Thursday, August 7, 2008

James 4 comes into play again - business trips and Marine bootcamp

I was scheduled to go to Chicago on a business trip next week.

I was making plans to meet with a former co-worker, and possibly to get some NTN Buzztime play in; I've already written a scheduled post about one possible play location, but it hasn't appeared in the Empoprise-NTN blog yet.

This morning, I got an email informing me that my trip has been moved to another date.

We'll see.

By the way, I should post a followup to my James 4 post from June. I didn't give the details at the time, but I have a nephew who has been dreaming for over a year about joining the Marines. On June 16, he reported for duty - and was promptly sent home to resolve a minor medical issue.

But wait - it gets better.

He went back a week later, and they had lost his paperwork. He was told to come back in two weeks.

Two weeks later, he was informed that it was really three weeks.

The good news (for him) is that he finally reported for duty, and is now in bootcamp.

Marine boot camp has changed over the years. Now they have new avenues to provide information about it. See, which is intended to relatives of Marine recruits who are going through bootcamp. And if you think I'm going to share his experiences, think again:

1. Respect Your Recruit's Privacy

Your recruit is going to write home and likely share the events of the days and the multitude of emotions that he or she is experiencing in this new and very different lifestyle called bootcamp. Your recruit does not intend for you to share parts of those letters in a public message board community.

2. Your Recruit Needs to Share His/Her Experiences with You

Your recruit is very careful about what he or she shares with other recruits in verbal communication as well as body language. Your recruit would never complain to a drill instructor. But your recruit is going to share everything with you in his/her letters home. Those letters are your recruit's private conversations shared with you in confidence. For 13 weeks you are your recruit's sounding board for pride in accomplishments, fear of meeting performance expectations, worry about testing, trials of the day, and the myriad of both positive and negative physical and emotional challenges he or she is being tasked with during recruit training. You are the "safe" place for your recruit to share everything.

3. Drill Instructors DO Read the Message Boards

Your recruit does not want his/her DI to read his/her letter or even get a little snippet of the conversation from that letter. That's YOUR letter, from YOUR recruit, written during private time, and intended for family and friends, not a public message board and certainly not for the DIs. Please respect your recruit's privacy and refrain from sharing information from his/her letters on ANY public message boards.

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