Postcards from Tradocia


There are lots of reasons why I’ve been having a hard time writing lately. Most obvious is the all-too-common Minnesota winter depression, resulting from being cooped up inside and not seeing the sun for weeks on end. Also obvious is that sitting around fixing computers for a living isn’t nearly as interesting or glamorous as sitting in a truck in Baghdad; somehow even the most mundane shit has a sheen of the exotic when it’s in another country and people are trying to kill you.

Another important reason is that I feel like my position has changed. In Iraq, even though I was hardly on the front lines, I was in a unique situation and almost everything was strange and interesting and comment-worthy. Now, I’m just another citizen-soldier/right-wing gun nut/chauvinist pig with a blog. Without the unique perspective of being in a foreign land, I don’t feel like I have a lot to say.

Somehow, this is related. It’s the Army’s best photos from 2005, and they’re really good. Looking at them fills me with such a strange mix of pride, respect, and jealousy. Jealousy? Because I wish those were my pictures. Army photojournalist is really my dream job – even if only in a Guard setting, there’s probably nothing I’d love more (career-wise) than photographing soldiers, and telling their stories. I love to tell stories (as Melobi can attest), and telling the Army story would be ideal.

So…anyone out there know how I can get myself into an Army Guard PJ slot? (I didn’t mean for this to turn into a job request, but…)


  1. desult

    Dude, you’re so money. Your photographs could easily land you a spot as an Army PJ…now all we have to do is find you a slot ;)If I hear any word I’ll let you know.

  2. Jon Leppala

    Lets assume you received the enlistment bonuses – as most Signal guys did. Willing to pay back any unused months on your contract that you may have two years from now?

    Next, put in for OCS – one weekend a month (this is the recruiting month coming up and NG short on officers)instead of your drill, ( you are still assigned to Signal but attached to OCS – so your bonus is not impacted) get paid as an E-6 for the next 18 months and then branch Public Affaris for the duration of your stay with the NG. Open ended, you resign your commision when you want out….but stay till they kick you out and retire as an O-6.

    That would be my plan for you.

    Otherwise, hook up with a Public Affairs unit Readiness NOC, the SGM and the o-3, o-4 and let them know you are willing to cross train. Typically, it would be another AIT for MOSQ.

    Also, you are not far from Wisconsin and Iowa for positions.

    Jon Leppala 37 years with the (MN) NG now with NGB Accession / Strength Maintenace Fort Knox Liaison Office

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