This blog has lain dormant for a bit, I’ve been busy. Out in the great wide open desert where the tanks and fighting vehicles roam…
Some unexpected news, my name came out on the promotion list for the year, along with several other guys eligible to retire. The norm has been to let guys like us retire and be replaced by younger folks who cost less, but evidently the organization needs us for some reason (and if you’ve payed attention to Ukraine and Syria, you probably have a good guess). All of us old dogs were pushed into the “distance learning” education option, so just because they need us doesn’t mean they had to like it, or are willing to invest the time taking us out of working jobs to go to a 9 month full school or 3 month compressed school. Literally, “here ya go, grab a box of books and say goodbye to your nights and weekends cause we need you to work full time still.”
This doesn’t change the fact that I’m at the end of my career. What does change is that now the wife gets to choose the retirement date rather than a mandatory retention control point dictating the timeline. This made her happy because she seems to be fine as a single mom that I occasionally get to cohabit with, and her kids even call me “Daddy.”
It also doesn’t change the fact that just because I’m getting promoted doesn’t make me competitive for the next promotion and a continuing career. There are plenty of jobs that need to be done that just aren’t sexy for making the next jump, and those are the jobs that me and the other old dogs are going to have to continue doing. None of us are going to get into the jobs that make future battalion commanders, we will get the jobs that fix the “corporate” side of the house for doctrine, equipment development, schools and training requirements, and all the other ash and trash that needs sweeping out and straightening up before the next big organization wide audit comes rolling around. It is necessary work, but not the kind that gets you the next promotion.
In essence, it’s time to keep pushing hard for the reforms and changes that we know are necessary before we can’t push any more.