Military Retirement - Woohoo! no more Fitness Tests

H_Rocket

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I doubt I will ever learn to be a civilian fully. Not sure that I want to do so.
One thing you will miss is structure. The idea of knowing who is in charge of what. Some matrixed org charts I have dealt with could best be described as a tesseract. My wife's company periodically plays a fun game called "spin the wheel of reorganization".

One other thing you will notice (especially with today's workforce) is that you are no longer in command. You can give a directive, however if someone thinks it stuid, or otherwise disagrees with it, they have no trouble disregarding your wishes and getting someone fired is way harder than it would seem.
 
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mtnmanak

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I retired in 2013 (COL retired, Army SF) after 25 years in the Army. The transition is tough and it takes some getting used to, for sure!

Make sure you finish your disability before you get out. It is much more difficult after you depart and the VA will give you the run around. I retired with 100% disability (38 wounds and injuries...) and wasn't finished with the process when I walked out the door. Big mistake. Took me a long time to get it settled.

Medical on the outside is a nightmare. Tricare is horrible. If you live near a post after you retire, you should be okay, but if you try to use Tricare on the outside, it is a almost impossible. I finally gave up and got insurance through work. It is cheaper than Tricare with WAY better coverage.

VA care, if you have a high disability rating, is a mixed bag that largely depends on your local VA facility. It can range from something like a country club to something out of American Horror Story.

Other than that, I don't mind civilian life. It is nice not getting shot, blown up, stabbed, cut, burnt, crushed and generally mangled as a regular part of my job. I don't really miss jumping out of airplanes anymore. It was cool when I was 18, but got old fast. I miss the unit, though.
 

cwbullet

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I retired in 2013 (COL retired, Army SF) after 25 years in the Army. The transition is tough and it takes some getting used to, for sure!

Make sure you finish your disability before you get out. It is much more difficult after you depart and the VA will give you the run around. I retired with 100% disability (38 wounds and injuries...) and wasn't finished with the process when I walked out the door. Big mistake. Took me a long time to get it settled.

Medical on the outside is a nightmare. Tricare is horrible. If you live near a post after you retire, you should be okay, but if you try to use Tricare on the outside, it is a almost impossible. I finally gave up and got insurance through work. It is cheaper than Tricare with WAY better coverage.

VA care, if you have a high disability rating, is a mixed bag that largely depends on your local VA facility. It can range from something like a country club to something out of American Horror Story.

Other than that, I don't mind civilian life. It is nice not getting shot, blown up, stabbed, cut, burnt, crushed and generally mangled as a regular part of my job. I don't really miss jumping out of airplanes anymore. It was cool when I was 18, but got old fast. I miss the unit, though.

Your are right. I will miss the structure and clear command chains. I will not miss the politics, and the Army has become too soft. As an O-6 (COL), I cannot count the times I have had to remind folks that they should salute or at least give the greeting of the day when they pass a superior office. The military had changed.
 

Scott_650

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Your are right. I will miss the structure and clear command chains. I will not miss the politics, and the Army has become too soft. As an O-6 (COL), I cannot count the times I have had to remind folks that they should salute or at least give the greeting of the day when they pass a superior office. The military had changed.
Colonel, change is an understatement. When I started as a Traditional Guardsman and early in my full-time career I served with WWII and Korean War vets - Those men were tough, mission oriented and definitely didn’t suffer fools well. Our group commander (before Mother Air Force decided everything had to be a wing - funny how we were just as effective, if not more so, WITHOUT an entire extra layer of “leadership” at the top) started as a B-17 pilot, a man who flew 35 combat missions over Europe. He was a real SOB, in a good way, and I was proud to be part of the honor guard at his funeral.

Which leads to a great anecdote on how things changed - years ago, honor guard duty was an “informal” additional duty that we volunteered for and took care of in-house - training, uniforms, logistics for making the arrangements and travel, it was just something we did. Then the Air Force stepped in, regionalized all honor guard duty, prohibiting strictly unit-level honor guards, making training by whichever AD base was closest mandatory, took over all scheduling and arrangements. And it didn’t work nearly as smoothly as it did when we did it ourselves, plus finding volunteers became problematic - ended up being one of those “voluntold” duties for junior enlisted folks rather than a source of pride for NCOs.

Yes that’s a small thing in the big picture but it’s emblematic how unit cohesion and effectiveness can be eroded by loss of autonomy, “kingdom” building and careerism. A lot of the changes to the Reserves made after the first Gulf War and accelerated by the post-9/11 environment were necessary to transition our strategic reserve forces to operational reserves being employed continuously for contingency operations. But a lot of the changes were cultural changes that had nothing to do with maintaining effectiveness - just more padding to add rank at the top and build bigger and more calcified bureaucracies. I don’t even want to discuss the “political correctness” stuff - the HR and EO folks didn’t quite transmogrify into Soviet-style political officers/NCOs, but it sure felt like they did.

I’m sure I was viewed as a dinosaur the last few years of my career - not really a problem when it’s subordinates with that viewpoint but most definitely one when leadership feels that way 😆
 
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cwbullet

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The final straw for me was when I was assigned the same task for the fourth time in 13 months. I dropped my paperwork and will not regret it. I will miss the structure but not the requests to do chain teaching on the social need to change the military with each new administration. I purposely keep that nonpolitical so let's all avoid the topic de jour.
 

cwbullet

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Today was my farewell and clap-off. My son attended with me. To those nonmilitary, a clap-off is where soldiers line an exit and wish someone a safe return and deployment by clapping them off. It was nice, and I appreciate my son coming with me.

To those on the forum, thanks for being my counselor. The transition is tough, and I appreciate your support.
 

cwbullet

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I am going to get my first formal job offer this week. I have had five tentative offers. Three in Augusta(GA), one in Hinesville(GA), and one in Fargo(ND). It is unbelievable to see what demand there is out there for a former military leader. That is not bad for only filling out four applications.
 

artgsc

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Let me help you with this.... First, no Fargo ND....next it looks like Augusta GA is one hour closer to Dalzell, SC than your Hinesville GA option so there you go.....Augusta it is!
 

firemanup

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Haven’t read all of this CW but big portions.

Started Army in Jan 89 on a 2 yr enlistment as a combat medic, got held over a year for the first gulf war.

Few years in law enforcement then the last 25 years in the fire service.

It’s amazing the generational and social changes we’ve seen the last few decades. Sounds like the military experience is very similar to what we’ve seen in the fire service.

I’m eligible to retire here in about 18 months, some days I want to stay longer but more often than not I can’t wait.
 

cwbullet

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Haven’t read all of this CW but big portions.

Started Army in Jan 89 on a 2 yr enlistment as a combat medic, got held over a year for the first gulf war.

Few years in law enforcement then the last 25 years in the fire service.

It’s amazing the generational and social changes we’ve seen the last few decades. Sounds like the military experience is very similar to what we’ve seen in the fire service.

I’m eligible to retire here in about 18 months, some days I want to stay longer but more often than not I can’t wait.
Thank you for your service to the community and our country.
 

boatgeek

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Got another job offer for nearly twice my current salary in Fargo, ND. The weather news makes that seem like a bad idea. The wife said hell no.
My wife's job just hired a person whose last job was in Minnesota, where the weather's a little better than Fargo. They had to have a car reliable enough to get them to work at -30F. No thank you.
 

SecondRow

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Got another job offer for nearly twice my current salary in Fargo, ND. The weather news makes that seem like a bad idea. The wife said hell no.
North Dakota experienced an oil boom starting about 15 years ago. That’s declined somewhat, but the state is still the second largest oil producer in the country after Texas. Lots of people have lots of money to spend in ND. Plus it’s too cold for some. Big salaries have a tendency to keep people warm.
 

cwbullet

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North Dakota experienced an oil boom starting about 15 years ago. That’s declined somewhat, but the state is still the second largest oil producer in the country after Texas. Lots of people have lots of money to spend in ND. Plus it’s too cold for some. Big salaries have a tendency to keep people warm.
Good point. With this salary, I could retire in 5 years fully. I will consider it.

Any place to launch?
 

SecondRow

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Good point. With this salary, I could retire in 5 years fully. I will consider it.

Any place to launch?
Don’t know. I’m not from there. I just remember hearing about all the oil jobs and the communities making money off of it. While you consider it, check the cost of living there. Might be pricey with all that oil money floating around.
 

boatgeek

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Good point. With this salary, I could retire in 5 years fully. I will consider it.

Any place to launch?
There's nominally a NAR section in Grand Forks (1.5 hours from Fargo), but they don't have much of a web presence. Lots of empty space up there though.
 

Bravo52

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Got another job offer for nearly twice my current salary in Fargo, ND. The weather news makes that seem like a bad idea. The wife said hell no.
Most of us who have served in the "great white north" but are not from there agree wholeheartedly with your wife! The funny thing is it's not the cold, it's the wind. Guys going to Minot ND always got the "Why not Minot?" question and the only answer was "Freezen's the reason" as a response. However, once there, most didn't want to leave. We'd have a hell of a time getting Minotions to PCS to Barkatraze and vice versa.... People are funny sometimes.

You can ask Elon Musk for a poll, but I'm guessing most of the answers are going to be the "hell no" response 😆
 

cwbullet

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Most of us who have served in the "great white north" but are not from there agree wholeheartedly with your wife! The funny thing is it's not the cold, it's the wind. Guys going to Minot ND always got the "Why not Minot?" question and the only answer was "Freezen's the reason" as a response. However, once there, most didn't want to leave. We'd have a hell of a time getting Minotions to PCS to Barkatraze and vice versa.... People are funny sometimes.

You can ask Elon Musk for a poll, but I'm guessing most of the answers are going to be the "hell no" response 😆
I believe Elon’s poll was a staged event. He knew the results and wanted out.

There is porbably zero chance I am taking a job in ND. I really would hate to move again. I have moved 17 times in 24 years. It is time to settle down.
 
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