Jump to content

Menu

Dh is quitting the military after 19yrs


Recommended Posts

And I am really sad for him. He doesn’t really have a choice, but he really wanted to retire. It was one of his life goals, but life goals change sometimes. I just hate that he has done 4 year long deployments and gets nothing for it. One year short.No one understands-everyone tells him to just stick it out for one more year, but he just can’t. I feel like he has dedicated his life to this and really sacrificed, and the military doesn’t give back at all. I know that isn’t how it works, but it doesn’t really seem fair. He has been a really good soldier.

 

Dh is in the military reserve and is working on a special 2yr project with his civilian employer that is a really big deal. It is a good thing for the country (and has been in the news) and is also really good for his career. Part of his army unit is supposed to deploy this year and Dh told them he can’t be one of the people chosen to go and they said too bad. It would just kill his career. Plus, the kids and I really wouldn’t have anywhere to live. His civilian employer is paying for our house now. The project will be over by the time Dh gets back and we don’t really know where he will be working when he gets back. They have to hold a job for him but it could be anywhere. He will take a 25% pay cut while he is gone and when he gets back who knows what they will find for him to do. It will take quite awhile to work back up to where he is now-and he likely never would.

 

It just really irritates me because there are other people in his unit who could go. Honestly, Dh is a really good soldier, and for that he basically gets to deploy because of course they would rather have him than someone else. And the lack of any concern for our family just really bugs me. No one cares that our kids would have to move, then likely move again 15mos later when he gets home. And of course they aren’t paying for any of the moves. I know part of being in the army is deploying, but Dh has done it four times. He just can’t do it again-we can’t afford it. People act like there is all this support for military families, but I have never seen it.

 

Congress just passed that big military funding budget. What the heck are they doing with all that money? We aren’t even at war-I don’t understand why reservists are still so relied upon.

 

That was a really long vent. I’m just so sad for Dh having to choose between his career and retiring from the military. He has been able to make it work for 19 years. I wish it could have worked for one more.

  • Like 12
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 118
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

That is a difficult choice to have to make.     I would definitely want to sit down with a financial advisor and look at the implications of getting out now vs. retiring.  The medical benefits, reti

You know, his civilian employer is not committed to him.  Because none of them are. He could give up an awfully lot here, and then end up laid off in 3 months or something. Don't give up.

And I am really sad for him. He doesn’t really have a choice, but he really wanted to retire. It was one of his life goals, but life goals change sometimes. I just hate that he has done 4 year long

That is a difficult choice to have to make.  

 

I would definitely want to sit down with a financial advisor and look at the implications of getting out now vs. retiring.  The medical benefits, retiree benefits, and retired pay might still make the pay cut over the next year and change in earning potential at his company worth it.

  • Like 24
Link to post
Share on other sites

:grouphug: That’s a tough decision. I’m sorry they’ve put your family into this situation, and I’m not one bit surprised. I have come to truly loathe the military and the way they treat their members on a day to day basis.

 

I agree with you - I’ve never seen real support for the good of the families, only “support the families†for the good of the mission. Ie: have a little get together once in awhile so nobody gets “too lonely†while the member is deployed then pat ourselves on the back for being so “supportiveâ€. Which is obviously the over-simplified version of it, but sums it up pretty well.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

He needs to talk to someone in the VA before filing his papers. I think there may be programs/resources to help people out this close to 20yrs. They may be able to do something with some TDY or find credit from previous uncounted duty time. DH has over 20 yrs but until a certain point it wasn’t considered 20 unless he retired and then he could appeal for it to count as 20?? It was super weird.

  • Like 7
Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm very, very sorry. I don't understand all of what is involved, but I personally would be inclined to stick it out for one more year, despite the drawbacks. I worry that he will regret giving up the benefits he would attain after just one more year. I think a 25% paycut is a better option than not having a job at all. Does he have any other job lined up?

 

I don't mean to be critical of this choice. I understand that sometimes people just reach their limit. But I hope you have weighed out all of the pros and cons and exhausted all of the possible options. I am the kind of person who always stuck with the job I hated until I had something else lined up, and I also would put up a lot in the short term for a long-term gain, so I'm writing from that perspective. However, I have never worked with the military, and I know that makes things different.

 

:grouphug:

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

OP   I am sorry that your DH is so close ro retiring and will need to forgo that dream.  I believe it was yesterday (?) that in the news the DoD announced a new policy that requires everyone to be deployable or    to leave the mlltary. That excludes approximately 20,000 women who are pregnant.   They will not have the option of sending someone else, instead of your DH from now on. It is a new DoD policy.

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree to talk to someone (VA maybe) about it. Like PP said, it’s all so crazy-confusing on how they compute things that they may be able to figure out a way to get your DH to 20 yrs. I hope there’s some way to get it worked out satisfactorily for your family. I know you need peace with your decision but I just wanted to say how beneficial that health benefit can be. My dad retired (reserve) and that insurance held my mom over for several years until Medicare kicked in. Now that she has both, she never pays a dime. It is super beneficial to her now that she’s older. The retirement pay is nothing major, but that health benefit sure is!

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

He needs to check out the inactive ready reserve.  My DH retired that way when his civilian work requirements became too much.

 

 

I don't know much about reserves but I hope Heathermomster's suggestion is somehow helpful to you. Perhaps some benefits could be prorated?

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Follow-on to my first reply. This is the link to the news article I read. It was yesterday (15 FEB 2018). "Deploy or be removed".  

 

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/02/15/pentagon-issues-warning-for-non-deployable-personnel-deploy-or-be-removed.html

 

I read that also, and it seems that most of those are non-deployable for medical reasons?  WTH are they supposed to do about that?

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Umm, you do realize that many/most of us move that often (or more) at the behest of the military, right? We're moving in May and again in Nov/Dec. That's what we're required to do to earn the pension. The needs of the service come first. It's not for everyone and it's not easy on any of us but you can't possibly be surprised by this. It's not the job of other members to fill in for able bodied folks.

Edited by Sneezyone
  • Like 12
Link to post
Share on other sites

Umm, you do realize that many/most of us move that often (or more) at the behest of the military, right? We're moving in May and again in Nov/Dec. That's what we're required to do to earn the pension. The needs of the service come first. It's not for everyone and it's not easy on any of us but you can't possibly be surprised by this. It's not the job of other members to fill in for able bodied folks.

 

good point.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree to talk to someone (VA maybe) about it. Like PP said, it’s all so crazy-confusing on how they compute things that they may be able to figure out a way to get your DH to 20 yrs. I hope there’s some way to get it worked out satisfactorily for your family. I know you need peace with your decision but I just wanted to say how beneficial that health benefit can be. My dad retired (reserve) and that insurance held my mom over for several years until Medicare kicked in. Now that she has both, she never pays a dime. It is super beneficial to her now that she’s older. The retirement pay is nothing major, but that health benefit sure is!

Yes! This has been huge in our family on both side. We don’t have to worry about paying for our older relatives healthcare needs.
  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

good point.

 

Yeah, I'm not saying that to be mean. I'm just pointing out that if this lifestyle were easy and the bennies were easily obtained, more people would do it.

 

They're cracking down on people being unavailable to do the forward-deployed work that needs to be done and I'm kinda ok with that. If it were my DH being pulled off of shore duty (a rare time when we have him home most nights) to fill-in for someone who simply wanted to stay in their civvy job and not move, neither of us would be pleased (putting it mildly).

 

DH will have 20 years in June and in that time we've dealt with multiple moves, several lengthy periods of unemployment, substandard quarters, cancelled vacations, geographic separation, etc. This lifestyle is not for the feint of heart.

 

I opened this thread expecting to commiserate about the unfairness of someone being pushed out for reasons beyond their control (which happens). This is not that.

  • Like 5
Link to post
Share on other sites

I read that also, and it seems that most of those are non-deployable for medical reasons?  WTH are they supposed to do about that?

 

I read the article yesterday. My memory says about 280K people total are in the group. About 80K or 100K of those either have Shot records that are not up to date, or, need Physical Exams, etc. Those people will be OK.  The 20K women who are pregnant are OK.  The others who are not deployable will be out of the military.

 

ETA: Those who have been injured or wounded and are recovering and can again be deployable are OK. 

Edited by Lanny
Link to post
Share on other sites

Umm, you do realize that many/most of us move that often (or more) at the behest of the military, right? We're moving in May and again in Nov/Dec. That's what we're required to do to earn the pension. The needs of the service come first. It's not for everyone and it's not easy on any of us but you can't possibly be surprised by this. It's not the job of other members to fill in for able bodied folks.

It isn’t for everyone and it isn’t for us anymore. I’m not necessarily surprised, just disappointed.

 

Are you active duty? I assume the military pays for your moves (we have never been active duty so I don’t know for sure). When you (or your spouse) deploy, you have a job to come back to, I assume. The deployments don’t hurt your career. I’m not saying it is easy to be active duty, but it is different than the reserves.

 

Only 25% of dh’s unit is deploying. No one needs to fill in for him-they could just pick someone else.

 

On another note, if anyone knows someone who was able to maintain their career in both the military and civilian world, we would love to talk to them. We literally know no one in that position.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

Umm, you do realize that many/most of us move that often (or more) at the behest of the military, right? We're moving in May and again in Nov/Dec. That's what we're required to do to earn the pension. The needs of the service come first. It's not for everyone and it's not easy on any of us but you can't possibly be surprised by this. It's not the job of other members to fill in for able bodied folks.

Your family is in the reserve and moves that often? Genuinely curious because the handful of people I know in the reserve have never had to move.
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

It isn’t for everyone and it isn’t for us anymore. I’m not necessarily surprised, just disappointed.

 

Are you active duty? I assume the military pays for your moves (we have never been active duty so I don’t know for sure). When you (or your spouse) deploy, you have a job to come back to, I assume. The deployments don’t hurt your career. I’m not saying it is easy to be active duty, but it is different than the reserves.

 

Only 25% of dh’s unit is deploying. No one needs to fill in for him-they could just pick someone else.

 

On another note, if anyone knows someone who was able to maintain their career in both the military and civilian world, we would love to talk to them. We literally know no one in that position.

 

I understand the disappointment. DH is active duty. It's *MY* career that was shredded by his career. We never intended to be a single-income family. The deployments have absolutely hurt our family and, contrary to popular belief, all of our move expenses are not covered. When you sign up tho, you sign up to be available. That's part of the job. When your number is called, you go. And if you're not available to do the work, you can't expect them to want to keep you on. The same is true of DH. He would be nicely asked to hang it up if he stopped being available for work. My cousin was a nurse in the Army and was able to work as a reservist for a while but, ultimately, she was not willing to deploy anymore either. She also left the service without a pension.

Edited by Sneezyone
Link to post
Share on other sites

It isn’t for everyone and it isn’t for us anymore. I’m not necessarily surprised, just disappointed.

 

Are you active duty? I assume the military pays for your moves (we have never been active duty so I don’t know for sure). When you (or your spouse) deploy, you have a job to come back to, I assume. The deployments don’t hurt your career. I’m not saying it is easy to be active duty, but it is different than the reserves.

 

Only 25% of dh’s unit is deploying. No one needs to fill in for him-they could just pick someone else.

 

On another note, if anyone knows someone who was able to maintain their career in both the military and civilian world, we would love to talk to them. We literally know no one in that position.

I’m sorry you are going through this. We have good friends who doing both. He just spent the last two years commanding a battalion and as principal at a school. I’m pretty sure he only sleeps 3-4 hours per night. It is a lot of work but they have family in the same town and a lot of friends nearby too. He has only been deployed 3 times in the time I’ve known them (about 17 years) and two have been stateside which I think is easier. One was before kids and just a couple hours away.

 

Corrected typo.

Edited by Rach
Link to post
Share on other sites

Your family is in the reserve and moves that often? Genuinely curious because the handful of people I know in the reserve have never had to move.

 

As I said, DH is active duty. He has consistently had activated reservists working for him tho and their families, once the member is activated, are covered by the same benefits we receive (paid moves, etc.). Many people find, however, that active benefits are less generous than what they have when they are working AND receiving reserve pay on the side.

Edited by Sneezyone
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

<snip>

 

Only 25% of dh’s unit is deploying. No one needs to fill in for him-they could just pick someone else.

 

On another note, if anyone knows someone who was able to maintain their career in both the military and civilian world, we would love to talk to them. We literally know no one in that position.

 

They may not have the option to "just pick someone else" because of the new DoD regulation(s) regarding everyone being Deployable.

 

I like the idea of the possibility of him investigating if he can go into the Inactive Reserve component and trying to qualify for retirement benefits that way. That was a good suggestion upthread.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

It isn’t for everyone and it isn’t for us anymore. I’m not necessarily surprised, just disappointed.

 

Are you active duty? I assume the military pays for your moves (we have never been active duty so I don’t know for sure). When you (or your spouse) deploy, you have a job to come back to, I assume. The deployments don’t hurt your career. I’m not saying it is easy to be active duty, but it is different than the reserves.

 

Only 25% of dh’s unit is deploying. No one needs to fill in for him-they could just pick someone else.

 

On another note, if anyone knows someone who was able to maintain their career in both the military and civilian world, we would love to talk to them. We literally know no one in that position.

 

I'm sorry - that is tough.

 

My husband was in the Army National Guard for 16 years, then switched over to the Reserves when we moved to Europe (where there are no NG units). In the ARNG, it wasn't too tough to balance civilian life with his drills, schools, and deployments - they are required to hold your job for you. Three years ago he started working for the DoD as a civilian, and that is even easier. I mean, they simply have to find someone to fill in for him when he has to leave. He has had a tough time making his drill dates since we moved because his Reserve unit is a few hours' drive away and he's been on several work-related trips. He is hoping to get a spot in a Reserve unit much closer. 

 

I would just be very surprised if his civilian job kicked you guys out of housing while your dh is deployed. Wouldn't he still be technically employed by them, just on leave? Wouldn't he still qualify for housing? I would think they would accept your rent (via housing allowance) so you could stay put and your dh could jump right back into his job. I would triple-check that.

 

ETA: my husband says your husband should appeal it. He's never seen a unit that doesn't let someone out of a deployment due to financial hardship. He suggests going to JAG if he needs to escalate it. DH also said he could look at going into the guard, or take a 1-year sabbatical.

Edited by ondreeuh
  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

I am torn between being supportive (you & your dh sound burned out) and speaking from the other side of the fence, post-retirement.

 

First, the supportive: My dh retired a few years back after reaching 20+ years in the service. We met later in life & I was only part of the military life for the last 8 years of his service. It was tough even at that....when we moved right after his retirement, it was our 5th home in 6 years, so I get where you are coming from. And it does sound like your dh has a neat & interesting civilian job and those aren't easy to come by.

 

But....the other side. If not for the military pension (which isn't a ton, but it's a steady something that we will always be able to count on, and it has enabled me to stay home without worry) and - more importantly - health care coverage, life would be a lot tougher now & all our forseeable future years. Tougher than the situations you describe your husband as facing post-deployment if he does stay in. Our benefits now make all those years of sacrifice worth it.

 

The guaranteed pension & health care will make up the difference in your husband's lost pay over time. Only slightly more than 15% or so of servicemembers make it to retirement. And the military is changing the retirement system moving forward - your dh can still be grandfathered in to the current pension system.

 

As someone on the other side of retirement, watching friends and family struggle to gain or keep health care coverage and/or who worry about losing everything if their job moves overseas or layoffs come....I'm glad hubby & I stuck it out.

 

*Hugs* as you navigate through this difficult time.

 

 

Edited to add: dh was active duty, so our move expenses were covered. So perhaps our two situations are more different than similar. However, I do want to speak as someone who is on the other side, with deployments in the rear view mirror. The view is different from here.

 

 

 

Edited by Happy2BaMom
  • Like 7
Link to post
Share on other sites

He needs to talk to somebody higher in the chain of command. The local commander will hate that, but it often works. If he is working on a project with national security implications, I'm sure that something can be done to keep him on that project while picking somebody else in the unit for this deployment.

  • Like 9
Link to post
Share on other sites

Side note: the military is in a tough place and this repetitive-forced-deployment issue is going to get worse going forward. This society won't support a draft (biting my tongue about the same society also just loving to be big, bad-ass superpower of the world, with service members currently deployed in 150+ countries, and increased defense spending always seen as "good"), and up to 75% of today's young people don't qualify to serve (due to weight issues, drug history, etc.). 

 

The crunch between the need for soldiers & the lack of able-bodied people to serve is going to get intense. I used to think I wanted ds to do 20 years, due to long-term benefits, but I don't feel that way anymore. 

Edited by Happy2BaMom
  • Like 5
Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you should really evaluate the impact of giving up the medical and retirement. Civilian insurance easily runs $10k+ per year while military healthcare is a small fraction of that number. The pension is inflation adjusted which is another huge benefit.

 

My dh was active duty for four year and Reserves/guard for 8 years. He's currently on a stateside deployment. He won't voluntarily give up his military job. The benefits are just too important. Healthcare alone is priceless.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

Side note: the military is in a tough place and this repetitive-forced-deployment issue is going to get worse going forward. This society won't support a draft (biting my tongue about the same society also just loving to be big, bad-ass superpower of the world, with service members currently deployed in 150+ countries, and increased defense spending always seen as "good"), and up to 75% of today's young people don't qualify to serve (due to weight issues, drug history, etc.). 

 

The crunch between the need for soldiers & the lack of able-bodied people to serve is going to get intense. I used to think I wanted ds to do 20 years, due to long-term benefits, but I don't feel that way anymore. 

 

 

Side note, but I had no idea this was true. It seems like when I was in high school all the boys signed up. We lived in a military town. 

 

To the OP, hugs and prayers. What a tough situation. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with taking with a financial planner. Just the health care might be worth staying for, even though it doesn't kick in until 65. I'd look more into it.

 

ETA - This just stinks. Completely. Make sure he gets EVERY benefit set up before he leaves.

Edited by FriedClams
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks everyone for your support and ideas. I do feel very lucky that we are in a position to make this choice. It isn’t one we want to make and we are pursuing some options because obviously DH would rather retire, but I know we are lucky to not “need†to retire from the army if that is what ends up happening.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Is he an officer or a NCO? If he's an officer, is it possible for him to resign his commission but then enlist for some other unit? I'm not sure how exactly the whole officer-to-enlisted thing works but I do know that one major in DH's unit got passed over twice for promotion and then enlisted to make sure he got to 20 years.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Is he an officer or a NCO? If he's an officer, is it possible for him to resign his commission but then enlist for some other unit? I'm not sure how exactly the whole officer-to-enlisted thing works but I do know that one major in DH's unit got passed over twice for promotion and then enlisted to make sure he got to 20 years.

He is an NCO

Link to post
Share on other sites

Duuuude. You can do ANYTHING for a year. Are the moves really more expensive than retirement. I know it has to SUCK, but does he have a last push left?

I don’t really know where we would move. I guess I would eventually figure somewhere out if I had to. We just moved here-I haven’t even gotten the tags on my car changed yet (which is probably illegal so I shouldn’t be admitting it).

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...