It's been about a month and a half since I began work as the Squadron Maintenance Officer, and I can assure that I have felt every bit of that time. While the days tend to go by somewhat expeditiously, it's the amount of time during the day that tends to drag on.
My day usually begins around 0645 and I make it down to the motor pool around 0745, conducting my personal hygiene and swinging by the DFAC for breakfast within that hour. Although I may try to vary up my caloric intake at my favorite meal of the day, one think that remains constant is my cup of coffee. There is virtually nothing that will stand in the way of me enjoying a hot cup of Joe before the temperature hits its normal 120 degrees at around 1100!
Each day may vary with regards to meetings or daily tasks, but I'm responsible everyday for briefing my superiors on the status of all our equipment, ranging from vehicles to weapons. This is done not later than (NLT) 1100 each day. For the remainder of the day I am either going to another meeting, trying to manage a mini-crisis, or just sitting around waiting for that mini-crisis to strike. It's not a hard laboring job, nor is it fast paced; however, those stressful times are enough to make me lose what little hair I have left! Aside from those days that I lead the CRO, I adhere closely to this above schedule.....EVERYDAY.
For staff officers, there is really no such thing as a day off. One day you might not have as much going on as the day before, but you're still expected to be at your desk or in your office everyday (unless you're deathly sick). Just about everyone that has been here longer than me is entitled to a leave period, roughly consisting of 15-18 days off back in the U.S. This is pretty much considered your time off while deployed. Platoons staying out at the JSS's have been able to get about 1-2 days a week back at Liberty for "refit". In other words, they get a day or two to stock up on toiletries, money, food, etc. before heading back out into sector. This is time they aren't required to work, but at times might be tasked with miscellaneous duties that take away from their leisure time.
My leisure time, if you can call it that, must be crammed in somewhere between the hours of 2000 (8pm) and 0700 (7am), as this is pretty much the only time that I am not in the motor pool, or at a meeting. Yes, I get my three square meals a day, something not enjoyed by my brothers in arms out in sector, so I can't complain about that. However, it would be nice to have just one day to sleep in! For those of you who get that luxury, next time you're waking up around 0930, wondering what you are going to do that day, just think of me....then go back to sleep! Take care.