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What do all the controls on a truck dashboard do?

All trucks are a little different, but here's mine.Top row below and left of the cat's butt are the outside light controls. The red one is the hazard flashers, then the headlights and running lights, then the marker lights, and then the sleeper dome lights (don't ask me why they put that one there).Right of the steering wheel, the little keypad controls the remote dashcam. To the right of that is our e-log system.Below that is the stereo and HVAC controls, which are basically identical to your car. The only real difference is an extra button to turn the sleeper AC on or off.The next row below that, left to right: engine fan manual override, traction control disable, DPF regen inhibit/manual start; engine brake on/off, engine brake low/medium/high, anti-rollback disable, and a spare blank switch. All the way to the right are air suspension dump, inter axle differential lock, and the guarded red switch unlocks the fifth wheel slider.Below that row are the parking brake (red knob is trailer, yellow knob [not visible behind the shifter] is the tractor), and the shifter.On the left side of the steering wheel are the stereo controls, on the right (barely visible) are the cruise control buttons. Those all work exactly like your car.Left side of the steering column is the multifunction stalk with the high/low beams, headlight dip, marker light dip, and windshield wipers and washer. On the right side is the trolley valve, which independently activates the trailer brakes. On the dash to the left of the steering column are two buttons for the back porch lights, and below that are the front floor and dome lights, the outside light test switch, and one other I can't for the life of me remember what it does. Towards the bottom of the steering column is the tilt/tele lock lever. Top to bottom the critters are Clutch, Charlie, and Chode (she's a miniature weiner…yar yar yar)Instruments, left to right across the top: engine coolant temperature, oil pressure, battery voltage, driver info display, brake application pressure, primary and secondary air system pressures, and DEF tank level. Then the tachometer, indicator lights (high beams, blinkers, engine issues, etc), fuel tank level, and speedometer.The driver info display has all kinds of stuff; usually I leave it on MPG but it'll also tell you about tire pressure and temperature, engine warning codes, following distance, what gear the transmission is in, etc.You'll notice that there are only two pedals on the floor; our truck is an autoshift and therefore doesn't have a clutch pedal. It doesn't have park, you put it in neutral and set the parking brakes, but other than that it's operated pretty much like any car. On the left side of the shifter are an upshift and a downshift button, and the shifter has reverse, neutral, drive, manual, and low positions.For extra credit, here's all the stuff on the windshield: way up top is the CB radio, across the top of the windshield are our PrePass, EZPass, KTag, and Florida Sunpass. Next row down is a wireless charging mount for my wife's phone, our GPS, Clutch the trucking kitty's fuzzy white butt, some random decorations, and screwed to the right side A pillar is a blind side collision warning system.PrePass is only the best thing ever, it allows us to bypass most DOT weigh stations. Man I love my PrePass!!

What proof do we have that the quality of education has fallen? That the graduates of today are not as well educated as those about 10 or 15 years ago?

Unfortunately, I don’t have scientific “proof”, just anecdotal evidence. I graduated high school in 1989 from an actual “college preparatory” high school geared to teach “higher level” stuff.Anecdote 1. My roommate in my senior year of college (at West Point) graduates from high school with a 3.9 or 4.0 GPA. I graduated high school with a 2.8 or 3.0 or something. He scored about 27 or 28 on ACT and about 1300–1350 SAT (back when it was a 1600 test.). I scored a 32–33 on ACT and a 1510 on SAT. He was competing for Class Goat, which he didn’t win, but he did graduate (minimum cum 2.00 GPA). I graduated about 600 or so in our class of 1400 (I think). Don’t know…but this was 1990–1994.Anecdote 2. In around 2002–2005, when I was in recruiting for a few years after the beginning of the Global War on Terror, we had a rough time recruiting high schoolers. There was a fear that young men and women would die in horrendous numbers if they joined the Army. Add to this teaching faculty brainwashing these students about those who joined the Army weren’t “smart enough” to do anything else and were just fodder for the “rich man’s war”, a basic throwback to the themes during the Vietnam War if familiar with the political and social condition from that time.Anyway, there were a few late 20s, early 30s high school teachers that wanted to be smart asses and show how “easy” the ASVAB was. And it is easy, it is a basic knowledge and logic test. Nothing really hard about it. Your score on the test basically tells the Army how sophisticated a job they could offer you on contract. The higher the score, the more technical options you had with signal technologies (computers and networking), aircraft mechanic, and intelligence being on the higher end of the scale and truck driver and cook at the lower end of the scale. The higher the score, the more options that were available.Several asked to take the test during one of our student testings at different schools. Sure, they weren’t ineligible to join the Army and since it was a requirement for entry, there wasn’t a problem with them taking it like any other applicant. At one school, three of four TEACHERS did not score high enough to be considered a top Army Candidate (called Category A or CAT A, maybe it was Category I…I can’t remember exactly what they were called back then) …basically, we wouldn’t even be able to call them up to join the Army unless the lower 50% (called Category D or CAT D or CAT IIID, something like that) was opened up for recruitment by the Recruiting Command and at that time, didn’t happen that often. At another school, 2 of five TEACHERS didn’t score high enough to be above CAT D. There was one school where 2 of 2 scored above CAT D…one of those was a CAT A and we made a pitch to join the Army…and he DID! Went Infantry and Rangers, if I remember right, but he could have done anything.Those people were teaching in our schools after getting degrees in teaching…and well about 60% of those that took the test (I decided to keep stats when that stupidness occurred for several months), it was 9 or 10 of 15 that didn’t make CAT A. I kept the stats because I was the Brigade Recruiter Trainer for the Southeastern United States. About 60% couldn’t even be at the top of a general knowledge test to enter the Army…just anecdotal, nothing scientific about it.Anecdote 3. Also when I was in recruiting, there were some teachers who wanted to “buck up” to show how “smart” they were when some of my NCOs were at the schools doing briefs. I particularly enjoyed those encounters because I would smash them at knowledge of their own academic specialties. Now, to be honest, it was not your older teachers in their 30s/40s who had been in the classroom for a decade or two, nor was it your younger teachers that were self-aware (very few). Math, history (world or American), English, Government, physics, whatever, except for languages. The truth was that I didn’t encounter this in the STEM instructors, only non-STEM.As I said at the beginning of this text wall, I went to a college prep school and West Point. I graduated with a degree in Aerospace Engineering, had fought in Bosnia (mid-1990s), Uzbekistan (2001), a couple of other places, had a hobby to learn military history from Ancient to Modern, spoke and read two languages other than English, was an officer in the Signal Corps (computers, networking, and satellites), studied logic and philosophy pretty hard in high school and college, and read a lot on many subjects, plus I watched cartoons to get my news! Despite all of this, I don’t consider myself super smart (hell, a ton of grammar errors in this answer), just maybe a lot of little knowledge across many areas and deep in a couple.This was when I learned that many of the newer teachers (at least those who liked to challenge my combat-veteran NCOs with how smart they were) really had no inherent, internalized knowledge of their subjects other than what was on the pre-manufactured syllabus. When I would ask about some 2nd or 3rd deeper level of whatever of their current subject, I would get a blank stare…and have to explain what it had to do with whatever they were trying to be “smart” about. That is when I learned that education had changed dramatically from when I had gone to high school some 15 years earlier. It seemed to me that some of these folks were not in the job to teach children, but really to do their time in the classroom until they could “move up” to administration where they wouldn’t have to teach another child another damn thing but would be responsible for their entire world of learning until they retired and got that awesome pension after 20 years…that scared me a lot…again, completely anecdotal.Anecdote 4. With the data phone becoming a staple of Americana, the requirement to internalize knowledge is nil. I started to notice this in some of the younger officers and Soldiers toward the end of my Army career. Some didn’t “know” many things that they should have “known” just as a staple of their military and leadership knowledge, let alone “base” knowledge of things like the names of the continents and where they are on the globe, hell, where they were in the United States and things like the seat of Government is in Washington, DC or that water boils at 100 C and freezes at O C and those temperature have different effects on humans, or that regular eating, drinking, and sleeping is kind of important for Soldiers or that we fought a revolutionary war against Britain and a Civil War amongst ourselves or that the US is surrounded by two oceans and borders two countries, don’t cut the finger tips off off of ALL of the figures of your Nomex fire-retardant gloves so you “can feel the trigger” when you aren’t a sniper (and not even then, snipers, please correct me if wrong), the earth’s circumference is roughly 25,000 miles, that SECRET means you don’t talk about it at the local bar with people you don’t know or your girlfriend/boyfriend), or who Plato, Socrates, or Pythagoras were and what they contributed to the world’s greater knowledge, or that regular and diesel are two different fuels using two different ways to drive an engine (this was a problem when diesel was cheaper than gas…not so much when diesel became more expensive), or what usury is (has to do with credit, real problem with new Soldiers and Officers for several years), or you have to change the oil and/or put water in the radiator of your car (omg, I saw this happen four or five times over my career and not just to enlisted, but officers), you get the picture, I hope…In some areas, it was an immediate use of a calculator for basic 10x10 multiplication tables or addition (ie 9x7=63; 3x8=24 type stuff, and it wasn’t an Einsteinian thing where he didn’t trouble himself with facts he could find a book so he could use his mind for the greater theory thinking). In some areas, it was really what I considered “common knowledge” as I was growing up…”adulting”, I guess. I don’t know crap about the technical inner workings of an automobile engine (now a jet thruster or s/cram jet…) but I know enough about the principles of how it works that I could derive a basic cranking mechanism or that fire and controlled explosions are what move the car through the drive shaft and stuff.Not knowing how to speak English? Write English…quick anecdote…a Major (about mid-30s) was giving a brief to a General Officer which I was also attending. He started the briefing with something along the lines of…”I be briefing…” or “I be thinking…” which garnered him an immediate rebuke from the General starting with what college the guy graduated from, how he got to be a field grade officer, and where he learned English, the language of the United States Army, etc., which lasted about 20 minutes and not only embarrassed the Officer, but his Commander and pretty much put everyone on edge…then the General Officer apologized to everyone and ended the briefing.Just anecdotal…no science behind it, but taken cumulatively across my time, there are some conclusions which might be drawn about the quality of education over the last 20–25 years…Poke holes in my anecdotes, if you would like.Thank you for reading.

What are the best MOS in the Rangers that can carry over to federal agencies?

That’s a pretty vague question to answer. Keep in mind that when compared to the Armed Forces, the Federal Government employs civilians in equivalent positions that match almost every non-combat arms “MOS”. Remember, the civilian federal government has hundreds of job series (equivalent to what the military calls MOS’s) - everything from veterinarians to truck drivers; engineers to boiler techs; or Special Agents to Doctors. So when you ask the question ‘what are the best MOS’s to carry over to the feds?’ - the answer is literally “EVERY ONE OF THEM.” You just have to find the agency that employs that particular MOS in a equivalent civilian “series”.Honestly, as a combat arms specialist, you are going to have a harder time equating your skills to a similar GS series job than a combat service support soldier would. There are thousands of engineers, supply clerks, mechanics, drivers, etc in the civil service that service support soldiers can equate to, but there’s just not a whole lot of need within the federal government for a trigger puller who lists his experience as being the subject matter expert in reconning forward of the battle area. Sorry to burst any bubbles, but the Feds don't necessarily see the need for, nor want a trained killer with no specific “civilian” skills. They need a admin specialist who can type 60 wpm or need a patent attorney with a law degree. That’s the bad news.Now to get to the good news and positive points of this response - there are indeed SOME positions within the feds that your skills may be beneficial. Certainly, if you are applying to be a paramilitary operator at CIA or NSA, you are going to find yourself at the top of the recruiting list. However, that’s a very limited field. What you are more likely to find are jobs that have SOME of the things you learned as a ranger, such as intelligence specialists, linguists, or foreign service officers, etc that match some of your specific skills gained while a Ranger. I’m guessing you probably have no law enforcement experience if you’ve been in the Army since HS or college, but some series of jobs, particularly intelligence related jobs or even federal Law Enforcement Officer jobs (found in 72 different federal agencies) often specifically recruit prior military, or at least give them a slight leg up over non-military applicants.What you should determine first is what you WANT to do, then let your experience as an officer or an NCO speak for itself - in the form of leadership and project management. THAT’s where you have the advantage over your non-military counterparts and can compete for jobs in any job series based on those skills. Sure, if you aren't a lawyer, you can’t apply to be a US Attorney, but your leadership and management skills learned not just in the Rangers, but in the military itself, will come into play for jobs not requiring specific certifications across the board. THAT’s where you sell yourself in interviews and resumes.Do yourself a favor and go into The Federal Government's official employment site and simply search for a geographical area you think you’d like to work (for instance, “VIRGINIA” or “CALIFORNIA”). Leave the position, description or other descriptors blank and just hit the search button. That will give you an idea what government jobs are immediately available in your area at that moment. Review it over a period of a few weeks or months. Start scanning the different job duties, prerequisites and details for available jobs and see if there’s anything you like. You might then be able to better narrow down what interests you and what type series jobs you might want to keep an eye out for in the civil service sector.If you eventually determine the specific government job or series you want to pursue, then use the search term, but leave the location blank. Be willing to relocate to get it. Sell yourself in a civil service interview by highlighting your project management and leadership skills, as well as other skills such as language, IT, etc, while downplaying your kung fu fighting skills and camouflage techniques. Those just don't sell you unless you are applying for that paramilitary operator job I noted above. It’s hard to get your foot in the door, and you’ll have to be willing to relocate on your own dime for your first job in many cases if you really want to land it, but once you've done so, transfers are much easier to come by than first getting your foot in the door. Good luck!

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