Last week was equally exciting and nerve-wracking as we anxiously waited for Rob's selection on Thursday. After being in Primary (this phase of flight school) for almost eight months, Rob finally was finished and ready to select which type of aircraft he would fly -- jets, helicopters, C-130s, or ospreys. He selected his preferences and then based on his grades and the "needs of the Marine Corps", he would be selected for one of the four options. With that selection would also come the location of his next school (and our next home!)
All week long we were anxious. Rob seriously worked so hard in Primary and we knew he was good enough to at least have a chance at his top choice but there was always the possibility that there may not even be a slot available that week. By the time Thursday came around, we had pros for every single option and were just ready to find out!
Selection for VT-3 is held in the squadron bar. All of the students selecting that week sit at the bar in front of the CO and another instructor pilot. They go around and say what they are hoping for, then the first person starts. They make a toast to the bar (the first one always goes to the Red Knights-the squadron), take a drink, and pull a chip out of the cup. The chip contains the name of one of the airframes (or sometimes joke ones like UFO). They hold it up and the CO tells them that yes, they got that or no, they did not. They continue making toasts and pulling chips until they get a "yes". It's really fun watching other people but my hand was definitely shaking a little filming Rob select! When it was finally Rob's turn, he selected......
I seriously could not be more proud of him! He worked his butt off and it paid off! We are officially moving to Meridian, Mississippi next month so Rob can start jet school. (But that is another post for another day!)
After he selected, Rob actually had his tie cutting, which is totally out of order. Tie cutting is supposed to happen after your first solo flight however due to schedules and the detachment to Michigan, Rob and a lot of the guys had their tie cutting after they selected! They sit on this tiny plane and tell funny stories with their on-wing (the instructor they learn to fly with) and then the on-wing cuts their tie and they tack it to the ceiling of the squadron bar. Rob and Nik both had the same on-wing (they were also roommates and TBS and both were selected for jets in Meridian!) so of course their stories were goofy and kept us laughing!
We headed to McGuire's to keep the celebration going! We have been joking about ordering the "grand burger" to celebrate when Rob got jets since we moved to Pensacola so, of course, when it happened we had to actually do it!! It was totally worth it and a fun "Pensacola" way to celebrate Rob's accomplishments!