When I first joined the Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps at my new school, I had no idea what I getting myself into nor what my future would entail. One day, my close friend of mine suggested me to attend one their practices – so I did. Upon my entrance, my eyes were opened to a completely different environment, something that I had never experienced before. The moment I open the door, I saw both males and females screaming at the top of their lungs in their attempt to do as many pushups their body would allow whilst their partners were valiantly cheering them on. The noise accumulated from about a group 30 people and which reach to the equivalent sound of a homecoming football game. The expression of agony on their faces irked me. As me and the other new attendees watched in astonishment, practice then proceeded to “drilling,” a term that I did not comprehend at the time. As the males spun their rifles and made complex movements, the routine was in perfect sync and every movement was crisp and precise; it was obvious that they had done the same movement thousands of times. Despite the meticulousness of the guys, the entire team would be punished for the mistake of one single person.
I did not understand. The screaming, dedication, and sheer seriousness as a collective whole were utterly foreign to me. Thus, I thought to myself, why? Why were they hurting themselves in the attempt of performing something that was not even a life-or-death task? Why were they working themselves to the extent that they could drop dead any second? Why did they care so much? Little did I know, that my questions would be answered within the first year of being a cadet.
Fortunately, I continued to attend practice and before I knew it, I was a part of the team. Though I wasn’t on the varsity team, I still did a substantial amount of work that was comparable to one. As a fellow cadet I was expected to dedicate an endless amount of hours before and after school, on the weekends, and even throughout the summer. To simply stay on the team took a considerable dedication, industriousness, and commitment.
However, I could not keep up with this new lifestyle. As an ex-couch potato I was not accustomed to putting forth hundred percent effort consistently....