Monday, August 12, 2013


The list of those promoted to Chief came out on August 1--and Brandon's name was on it!!!  If I was proud of him before, I'm about to explode with it now.  It's such an accomplishment, and "proud" just doesn't seem to cover it.

In the Navy, Chief is not anything like the preceding ranks, where you simply assume the title (and all that goes with it) upon being chosen for promotion.  Instead, you become a Chief Select, and there is a six week Selectee Season of training, character building, and so forth, before the pinning ceremony and official ascension to Chief-hood.
The Navy Chief's anchor pin.
photo found here
So far, we are about a week into the Season, and it's rough.  His status as a Selectee does not excuse him from his normal responsibilities, so everything has to be done either before or after his normal work day.  And, the training itself is pretty intense.  Brandon keeps saying that they're being "Miyagi-ed", and it seems an apt description.  I don't think I can really share much more than that, because this whole process is kept pretty hush-hush to ensure that future Chief Selects have the same learning opportunity as the current and previous ones.
For my part, I've been helping him as much as I can.  They held a briefing for the wives at the beginning, to try to give us an idea of what we'd be in for, so I knew that he would be working a lot of long hours and need a lot of support at home.  I normally work two evenings during the week, but since he can't be home to stay with the girls without missing training, I had them take me off of the week-day schedule. Not only does this free him up to focus on his stuff, it allows me more freedom to help with whatever projects he brings home.
I hadn't initially given much thought to how all of this would effect things at home.  They kept telling me that we wouldn't see much of him, and while I knew that I would miss him, I didn't really give it much thought beyond that.  After all, I knew that I would get to see him everyday, if only briefly, and that all of this is for a very, very good reason.  I didn't realize how much he really would be relying on me, and I definitely did not think about how it would affect the girls.   It took only until the end of Week 1, Day 1, for me to recognize the oversight.  He didn't get home until just before the girls' bed time, and waited only long enough to eat some dinner before going to bed.  When she realized that he was going to crash without playing with them, or even without putting them to bed first, Elora just burst into tears.  It was a wake-up call for me: Brandon and I aren't the only people in the equation anymore.  The lesson has only been reinforced over the past week.  Not only are they really missing their Daddy, but I know they have to be picking up on the stress that he and I are under.  They're fighting a bit more, and are a little quicker to tears.  Elora has been having accidents again.  Kaylie's speech seems to have back-slid a bit.

I'm trying not to let the huge positive of his achievement get lost in the difficulties we're facing now.  I keep reminding myself that all of this is really a very good thing, and that the current situation isn't going to last forever.  Brandon will be officially pinned as a Chief in mid-September, and then things will slow down and pretty much go back to the way that they were--except that he will be a Chief.

1 comment:

  1. Congrats to both of you, for without each other to share the accomplishment and hardships associated with the Honor of being named CHIEF, the journey just wouldn't be as meaningful. I’m proud of you both, hang in there.