One of the cool things about being in the Army, or just the military in general, is that it gives you a hands-on way to learn about a lot of practical things.
For our convoy training tomorrow, we had to get some HMMWVs ready today. Part of that process inolves PMCS (Preventative Measures, Checks and Services). In other words, we had to make sure the vehicles were ready to go. I could've pulled the "I'm an Officer" card and sort of just slunk back to the rear, but that's not my way. Now, I know my way around the area under the hood of a Hummer, and can do all the basic services, checks, and fluids. I can also load frequencies into the radios and set up the vehicle's interior comms system.
Even just 24 hours ago, I woudn't have been able to say that.
For the rest of our time mobilized, I'll periodically try to *capture* new opportunities to develop new skills. Covering them here will give me a great way to look back down the line and say, "Oh yeah...that's where I learned about setting up that MacGyver-looking tennis ball toaster bomb. That thing was pretty cool!"
But seriously, though...people always talk about making themselves better on their deployments. 9 times out of 10, that's going to be a diet or exercise reference, but another way I might take it on is by concentrating on practical skills (basic mechanical, building repair, vehicle maintenance, etc.) and thereby growing my personal toolkit in an area where it feels a bit light sometimes.