It's All In The Timing
Man, the Irony Factory, Armed Forces Division, is just pumping on all pistons lately. I am this morning in receipt of an email from the U.S. Army Health Professions Scholarship Program, sent by one (and you know I would not make this up) Brandon Butcher, LPN, Staff Sergeant.
See the strange, stilted Armyspeak deployed by (I can't even type this with a straight face) Sgt. Butcher:
I am certain you will have questions and I look forward to answering them as well as helping you achieve your goals whether or not you choose pursue the scholarship with our organization. I must reiterate, I am not a salesman, nor is this a ruse to get you to join the Army. This program has a very long and prosperous history of success; I must also reiterate that is a scholarship not to be confused with the ever popular and oft advertised, GI Bill and Army College Fund.I confess I'm a bit confused as to why he must reiterate that he is not a salesman, given that he had never iterated it at any point previously. Also, 'ruse' it may not be, but I would certainly feel safe in describing it at least as a ploy to get me to join the Army. I mean, they're not offering me a scholarship to not join the Army. That kind of thing would be frowned upon, I'm fairly sure, the taking the scholarship and then not joining the Army. I'm sure they've got fine print about that somewhere.
The good Sarge provides this handy formula to illustrate the criteria by which selection of candidates will be conducted:
Application (MCAT and transcripts)+ Physically qualified+ favorable background check + board selection + acceptance of scholarship (commission) = Scholarship + obligation
See? 'obligation'--I knew it. Man's trying to get me to join the Army.
He also hastens to inform me that he 'look[s] forward to a meeting of the minds with you to ascertain if you are a match for our organization and we are a match for you.' A 'meeting of the minds', you know. A 'match' for their 'organization'. Ain't it just like a business or something?
I can't help wondering what kind of 'motivation letter' would be most likely to impress their selection board (which, I am assured, 'does not take this matter lightly').
'All my life I've known it was my destiny to grow up and become a doctor, so I could help my fellow man get back onto the field to kick some more towelhead ass'?
'My highest ambition, as a woman and a member of the human race, is to assist in the psychological preparation of detainees for interrogation'?
'For many years I've been torn between two seemingly conflicting ambitions: to cure people, on the one hand, and to kill people, on the other. As an Army physician, I feel confident that I can combine these two goals into one fulfilling career'?
&c. But far and away my favorite thing about this letter is the Scholarship Eligibility requirements, where tucked in at number three, just behind 'U.S. citizen' and 'Enrolled in or have received a letter of acceptance from/to an accredited graduate program in the United States or Puerto Rico', we find the kicker: 'Of good moral character.'
One presumes that the good moral characters are easier to amputate without leaving a scar.