This one has little to do with where I’ve been and everything to do with where I’m going. I’m very behind on posting about our adventures around Europe, but hopefully this will help you understand why and where my mind has been lately. Plus, I really just need to process some stuff and writing helps me with that. If you’re not interested, I totally understand. Feel free to go check out any of my other posts instead!
I set my dominoes up in a nice, neat row. I did everything I was supposed to and I got selected for a job that would not only provide me with the opportunity to promote within the military, but it would set me up for success outside. I was ready to work in an environment where I would be respected, where my education would be valued, and where the things I thought I was good at would get put to use.
And then because somebody overlooked my DEROS (Date of Expected Return from Overseas) it got taken from me. After I had already reenlisted for the required five years. After I had been given a spot in school. After I had told my family what (I thought) my future held. After my work submitted my PCS award and my final NCOER. After I had my heart set on doing the job I though was perfect for me the Army told me to “reapply next year”.
Just so you understand why I’m so frustrated, let me give you a little timeline:
August 2015 – I found out about the 51C (acquisition, logistics and technology NCO) MOS, Started putting a packet together
October 2015 – Submitted my packet
December 2015 – A board was held to decide who would be accepted into the 51C MOS
February 2016 – I got a letter of acceptance! Out of 135 applicants, I was one of the 8 they selected
February 2016 – I got slotted for a spot in school in August
April 2016 – I reenlist for the 5 years time that is required to transfer to my new MOS
March – June 2016 – With no assignment orders for where I am supposed to go after school I start making phone calls and emails. I need orders to start out-processing and to make preparations for my family to move.
June 2016 – I get told “Oops! We didn’t notice your DEROS was December 2017! Your reclass is now annulled. You can reapply in December”. I panic. I cry. I wonder what the hell I’m supposed to do for the next five years if I don’t get reselected?!
I was heartbroken, outraged, frustrated, disappointed and I felt helpless. At least my chain of command supported me and tried to help me get a new school date before my letter of acceptance expired. Paperwork for a curtailment (to make my DEROS closer) went through in record time. I was elated. Things were starting to work in my favor, at least now I knew I would be leaving Germany sooner rather than later. Now we just needed to find a school date close to my new DEROS.
I sent emails, I talked to my schools NCO, I talked to my branch manager, I talked to retention and I waited… and waited… and waited. I sent more emails and made more calls and was told to wait some more.
I prayed to God that if it was his will, he give me a school date, or at least let me know if this just wasn’t meant to be. You guys. I’m exhausted. For a year now I’ve been wondering where I will go next. For a year I have been waiting to find out what will happen to me. I get super excited when things look like they’re progressing and then come crashing down because my dreams just keep seeming to get taken away right when they were so close.
At least once a week friends, family, coworkers are asking me if I know where I’ll be going next or if I know anything else about my next assignment, or when I will know, or can’t I call so-and-so to ask? I. Don’t. Know. I’ve asked everybody. I feel like I literally have no control over my destiny. All I can do is continue to pray for a school date.
Finally we arrive at yesterday morning. I have two emails in my inbox. One from the 51C branch that basically boils down to “there aren’t any available school dates near your new DEROS, better luck next year!” and one from the Department of the Army saying I do have a school date… in February… to Drill Sergeant School!? What. The actual. F***.
So on one hand, I got an answer to prayer. On the other, I repeat, what the actual f***.
Should I keep trying to get a new school date for 51C school? Should I just accept that this is my destiny whether I like it or not? I don’t know. Drill Sergeant Stokes sounds pretty bad-ass and I’d look really good in that bushmaster hat, but have they met me? I’d be the worst drill sergeant ever!
I really, really want to be a 51C, but I also really, really just want to know what I’m doing next. I don’t know. There’s a comment section below. Seriously, if you know what I should do, please tell me.
I do have faith that whatever is meant to be will happen. I know God will take care of me and send me where I am most needed. I know that I can accomplish what I need to and succeed if I do have to go to Drill Sergeant School. I just really hadn’t planned on this one. I think I need a hug.