Tricia’s Graduation Ceremony, Air Battle Manager, Class 22014

Liz and I got to watch a really great event: Tricia’s graduation ceremony, where she officially became an Air Battle Manager, for the 337th Air Control Squadron.

I’m likely lax in a lot of the military details, so I’m hoping I have most of the descriptions correct. What I do know is this: the training Tricia’s had to undergo has been nothing short of Herculean.

She’s had to be away from her family for months at a time. She’s done a lot of travel back and forth, trying to make it back home on weekends… but the drivers are brutal.

As far as the coursework goes, they set a high bar. I heard that every participant had to maintain a set average on all examinations. Oftentimes they would learn a new skill or concept in the morning, practice it during the day, and then had to undergo some kind of evaluation or test before the end of the day.

If you scored under something like 87% more than three times, you were out of the program. Just like that.

I’ve had a lot of new job challenges before. I’ve also had to undergo super rigorous study/exams before. And I’ve also been away, extensively, from family and loved ones before. But I’ve never had to do all three things simultaneously.

Today marked a culmination of many months of effort, sacrifice, and work on Tricia’s part… and it was a privilege to be able to watch this ceremony to celebrate her achievement.

Snapshot from the feed.

Tricia, getting her wings pinned.

A fun note: while Liz and I were not able to physically attend, Julie and Bob, along with Aunt Debbie and Uncle Billy, were there. We got to see them in the front row, and at a certain point… Liz was texting her mom. I got to see Julie and Aunt Debbie turn around, stand up, and wave to the camera. Gotta love technology.

A better shot.

Tricia, with her instructor/class commander. Interesting trivia: his callsign is “Dice”, and Tricia’s callsign is “Chevy.”

A group photo of the graduates.

It’s an incredibly impressive thing, having gone through all this training and study and evaluation, to emerge with a new title and new set of skills. There’s more yet for her to progress through, but today was a lovely opportunity for friends and family to celebrate everything that Tricia’s gone through, and accomplished.

Liz’s Graduation and Celebration: Master’s of Science in Applied Statistics
Katie’s Pinning Ceremony, Ivy Tech School of Nursing

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