Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Entering the Final Phase of Training

This week marks the halfway point of the second and final phase of my training. Exactly five months ago today I reported for my first day of training. It seemed then (and often since) like I would never finish the training process and actually start the job, but now that outcome is finally starting to look more likely. Eight weeks from tomorrow I will walk across a stage and be officially commissioned. That is still a rather strange thought to me, but it is one that is significantly less foreign than it once was.

The second phase of training has been very different than the first. Many of the categories (law, tactics, shooting, etc.) have been the same, but there are also a lot of new topics and a much more specific focus on the job I will actually be doing. This has been very helpful for me as the application of what I am learning has been much easier to visualize. Especially in light of recent events in the news, this specific training is of crucial importance to me being able to successfully do the job.

I had my seventh of ten written exams today, which leaves only three more until I can finally feel the relief of not having homework and things to study for. Last week I got dropped in a pool strapped in a "helicopter seat" upside down and had to successfully evacuate the simulated helicopter crash underwater.  I have done a lot of shooting with my sidearm as part of the training thus far, and on Friday I get to shoot the MP-5 for the first time, which I am looking forward to. I have only fired an airsoft version of a weapon like that before now.

It is starting to feel like the end is within sight, still a long way off, but at least within the range of my vision. But perhaps the most exciting part of what I have learned thus far is not something we have covered in the classroom or any of the practical training exercises. Ever since I first applied for this job my hope has been to end up giving tours of the White House. I had thought that I might have to wait a set period of months or even years before trying to achieve that goal, but it now appears that it just might be more attainable than I had anticipated. It turns out there is no particular time in service requirement for that particular position (as there is for many of the specialized positions), and the training is only a few weeks long. I don't know anything for sure yet, but it sounds like the most challenging obstacles will be convincing the supervisors of that section that they would want me, and then finding time to go through the additional training. If I can achieve those two things you might soon encounter me if you go on a tour of the President's Mansion.  


  1. Garrett, with all your history background and your experience & achievements on the DC Mall, they would be lucky to have you in the White House. Congratulations on all your successes in training so far. I wish you all the best!

  2. When you give White House tours, will you be wearing your flat hat?