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Old 10-09-2012, 05:25 AM   #121
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Originally Posted by Nords View Post
I've lost track-- you have O-6 time in grade already, right? Or is the Air Force's 1 Jan 13 deadline going to mean that you're looking at an O-5 retirement?
Nords: yup, I'm covered on TIG...pinned on back in 2008, no worries there. I'm actually really warming up to the idea of 1 Jan, but know next Summer is the most stable path. The Col's Group action officer thinks he can keep me from being matched, but no promises (of course). When I called him, I said, "Let me be blunt, WTF?!" He said, "well, that certainly was direct, sir!" hehehe He couldn't explain it, either.
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Old 02-02-2013, 04:53 PM   #122
Recycles dryer sheets
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Hi all, been a while since my last lots to update on now!

I officially have my retirement orders in hand, 1 Oct 13 with last duty day of 24 Jun 13...only 4 1/2 mos out...seriously!!!

Funny side story for any military types reading this...after dodging the wing command scare (read a couple posts previous), I had surgery in Dec and was laid up on the couch for several weeks. However, on the day my wife took me to the doc for my 1 week post-op follow-up, I had her drive me to the office so I could log on my gov't computer and submit my retirement application within my 2 week window the Colonel's Group gives between releasing me from the Command selection cycle before throwing me into the next year's staff assignment cycle where I'd be locked in again for an assignment or have to "7-day opt" as they nickname it...nice, huh? Well, I've always been frustrated with the personnelists most...all...of my career, but when it comes to getting rid of me, bam! Best service I've ever received!! About 5 days later I get an e-mail approving my retirement application, very next day I have an e-mail with my actual retirement orders, and 2 days after that the separations specialist calls me to schedule my initial appointment already! Holy crap! Where have they been the past 25 years? (Note: if you are an Air Force personnel type reading this post....I'm sorry...that you had to be a personnelist! hehehe).

In addition, my replacement has been announced and I couldn't be happier since it's the guy I personally recommended. I also got a new Deputy Civilian that I personally selected because I knew he'd continue the transformation initiatives in my unit that we've been effecting the past 3 years since he's been a part of it. All in all, the transition of the unit is falling into place and I'm quickly working myself out of a job already...I luv it. That's the way a good transition should go, IMO.

Now, just last week, had a late o-6s Friday discussion with my General on some things and he pops a question out of the blue in front of my fellow Colonels, "hey, I'd like for you to apply for the GS-14 senior civilian position that's coming open on base...what would it take to get you to stay here and take the job. We could even make sure you could stay in your on-base house. You're perfect for the job!"

I nearly choke on my diet coke 'cause I DID NOT see this one coming from a million miles away...and believe me, in North Texas, you can see just about 1 million miles unobstructed!

After I gathered my senses at just being offered a $110K job out of nowhere, I looked at him and said, "General, you don't have enough money to keep me here, but thank you for your vote of confidence in my abilities! Do you have any Bourbon?"

So, I have orders in hand, I have filled out paperwork for when I want the movers to show up in June, I have TAPS course scheduled for the last week of Feb, I've picked the design for my shadow box, I've got 4 Sr Non-Coms who vol'd to throw a BBQ for my retirement "dinner" and these guys know how to do some serious Que! I'm not a fancy/formal guy, so a BBQ retirement dinner w/ paper plates and boxed wine is just my style...yes!!!

Nords, as I do the TAPS and VA process, I'll keep notes to post. I did some rough calculations and estimate I'm between 50-70% VA disability...I'll see how close to actual I got as I move through this process. From what I've been hearing from other recent retirees, the VA process is taking approx 10-12 mos to get your disability rating from the time of your medical exam. I plan to schedule mine in April which is the soonest I can do it.
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Old 02-02-2013, 06:35 PM   #123
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Your story reminds me of some of the funny curves in my Army career. It always seemed like when I thought I was doing everything right somebody would come along and crap in my mess kit. And then when I had an "I dont care, and you can't make me attitude" along comes another promotion or award. I was thinking that you would change your mind and take the wing command. Congratulations on sticking with the right decision and thanks for your service.
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Old 03-27-2013, 11:11 AM   #124
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Thanks for the great thread Col, it's nice to see how those a few years ahead of where I am have planned and executed a smooth retirement plan. I will pull the plug in 2016 at the 20 year mark so have some time to get everything squared away.

My hubs retired in 2010 and unsolicited job offers came in for years...he finally bit a few months ago and is happily teleworking for a beltway bandit firm.

Thanks also to the other retirees who have contributed so much. Go Navy!

V/r, AllChoptUp
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Old 04-04-2013, 05:40 AM   #125
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Mornin; all...thought I'd provide another update as I move through the belly of the python known as retirement from the military!

Nords, side note: my nephew is a Junior at the Naval Academy and has decided to go into the submarine corps as a Nuke Officer! Oh gawd! He's actually looking at a scholarship to Stanford for his Masters right after the Academy--the kid's got some serious smarts and he's also on the Academy Golf Team. I had to rib him some..."You know, for such a smart Cadidiot, there's no golf on subs, right?"

Went through the new base TAPS program, not really impressed. It was death by "go to this website for more information." Not the fault of the instructors, it's just the way the new course i s designed. For the specific tracks on Entrepreneurship, or going back to college, etc, you have to sign up for a second week that's tailored to your interest.

The Dept of Labor briefer they bring in to teach Resume's, interviews, networking, etc is actually a sub-contractor. Again, it was flying through the mandated DoL book with a "go here for more information." The most helpful part was the practice 30 second elevator speech/tell me about yourself--I could tell many in the TAPS class had never had to do that.

I felt bad because most of my class were young Airmen separating. At least I had been though the Executive TAPS a year ago, so I was prepared, had a resume', had a Linkedin page (I had to explain to the class about the importance of Linkedin to job searching nowadays), had an interview suit.

The last day was the VA rep...what I was waiting for. I will say because I had already done extensive research, I knew a significant amount of his material, but I still took notes. In our area, there's actually a VA rep who meets with you first to go through your records and helps you fill out your claim paperwork and file it. He is also the one who schedules your medical appointments, but I'm told this is unique to our area and not the norm?? So, I did as he briefed and now have a copy of my 3 1/2" of medical records, have my appointment with him on April 23d, I have started to fill out my claim paperwork...this is a slow process as I am going through my records and tabbing events, supporting Dr's notes, etc for each claim I'm going to file.

Have the shadow box paid for, 7 family members flying for the retirement ceremony, have requested the movers for the week AFTER the retirement ceremony, my Change of Command will be AFTER the movers are done and we're out of base housing, then we hit the road the week of 4th of July. Have our retirement cruise to Bermuda booked for 2 weeks after that!
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Old 04-04-2013, 04:48 PM   #126
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I love it when a plan comes together. Congratulations and best wishes for a smooth glide to the end.

P.S. -- Your nephew sounds like a smart young fellow. I'm sure he's also extremely handsome and sings well, too. (says the USNA grad former nuke submariner)
Living an analog life in the Digital Age.
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Old 04-09-2013, 03:56 AM   #127
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Sir, I have enjoyed vicariously sharing you journey through your path to post military retirement. I wish you and your family the very best of luck in this new chapter of your lives!

I do have a question that I would like you perspective on. Was VA disability entitlements a factor of your original RE “PowerPoint” analysis? How has this impacted your current situation; is this another cash flow that was not realized until recently?
As I chase down the last four years in my military career I would love to hear about your continued experiences regarding the VA. I would expect to be eligible for a disability rating, but could only guess at what percentage and have not considered it as a tangible financial planning factor. Any thoughts?

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Old 04-09-2013, 04:26 AM   #128
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When I built my powerpoint brief to the family, I did build a "what if" scenario" on what I felt we might need to earn in retirement if I got certain VA disability ratings. However, we first went through a daily living exercise to see if we could live just off of my projected retirement.

From my research, esp on Linkedin, I am learning that the avg VA disability claim timeline is running 10-14 mos nowadays, so it's not something to count on right away. In addition, you have to educate yourself on how to file your claim, how to write up your specific ailments (I have several), how the VA calculates their percentages to come up w/ an overall rating, etc. Then you don't know if what you estimate is what the VA adjustor is actually going to award you.

So, I do have it factored into one of the "what if" scenarios, but not into my primary plan. If I do get the VA rating I'm estimating, then it'll be "bonus" money that'll go towards initial house expenses.

Another change up to my original plan, an AF JROTC position has come open at a nearby High School to where I'm retiring this summer. These positions are something I've looked at in the past, but dropped off my radar because they are so hard to come by as retired military get into them and tend to stay for many years! Even though you are retired, you still wear your uniform to school every day and teach. Between the AF and the school, you make a min of your full-time active duty pay, to incl your housing and BAS...pretty sweet deal. I've applied for that one position and flew in for an interview. I feel it went very well, but the school still hasn't made a decision yet. I wasn't planning on this, but it falls under that old saying if you do what you love, you'll never work a day in your life. I see it as a chance to make a difference in young kids' lives in a very rural part of the country where there's not much opportunity.
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Old 04-09-2013, 09:27 AM   #129
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Thanks for the insight! The JROTC prospect sounds like a great way to stay connected with the military on your own terms. Good luck!
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Old 05-22-2013, 05:10 PM   #130
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I got the call from the school Principal to offer me the AFJROTC job! I've been busy filling out job application, getting references (got 3 people who still work for me...hehehe, of course they'll say nice things!), and then finding out I qualify under DoD's Troops to Teachers program for a $5K bonus if I agree to stay at that particular school for 3 years due to the lower socio-economic makeup of the population. Not a bad gig. The retired CMSgt I'll be partners with asked if I could fly out the week of June 24th for the annual cadet summer leadership academy...sure, even thought it's on my nickel. When you feel a calling, the $$ is not the issue, right?! Plus, it qualifies as a permissive TDY, so I don't have to burn 8 days of leave that I plan to sell back for some sweet $$ in y final active duty paycheck, even after taxes.

Well, I'm officially 3 Fridays away from the Retirement ceremony, then the following week the movers hit, then the cadet school trip, get back on Sat, turnover with my replacement on Mon & Tues, Change of Command Wed morning then hit the road with hotel reservations 2 hours away for Wed night just to make sure we get under way and don't hang around!!

The wife has done an amazing job putting together a slide show for the retirement, we are funding the block party style BBQ afterwards because that's our style, my troops are planning some serious smoking/BBQing all day, my staff planned a golf outing which I originally didn't want. They explained, "Sir, it's not really about you, we just need a reason to play golf where civilians don't have to take leave, so please do this for us!" Hey, I'm a team player, Coach :-)

After the Tornado in OKC 2 nights ago where I have a Detachment of approx 30 people, I spent most of the night awake as we worked personnel accountability, not tracking down the last person until 0630. With God's Blessing, everyone of my people are safe, though 1 lost his house. Two days later, it's hitting me, I'm ready. The Tsunami in Japan 2 years ago and accounting for my folks at 3 separate bases, the floods in North Dakota where 3 of my folks lost their homes, Typhhons in Guam leaving us without power/water/elec and evac'ing my family Stateside for 2 mos, Tsunamis relief to Bali...great experiences in that it showed the US military at its finest and made me a better person, but it also hit me today that this is a young person's military for a reason--it's fast, demanding, 24/7, non-stop.

It's time for someone else to stand watch and for me to support the homefront for them so they can carry out the mission of keeping America free.
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