Every month, twice a month, on the first and second Tuesday, for an agonizing 50 minutes, there is a common thought between Noncommissioned Officers (NICO's) to poke out an eye and run screaming from a room to avoid being forced to listen to a lecture being delivered by speakers who could easily put the Serta sheep out of business.
The purpose of the lectures is to provide professional development, but what it becomes is an opportunity to write grocery lists, count ceiling tiles, or contemplate what one would rather be or could be doing. Inaccurately titled as Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development or NCODP it would be more accurate to title it as Noncommissioned Officer Daydreaming Party.
The physical location of the lectures may provide a conducive learning environment, but the quality of speaking and presentation skills on the part of speaker always seems to leave a look on the faces of the audience similar to that of hearing another Hilary Clinton joke or how one might look after sending a raunchy email to the wrong person.
Yet, with each lecture, there is anticipation that this one will be the experience that will impart onto each NCO the possibilities of taking the mundane to new exciting levels not usually accomplished in military training.
However, Tuesday, December 9, 2003, proved to be no exception. The unit First Sergeant introduced the speaker, and it quickly went downhill from there; she lost us at hello. The topic forced air from everyone's lungs in the form if an elongated sigh which echoed through the auditorium like the last breath of a dying man. We knew we were down for the count; some began writing their last will and testament while others succumbed to the inevitable and leaned forward in their seats to lessen the fall...