In the spirit of cross-training the leaders of tomorrow, the military promotes continuing education of all kinds. One particular brand of education I prefer is the "exchange program" between divisions and job types. We give a few helicopter pilots a tour of the hospital, and a week later, a few of our guys are up in a whirlybird staring down at the Tigris. "Medics to Maintenance" was just launched by a senior NCO who has a friend on the F16 maintenance line. This involves letting us work on F16 engines. [Now, I haven't done this yet, but I gather that there is no way in hell that they will let any doctor near a 23 million dollar propulsion system with a socket wrench. Regardless, it seems like a fun opportunity.]
You would think that working 6 days a week, you would have to plan your off time carefully, as it would soon evaporate. That said, imagine your life without having to do laundry, wash dishes or cook. Expunge memory of trips to the grocery store or mall, and imagine life which did not require driving a vehicle at all. Turns out, absence of all of these, and singular care of your person - here, you only have responsibility for yourself, not your family; small bits of time during the work day to send email and write letters to spouse and children compared to major focus of your day at home - allow for enormous, comparative, amount of time with which to busy yourself. In the past 10 years, work and family have been my only priorities. Limit my work to shifts, take away the day-to-day hands-on fathering responsibilities, contract out my daily chores; and voila! time to kill.
You can only read so many novels and work out so many hours a day. Indeed, we watch movies (see Man Cave I blog earlier), and sit up in OR5 and smoke cigars while waxing poetic under the stars (pending Man Cave II), but, alas there is still time to procure military unique curriculum with our bretheren who have have much cooler jobs: pilots, explosion guys (I hear that they let you blow stuff up with C4), tactical warfare folks in special ops (I am getting to old for this), and of course, our friendly bomb-sniffing K9 unit. With the killer dog, tonight was strictly observational for me, but I found that I just couldn't look away from this demonstration. So cool.
Now, do you get to do this at your office?