This May Tim had two major accomplishments. After four years he graduated from the University of Idhao with a degree in psychology. He finished with a 3.5 GPA (approximate, based on estimates of grades on final courses). His graduation ceremony was on Friday, May 11. I had planned to attend, but after discussion Tim and I decided on something different. Instead of me traveling to the US for his graduation, he would fly to Singapore afterwards to spend time here. I already covered that visit in a number of earlier posts. But his brother was there for his graduation, as were him mom and most of her family. Since he received his commission the day before, he wore his uniform rather than a cap and gown for the ceremony.
Although Tim got his degree in psychology, he is interested in pursuing a career in the military. During his four years at University of Idaho, he has been in Army ROTC. His senior year he was the battalion S3, or operations officer. That meant that he was in charge of organizing and making sure everything went right for all the activities of the cadets. If there was a field exercise, a trip, or any kind of training event, Tim planned and organized it. Tim said that he spent at least 40% of his time his senior year on these duties.
On May 10 he received his commission as a second lieutenant in the US Army. In the Legion of Merit, which is the evaluation of all cadets nationally made from their performance last summer in army exercises and in their senior year, Tim finished in the top 5%. That entitled him to get priority in his choice of assignments after graduation. He chose infantry, and will be going to Ft. Campbell in Kentucky. It is the base for the 101st Airborne Division. Although still designated an airborne division, that is more for historical reasons. Today the 101st is actually an air assault division.
After his visit to Singapore, Tim drove to Ft. Benning in Georgia. He is there now and is taking the Army Leadership Course for seven weeks. After that, he will do the Army Infantry Officer Traning Course for ten weeks. Then he gets a week off before he reports to Ft. Campbell for assignment to his unit. There he would do another eight week training course in air assault. That is what he is hoping happens anyway. All of you read the papers and know that the Army is very shorthanded and having a lot of difficulty supporting the "surge" of President Bush. So his training could be cut short and he might not get the assignment he chose. We will have to wait and see.
I wish I could have been there for these events, but we had a terrific visit when Tim was here in Singapore. Now that he is grown and has his own career, it will be harder to connect again. But we both resolved to work hard at staying in touch. We even came up with a PC game that we can play via email.
I am really proud of Tim for completing his college degree, and for his excellent work in ROTC. Of course I worry that he will be deployed to Iraq and have to face the dangers there, but we will just have to wait and see.