Yesterday I woke at 0400 (courtesy of 5 alarms) and drove down to Pittsburgh’s Federal Building for morning-long physical exams. With about 35 other young prospects for all branches, I got my blood drawn, took eye tests, hearing tests, a really fun urine test where they watched me and 3 other guys pee into our cups at the same time to ensure no cheating, and got a comprehensive sports-type physical from a doctor. We had to do some weird things like demonstrate we could walk around squatting like a baseball catcher. Most of the morning (this ended about 11am) was waiting, filling out paperwork, or getting awkward and/or invasive testing and probing. Most of the waiting itself was with a bunch of other males in our underwear in a big cold air-conditioned room. Of course we were all starving from not eating all morning, too.
But could I complain? Heck no. First off, I passed everything in my physical with flying colors. Even remember some of my numbers:
eyes: 20/16rt, 20/25lft
blood pressure: 105/56
Secondly, I was finally doing something official in my journey to becoming a Marine Officer. I was surrounded by other military-minded young men. The group of us talked quite a bit; the excitement level was clearly high, as many of them were swearing-in in a ceremony that afternoon. Everyone was manly like me, patriotic like me, and eager for challenge, violence, and duty. Talk about a thrill to be with young men of my own quality! College can never be strictly lonely with all my friends here; but sometimes, all the nerds, selfish, apathetic people, and effeminate males make me frustrated. Most guys here either seem to be getting fat living in front of a screen; or are pathetic in their own insecurity about their stunted, confusing (to them) masculinity; or only live for a never-ending chain of one narcissistic pleasure after another. Sad. And unlike me. Being in the band of brothers will be glorious.
Lastly, I couldn’t complain because out of all the kids there I was one of only a few Marine candidates; and out of all the kids, I was the only officer candidate. I don’t know how, but just being an officer candidate made me proud in that sea of new enlistees. Being an officer and a leader is a very exciting goal and I am proud of it, and it’s that simple I suppose.
I realize I veered a little off my goal of strictly providing other officer candidates a roadmap, but hopefully my enthusiasm isn’t useless either.
Here is a link to a much more complete run-down of the medical examination (physical) process. Enjoy.