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Old 05-18-2011, 05:01 PM
 
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Just a thought, if you do get transferred, let the wife and kid stay there, go visit...it will only be a few years. At least try it, and see how it works. You can have your cake, and eat it too, maybe...
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Old 05-18-2011, 06:00 PM
 
11,987 posts, read 10,683,014 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macjr82 View Post
Not sure how the Army works, but if it's like the Marines, if you are pro-active you can basically go wherever you want, or in your case, stay where you want. Have you looked at trying to stay at teh base you're at but with a different unit when PCS time comes up? Or have you considered going to a relative close base but leave your family where there at, and then PCS back to that base at a later date?

I've known people who've done this. Some examples, women works at hospital in Frederickburg, VA, husband is officer and gets orders to Camp Lejeune NC. She stays in VA and he come homes on the weekend. My current CO's husband resides in another state b/c he is in law/graduate school. My sister-in-law stayed in NC while her husband was on recruiting duty in Ohio.
Mac, in the Army, how often you move depends on what base you're at and what job you do. The base I've been at since 2005 has been on the BRAC list since then and will close permanently September, 2011. I just transferred to another unit at a base close enough for me to stay in our house (hellish commute though), but that position is going away. I have been very lucky to have been where I'm at for as long as I've been. The clock is definitely running out though. The next move will have to be a big move. My strategy will be to go somewhere large enough where I won't have to move again before I hit 20.
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Old 05-18-2011, 06:07 PM
 
11,987 posts, read 10,683,014 times
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Originally Posted by Coolhand68 View Post
Now might be a good time to consider getting out and finding work as a contractor or GS in your local area. Attend job fairs and seek out opportunities wherever you can. If you can score a GS-12 or 13 jb now, it may be worth it. One thing I can tell you, the military loves to mess with you once you've gone past that 17 year mark because they know they've got you. I've seen my share of SNCO's and field grade officers get deployments and assignments they weren't too tickled about in their 18 or 19 year mark. Obviously they weren't going to seperate being that close to retirement, and the folks who control the assignments know this. Just something to consider.
Coolhand, if I remember correctly, you're Coast Guard, right? It's the same in the Army. You get screwed in your last assignment. One positive for me is that I'm in a small career field. I know my branch manager, and I know a good deal of our sergeant majors. It's the same for most of us senior guys. That being the case, if you have a good reputation and have made more friends than enemies, you usually don't get totally hosed. My problem is I have gotten a lot of good hook-ups keeping me in the Atlanta area for the past several years. My number really is up after this assignment.
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Old 05-18-2011, 06:09 PM
 
11,987 posts, read 10,683,014 times
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Originally Posted by jasper12 View Post
Just a thought, if you do get transferred, let the wife and kid stay there, go visit...it will only be a few years. At least try it, and see how it works. You can have your cake, and eat it too, maybe...
I've known a number of guys who have tried this. It often costs them their marriage. With the deployment and training cycle I have been on for the past 10 years, I don't really want to elect to spend time away from my family. It may come to this, but I'm not two years away from retirement.. I still have a good chunk of time left to do.
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Old 05-18-2011, 07:30 PM
 
Location: Back in the gym...Yo Adrian!
9,371 posts, read 17,491,906 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WestCobb View Post
Coolhand, if I remember correctly, you're Coast Guard, right? It's the same in the Army. You get screwed in your last assignment. One positive for me is that I'm in a small career field. I know my branch manager, and I know a good deal of our sergeant majors. It's the same for most of us senior guys. That being the case, if you have a good reputation and have made more friends than enemies, you usually don't get totally hosed. My problem is I have gotten a lot of good hook-ups keeping me in the Atlanta area for the past several years. My number really is up after this assignment.
I'm actually in the Air Force. Ever since 9/11 the assignment/deployment tempo has changed significantly. I'm seeing more and more guys get hosed in their last couple of years in service. You really do have to be proactive with your career and cut your own deals. If you sit around and get too comfortable that's when they tag you.

It's a tough call and none of my reenlistments were easy decisions. I was always on the fence. I'm at 20 years this year and they hit me with an assignment to the Pentagon in March. I declined it and in doing so I had to submit my retirement request. Three months later I'm still struggling with our personnel center in Texas to get it approved. They keep jerking me around. Which is perplexing because they just went through a huge force shaping incentive trying to cut people who didn't want to get out.

Good luck with whatever you choose. I do know this is a tough time to get out and look for work in the government sector. Right now I believe there is a temporary or at least partial hiring freeze, so the contractor sector is the way to go for now.
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Old 05-18-2011, 08:57 PM
 
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
204 posts, read 1,299,539 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coolhand68 View Post
Good luck with whatever you choose. I do know this is a tough time to get out and look for work in the government sector. Right now I believe there is a temporary or at least partial hiring freeze, so the contractor sector is the way to go for now.
Coolhand, I'm retired AF AMMO. There is a hiring "freeze" so to speak, but get ready for things to get WORSE - Gates out, Panetta in as SecDef - I'm Civil Service and the rumor mill is rife with the budget horror to come. Our manager informed us there won't be any money next year...of course there will be "money" but they are literally running scared already. Whoever you may be, don't give up on civil service (yet) as USA Jobs still posts positions. The Army also has their separate site advertising jobs. Also, depending on where you are, you may not need a GS13 gig; a Wage Grade position (blue collar) is my bread and butter: A WG-8 in Alaska with four years tenure pulls 30.00 per hour.
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Old 05-23-2011, 11:07 AM
 
Location: El Paso, TX
3,302 posts, read 3,755,932 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WestCobb View Post
I am seriously weighing my options about staying in the Army, and I would love to hear from military retirees. I have been in the Army for 11 years now, but I never planned to go beyond one enlistment. I don't hate the Army, but I don't love it either. As you all know, the military is an all encompassing way of life, one which I'm not sold on.

The Army has been good to me as far was promotions, enlistment bonuses and even assignments (I guess that's what 10 years of war will do), but moving around is not for me, my wife or my daughter. I'm seriously considering getting out when I come down on PCS orders, which will probably be about two to three years from now. At that point, I will be six to seven years from retirement. I would go into the Reserves, so I can get some pension after 60, but as you know, that is far less of a benefit than active duty retierment.

The reason why I am considering doing this is because my wife has a good job where we're at -- which consequently, also leads to a pension... she's a public school teacher. My daughter loves the school she's at, which feeds into a middle and high school that are just one mile from our house. And speaking of houses, I'd probably have to sell mine at a loss (if I can even sell it all) when it comes time to move.

For those of you who have made it to retirment, is that monthly check really worth the sacrifice?
It is different with each couple. I will tell you my experience. That does not mean it will be the same with yours.

I enlisted to get the GI bill and get an education. I had in mind 3 years. My wife threw a fit when I came from the recruiting station! I was so scared I went to the recruiter trying to see if I could get out of the deal.
Well, I had to stay. My wife did not like it but made the most of it. In time she is the one that encouraged me to stay. Later my daughters did support my career despite the fact they had to move and leave friends behind. I ended up serving 32 year. I just retired last year. Now, since I achieve the rank of Sergeant Major with 32 years of service and with the VA payments clear after taxes $70K a year. I know I will have a check for the rest of my life. I have a job but my wife now says it is such a great feeling to have that check for the rest of our lives. I am still young enough and have the luxury to pick the type of job I want and if I do not like it, I know I can leave without worries.
My children have benefited with education benefits during and after my military career.
When I got orders to go to Germany, our oldest daugther had just finished her sophomore year. She had a hard time leaving friends behind. Guess what? After the three year tour SHE wanted to stay in Germany and we returned back to the states without her. She loved it. She ended up staying there 15 years. She just returned and now lives in Atlanta.
Are 9 years worth staying and know you will have retiree benefits for the rest of your life? That is something you and your wife need to sit down and discuss. We worked in making sure the moving affected our kids the least possible.
Our kids now brag about the traveling they did around the world and having seen the Eiffel Tower, the Roman Colliseum, the Great Wall, Berlin, Buckinham Palace, the Oktober Fest, Austria, Switzerland, Prague, etc. and so many states and sights like the Statue of Liberty, Gettysburg Battleflied, Boston, Disneyland, The St. Louis Arch, The US Capitol, the White House VIP tours, etc. I could go on and on. Everywhere we went we took them to museums like the one in the Vatican, the Louvre where they saw the Mona Lisa, the Smithsonian, and so many other places like Mount Vernon, Monticello, the American National Cemetery in Luxemburgh, Laura Ingals home, LBJ's Ranch, Einsehower birhtplace, the home where Ann Frank lived and wrote her book. Again, looks like I got so happily emotional remembering so much. To us it was worth the sacrifice. When we weigh the pros and cons now the pros outweigh the cons. Our kids got a great education besides the one they get in school.

It is a matter of attitude. Also, you or your wife may not have the personality to put up with military demands anymore. If that is the case maybe it is time for you to get out. For us, we had a very strong marriage and family setting that helped us sail through the rough waves.

I am very happy and proud of my career and so does my wife. She has the whole house saturated with souvenirs and photos of all of us all over the world. My youngest daugther is completing her masters this December and she is now engaged to a 1LT! Looks like she will be moving for a while again.

I will tell you I have met so many people that have told me they were in the Army and wished they had stayed and made it a career. Others were happy to serve and get out. The bottom line is that it is a family affair and the couple need to be on the same sheet of music to make it, take care.
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Old 05-25-2011, 07:47 AM
 
Location: Charlottesville
75 posts, read 190,709 times
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I've told my husband, a Naval officer retiree, that the second best thing he ever did was marry me. The first was joining the military, staying in for 20+ yrs and then retiring. He "retired" at the age of 45 and started a new career. Now, 6 years after his military retirement, we're both quitting our jobs and moving to a new place to check it out. His plan is to go back to school and get a PhD. With just his retirement income, we're able to qualify for a $250k mortgage (we also have outstanding credit scores and have managed to save $$ over the years, so that helps.)

If you've got this many years in, its worth it to stay in. We're in a great place financially that is allowing us many options; we've got good, affordable health insurance and other benefits, so the sacrifice we made when we were younger was well worth it. Though I'll be honest, I don't feel like I made a sacrifice. I loved being a military wife. I loved the adventure of a new place and making lots of friends all over the country. I was actually bummed my husband decided to retire.
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Old 05-26-2011, 03:04 PM
 
Location: :~)
1,483 posts, read 2,824,155 times
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Financially? Yes!

For me, the biggest challenge was my wife and kids. I had planned on playing for 30 years but at my 20 year mark my family staged an intervention (joking). Seriously, I had just recieved a great assignment but my wife and kids were tired and requested that I deny the orders and retire. I am a family man so obviously I conceded.

In short, financially the answer is easy but your family's happiness is the bigger key point. Good luck!
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Old 05-26-2011, 07:28 PM
 
Location: Hawaii/Alabama
1,595 posts, read 2,969,104 times
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My husband Retired at almost 23 years. We loved the life that the Army afforded us as we enjoy his Retirement.

His check is enough for us to live a very nice life and he is truly retired at 43 (he does have some medical issues as well as the fact that he cares for me (disabled) on a full time basis.

We enjoy the PX, Comm, Space A flights as well as the access to nice, clean and inexpensive lodging while travelling.

You and your family are the only ones that can answer this question for yourselves; but we have been pleased with the pension my hubby has earned.
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