DOLC Class. (Division Officer Leadership Class) This was a much pleasant break from the powerpoints and a whole lot more interactive. To sum up the first few days. We were in class, ALL DAY. It was fun though and the roll playing and information was very helpful. As chaplain, some of the things won't necessarily apply. But there are some great leadership principles that can be drawn from the information given.

Friday we had our final PFA. I was hoping I would do well, since this was the one that really mattered. Meaning if we failed, a letter would be sent to our next command informing them that we failed. So I really wanted to pass. For those of you who know, this is the big part of my worries at ODS, the physical portion. Well now that it's behind me, it's nice to know that I can pass my PFA without too much stress. Now the goal for the remainder of my career is to keep passing! I did 68 pushups, 53 curlups and a 1.5 mile run in 13:32 seconds. Not stellar results, but I passed and received the good score! I'm tired of PFAs! Thankfully you only do your PFA two times a year. I did 3 in five weeks here.

Friday night many in the company were preparing for their liberty. They planned on taking a train to Boston and watching the Boston Red Sox play. I was unable to go, since I had watch that night. But my roomate and I planned on travelling to the historical city of Boston as soon as we had been released from watch.

Saturday, we drove to Boston and I have to say, Boston traffic is not too terrible. We started our trip by seeing Harvard University. There is so much history there, particularlly religious history. It is a shame that a school that was founded on religion does not embrace it's history. We saw the Divinity School and some of the other historical sites in the immediate area. After our trip there we headed for lunch at a great Italian place. We had some of the best calamari I had ever eaten and then headed for our next stop.

My roomate, Mark Bristol, had the brilliant idea of parking at the Coast Guard base. Since he's former enlisted, he's the one that comes up with all the brilliant ideas. We parked there for free and stopped at the club to charge our phones. After charging the phones, and fixing an iPhone that was not working correctly, we headed for the Old North Church, Paul Revere's House and the USS Constitution.

Seeing the Constitution was amazing. The ship was so powerful in its day that it earned the nickname "Old Ironsides" As I went to the lower decks I realized one thing. I did not have to duck! :) I was the perfect height for serving on the ship. I don't think I would have bonked my head too often!

After seeing the ship, we headed for some canoli's. They were great and filling and I didn't have to pay, since I fixed his phone :) Thanks again, Mark!

After leaving Boston we headed to Newport for dinner and then drove back to the base. It was nearly midnight. I had not stayed out that late in a LONG time. My idea of a great evening is not to be out all over town. Normally I like being at home by 9:00 (I'm getting old.)

Sunday was a great day. I was able to sleep in a bit, and then we all got in our dress whites to march in the 300th anniversary of Abington, MA. While the bus was broken, hot and slow. We were able to make it after a few wrong turns.

Marching in the parade, allowed me to be very grateful of the people that are in our country. They were so appreciative of the troops. They all stood and cheered and one guy even offered his single daughters to us. Moments like that made me proud to be able to serve our country.

Here it is on Monday. Our chief returned from his paternity leave! We welcomed him back to PT with a cadence about his baby girl. He is on cloud nine since having his first child.

Hope everyone has a great week! This week is graduation week!!!



Saturday, June 2, 2012

Hand--Salute!

ODS Week 3

It wasn't until my wife told me that it had been a week and a half since I updated my blog that I realized how quickly time has begun to move here. After the first week feeling like it was about three, this shortened week flew by. The weekend Liberty from last week was refreshing, but after the flury of activities, I was actually becoming bored without my family by my side.

Monday (Memorial Day)

What a privlege it is to serve one's country. I have always been facinated by the military and have enjoyed watching the reverent ceremonies that take place on and off base. This day, I was going to be part of the color guard for morning colors. The flagpole at NAS Newport is the second highest of any military base so naturally the flag would be gigantic. It certainly was it was 38 by 24 (Roughly). As we began to march out, it was just amazing to see the pride and dignity that our flag was treated with. Those that truly love and honor their country, revere the symbol of it. For a short side sermon, I wonder how many people that claim to love Christ truly honor, revere and honor his name and the symbols of the faith (ie. God's Word). After color's ceremony, I enjoyed a relatively boring day at the liberty center.

Tuesday: Most of the day was spent in our "Death by Powerpoint" session. But primarily this day was immunization day number 1. Unlike ages past, when you were lined up and were shot with everything, our blood had been previously screened and we were selected for our shots. I ended up getting three this day. I honestly don't remember what they were but, my arm was hurting a bit after the shots.

Wednesday: PT early in the morning. My average day involves waking up at 4:15 every morning, going to the head and then getting changed into my PT gear. At 4:45 we're "on the line" and ready to go out and begin PT. After our warm up lap around the track, and our "morning dynamic exercises" we were about to run 3 miles. AHHHH! I have never run 3 miles before in my life. The most my wife ever made me run was 2 miles. So I was unsure of what would happen. Thankfully, it wasn't too bad. I managed to finish with little pain. I don't really remember what happened the rest of the day, but more than likely it was more powerpoint and a review for our Navy exam.

Thursday: Today was the beginning of a flurry of activity. We had our Navy knowledge exam as well as our Mid Navy PRT. For the Navy PRT test, I managed to shave 15 seconds off my run, add the 11 curlups I needed and added 5 more pushups. (Chaplain Alendar, I forgot to do my tricep pushups) I scored an overall "GOOD."

For our exam, we had to remember everything we learned in our power point sessions. Many people spent hours studying for the exam. And if any of you know me, you can figure out how long I studied. I think I studied for ten minutes. I could tell by the way the instructors were wording things, that this would be a "no brainer" I awoke this morning. Did PT and headed for our exam. The exam was pretty easy and I scored an 88. Passing was a seventy, and no one in our entire class failed! After the exam it was time for more lectures and prepping for our lovely third week inspection.

Friday: The inspection was the stress of the week. The instructors made us feel as if it was the most important thing in the Navy. And to be honest, it was our mission to accomplish. The inspection involved  spitting out our Navy knowledge, having our room inspected, and our summer white uniform inspected. I was a bit nervous during it all, but kept in mind what our chief said, "It's all about confidence" I think you could have been confident in your knowledge and been completely wrong and they would have passed you. But that's just a guess. I took several hits on my cover (Lots of IP's (aka Irish pennance, aka string). My bed fold was a 1/4 inch off and I missed my Navy Mission statement. Yet in spite of it all, my inspector said I was above average.

After a few more short briefs this day, we were briefed on the only thing that everyone wanted. LIBERTY! People were allowed alcohol if they chose, and were allowed sweets and to go off base! I chose to go off base with several other chaplains. We went to a nice restaurant in downtown Newport. On a side note, I really wish I had more time here to be able to explore all that Newport has to offer. It really is a beautiful city. However, if the Lord permits, I will have to do that another time.

Today is Saturday! Continuing Liberty. Sort of. We woke up this morning and were instructed to do another 3 mile run. When we arrived on the field this morning. Our chief made us do more "ON YOUR FACE" because two people had been talking during chow earlier in the week. After 3 or 4 mins of that, we began to run our race. The bad part was, we were running through the remnants of Tropical Storm Beryl. But as our chief said, "If it's not raining...We're not training." This is one of many of the "Chiefisms" that he utters. I think I could spend an entire post on some of the strange things he says.



Until next week!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Fire in the Hole!

This week has turned out to be very interesting as far as things to do here at ODS. For the most part, our chiefs have stopped yelling at us all the time, and we are under the leadership of our division officer. Although we do manage to mess up the easiest things. We had some "pain and discipline" for one of our guys not shaving. And some more pain and discipline for yours truly not stowing his officer's crest outboard on my belt loop when my garrison cap is not being worn. Oops!

Sunday was a good day. Our chief was on quarterdeck watch so he was around a lot and taught us some things in the classroom that day. The nice thing was that each of the staff corps officers were able to share their stories about what drew them into the Navy. It was very touching. It was also nice to hear that our chief thoroughly enjoyed his graduation. We also got to hear about his career in the Navy as well.

Monday, I don't really remember what we did. So it must not have stood out! Oh that's right. I think we did Dental that day. It involved sitting and waiting. I found out I have a cavity. But since I'm not going to a duty station (as of yet), I will probably have to pay to have it filled on my own (Thank you Apple for Health insurance) After dental, I believe we had some drill and some lectures and not much else. I actually was able to sleep quite a bit!

Tuesday was a fun day, though not so much in the morning. Since it was raining, we did PT indoors. This involved two minutes of pushups, curlups and lots of laps around the P-way's of King Hall. After PT was breakfast, followed by me driving the students from base to the medical center for their audiograms. Since I had mine done in Meridian, MS last year, I think it was already in the system so I didn't need to go! THANK YOU LORD! After four hours of sitting in the van, getting to know my new roomate, we returned for lunch and then headed off to the USS Buttercup!

I know, the name doesn't inspire fear, shock and terror in the hearts of the enemy. But it is the Navy's only underwater boat trainer. This boat allows sailors to train for the unthinkable. Shoring up and stopping leaks if the structure of the ship were compromised. After a few hours of lecture, we headed for the boat. The water was a nice 80 degrees and after our 75-80 minutes and two different drills we did manage to save the ship from sinking!

Today was a nice day. After a 1.5 mile of 30-90's (Running for 90 seconds sprinting for 30) we came back for breakfast and then headed off for firefighter training. As you know this was something that piqued my interest. After many lectures about SCBA, Fire extinguishers and everything else we got to don our turnout gear and go fight fire. Unfortuntely, my back was hurting very bad today. I had to get my SCBA off as soon as I could. (For those of you in LVFD, they had some cool masks but their tanks were about 15 pounds heavier than ours--Tell Chief, I'm still training even up here!)

Tonight I went to Chaplain Drakes services on base. They were wonderful. Just what I needed. The worship service was great, the Bible study was expositional. Another shipmate (aka Sea Warrior) of mine went to Clearwater Christian and him and I both liked it. So if two "enemies" can come together anything can happen right?

Tomorrow is supposed to be lectures all day! We'll see what happens! Off to study my Navy Knowlege. Everyone wish my son a Happy Birthday! He turns five tomorrow! What a big boy!!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

There's an Acronymn for That

ODS Week 1

Well the first week is behind me as far as ODS goes. Honestly, all the blogs I have read seemed to make it out far worse than it really has been. Let me give you a run down of the week as best as I can. Since all the days have seemed to run together, I'll just be as accurate as I can.

Saturday (May 12)
After saying goodbye to my wife and kids, I boarded the plane for Atlanta, GA. There wasn't a whole lot to that trip. Pensacola to Atlanta is like riding down the street in a nice sports car. Nice, smooth and fast. The plane landed and I boarded the trip to Detroit. There was the first snafu in the process. The plane that was going to take me from Atlanta to Detroit had a malfunction and arrived late. This seemed to be no huge problem, because I would have enough time to get to my connection that would take me to Rhode Island. Unfortunately, they kept pushing back the time. I arrived in DTW, and ran from Concorse A to Concorse B. This was no small run, and I had 11 mins to make it. Unfortunately I arrived 1 minute to late. I had to board the next flight to Rhode Island which was 3 hours later. I used that time wisely, studying my handy-dandy Navy Knowlege and listening to the Fire Alarm at DTW go off for 15 minutes, as people ran around in some sort of panic. Hey, I'm a firefighter. If there's no smoke, there's no fire. Usually.

Well the rest of the trip was pretty uneventful. I met some prospective ODS students at the airport and we caught a Taxi to NAS Newport. This took an $85 cab fare down to $20 a piece! Praise the Lord,

Sunday (May 13)

The morning was my own. I went to the liturgical service on base. It wasn't too bad, but really seemed short. (About 30 mins total). I had lunch with one of my Liberty classmates and met some people that were in my company. At 1730, the first briefing with our class Lieutenant took place. Lt. Fromnecht. He is a really nice guy and really wants us to learn how to be Naval officers. He's very patriotic and has had some very inspiring words for each of us to remember. The first briefing consisted of Navy paperwork. As they say in the Navy if it isn't written down, it didn't happen. (Hence the reason for this blog).

One of the things I had dreaded most was the weigh in. I had worked for several months to get to the right weight. I had checked myself on the scale and saw I was 2 pounds heavier. Since the height measurer measured me an inch shorter than normal (This meant I had to be five pounds lighter than I initially thought) This was tough. I was stressing big time! But by the time I got on the scale I was within standards! Praise the Lord!!

Monday (May 14)
More paperwork. We also learned some marching basics from our Class LT. Nothing hard so far. We had lunch, learned some lunchroom procedures and at the end of the day the Lieutenant told us to be ready at 4:30am. I was pretty ready for 3:45 since that is what I had read.

Tuesday (May 15)
0430 on the nose. Our class chief Chief Hebert woke us up screaming to get up. He ran down the hall banging on the doors saying, "On the Line!" We had no idea what to do. But we did as he said. We did something that day. But I really don't remember. Oh yeah. We got our PT gear. Or was that Monday? I don't remember.

We learned a bunch of Navy terms. Here are some I had never heard of before (P-way=Passageway, or Hallway; Scullery=Spider looking Dish Return; On your face=Do Pushups). Anyway, our class chief is really quite good at his job. He is tough and stern, but he is not afraid to show that he is a human being. Congratulations to him too, because he just graduated from college. Maybe he'll become an officer now and go to ODS. :)

This was also the uniform shop day. This involved 5-6 hours of standing in line being fitted for everything the Navy would require you to wear. Fun fun fun!

Wednesday (May 16)
Lots of lectures on basic things. Navy knowledge. Also this day was the Navy's third class swim test. It was really a lot of fun. I passed (Thankfully). There was a 10 meter jump, a front facing five minute float a swim and inflating the khakis. It was a fun!

We really began to do a lot of drilling these days. We learned a bunch of marching movements. A lot of neat things.

Thursday (May 17)
This was the first PRT test. I'm still not sure how I did. But no one said I failed. At least not yet. We also had to begin prepping our Khaki uniforms for inspection. This was much more difficult than I had imagined. There is something every Naval officer needs to do. That is take pride in his uniform. There are a bunch of new terms to learn here too. Gig line, brass on brass, IP's=Irish Penance=String as well as other terms. We also had an inspection rehersal too.

Friday (May 18)
Uniform inspection day. All the time I spent looking at my Navy knowledge would come in handy in this one inspection. Lectures most of the morning. The rest of the time was spent prepping uniforms. Our company was late. This is not good. Our chief said he'd make us pay....

I did pass the uniform inspection. Because we were late, I did not get to adjust my uniform so my gig line was off, my belt was off and my laces were not tucked in correctly. Ughhh! Oh well, I passed! We thought we could wear our uniforms. Unfortunately, not. We hadn't earned them yet.

Saturday (May 19)
Today started at 4:30 like normal to the sound of an air raid siren. We were led from deck to deck doing PT (Pushups, Squats, Situps, led outside to the SUYA (Don't ask); the Cookie Jar and the Rose Garden (aka Sand Pit). This wasn't too terrible, but my abs hurt. After this awakening. We were told we had earned the right to wear our Khaki's! Woo Hoo! Our company looked pretty good marching in them. However, one thing, the SHOES HURT!!!

See ya'll next week! For update number 2!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Playing Taps or Reveille

I'm not sure where to begin. Since my last post, lots has happened. As of right now I have a little less than twelve hours remaining before I board the flight to Providence, RI for ODS (Officer Development School). The chaplain program operates a bit differently than others and one day I will have to take the time to devote an entire post to the process. But suffice it to say, I have been busy getting everything ready for the time of my life!

So for the next five weeks, I will be trying to blog about my experiences as a Navy Chaplain. Hopefully future Chaplain's and Chaplain Candidates will be able to view the blog and if it's a help to you, great. If it wasn't...well tough.

For the first post about ODS let me tell you some things I have heard that might help or hinder your time at ODS.

1. Be thankful you're not in OCS.
2. Don't call the Chief, "sir".
3. Be prepared to spend some money.
4. Bring Swiffer
5. Give up Caffeine
6. Get ready quickly
7. Have fun!

See you all soon!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Order Up!

Two weeks ago, I received my orders to ODS. For those who don't speak military, (which I don't) it stands for Officer Development School. From what I understand, there is very little school and lots of physical development. The goal of the school is to put prospective staff corps officers (Doctors, Lawyers, Chaplains) into shape so that they can effectively do their job. After all, nothing can move the Holy Spirit in a military chapel service like realizing that your chaplain can bench press you as well as the pulpit from which he is preaching.

For the last year or so, I have been getting myself into shape. In spite of me telling myself that "Round is a shape" I have forced myself to run, do various push ups, sit ups and other forms of medieval torture. 

Thankfully, I have had my wife endure the torture with me so its not too bad. 

To be completely honest, the "Corry Get's Fit" program is a great program. I have not lost the weight that I've been hoping for, but I have been able to see great differences in doing some of my PRT exercises. 

Currently from May 12-June 15 I will be in Newport, RI. This is just one step in the process of becoming a Navy Chaplain. After ODS is complete, the next step is chaplain school. And then from there, there are options presented to me. 

1. I will be able to go to Active Duty (Which is entirely up to the Navy)---This is my first choice
2. I will go to the Reserves (Which is entirely up to the Navy)---This is my second choice.
3. I can be removed from the program (Which is entirely up to the Navy)---I sincerely hope this doesn't happen.

So as of now, I'll keep training, working, praying and hoping. Everything is in God's hands and His timing is always perfect.

Entering the Realm of the Blogosphere

Posted from January 2011--Trying to put everything in one spot.



When I first heard the words "Navy Medical" my mind conjured up all sorts of weird military images. I had heard stories from several former enlisted military personnel, that made me wonder if this was going to be a huge ordeal. Most of the stories revolved around having to "Bend over, and 'Spread your cheeks'" so I was praying I would not have to endure that part of military initiation.

Since determining that the Lord has called me into the Naval Chaplaincy, I have, for the last 10 weeks, been preparing myself physically to join the Navy. I have lost about 4 inches off my waist and lost 20+ pounds. Yeah! But unfortunately, I was still above the maximum weight standards. So my best hope was that I would be below the 22% body fat standards. Many prayers and worries revolved around that one concern.

Monday night, I left home around 4:15pm and traveled to Meridian, MS to spend the night. If you've never traveled to Meridian, you're not really missing much, since there's nothing there. (Although, someone swears there are two Wal-marts and a Sam's club somewhere) I arrived on base around 9:00 (21:00) and waited for my sponsor to show up so that he could escort me on the base. When he did arrive, I was greeted by a friendly face, and was given the grand tour of NAS Meridian. My final stop on the tour was my room, which was a very spacious hotel room, consisting of stove, two refrigerators, and bathroom facilities.

Tuesday morning I awoke at 5:30 and checked my e-mail and got ready. I decided to do a work out and found a "Fit for Duty" exercise program on the Pentagon channel. It was very intense, but helped me wake up. I followed my workout with a shower, and then breakfast.

At 7:45 I arrived at NAS Meridian Branch Medical. I waited for awhile until my sponsor showed up, and I was put into the system. Immediately I went to the eye exam, which I passed. And then I went right to the lab to get blood work done. Unfortunately, I did not fast for twelve hours so they were unable to do my labs. (I was told, I didn't need to fast) But labs will be scheduled soon at NAS Pensacola. (Yeah, no 8-hour round trip!) However, it was discovered that my birthday had been entered wrong into the system and needed to be fixed. Back to the front desk! After the mix-up was cleared, I went to dental for a full set of X-Rays and a dental check up. The next stop was hearing...

As most people know, men can't hear. At least that's what their wives claim. Well, the hearing test was the worst part of medical. I was in a small enclosed sound-proof room with a set of headphones on. I was told to push the button when I heard a tone. So I did...and proceeded to do so for what seemed like 20 minutes. Mind you, I was straining to hear every little sound and ended up hearing the buzzing of the lights, my heart pounding in my head, myself swallowing and all sorts of sounds that you normally just block out. I managed to push the button the correct number of times and thankfully passed that test.

The next and final test/exam was vitals and physical exam. Here was the time that I had been dreading. After more paperwork being filled out, I went to another room and was told to get on the scale....ACK! I was praying that my height would be higher and my weight would be lower...The Petty Officer had me keep all my clothes on, shoes, jeans, phone, wallet, keys and had me hop on the scale. I weighed about 7 pounds over the limit. Thankfully with my shoes on, I did manage to get an extra half an inch! But in the back of my mind, I was still 7 pounds over and that would not be good...

Next came the physical. It was a breeze. Just following a light with my eyes, getting my reflexes checked, breathing etc...Nothing major. Passed that with flying colors.

My sponsor and I returned to his office and I told him my concerns about the weight. He had one of the enlisted folks get a measuring tape for the body fat test. (I silently pray that I make it below 22% BF) After doing a bit of paperwork, I get measured and....pass the test with 2% to spare! Woo Hoo!!

We then go to the Galley, and eat and around 1:10 I had an interview with the base chaplain. He was a nice man, a southern baptist and it was rather informal. I received a lot of information, and am now more than ready to hurry up and get my schooling done, so that I can get to active duty and start a great ministry with the military.

So right now, I have a few things to do before I get my commission. I have to get my labs finished, transcripts sent, and another interview. So I'm hoping that sometime in February and March, I will be a Navy Chaplain Candidate with the rank of Ensign! 

Continue to pray for me and my family as we transition to this new adventure! God Bless.