Week 4: More training, and more fun on liberty this week. I learn to love this place more and more each day. While the work we do each day can be challenging, it’s rewarding at the end of each work day to know what you’ve accomplished on your own and what you’ve learned. Something I like about this station is how they organize their sports/PT. On Monday mornings, the whole crew goes for a run. On Wednesdays, the crew plays a sport like volleyball or ultimate Frisbee, and on Friday, the crew is allowed to do whatever they want. What struck me was that most of the crew, while they could have gone off and done their own thing stuck back at the station and all played Ultimate Frisbee. To me that shows how much of a team they really are.
Week 5: Not only have I gotten to know the crew here, but I’ve learned a lot about my shipmates at the Academy. 3/c Zwenger, 3/c Westland, and 3/c Palenzuela are all great people that I look forward to spending time with at the Academy. 3/c Zwenger and I are probably the two closest to each other as we’ve been through the most together. We both biked 20 miles to Daytona to watch a NASCAR race one weekend and then 20 miles back and spend most of our weekend liberty together. The amount of time all of us spend together studying for the ROTR test and doing assorted tasks have allowed us get to know one another almost like family. We all came in here with some comprehensive goals and we’re all well on our way to accomplishing them.
Week 6: I really don’t want to leave Station Ponce. I’ve come to really like all the people here and I love the work I do every day. If it were up to me, I’d go on my 3 weeks of leave and just go back to Ponce as a junior enlisted member and move up the ranks, but that’s not going to happen. Coming in, I had quite a few goals and for all of them I at least made progress. I got my pepper spray letter, Sharpshooter in rifle (3 points from Expert), Marksman in pistol, Comms qualified, and a good deal of boat crew signed off. I filmed all the footage I’ll need to edit a Station video when I get back the Academy, and I got to take the ROTR test. Unfortunately neither me nor my shipmates passed, but we all came close and I’d like to take it again during the school year. As for the online courses, I touched the basics in both courses and learned quite a bit about both programming and systems in signals. This should better prepare me for the difficult academic year ahead for me. I’ve learned a lot, both about the enlisted members life and what their jobs are. I’ve also come to appreciate the hard work that the members at this station put in every single day. I hope that when I get into the fleet the people who work for me will be just as good and just as hard working. One major thing I’d like to take away from this experience is a leadership lesson: You may be granted authority, but you must earn respect. When I become an officer, I will do my best to be the hardest worker on the boat, to set a good example, and do everything in my power to help my enlisted members. They will be there for me as long as I’m there for them.
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