This morning, on the Academy Tour Course, I saw one of our four degrees run up the ramp with a sandbag in the ruck on his back, carrying the ruck - and sandbag - of one of his classmates. And he was in the front of the group, one of the first ones up. By itself, it's not an impressive feat: but coupled with what everyone did last night, it impressed me that he could and would still put out that much. I thought, "That kid just earned a prop and wings from me."
A second kid made me think the same thing later. During a "meet the classes" squadron training session, one of our four degrees began to have severe cramps. The pain in his face made me not to cry - but he was holding back the tears, and he was still doing the exercises. He showed more tenacity, more perseverance, than I've seen all year.
I told him he could stop at any time, that this wasn't worth a significant injury. But he kept going, to the point where he was taken to the hospital. He'll be fine - it was only very severe cramps - but I learned a lesson: don't mess with cramps. When someone starts cramping, pull them out, even if it takes an order.
Theme rooms are coming tonight. This'll be interesting.