What Will We Do with You Now?

In January 1984 I came out on the Air Force Lieutenant Colonel (Lt. Col.) list.  Shortly thereafter I was called into the Boss’s office after flying one day.  I really liked my commander at the time, Nick A., so I didn’t think much of it.

“Close the door,” he greeted me with when I stepped in his office.

“Well, this is serious,” I thought to myself… He rarely did this with anyone.

When I sat down, he pulled open his bottom desk drawer and handed me a ‘long-neck’ Bud Light.  Cool.

“Okay asshole,” he began, “making Lieutenant Colonel without either a master’s degree, or Air War College is cute, but what can we do with you now?”

I don’t know what the ‘percentages’ were at the time for making Lt. Col. without either a master’s degree, or War College, or both – but I knew I had beaten the odds.  And I also knew my ‘luck’ would soon run out.

I knew at the time that I had a very high ‘performance’ index but that was only going to take me so far.  To be viable for further job progression and promotion it was paramount that I had a master’s and/or Air War College on my record – preferably both.  And I knew it!

We talked a little bit more, and I finally was able to read ‘the handwriting on the wall!’  The next day I enrolled in a Master’s degree program and Air War College – completing them both in the subsequent 18 months!

Life would be so much easier for me, if I wasn’t so damn hard-headed… but thank God, I have always been good at reading the handwriting on the wall!

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