Monday, September 17, 2012

NCO to Officer

My oldest is now in college and she has two medium term goals, to get her degree and to graduate as a United States Marine Corps Officer.

This prompted me to tell her how Papa became a US Army Officer.  This is definitely a story that may need additional support from others for authenticity.

After Papa was in the USMC and married for a while, they determined that the two do not mix (at least for Papa and Boushette).  Papa got out of the Marines and joined the Marine Corps Reserve.

A few years and three sons later Papa was an E7 (Gunnery Sergeant) and competed for NCO of the Year.  He won in fact and was awarded NCO of the Year for the entire USMC Reserve.  At about the same time he was applying to attend OCS (Officer Candidate School) with the Marines.

This is where the story gets fuzzy for me.  Either they forwarded the wrong paperwork and some numbskull who was also named William La Fleur was rejected (I can't believe any William La Fleur would be anything less than stellar, but that's just me) and/or his paperwork was delayed because it was the same paperwork that got forwarded for the NCO of the Year Award.

Either way, in the end he was 34 years old before the package went to the board.  At that time (I don't know about now) the USMC had a cutoff of 33 to attend OCS.  He was too old.

He was already a Sergeant in the Chicago Police Department and some of his friends there suggested that he try the Illinois Army National Guard because the Army cutoff age was 35.

He transferred to the Army and ultimately retired as a BG (Brigadier General).  The moral of the story is, keep your goal in sight and keep your legs pumping, never give up there is always a way.