Chair Force Engineer

Saturday, November 18, 2006


I am not an engineer.

Well, at least I don't feel like one. And for the past two years, I've known that I really didn't want to be an engineer.

I guess it started during my senior year in college, when I just felt burned out. I talked to my ROTC instructor at the time about this inconvenient little development. His response was that the Air Force has invested large sums of money on my education as an engineer, that Air Force Personnel Center would make sure that I became an engineer, and that I would be in deep doggy doo if I requested any career field besides engineering. I was a good and obedient tool, and I did as I was told.

My fears were recently confirmed about what the engineering career field entails. I'll have to endure all-day meetings where self-serving windbags prattle for hours with technical details that are far above my level of education and experience. While the afforementioned ROTC instructor was probably correct about AFPC, I should have at least taken a chance and applied for an interesting career field.

I'm filled with regret in knowing that the last 5.5 years of my life have been squandered towards a meaningless end. It's no comfort in knowing that the next 2.5 years will be frettered towards a similar, nihilistic purpose. The only mercy will be the broadsword that we euphemistically call "force shaping," which will cut 40,000 Air Force personnel over the next few years. If it happens to me, it will be a one-year respite from my commitment.

The future's up in the air, but it's not very optimistic. I feel like the years when I should have found my way in life have been lost, and there's no easy way to make up for them. Right now, my plan is to teach High School once I get out of the Air Force. At least that way I can contribute to America in a far more effective way than I am right now.