Mystery: Revealed

This is only tangentially related to Tennessee sports, but it concerns one of Rocky Top Talk's first, longest, and best community members, so it's getting bumped to its rightful place. Show your congratulations and support to Aerobab below.

-- Joel

Early Monday, I revealed the fact that "I was dealt a "hefty sum" of GREAT, LIFE CHANGING news over the weekend", which wound up putting a pretty big hamper on any type of productivity for the remainder of the weekend.  That statement was quickly followed by inquiring minds wanting to know the whole story.  I had planned on writing an eloquent, coming of age narrative, but I just couldn't make it work out.  In short, it was going to be about a boy (me) who dreams big (wants to become a rocket scientist/astronaut), works towards those dreams (college, internship), only to have them altered by misfortune on a grandiose scale (Space Shuttle Columbia accident).  Then the boy settles for a local job in a field that he is not particularly interested in (nuclear work), marries a beautiful woman (wife), picks up a mortgage, dog, car payments, and children.  While boy loved to see the paycheck, he just wasn't happy with his professional career-track.  He was working down a track perpendicular to that of what he had always dreamed of.  This dissatisfaction started to take a toll in other aspects of the boy's life.  Boy looks for a change.  After some personal soul-searching and many conversations with family, friends, and numerous other mentors and other individuals whom I hold high esteem, I decided to start the pursuit of a U.S. military career.

I have been working diligently towards receiving a commission in the USAF for nearly two years.  The commissioning process for civilians not seeking a flying position is one that is quite lengthy (one selection board per fiscal year) and loaded with many other highly qualified applicants.  This past Saturday, my hard work was realized, as I was notified of a Selection Status to serve as an Active Duty Aerospace Engineer!  Although this news is much more than just a career change (I like to call it a life change), I couldn't be anymore thrilled to get my career back on my dream-path...let alone while serving this wonderful country of ours!

Based on several factors beyond my control, my departure for Officer Training School (OTS) will be much quicker than the standard process.  I will be reporting to Maxwell AFB located in Montgomery, AL for 12-weeks of instruction and training this coming June 24th.  Upon my graduation from OTS, I will likely attend a several week technical school to learn the AF engineering processes/procedures and then I'll be assigned to a duty station -- unsure exactly where, but certainly away from the Knoxville area where I've called home for the last 12 years.

Needless to say, I've got a plate full of stuff on my plate in the coming months.  Given the schedule at OTS, there will be little (if any) time to post here in the RTT community this summer and early fall.  (Yes, I will miss a significant amount of the football about personal sacrifice!!)  I expect each of you to pick up my slack and to keep the "Junior Papa's" Corvette running smoothly and efficiently!

Reporting for duty,

Future Lieutenant Aerobab

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