Saturday, April 25, 2009

End of Week 1 - CPO Academy - Class 159

What a week! It has been very busy and also very rewarding. The days are long and the work continues into the evening. Even today, after a very strenuous bike ride, I did a first draft on our Memo assignment.

This week we met Bob, who taught us how to be a better person, set goals, and ways we can achieve them in an Increasing Human Effectiveness seminar. We also did a nice pool workout and step aerobics during the week. On Tuesday, we had a little team walk and decided on who our team leader was. After that, we had a Pizza social, where each team had an interesting way of announcing their new team leader to the class. It was pretty inventive and fun.

On Thursday, after lots of ideas and still more voting, Class CLIX had its motto. "Honoring the Past, Leading the Future". Short, sweet and to the point. I think it will fit on our wine classes just fine. Also on Thursday, we had a group bike ride with two teams. We rode around the base and some of us took a challenging ride up Texas hill and down the fire road to senior enlisted housing. It was a very good ride.

Friday came and we all breathed a sigh of relief. It had been a long and busy 7 days. We all did some unwinding at the Anchorage Chief's Hut and up at the Rocks and Shoals club where the band "Black Zeppelin" played some good 70's tunes. A friend of mine is the drummer in the band. They were pretty good.

This morning was a little cool and somewhat windy, but I wanted to try the 24 mile circuit out to Chileano Valley Road and back on Spring Hill Rd. I know now why it is called Spring HILL. It was a good 2 hr and 30 min ride and got me over 1000 points for the President's Challenge.

The rest of the day was spent relaxing and doing some homework. In fact, it is time to go and edit the second edition of my memo and print it again for a Peer Review. Busy, busy, busy...

Monday, April 20, 2009

Days 2 & 3 - Class 159 - CPO Academy

Yesterday was so full, that I didn't have time to log. It was a very satisfying day that kept us busy for over 11 hours straight.

Day 2:
We reported to the gym at 0900 for the Personal Wellness Profile routine with weigh-in. Everybody was pretty excited and I'm sure a little apprehensive.

The class was split in two and my group went to get their blood pressure checked. After that was a weigh-in followed by sit-ups, push-ups, sit and reach, waist and hip ratio measurement and then the run. I am very satisfied with all my results and I have set a few goals to shoot for while I am here.

My weight was 186 which was close to my goal weight of 185. I ate a pretty large lunch and dinner to reward myself for my achievement and to not loose too much weigh where Lisa won't recognize me. My sit and reach was 10.5, which I don't think is too good, but is something I want to work on. My sit-ups were 51 and push-ups were 40. I probably could have done more push-ups, but stopped to save some energy for the run.

For the run, my goal was to do an 8 min mile so I was hoping to get in at around 12 minutes. I finished at 11:49 so I am setting my next goal at 11:30.

We had about 11 Chiefs that needed to get taped and unfortunately 3 were sent home. We did get a quick fill in from a local Chief so we are now a class of 70.

After lunch we went to the low ropes area to learn a little about team work, communication and trust and we did some fun exercises that taught us a lot. We worked our way up to a trust fall into our group from a platform in the woods. It was a total rush and very rewarding.

After that the whole class had to get over a 12 or 13 foot wall. We had a blast figuring out how to get the job done and were successful.

After dinner, we met in the empty galley to do a social exercise. It was in the form of a game and was pretty fun. Once again it taught us some valuable lessons.

When it was all done the class was dismissed, but I wasn't quite done. The class officers had a short meeting to discuss the next morning's personnel inspection and some of our duties.

I got back to our room after 2030, finished my reading and hit the sack.

Day 3:
I was up before my alarm and ready for chow at 0600. We went and ate then headed to the gym for our inspection. Everything went fine with only minor gigs here and there.

After the inspection, we spent the day in the classroom. First we got an overview of all the assignments we will be required to do. A little overwhelming, but very doable.

Next, we covered Guest Speaker Protocol and a session about learning with some interesting exercises. It was refreshing to get out of class while it was still light.

I went to chow and will soon be heading to the gym for some lifting. We need to start fasting at 1830 for tomorrow's blood draw where we will have our cholesterol checked.

I will need to do a little reading tonight and tomorrow the fun continues.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Day 1 - Class 159 - CPO Academy

Right now it is 0617 local time, Sunday, April 19th, 2009. Weigh-in and Personal Wellness Profile day. I am still pretty much on East Coast time. I struggled to stay up to 2100, to try and adjust and I am getting there, but I was tossing and turning by 0430 or so, but stayed in bed until 05.

Yesterday was a very full day. I feel like I have been here a week already, but it has only been two days. I am just a little overwhelmed, but still excited about all we will be doing.
Day one started early for me. I was up at 4ish and ready to do something. I went into the lounge for a bit, but needed something more. I suited up and headed out for a run. At first I was just going to do an easy 2 mile run at a slow pace, but at the point where I would turn to do the 2 mile path, I decided to do 3 along the perimeter.

Just as I started the run, I heard a gobble from the trees at the top of the hill above the club. Very quickly I heard an answering gobble from the lake area. The turkeys are still here. As I headed along the path that is called California Ave, I saw some moving shadows up ahead. As I approached, two deer scampered off the path and into the brush nearby. They didn't move far, being used to us humans. The deer are still here.

It was a cool foggy morning, but the run felt good. I went along at an easy pace and finished in 25:51 with a good sweat. I headed back to the room, cleaned up, got dressed and waited for the galley to open.

My roommate and I headed down to the Galley before 08 and waited for them to open. As we were waiting three gobblers came walking by fairly close. They still know where the food is.

Breakfast was good and then it was off to the Theater and our adventure had begun. We were introduced to the School Chief and all the instructors. We each got up and introduced ourselves, revealing a few tidbits about where we were from and why we were there. Some of the class officers were introduced as the came through the line. I was introduced as the class president being the most senior of the students.

After that we learned a little about what we would be doing for the next 5 weeks and what we should try to avoid doing during that time. We saw an inspiring video about the Maritime Guardian and saw an example of how to introduce someone. We finally saw a quick video of some interesting quotes about leadership.

On piece of advice from the school chief was: How do you eat an elephant? One piece at a time. Exactly a mindset to use to get through all we will be doing during our time here.

After lunch we went to the actual classrooms and sat in our new groups named for past MCPO-CGs. My group is Group Patton, named for MCPO Vince Patton.

Here we broke out and each of us interviewed a classmate and then introduced them in front of the class. It was a nice way to learn a little about everyone in the room.

We briefly went over the class schedule which is very ambitious and looks well structured and a lot of fun.

Lastly we each stated a personal goal, a professional goal and an issue that we were concerned about. All this was recorded and we will be seeing it again sometime during the class.

We finished shortly after 1700 and headed back to the barracks to change and go up to the club where the Golden Gate CPOA was sponsoring a welcome reception spaghetti dinner.

I kept the pasta to a small helping and did some salad, but all of it was very good.

I finished the night doing some of the read ahead assignments that we will need to be ready for as the week begins tomorrow.

Today, will also be a busy and I hope fun day. Everyone looks pretty good, so lets hope no one gets sent home today.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Report In Day

Friday, 0400. I'm laying in bed waiting for my alarm to go off, so I can start the adventure. I wait for the alarm to go off then I hit the floor and start the process.

All goes well. Lisa drags herself out of bed to take me to the airport. She hasn't been feeling well the last few days and it is a struggle. Also, she is not a morning person.

I get to the airport, check in at the counter and get my bag on free. As I am talking to the counter person, another traveler says he thinks he is going to the same place as me. We talk a bit. He is a USAF Master Sargent and yes, he is also heading to the CPO Academy. Pretty cool.

We make the flight and land at SFO. The USAF has been kind enough (or rich enough) to fund a rental car for him, so I hitch a ride up the 101. The fancy GPS gets us through the city and before we know it we are crossing the Golden Gate Bridge and heading up Marin County to Petaluma.

We stop in Petaluma for lunch then head to the TRACEN and report in. A very quick and orderly process sees us into our nice rooms in Harrison Hall. I start to unpack and get everything into order. I fire up the laptop and get an IM from Lisa saying she called off sick. Hopefully her body is fighting off this virus or whatever it is and she will be back on her feet soon. I call home and we chat a bit.

I head to the exchange for a lock and some containers and to check out the place that I spent 4 years as an instructor and had only been back once in the last 15 years or so. I saw an old friend by the Fire House and catch up on events before making my purchases and heading back to the room.

I change into workout gear and head to the gym to see what has changed. (The director is still there from the 90s. He has been there quite a while) and then go for a nice 1.5 mile run on the trail and roads of the base. It is a beautiful day in the 70s with a light breeze. I finish the 1.5 in 12 min 13 sec which is pretty good for me.

I have seen a few other students here and there and said hello to a few.

Now I will make sure my uniform is ready for tomorrow and then it will be time for some chow.

I'm still pretty excited and having a really good time already. Let the games begin.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

One day and a wake up

My Fresh Haircut

This is my last day of work. Tomorrow I have leave and bright and early on Friday, I am on my way.

I got a nice hair cut this morning, so I am squared away in that department. I packed my suit case last night to make sure I'm not over doing it too much. Everything is fitting ok so far.
I checked the enrollment again on Monday and we lost three more (two USAF), but all were replaced with one extra as a kicker. Let's see how we end up Sunday morning. I hope we can keep the class as full as possible.

We will be Class CLIX . Will we call outselves Class Clicks?

Monday, April 13, 2009

Prep Week

Today I went over to medical and picked up my record for the TAD. I will get a nice fresh haircut on Wednesday and I am taking leave on Thursday so I have some time to tie up all the loose ends of being away from home for over a month. All is on track and I am almost ready to go.

Friday, April 10, 2009

One Week to Go

This time next week, my plane should be taking off on its way to the left coast. There I will embark on an adventure in leadership, fitness and learning. I am ready for this adventure to begin.

Yesterday, I brought home a bunch of uniform items and did a dry run of packing the suitcase to make sure it all fit. I am probably over packing, but that is just something that I always do. I may cut some things out later, but if I can take it, I'm going to.

All other preparations are just about complete. Next week I need to pick up my medical record and get a nice squared away haircut. My uniforms are all ready to go and all my lists are up-to-date.

The excitement builds...

Sunday, April 5, 2009

CPO Academy Bound

Late Thursday I received an email from TQC asking if I was still able to attend the CPO Academy at this short notice as it looked like there were some openings and I was almost next on the list. I quickly responded that I was completely ready to accept orders and attend the class.

The next morning I received orders to class 159 or CLIX I guess it will be referred to. I quickly thanked everyone concerned in getting me those orders and checked to make sure the Academy had all my paper work, which I had sent in earlier, just in case I received orders.

The only thing they didn't have was my Profile, which I had submitted on-line, but I think there were some problems with the form, so I quickly re-submitted via email to the Assistant School Chief.

Now I just get the final things together, make sure my uniform is squared away and get all packed and off I go to get me some tool sharpening training.

I am looking forward to this training. It has been a long time since I have received some serious resident training. Wish me luck.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Tick... tick.... tick...

The clock keeps ticking and still no orders. I have pretty much given up on Plan A. Almost time for Plan B.

Update: Something may happen on Monday. Fingers crossed.