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lovinmyboys

Dh is quitting the military after 19yrs

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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.

I guess I feel like we did all of that for 19 years. If Dh can’t get out of this deployment, it will all have been for nothing. He deployed four times. He was a first sergeant for 18 months, while working his full time civilian job. The last time he deployed we took a 25% pay cut. Twice he left when babies were less than 10 days old. Like, I understand it is hard. Dh did it for 19 years and we are going to get nothing for it. And, the army isn’t pushing him out, but he doesn’t feel like he has a choice. His civilian career is what pays our bills. I’m not sure what control he has in the situation-deploy and get retirement or keep his current civilian job. Not much of a choice. I guess I thought since he was a good soldier for 19 years they would be a little more understanding.

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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).

 

Can you stay put for the deployment duration?  Even if you move locally into a less expensive place?  

 

Honestly, after reading your follow-up replies, I would aggressively pursue the options to remain enlisted and NOT deploy.  Can his employer plead his case to higher ups?  Nothing is too crazy to try.  He's not bleeding resources from other units.  His unit HAS the staff.  Also, he's leaving.  I know they want someone who knows their stuff, but other people need to learn because he's out the door soon.  

 

I once dodged getting stationed in LA by simply signing in to the post where I WANTED to live.  It worked.  They needed my MOS and were willing to do the paperwork to keep me.  If it's stupid and it works, it ain't stupid! I'd view actual deployment as a last resort, but I'd do it.  I know this current civilian project sounds like an awesome opportunity, but projects end.  If the job is still there the opportunity for another great project is still there.

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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).

It's not illegal to have out of state tags. We are the United States, after all.

 

We've lived in a small apartment while DH was away for a year. In just a place where we were. If you have a job, live there. If you have family, live there. Otherwise just any safe place is a good place.

 

I'm sorry I just can not imagine giving up all that health insurance.

Edited by OKBud
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Can you stay put for the deployment duration? Even if you move locally into a less expensive place?

 

Honestly, after reading your follow-up replies, I would aggressively pursue the options to remain enlisted and NOT deploy. Can his employer plead his case to higher ups? Nothing is too crazy to try. He's not bleeding resources from other units. His unit HAS the staff. Also, he's leaving. I know they want someone who knows their stuff, but other people need to learn because he's out the door soon.

 

I once dodged getting stationed in LA by simply signing in to the post where I WANTED to live. It worked. They needed my MOS and were willing to do the paperwork to keep me. If it's stupid and it works, it ain't stupid! I'd view actual deployment as a last resort, but I'd do it. I know this current civilian project sounds like an awesome opportunity, but projects end. If the job is still there the opportunity for another great project is still there.

He is working on getting out of the deployment and staying in. I think they are trying to call his bluff, thinking he won’t ETS at 19 years-but he isn’t bluffing. His boss wrote a letter and the army basically said everyone in the reserves has an important civilian job. So his boss is asking his boss to write a letter.

 

One of his superiors said he knows of an IMA job he could maybe get (I don’t even know exactly what that is, but the superior said he would work that angle because he agrees Dh shouldn’t have to deploy right now).

 

Dh is also looking into transfering to the IRR. They have sort of threatened to just pull him up from that for the deployment though.

 

The truth is it is very hard to do well in your career and also be a senior NCO. They just emailed him the other day and wanted to put him on orders to do something. He is out of the country at that time for his civilian job. And the army just doesn’t take no for an answer (which I get, but Dh can’t just go on orders at the drop of a hat right now). But, he made it work for 19 years-I wish he could do it for one more.

 

We could move to a cheaper place here if he deploys, but he won’t have a job here when he gets back, so there doesn’t really seem to be a point to doing that. We like living here, but we really just moved here so we don’t have a big support network or anything.

 

Sorry. I know I am sounding really grouchy.

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It's not illegal to have out of state tags. We are the United States, after all.

 

We've lived in a small apartment while DH was away for a year. In just a place where we were. If you have a job, live there. If you have family, live there. Otherwise just any safe place is a good place.

 

I'm sorry I just can not imagine giving up all that health insurance.

Right, we could move back to where we just moved from or we could move near my family. Or we could try to find a cheaper zip code around here. We do have options. They just all seem so pointless-other than they keep a roof over our heads which is probably a good point.

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After all that griping, I do want to say that the military experience hasn’t been all bad. I do have some fond memories of dh’s deployments. Sometimes it is nice being the only adult in the house 😀. Last time he was deployed we would all get in my bed and watch an episode of Full House then read books every night and it is a really good memory for me-ending almost every day snuggling with my kiddos.

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After all that griping, I do want to say that the military experience hasn’t been all bad. I do have some fond memories of dh’s deployments. Sometimes it is nice being the only adult in the house 😀. Last time he was deployed we would all get in my bed and watch an episode of Full House then read books every night and it is a really good memory for me-ending almost every day snuggling with my kiddos.

That IS a sweet memory! I started ‘Friday night movie night’ when my DH was deployed. The DC would bring all of their blankies, pillows, and stuffies into the living room and we’d sit together on the floor with all the stuff and watch a movie. They were little and thought it was really special. I was exhausted and thought it was special too. 😄

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After all that griping, I do want to say that the military experience hasn’t been all bad. I do have some fond memories of dh’s deployments. Sometimes it is nice being the only adult in the house 😀. Last time he was deployed we would all get in my bed and watch an episode of Full House then read books every night and it is a really good memory for me-ending almost every day snuggling with my kiddos.

 

We have dance parties where we turn the music up ridiculously loud, sing at the top of our lungs, and gorge on delivered pizza, soda and cookies. I do hope you can find a way to stick it out. The long-term advantages (pay and health care benefits) are worth it IMO.

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... Dh did it for 19 years and we are going to get nothing for it... 

 

My dad is retired from the service, and given the level of military-related disabilities he was experiencing at the time it's clear they were helping him get to his 20. I get that you have a lot going on in your mind right now, but you really might want to be cold and calculating and make sure you really understand what you're giving up. That 1 year could be a HUGE difference. 

 

And as a total aside, when you're retired or active duty, you can stay at Shades of Green and buy discounted Disney tickets from them. Have you been to Disney? Get in his 20, get resettled when he comes back, then go to Disney. It wouldn't be a nothing. It's so many things like this that add up. If you haven't been to Disney, maybe plan a trip while he's gone. They treat you like kings and queens while you're there. You can get a room for $135, add on the breakfast buffet, and you're right out the door from Disney, premium resort.

 

I would try to get there, to the 20. Don't let that slip away from you when you're THIS CLOSE. 

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My dad is retired from the service, and given the level of military-related disabilities he was experiencing at the time it's clear they were helping him get to his 20. I get that you have a lot going on in your mind right now, but you really might want to be cold and calculating and make sure you really understand what you're giving up. That 1 year could be a HUGE difference.

 

And as a total aside, when you're retired or active duty, you can stay at Shades of Green and buy discounted Disney tickets from them. Have you been to Disney? Get in his 20, get resettled when he comes back, then go to Disney. It wouldn't be a nothing. It's so many things like this that add up. If you haven't been to Disney, maybe plan a trip while he's gone. They treat you like kings and queens while you're there. You can get a room for $135, add on the breakfast buffet, and you're right out the door from Disney, premium resort.

 

I would try to get there, to the 20. Don't let that slip away from you when you're THIS CLOSE.

We actually just got back from Disney (didn’t stay at shades of green though) and giving up the military discount to Disney was the first thing I thought of when he told me he was going to quit. This means no more Disney...and they are opening up the new Star Wars world next year.

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The support everyone talks about?  We really saw it when DH was active duty.  It amazed me to be honest.

 

That said?  My brother was National Guard.  In my opinion?  Military Reserves and National Guard is so much harder on everyone - the person serving and his/her family.  My ds is planning on going Army and we've heavily advised him to go full time.

 

I am so sorry that your family is kind of "in the gap" between civilian life and military life.  It's hard because it puts you in this semi-unique niche that's hard for others to relate because it's a different experience than their own.

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IMA jobs are good, usually they are positions where you can be activated to back fill for active duty folks when they deploy.

 

I think it stands for individual mobilization augmentee.

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We are AD, but in a similar position. We thought we'd retire out of here (shore duty) in an area with plentiful jobs and contacts where my husband job directly translates to a civilian position. Instead, at 19, we are going to a sea duty tour in the middle of nowhere and may need to take an additional tour after that to get back into a good place to retire out of. It's not ideal, to say the least.

 

That said, I agree with the pp who said you can do most anything for a year. I would just find a way to hunker down and do it. I can't see any financial way that a year or even two of reduced pay would be more $$$ lost than giving up the future benefits.

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We are AD, but in a similar position. We thought we'd retire out of here (shore duty) in an area with plentiful jobs and contacts where my husband job directly translates to a civilian position. Instead, at 19, we are going to a sea duty tour in the middle of nowhere and may need to take an additional tour after that to get back into a good place to retire out of. It's not ideal, to say the least.

 

That said, I agree with the pp who said you can do most anything for a year. I would just find a way to hunker down and do it. I can't see any financial way that a year or even two of reduced pay would be more $$$ lost than giving up the future benefits.

I’m sorry that is happening to you too. I know we aren’t the only ones, but it is still hard.

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The retirement benefits are worth jumping through every hoop you need too. Yes it sucks, but with only one year left to reach them it’s worth it.

 

If you were 3+ years out I’d think differently.

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The support everyone talks about? We really saw it when DH was active duty. It amazed me to be honest.

 

That said? My brother was National Guard. In my opinion? Military Reserves and National Guard is so much harder on everyone - the person serving and his/her family. My ds is planning on going Army and we've heavily advised him to go full time.

 

I am so sorry that your family is kind of "in the gap" between civilian life and military life. It's hard because it puts you in this semi-unique niche that's hard for others to relate because it's a different experience than their own.

Thanks. This is how I feel. I think army reserve works well for some people-especially at the beginning. Dh enlisted when he was 17. He got his college paid for (of course he didn’t graduate until 24 because he was deployed 18 months of college) but that was all fine. There is much less support for families of reservists for sure. Often that is just logistics-this is the first time Dh has drilled in the same city where we live.

 

It wasn’t until Dh had been in the army longer that it got so difficult to manage. Really, some of these jobs shouldn’t be reservist jobs. If it can’t be done in less than ~50 hours a month, I don’t know why they have them as reservist jobs.

 

I think what really bugs me about the whole thing is how utterly unhelpful his superiors are about the whole thing. Like, they know what his work project is. They know he isn’t going to give that up (and I seriously doubt they would either). They know his family would have to move. And they basically were just like “too bad.†And I know that is how the army works, but I still would like to feel like the army cares about soldiers a little bit.

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As others have said, it's the long term benefits that will be worth staying in for. My dh is retired and while the pension is nice, now that we are in our 50s it's becoming more obvious how important the life insurance and health insurance are going to be as we age. Shopping around for those at this age is not fun. I didn't truly understand all our benefits when he retired and we were so young. Now with kids entering university and us getting older I look at things in a whole new light.  

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Thanks. This is how I feel. I think army reserve works well for some people-especially at the beginning. Dh enlisted when he was 17. He got his college paid for (of course he didn’t graduate until 24 because he was deployed 18 months of college) but that was all fine. There is much less support for families of reservists for sure. Often that is just logistics-this is the first time Dh has drilled in the same city where we live.

 

It wasn’t until Dh had been in the army longer that it got so difficult to manage. Really, some of these jobs shouldn’t be reservist jobs. If it can’t be done in less than ~50 hours a month, I don’t know why they have them as reservist jobs.

 

I think what really bugs me about the whole thing is how utterly unhelpful his superiors are about the whole thing. Like, they know what his work project is. They know he isn’t going to give that up (and I seriously doubt they would either). They know his family would have to move. And they basically were just like “too bad.†And I know that is how the army works, but I still would like to feel like the army cares about soldiers a little bit.

 

That's poor leadership. At this moment, you & your husband need encouragement to just keep going a little longer. It amazes me that seemingly so few leaders understand that a pat on the back will often get them 150% more than a slap across the face.

 

Sorry that you are experiencing the latter.

Edited by Happy2BaMom

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I understand he really doesn't want to give up his current work project. Really doesn't want to.

 

But he is about 36 years old, right? He has so many years of civilian work ahead of him.

 

At 50, DH's work is in a much different and better place than it was 14 years ago. About 15 years ago, he was transferred to a different department, that he HATED, because his company was bought by a competitor, who changed the organizational structure. He endured that horrible job for two miserable years before he found his current job with a different company.

 

My point is that DH couldn't have forseen then what he is doing now. And what seemed horrible at the time was a stepping stone to something that would be better, far into the future.

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Throughout our 20 active duty years we have contemplated getting out. At the 8 year mark, 10 year, 12 year, and then 17 year when they opened up early retirement options for certain MOS's. DH has deployed 5 times, has been gone for training multiple times for 2-3 months, and one tour had to work 3 weekends out of every month and was never home to see his kid in the evening. By 17 I had had enough, didn't want to move away from where we were stationed, and so we did a full evaluation of the monetary benefits of staying in vs getting out. Even with early retirement an option it wasn't even close - staying in was SO much better monetarily. And that was even with health care benefits included. I could not IMAGINE getting out without the pension at 19 years. At the very minimum that is around 1000-1500 per month for a pension, (just with a cursory look st pay tables) plus if dh has any disability rating (mine is suspecting he will be at 30%) that's another chunk of money as well. And health insurance, commissary benefits, etc. Just a few years of the pension would make up the money lost while deployed, and then after that you still have the pension for life, and half of that if he should pass away first. We have an amazing pension system!

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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.

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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.

 

+1 and Amen

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Uh, technically even with the benefits my dad has (and we're talking farther back, really good), he's still paying into medicare. I was surprised, because I figured he wouldn't have to. It's not a terrible amount. I didn't supervise that, say maybe he's being charged incorrectly. He was told he had to sign up, so he did.

 

He gets his care through the VA system, but with the private care changes they're trying to bring I imagine the flexibility will make it even more valuable to retirees, because it will be easier to access.

 

And remember, retirement benefits aren't just for now. They continue for you if/when your dh passes... You really want to think strategically.

Edited by PeterPan
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After hearing what my parents are paying for medicare benefits....stay in that extra year. 

 

Agreeing.

 

OP, I understand what you are saying, however, I do worry there will be regret.  

 

The same is true in my job.....work 20 years and get health benefits.  

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I think you should look at other options than quitting at 19 years.

 

Is it possible to defer deployment till after the civilian project is done?

 

 

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He is only 36-ish?

 

Yeah, plenty of civilian employment years ahead.

 

Get that retirement, it will be worth the extra year of sacrifice.

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I guess I feel like we did all of that for 19 years. If Dh can’t get out of this deployment, it will all have been for nothing. He deployed four times. He was a first sergeant for 18 months, while working his full time civilian job. The last time he deployed we took a 25% pay cut. Twice he left when babies were less than 10 days old. Like, I understand it is hard. Dh did it for 19 years and we are going to get nothing for it. And, the army isn’t pushing him out, but he doesn’t feel like he has a choice. His civilian career is what pays our bills. I’m not sure what control he has in the situation-deploy and get retirement or keep his current civilian job. Not much of a choice. I guess I thought since he was a good soldier for 19 years they would be a little more understanding.

 

 

It sounds like an excellent choice to have.  Could be he were dealing with being out of work entirely, or disabled or other such. But there are actually 2 good options, with no crystal ball for the future that either will bring.

 

To me the option of deploy a last time and get retirement sounds far more sensible, logically and financially.  But we have no way to know if he'd end up driving over a landmine during deployment, in which case you'll have wished the opposite.  OTOH, he might get into a car accident on the way to civilian job.

 

I agree that most civilian jobs (unless maybe a tenured university teaching position) offer no particular security, so I'd not count on it panning out for the wonderful 2 year stint it now sounds like it will be.

Edited by Pen

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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.

I think he thinks this project is much more of a resume builder than deploying once again, but I understand what you are saying.

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It sounds like an excellent choice to have. Could be he were dealing with being out of work entirely, or disabled or other such. But there are actually 2 good options, with no crystal ball for the future that either will bring.

 

To me the option of deploy a last time and get retirement sounds far more sensible, logically and financially. But we have no way to know if he'd end up driving over a landmine during deployment, in which case you'll have wished the opposite. OTOH, he might get into a car accident on the way to civilian job.

 

I agree that most civilian jobs (unless maybe a tenured university teaching position) offer no particular security, so I'd not count on it panning out for the wonderful 2 year stint it now sounds like it will be.

You are right. We are lucky to have two good choices.

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 Just a few years of the pension would make up the money lost while deployed, and then after that you still have the pension for life, and half of that if he should pass away first. We have an amazing pension system!

 

You only get that if you opt to pay for it out of the pension for 30 yrs or until he dies. It's not a free benefit, and IMO, kind of expensive. We aren't sure we'll take it. 

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I don't know a ton about the military, but my impression has been that rather than instate a draft while we are at war (and have been for basically 16 straight years), they're using reservists and national guard troops more, and that many of these soldiers were misled at enlistment about the commitment that would be necessary (although if your DH signed up before 2001, I don't know how even his recruiters could have anticipated it).  Sucks.

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I've only known two men that were wanting to retire at the 20 year mark and both of them were required to complete one more deployment just before retirement.  Both families just stayed in the same location when the dh deployed.  I'm wondering if that is a way to make people rethink retirement and either stay longer or get out before they get the benefit of 20 years.

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This really is a hard situation. If your husband resigns now he will give up a goal that mattered a great deal to him, and also give up valuable retirement benefits. But he can still be very proud (as you can be) of his dedication and of the years he served. And it sounds like he can be very proud of his civilian job too.

 

If he feels he has to resign, try not to end on a bitter note. The decision makers here aren’t in a position to say, “Yeah, your civilian job is more important that the other reservists’ job. The inconvenience to your family matters more than the other reservists’ situation.â€

 

They make assignments based on their assessment of the needs of the unit. They may well want the best solider with a good deal of experiences and training. That makes good sense to me.

 

He can resign, but he will feel better in the long run is he does it from a position of strength. He can choose resignation, but it wasn’t forced on him. He made choices that make deployment inconvenient, but he probably knew that deployment would be a possibility - he signed up for that. He hoped it wouldn’t happen before his 20 years were up, but it has. Now he is in a tough situation and has a choice to make. How hard for all of you.

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:grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:

He chose family. What your DH and your are going through brings tears to my eyes. I can't imagine how frustrating and disappointing that must be to him.

He can follow his heart. You didn't really ask for advice, you just needed to vent.  :grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug: Thank you for holding down the family fort and thank you to him for his service.

 

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This really is a hard situation. If your husband resigns now he will give up a goal that mattered a great deal to him, and also give up valuable retirement benefits. But he can still be very proud (as you can be) of his dedication and of the years he served. And it sounds like he can be very proud of his civilian job too.

 

If he feels he has to resign, try not to end on a bitter note. The decision makers here aren’t in a position to say, “Yeah, your civilian job is more important that the other reservists’ job. The inconvenience to your family matters more than the other reservists’ situation.â€

 

They make assignments based on their assessment of the needs of the unit. They may well want the best solider with a good deal of experiences and training. That makes good sense to me.

 

He can resign, but he will feel better in the long run is he does it from a position of strength. He can choose resignation, but it wasn’t forced on him. He made choices that make deployment inconvenient, but he probably knew that deployment would be a possibility - he signed up for that. He hoped it wouldn’t happen before his 20 years were up, but it has. Now he is in a tough situation and has a choice to make. How hard for all of you.

I think I wouldn’t care so much, but they lie and say they care about soldiers and families and in fact, they don’t. If they would just say-the needs of the army come before anything else-I would be ok with that. Instead, they pretend to care, and they actually don’t. What they mean by “care†is that they higher a Santa Claus once a year to give the kids candy canes.

 

I also, as a policy issue, have a problem with reservists deploying every three years when we aren’t at war (or maybe we are). I get it when we had 100,000 troops in Afghanistan/Iraq. Dh just got home from a 15mos deployment two years ago (when we also weren’t at war). I realize this is how the army is operating right now, but it doesn’t really seem like a sustainable way to run a reserve force.

 

Dh is quitting if he isn’t able to transfer out of the unit, so somebody is going in his place no matter what.

 

No one is bitter-it is just usually (always?) sad when your dream dies.

 

ETA: I am a little bitter that we will get no benefits even though Dh deployed 4 times for a total of 5 years (including the pre deployment mobilization). In my dream world, that would be compensated in some way. I totally understand that isn’t how it works, but it would be nice 😀. I realize it is our choice to forgo those benefits. Dh isn’t bitter at all (he doesn’t get worked up about life or health insurance) but he would never recommend the army reserves-go all in or don’t do it at all.

Edited by lovinmyboys

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Things will be very different in terms of retirement for future members. The 20 yr cliff vesting system is essentially gone with fewer benefits guaranteed. People who enter/leave without reaching 20 today will be able to take something with them.

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Can he call the National Guard for his state and talk to someone about switching from Reserves to Guard? I don’t know if that is possible but it would be worth exploring as a potential option

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Can he call the National Guard for his state and talk to someone about switching from Reserves to Guard? I don’t know if that is possible but it would be worth exploring as a potential option

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

There is a slight possibility that could happen.  It is something for the DH of the OP to check out. Back in the "olden days" there was a guy in my barracks (USAF) who had gotten out of the Canadian Army (?), was in USAF and he was getting out of the USAF to go into the U.S. Army, to become a Helicopter Pilot. I had NO idea anything like that was possible until I met him...   To go from USAR to National Guard seems like an easier transition.

 

The USA IS at war, our longest war,  and the troops, all of them, and their families, active duty and reserve, are worn out from repeated deployments.  Couple that with horrible readiness (half or more of the aircraft cannot fly, for one example) and it is stressing everyone in the military. 

 

And in the case of the U.S. Army, recently, they lowered the Physical and Mental standards required for recruits, because they are trying to grow the size of the Army.

 

All of the above puts huge stresses on everyone in the military.

 

OP: Please thank your DH for his service!

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I think I wouldn’t care so much, but they lie and say they care about soldiers and families and in fact, they don’t. If they would just say-the needs of the army come before anything else-I would be ok with that. Instead, they pretend to care, and they actually don’t. What they mean by “care†is that they higher a Santa Claus once a year to give the kids candy canes.

 

I also, as a policy issue, have a problem with reservists deploying every three years when we aren’t at war (or maybe we are). I get it when we had 100,000 troops in Afghanistan/Iraq. Dh just got home from a 15mos deployment two years ago (when we also weren’t at war). I realize this is how the army is operating right now, but it doesn’t really seem like a sustainable way to run a reserve force.

 

Dh is quitting if he isn’t able to transfer out of the unit, so somebody is going in his place no matter what.

 

No one is bitter-it is just usually (always?) sad when your dream dies.

 

ETA: I am a little bitter that we will get no benefits even though Dh deployed 4 times for a total of 5 years (including the pre deployment mobilization). In my dream world, that would be compensated in some way. I totally understand that isn’t how it works, but it would be nice 😀. I realize it is our choice to forgo those benefits. Dh isn’t bitter at all (he doesn’t get worked up about life or health insurance) but he would never recommend the army reserves-go all in or don’t do it at all.

 

 

I also want to add my thanks to your husband for his service (and your family too).

 

I find your ETA interesting since my teen ds is interested in going into a military career.  I'm not sure I understand how the "all in" versus reserves would have helped--could you explain?

 

It is hard for my ds to think through what might affect him for life when he is only a teen with an unfinished prefrontal cortex. Things like retirement, and health insurance, and other such have little meaning for someone who is young and has not faced any serious illness. thinking through how one could balance a cilvilian job and a reserve position has also not been considered realistically.

 

On the suggestion of National Guard for your dh, it seems worth checking, but a person I know whose son did a combo of air force and N.G. said they were having trouble getting the two services time to be added together toward retirement-- in part due to state budget nature of the NG and in part bec. NG does not offer benefits to start till age 60, and also because its time is not accrued except for when active.... (as I understood it).  OTOH another person I know is doing an active service desk job for army as part of his time, and maybe something like that could be worked out in a way that would still allow your ds to participate in his civilian job.  My guess is that deployment toward the end of 20 year service is common though.

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I also want to add my thanks to your husband for his service (and your family too).

 

I find your ETA interesting since my teen ds is interested in going into a military career. I'm not sure I understand how the "all in" versus reserves would have helped--could you explain?

 

It is hard for my ds to think through what might affect him for life when he is only a teen with an unfinished prefrontal cortex. Things like retirement, and health insurance, and other such have little meaning for someone who is young and has not faced any serious illness. thinking through how one could balance a cilvilian job and a reserve position has also not been considered realistically.

 

On the suggestion of National Guard for your dh, it seems worth checking, but a person I know whose son did a combo of air force and N.G. said they were having trouble getting the two services time to be added together toward retirement-- in part due to state budget nature of the NG and in part bec. NG does not offer benefits to start till age 60, and also because its time is not accrued except for when active.... (as I understood it). OTOH another person I know is doing an active service desk job for army as part of his time, and maybe something like that could be worked out in a way that would still allow your ds to participate in his civilian job. My guess is that deployment toward the end of 20 year service is common though.

I think the reserves can work if you know that no matter what the army comes first. It worked fine for Dh probably the first 12 years, but the last several have been much harder. As you advance in the military, they expect a lot more time from you (in dh’s experience-it has been a long time since he has done “one weekend a month and two weeks a year†even in years he hasn’t deployed). At the same time, as he was advancing in the army, he was advancing in his civilian career. He has, at times, honestly been doing two full time jobs and it gets hard to sustain.

 

I think Dh felt like the work he did for the army was a real resume builder and gave him more opportunities than he would have had otherwise. They also paid for his college, which is obviously very valuable. But, over the last 5-7 years, it has been harder. People in the army don’t want to pick up his slack (as people in this thread have pointed out) and people in his civilian job don’t want to pick up his slack (or are too busy to/not trained to) from when he is at the army.

 

It is probably better than I am making it out to be. Dh loves his career (so the army hasn’t ruined it), but he is always aware that the army comes first even though his civilian career pays the bills-and I think there is tension because of that in his civilian job.

 

As far as benefits, I have heard they are changing things, but from what I know, Dh will get his retirement benefits starting at age 62 minus the number of years he was on active duty (so around 57/58).

 

Disclaimer: this is my impression from what he has said. If he were writing this, it may be different. Other people maybe have more positive experiences doing a full 20 years in the reserves.

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I also want to add my thanks to your husband for his service (and your family too).

 

I find your ETA interesting since my teen ds is interested in going into a military career. I'm not sure I understand how the "all in" versus reserves would have helped--could you explain?

 

It is hard for my ds to think through what might affect him for life when he is only a teen with an unfinished prefrontal cortex. Things like retirement, and health insurance, and other such have little meaning for someone who is young and has not faced any serious illness. thinking through how one could balance a cilvilian job and a reserve position has also not been considered realistically.

 

On the suggestion of National Guard for your dh, it seems worth checking, but a person I know whose son did a combo of air force and N.G. said they were having trouble getting the two services time to be added together toward retirement-- in part due to state budget nature of the NG and in part bec. NG does not offer benefits to start till age 60, and also because its time is not accrued except for when active.... (as I understood it). OTOH another person I know is doing an active service desk job for army as part of his time, and maybe something like that could be worked out in a way that would still allow your ds to participate in his civilian job. My guess is that deployment toward the end of 20 year service is common though.

This is not accurate. Every member accrues time while on active status and while drilling. My dh has been active duty Air Force, Air Force Reserves, and air national guard. Right now he's on a stateside deployment with the air national guard. He hasn't had issues moving between the three, and in fact, having the varied experience is favorable for his military career.

 

We view his military career as a non-negotiable, so we structure his civilian employment with that in mind. We are seriously considering dh to be a FT air national guard member because the pay and benefits are so good. He has taken lower pay civilian work so he can keep flexibility with his military career, and we plan to continue that path until he reaches retirement age.

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This is not accurate. Every member accrues time while on active status and while drilling. My dh has been active duty Air Force, Air Force Reserves, and air national guard. Right now he's on a stateside deployment with the air national guard. He hasn't had issues moving between the three, and in fact, having the varied experience is favorable for his military career.

 

We view his military career as a non-negotiable, so we structure his civilian employment with that in mind. We are seriously considering dh to be a FT air national guard member because the pay and benefits are so good. He has taken lower pay civilian work so he can keep flexibility with his military career, and we plan to continue that path until he reaches retirement age.

 

 

Could it be that  Air National Guard retirement works differently than army national guard? Or that it depends on the years and the laws at different times?

 

I believe the person who told me her son was having a problem finishing up in his early 40's when they thought his 20 years had been done with a combo of army NG and active USAF was telling me the reality of what they are experiencing.

 

I find it very confusing. Reading the link below, I am not really clear on how someone in military service such as OP's dh with a good bit of it being reserves between active deployments would be able to get retirement benefits at the 20 calendar year stage (even if he stayed in for the last calendar year on an active deployment).  ?????  https://ec.militarytimes.com/guard-reserve-handbook/retirement/basic-plans/

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I also want to add my thanks to your husband for his service (and your family too).

 

I find your ETA interesting since my teen ds is interested in going into a military career. I'm not sure I understand how the "all in" versus reserves would have helped--could you explain?

 

It is hard for my ds to think through what might affect him for life when he is only a teen with an unfinished prefrontal cortex. Things like retirement, and health insurance, and other such have little meaning for someone who is young and has not faced any serious illness. thinking through how one could balance a cilvilian job and a reserve position has also not been considered realistically.

 

On the suggestion of National Guard for your dh, it seems worth checking, but a person I know whose son did a combo of air force and N.G. said they were having trouble getting the two services time to be added together toward retirement-- in part due to state budget nature of the NG and in part bec. NG does not offer benefits to start till age 60, and also because its time is not accrued except for when active.... (as I understood it). OTOH another person I know is doing an active service desk job for army as part of his time, and maybe something like that could be worked out in a way that would still allow your ds to participate in his civilian job. My guess is that deployment toward the end of 20 year service is common though.

I would encourage your DS to research the different branches and to consider if he wants Full Time military (active duty) or reserve (has another full time career). If he’s really interested in serving in the military as his career, he could seek out colleges with an ROTC program. There’s a big difference in pay from going through ROTC and signing on as an officer vs. walking in a recruiter’s office at age 18 and signing up. For comparison, look at the pay chart available online and compare 1LT vs Pvt (Army).

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I would encourage your DS to research the different branches and to consider if he wants Full Time military (active duty) or reserve (has another full time career). If he’s really interested in serving in the military as his career, he could seek out colleges with an ROTC program. There’s a big difference in pay from going through ROTC and signing on as an officer vs. walking in a recruiter’s office at age 18 and signing up. For comparison, look at the pay chart available online and compare 1LT vs Pvt (Army).

 

Some of the other ROTC cadets in my DH's program did Reserves or Guard while in college and they got a higher pay after commissioning than my DH. One of them was a smokejumper so he fought fires with the Guard as his summer job and then just did weekend training during the school year. I'm glad DH didn't choose to do that but God bless those brave men and women who are willing to put their lives on the line to fight forest fires.

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I also want to add my thanks to your husband for his service (and your family too).

 

I find your ETA interesting since my teen ds is interested in going into a military career. I'm not sure I understand how the "all in" versus reserves would have helped--could you explain?

 

It is hard for my ds to think through what might affect him for life when he is only a teen with an unfinished prefrontal cortex. Things like retirement, and health insurance, and other such have little meaning for someone who is young and has not faced any serious illness. thinking through how one could balance a cilvilian job and a reserve position has also not been considered realistically.

 

On the suggestion of National Guard for your dh, it seems worth checking, but a person I know whose son did a combo of air force and N.G. said they were having trouble getting the two services time to be added together toward retirement-- in part due to state budget nature of the NG and in part bec. NG does not offer benefits to start till age 60, and also because its time is not accrued except for when active.... (as I understood it). OTOH another person I know is doing an active service desk job for army as part of his time, and maybe something like that could be worked out in a way that would still allow your ds to participate in his civilian job. My guess is that deployment toward the end of 20 year service is common though.

This is not accurate. Every member accrues time while on active status and while drilling. My dh has been active duty Air Force, Air Force Reserves, and air national guard. Right now he's on a stateside deployment with the air national guard. He hasn't had issues moving between the three, and in fact, having the varied experience is favorable for his military career.

 

We view his military career as a non-negotiable, so we structure his civilian employment with that in mind. We are seriously considering dh to be a FT air national guard member because the pay and benefits are so good. He has taken lower pay civilian work so he can keep flexibility with his military career, and we plan to continue that path until he reaches retirement age.

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This is not accurate. Every member accrues time while on active status and while drilling. My dh has been active duty Air Force, Air Force Reserves, and air national guard. Right now he's on a stateside deployment with the air national guard. He hasn't had issues moving between the three, and in fact, having the varied experience is favorable for his military career.

 

We view his military career as a non-negotiable, so we structure his civilian employment with that in mind. We are seriously considering dh to be a FT air national guard member because the pay and benefits are so good. He has taken lower pay civilian work so he can keep flexibility with his military career, and we plan to continue that path until he reaches retirement age.

 

 

Did you repost the exact same reply now as yesterday?

 

 

Still, after thinking about it more, I am thinking that the issue that the person I met told me about her son and retirement from active air force + army Nat Guard not working as the family had expected / hoped is probably because the active USAF at 20 years would give retirement benefits that would start at that time, not waiting till 50something. While the reserves would be a delayed retirement package. Or at least that is what I now think.

 

 

 

----------------

 

I still think that while I and others were writing that it seems to make more sense logically and financially for OP's husband to stick out the last year and get his 20 for military retirement, that if that is calendar years, that may be a sense based on an inaccurate sense of when he'd actually be eligible for military retirement benefits.

 

If he had, say, 8 years in active deployment, and some years when he did 50 hours of reserve work to count as a "year" toward retirement benefits, but also some years when he only drilled one weekend per month while in reserve, it might be that the "20 years" would be farther away than just one calendar year.  And that might make his decision to leave after 19yrs more sensible, if it is not just one more calendar year needed, but perhaps several calendar years still needed.

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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.

 

I'm sorry for your frustrations but we absolutely are at war. We have soldiers fighting in several places. Today. 

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