Post # 1
DH is supposed to get out of the Army in a year.. For a while, we have been planning for his ETS, trying to figure out what our plans are for after he gets out and where we’re going to go from here.. I just became a licensed teacher in MA (we’re currently in TX), so I could get some sort of work when I get back up there, though keeping a teaching job in MA is pretty tough right now.. The other day, though, we randomly started talking about reenlisting, since his window opens in a few days (I didn’t think he was serious, he went back and forth on it during his last deployment, but it seemed like we were both agreed that he would get out), but now it seems like he really wants to reenlist.. I’m kind of iffy about it, since I had counted on him getting out, and I’m not really sure how to feel about it, it would be our first reenlistment and his last deployment was very hard on us, I’m not sure I want to go through another one.. We have been discussing PCSing to Ft. Drum if we do reenlist, so that I could be closer to my family in MA and it would be a change from TX.. Sometimes, I really think I like the idea of doing another few years, but most of the time I’m terrified of it.. I’m not really sure how to put that aside and give him the go ahead.. He says the more he thinks about it the more he wants to do it, but he’s just been so back and forth about it for so long that I’m afraid of jumping into something that’s not right for either of us or our marriage.. Does anyone have any advice or have been through a reenlistment that was tougher than usual?
Post # 3
We have not yet decided what we’re going to do about reenlistment, which will be coming up in about 2 years or so (or at least we need to make our decision by then), but we’ve already begun discussing our options.
The biggest questions I would be asking are: have you made a pro/con list of staying in and also getting out? Does he have a job lined up for when he gets out? Do you have a place to go live if he gets out now? What will you do about healthcare/insurance until he can find another job? Are you employed? How much will it cost to relocate or could you stay in the area if you are working? Does he truly LOVE his job and enjoy going to work every morning?
It’s a really overwhelming decision, and I can definitely see both sides. We’ve pretty much already tentatively said he will reenlist, but that’s because in the Navy you do a sea/shore rotation. The first few years are on the sea, then you get to go to shore for a few years. DH’s first enlistment will be totally at sea, so it will be difficult for him to look for a job then, but his second would be on shore, he wouldn’t be deploying, and he gets a bonus due to his job, so it’s very worthwhile to stay in for a second enlistment.
Would your DH be able to look into doing a non-deployable job for the next enlistment? I’m not sure how the Army works in that respect, but does he get to go to a unit where he won’t be up for deployment? If so, maybe consider staying in for another few years to have a solid job/benefits and begin to look for something civilian if you decide to not continue into the 20 year career path.
Good luck! I’m sorry I don’t have any previous experience to speak from, but I know how tough of a decision it is! 🙂
Post # 4
@subbywife11: Thanks so much for all of the good questions/insights!
DH and I have talked pretty extensively about the pros/cons of both reenlisting and ETSing when the time comes.. We actually had an extremely productive conversation today about it all.. I addressed my concerns, addressed his financial concerns, and provided alternative options that he thought were reasonable.. Right now, he doesn’t technically have a job lined up for when he gets out, though his uncle said that he could probably hook him up with some personal security work.. He wants to go into the criminal justice field as a police officer, which I’m completely supportive of, and would look into the police academy once he gets out of the army.. Right now, I’m looking into applying long distance for a teaching job in MA and possibly moving home early if I have the chance to interview for and accept a job.. In that case, I would be able to provide health insurance and a starting salary so that we could find a place, he would be able to apply for unemployment until he is able to attend the police academy, and he would also look into other jobs as well during the meantime..
As far as I know, the army doesn’t have a non-deployable job opportunity for my husband’s rank if he were to reenlist, and with him adding another 2-3 years onto his contract, he would be almost certain to deploy at least once more. The time that soldiers get stateside has increased since he last deployed, but since he has already been home for over six months and would be reenlisting for a different unit, that might not apply, though I’m not absolutely positive about that.. We also found out yesterday that there are very few duty stations accepting his MOS at this time, so that really affects his decision as well, since he only wants to reenlist if he gets to go to the duty station of his choice, though he says that things might change in the next two months..
After our conversation today, it seems as though our main focus is to see if I can get myself into a teaching job for the fall before we revisit the possibility of reenlisting, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that something opens up, and I’ll be applying for everything under the sun between now and then! Haha..
But thank you again for your support, and good luck with your future in the military as well!
Post # 5
Gotcha! I have heard it’s actually fairly easy for prior service members to get into the criminal justice fields. I know a lot of police departments recruit prior service because they are easier to train and already have the bearing/mindset needed.
If you’re looking to go to MA, look at the Boston area. Two good friends of mine found jobs in the Boston public school system fairly easily shortly after graduating. Teaching jobs are REALLY hard to come by, depending upon what certification you hold, but larger, urban areas often are good places to look. The kids may be tougher, but you’ll build experience. It’s also possible that the Boston area police department may have something to offer your DH as well.
I think Fleet and Family Readiness offers transition classes and could maybe help him find a job or get into the police academy as he transitions out.
Post # 6
Thanks so much, I’ll definitely look into it!!