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Old 01-25-2012, 12:30 PM   #41
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Detailer was pitching the USFK job in Korea a little while back, for the 2-3 year accompanied tour. Mrs HawkeyeNFO quickly put the kibosh on that one.
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Old 01-25-2012, 01:07 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by HawkeyeNFO View Post
Detailer was pitching the USFK job in Korea a little while back, for the 2-3 year accompanied tour. Mrs HawkeyeNFO quickly put the kibosh on that one.
I took an assignment to HQ USFK/CFC, I had the choice of 1 year unaccompanied or 2 years accompanied. I took the 12 month option, but many of the families seemed to think the accompanied 24 month tour in Seoul was okay. Yongsan had no crime, you could choose to immerse as much or as little in Korean culture as you wanted, etc. But, issuing of chem protective gear to all dependents made clear that this was no ordinary spot on the globe. I didn't have much faith in the family evacuation plan (it was a fine plan, but, well, anyone could see that circumstances would overwhelm any efforts to make it work). All-in-all I was happier that the family stayed in the US, but families who were there seemed to have a good quality if life.
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Old 01-25-2012, 01:31 PM   #43
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IMO, OPTEMPO is too high to make guard/reserve a good choice (if you are trying to avoid deployment).

My buddies are on their 3rd deployments in 8 years +/-. Maybe things will calm down now that Iraq is done, but not sure. Most get additional "opportunities" to volunteer to deploy.

I think (again, IMO) if you want the military pension then stay in and do 20, make a clean break. Guard/Reserve deploys just as frequently as active component now.

It was different when I was in, 1985-2007 and has changed considerably. Back toward the early part of my career there was no chance to deploy short of WWIII (we were to go to the Fulda Gap). Force structure changes and modular force concepts really integrate the reserve components now.
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Old 01-25-2012, 02:19 PM   #44
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I made the same choice as you but AFTER my short tour without wife. After that separation, we decided to never let that happen again and I took a Palace Chase and entered the ANG in California where our families live. I got out of the guard just as my unit, the 234th Combat Communications Squadron was to be the first guard unit to go over to Iraq. Talk about dodging the bullet.
Anyways, there's two things to know about the military; You'll never get rich and you'll never miss a meal. Ha! Many of my buddies in the service tried to talk me out of it with the scare tactics of how hard it would be to find work, my wife pregnant (discharged 2 days after he was born, another dodged bullet) and no medical. But life is about risk sometimes and if not now at 24, then certainly not later when there's more obligation to family. I found out that most workplaces value the veteran and are awarded extra points on interviews for being such. I worked a couple technical field jobs before landing my current job. I've been here for 30 years and retire at the end of this year. My pension will pay me 70% of my base salary of approx $100,000 and I have been maxing out the 401K and the 457 accounts for many years. I'll have 6 years before I start to collect SS as well. We did this without having to have DW work outside the home while raising the 2 boys we had. Many people who know me say I've been lucky, but personally, I don't see it that way. A military man with skills is highly desirable. Since I've announced my retirement, I've had several other offers for work from the network of contacts I deal with regularly. Don't let the security of the military paycheck and pension lull you into accepting something less than you have the potential for financially. You give up a lot of personal freedom while serving and I admire the men and women who can make that a career decision. But it wasn't my vision of what my life with family should look like. Just check out divorce rates in the military.
Anyways, not sure what your job is, I was Nav-Aids and my brother, 2 years older was an Air Traffic Controller. He was on the IG team for Europe and spent 7 years over there traveling around the bases. When the civilian controllers called a strike and Regan fired them all, he was offered an early-out with a bag full of cash to boot. He was half way to retirement and decided to stay in. Eventually he retired from the USAF and worked for the FAA at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. He was at work on April 19th, 1995 when it was blown up.
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Old 01-25-2012, 03:50 PM   #45
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I really appreciate your insight Nords, as you fully understand the situation. Itís funny because we ended up getting our #5 base of preference choice out of 5, and prior to hearing about Korea would have been disappointed but now we are extremely grateful. Funny how a little perspective changes everything.
Stick to your guns plans. I started making the "wrong" career choices very early in my career, and we just got better at doing that as time went on...
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I do still have a couple years on my military commitment so it is probably a little soon for TAP ...
Your logic seems sound now, but here's two things to consider if you wait until 6-12 months before you separate:
1. "Holy crap, I wish we'd known this stuff a year ago!!"
2. "Sorry, captain, but I'm the XO and I get the majority vote. You only have eight months left here and we need you for every single day of them. I'm sure you'll do fine with TurboTAP online. You won't need to worry about money because you'll be selling back every day of leave instead of using it. Have a nice midwatch!"

It's not so much the TAP content as it is the opportunity for you two to break free of the "fog of work", spend quality time together, get into the separation frame of mind, react to the curriculum, appreciate the issues, and make sure you're both on the same page.

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... and making contacts with career placement firms, but I will more than likely take you up on that when it gets a little closer. Are these firms pretty successful? Iíd love to make a seamless career transition if possible and Iíve never really thought about using one.
They all seem pretty successful, but Lee Cohen is particularly so. I started talking to him when I was at the eight-year point and he'd only been at Lucas for three years. I eventually decided to "Stay Navy, Baby", but I've been sending him "my guys" for over 20 years. One of them became a Lucas headhunter himself, and started a hugely successful branch of the company.

The sooner you talk to someone like Lee, the sooner they can get you into the database and start feeding you small weekly doses of transition info. They have to learn your interests, and you probably have to do some of that learning for yourself before you can tell them what kind of career you're targeting. They'll also help you understand what works... and what doesn't. They'll give you golden gouge on an MBA strategy. You gain nothing by waiting until later. You're the guy with the obligation and the hard separation date, so the sooner you start searching for (and the longer you give yourself) to choose a good headhunter then the happier you'll be.

Lee and I have had a 15-year running debate about ER. He's financially independent but he'll never stop working. He thinks "The Military Guide" was well written but he can't see how it has any relevance to him. Neither one of us "gets" how the other can live the way we do. But he truly loves his work, he's very passionate about it, and his philanthropy makes me look like a piker.

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As far as the guard/reserves, I do have a 4 year IRR commitment after separating from active duty. I have thought about continuing with the guard/reserves part time, but that is something DW and I will look into more within the next year. Iíll take a look at the blog.
Thanks again, Nords!
You're welcome, and keep us posted so that your stories can be in the book's second edition!

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Originally Posted by samclem View Post
I took an assignment to HQ USFK/CFC, I had the choice of 1 year unaccompanied or 2 years accompanied. I took the 12 month option, but many of the families seemed to think the accompanied 24 month tour in Seoul was okay. Yongsan had no crime, you could choose to immerse as much or as little in Korean culture as you wanted, etc. But, issuing of chem protective gear to all dependents made clear that this was no ordinary spot on the globe. I didn't have much faith in the family evacuation plan (it was a fine plan, but, well, anyone could see that circumstances would overwhelm any efforts to make it work). All-in-all I was happier that the family stayed in the US, but families who were there seemed to have a good quality if life.
We had to do a MEDEVAC off Chinhae in 1991, and we weren't sure if we were being escorted by heavily-armed vessels-- or captured. When we sent our sailor over the brow to the small boat, all our escorts beat feet and vanished into the fog.
One of my junior Deck Div personnel asked me "Sir, who did we just give Schmuckatelli to?"
I answered: "That small boat and all the ships were from the Korean Navy."
He asked: "North or South?"

If I hadn't seen a U.S. Navy chief petty officer at the other end of the brow I would have been worrying about the same thing...
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Old 01-25-2012, 06:57 PM   #46
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Detailer was pitching the USFK job in Korea a little while back, for the 2-3 year accompanied tour. Mrs HawkeyeNFO quickly put the kibosh on that one.
I've spent a couple of tours in the ROK, one dependent restricted and one accompanied. I've certainly had worse assignments...no one shot at me a single time in Korea, which is more than I can say about some of the other vacation spots the Army has sent me to in recent years.
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