Thursday, October 28, 2010

How we got orders to Korea

Many people have asked how we ended up with orders to Osan AB, South Korea- and why we are choosing to go over Non-Command Sponsored.  So, I'll start from the beginning.

When Marshall and I got married (which was shortly after he had joined the Air Force), we discussed things we wanted to do and places we wanted to go over his Air Force career.  He has always known that he wants to be a career Airman, which means that we would be PCSing (Permanent Change of Station) every 3 or 4 years typically.  Once we looked at the bases that actually have his job, there were a few that stuck out in my mind as places that I really DON'T want to go....like Offutt (Nebraska), or Beale (California).  Now, I am a very open-minded person, so I know I could make the best of any situation no matter where we end up stationed.  But, when we saw places on the list like Germany, Italy, England, etc...and CONUS (Continental United States) bases in Ohio, Virginia, or Florida...those seemed much more appealing for various reasons.

One of the attributes that Marshall and I both share is that we are both Do-ers.  We want to Go.  Do.  Love.  See.  We want to live our lives out there having experiences, making memories, and we want to do it together.  So, with that in mind Marshall filled out his dream sheet (the list of bases where we would like to be stationed....and it really is a "dream" in many cases) accordingly.  We were not miserable in Virginia; in fact it had many positives to living there.  It was close enough to family that we could visit when we wanted.  It was far enough from family that we felt we lived far away.  It was a familiar area and culture to what we grew up knowing.  I found a job that I really enjoyed.  It was coastal- and we didn't take full advantage of that because we had a young child.  But all in all, we didn't want to stay stationed at Langley more than one tour.  The world is too big- AND too small for that.

There are many rumors about the best way to get orders out of Langley.  Some say that it is a black hole, and depending on your job you may never get out of there.  For others they land jackpot orders on their first try.  We didn't want to risk sitting in limbo for years waiting to see what happened.  We knew that Korea tours are not popular because they are normally unaccompanied, and we talked ahead of time about what we would do if Marshall got an assignment to Korea.  So, we crossed our fingers and he took everything off his dream sheet except Korea, Germany, and England (and San Angelo, TX...but that's a whole 'nother story!).

In February we found out that Marshall got Korea- a remote tour (service member only, no family).  We also knew at the time that I was expecting another baby- due in August.  His report date was supposed to be August 10th....my due date was August 17th.  He filed for a report date change, expecting a 60 day extension, and was granted a 30 day extension- so his report date became Sept 10th.  I was excited and shocked.  I know Marshall was excited, but worried about leaving me with the kids.  He enjoyed his first tour there, and was excited to get back to working a different mission again.  Very shortly after we found out about Korea I was notified by my school system that my position was being cut due to the drastic budget cuts.  I knew in my heart then that we were ALL going to Korea- Command Sponsorship or not.  I'll tell you all about that tomorrow!  :)

1 comment:

Marshall McIntyre said...

Oh the suspense is killing me! I wonder what happens next (besides TDYs)...