I seem to need a conflict and resolution associated with the question of the piece. If not a resolution, then an epiphany for the protagonist.
You have a wonderful introduction of two principles, and now it feels like they need to experience an event that transforms the rookie in some manner; bringing the rookie into the same universe as the decorated pro. When the piece ends, you suggest an event, or a transformational moment of some sort. I felt a need to know what that moment involved, and how it answered The Question. Especially since the piece suggests that this question is at the very heart of what’s being shared with the reader here.
It’s a good set-up (allowing for the small corrections mentioned already) but it needs to make a journey that brings it back home with something to show for its having been granted existence. Real life is endless. Creative non-fiction isn’t.