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October 2011
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Matthew [userpic]
a little update...

Well, it might be bigger than little.
I'll try to bring everyone up to speed on my life over the past few months!

Little Abigail is six months old now!
she's getting so big!  She's cut two teeth, she's babbling incessantly, and she's on the verge of crawling.
I'm more and more amazed by her everyday.

On August 29th, I finally got to go to a promotion board!
I was nervous as hell... I didn't know if I had studied nearly enough!
I was third to go, so the waiting KILLED me...
However, once I finally got in the room, it was ALL business.
CSM James asked me some facing movements then told me to sit down.  Said a few words and asked me to recite the Soldier's Creed.
I stood and belted that thing out loud and proud!  When I finished, CSM said "Man, Gunderson! I thought you were gonna crawl across this table and kill me!"
Then he asked me if I knew the NCO Creed, which I said I did.
So I stood and recited it with one small glitch.
CSM then proceeded to "lecture" me on cutting my grass. HAHA 
That was funny.
And then it was OVER!
The board didn't ask me a SINGLE QUESTION...?!?! What?!

So, I leave to go back to the band hall.  I'm just sitting on my computer at work waiting until I have to go to PAC and take my promotion packet over.
In the mean time, I get an email from the US Army Field Band which contained a message inviting me to interview for the Assistant Librarian position there, which I had applied to earlier that week.
I was shocked! Two great things happened to me on the same day?! 
so, Erin and I went out to dinner that night...alone!  Our friend Andrea watched Abby for us, and we had a lovely time, just sitting, talking, laughing, eating, and drinking a very nice Riesling.

Fast-forward to Tuesday.
I drive up to Ft. Meade, MD for the interview on Wednesday.
I get to the hotel that the Field Band put me up in...
NICE hotel!  It was a suite... I had a sitting room, a KITCHEN, the whole nine yards.
Well, I took it easy, watched some tv, read a little bit, got some dinner.
And of course, knowing that it would be a big day tomorrow, I went to bed early...

Don't you hate that crap!?
Oh man, I just couldn't fall asleep! It was horrible.
so my alarm goes of Wednesday morning and I feel like CRAP.
But I get up, shower, eat some breakfast, and meet the other applicants at the front door so we can be driven to the interview.

There were only three of us accepted this far: a girl was from the Mannheim band and a guy from Ft. Riley.
So we get to the Field Band.
We get a mini-tour.
Then we take a WRITTEN test...ACK! I didn't know about that! I would've studied more! haha
but for the most part it was horrible.  Just some answers I didn't remember, no big deal, right?
I was nervous as crap...this was NOT a good sign... I should KNOW these answers.
Anyways, then we go into some scenarios...the librarian asked us things like "ok, so-and-so wants to borrow this piece..."
and so I asked her, "well, do we own the piece? is it in print? did someone here compose it?" yada yada yada.
and various other questions were asked... "who owns the copyright to 'Feliz Navidad?'" amongst others..

then came the interviews!
we called in one by one.
I went last.
I was surrounded by five people who bombarded me with all sorts of questions...
"What do you think some of the short-comings of our library are?"
"Are you intimidated by rank?"
"What do you think about modularity in our field?"
"Explain your biggest challenge you had to overcome in the army."

man, it was brutal, but the were all great questions.

so, we all completed that and Sergeant Major Martin called us in to a side room.
He informed us that two people were advancing: SSG Miles...and myself.

Now we had to go through another interview...with the Commander of the Field Band, COL Palmatier.

So, SSG Miles went first.
was only in there about 3 minutes

Now it's my turn
I walk in
COL asked me one simple question: "Why do you want this job?"
So I told him about me experience and my passion and my commitment.
He said "you know there is no side door into my ensemble, right? You will not be a player...are you ok with that??"
and I of course said, "absolutely...I had resigned myself to that fate once, and I'm more than willing to do it again."

so I left the room.
the SGM came back and said "ok, let's go to lunch!"

I was mad!
making us wait like that!

so we went to a chinese buffet, a favorite of all Army Bandsmen. lol
and we chatted
and stewed!

got back to the field band and the SGM called the two remaining candidates into his office.
And he says "you should both be proud of yourselves so far; you're both great candidates for this position.  However, we've decided to extend the position to...SPC Gunderson."

*blink blink*


excuse me?

You meant SSG Miles right?!

I'm going to be joining the FIELD BAND in about six months or so!!!
This is GREAT!

I was so pumped and excited I didn't know what to say!
I was told to go talk to CSM Keller, so I walked through a haze of disbelief and chatted with him for awhile.
I FINALLY got to leave and get back to my car at the hotel at 4pm so that I could call my nervous-as-hell wife, Erin, and tell her the news! She had been pacing back and forth all day, poor thing!

that's my story and I'm sticking to it!
I know most of you know the story already, but for those of you that don't....there it is!
I'll be an E-5 next month.
then I'll be an E-6 in a few months, once I join the Field Band!

thanks for taking the time to read.
Sorry I don't post that much anymore. I know I used to be an avid poster.
I guess I'm just a lazy bastard! :-P

peace out, yallz

Why do I feel like this??: ecstaticecstatic

OH my gosh. She's 6 months old, babbling and has teeth??? Awwww... I can't believe it. People say this a lot and you're going to hear it a lot and even say it yourself but, they grow SO fast. Enjoy every moment.

I didn't understand all that military mumbojumbo stuff but you're happy and thanks for sharing such great news! :)

haha, yeah, i KNOW! They do grow so fast!

and I realize a lot of people don't understand all that army crap..i don't either! haha
but believe me when I say that this is a HUGE step up for me and my family and that we're going to be taken care of for my entire career!

how've you been?! :-)

I just have one thing to say....


You survived the job interview! I'm so proud of and happy for you! Congratulations on making some SERIOUS strides forward in your career.

If you have a clarinet that needs tweaking, though.... *winks* (Got a 96% on my first one, and finishing up #2 for turn-in)

thanks, Anne!
yeah, it's a pretty big deal, and I'm happy I can do this to help out my family and (shock!) live in one place for a long long time!

keep workin on those instruments...you'll have to have a lot more experience if I'm gonna send mine to you! :-P