Reenlisted…now for the next steps

I reenlisted Monday to much fanfare. Ok, not that much, but I had the colonel give me the oath of reenlistment, which drew a sizable crowd. I didn’t have time to orchestrate refreshments, but reenlistments are one of those things where people don’t expect food. Promotions? Yes. But I was able to get away with just a smile and a few handshakes.

Fort Meade was in my contract, meaning if the Army decided to give me another assignment, it would nullify our agreement, reverting me back to my original situation. Luckily, the Army operates on contract, where other services don’t guarantee as much.

So then came the waiting period for the random offices across the country to scry my future by weaving the tangled mass of paperwork and forms into tangible orders and report dates.

Work bludgeoned on, late night by late night. I’ve come to the conclusion that they don’t pay me enough to have to deal with this level of work. I’m not outright complaining, mind you–all in all, the roof over my head and steady paycheck is more than most. I’m just saying that my rank, compared with the compensation doled out to many around me, doesn’t not vibe with how often I’m staying late and they’re going home.

The exception is the colonel himself, who typically stays late as well. He sees me in the evenings and on the weekends. And he’s a good enough guy that I know he knows I see the disparity. Still, we soldier on. Remember, hard work in the Army leads to nothing but more work. Laziness in the Army leads to no work, as those in charge give it to someone else. Meanwhile everybody gets the same award and the same promotions. Blah.

There was an interesting development that popped up, aside from the Hood scene. It seems that my branch nominated me for two things during the time I asked about the instructor position until now. One was for the agreed upon teaching gig. The other was for me to work in the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

I know nothing about it other than a message from our higher personnel headquarters on Hood asking my command to be released to work at the “OSD.” While it might be a typo as the instructor position is from the Department of Defense (DoD), my people here don’t think that’s the case. “We deal with this stuff enough to know the difference between OSD and DoD,” my S1 NCOIC explained. And so I’m awaiting more information.

It could be that my branch, in an effort to ensure I stay in, would offer me the very prestigious position with the OSD. Such a spot would (barring me being a moron) ensure I hit the higher enlisted ranks. Problem is, working there would involve a sh*t-ton of work. I’d be the lowest ranking person there by about nine pay grades, I’d think, as someone like the SecDef is going to have colonels, generals and admirals all abuzz.

It would be good for an enlisted career, for certain. The people you’d meet might notice you’re a hard worker, on top of things, etc; and that might lead to other things in the future. However, working in the Pentagon, dealing with the small things like parking and being amazingly squared away with your uniform; and the larger things like the extravagant expenses of living in Northern Virginia sour the milk for me.

Having the SecDef badge for the uniform would be something that would stick out and the SecDef on the resume would also be a boon. But do I really want to spend the next two to three years working late and leaping at every bark from every general officer within a four-mile radius of the largest military headquarters building in the world? Eeeh, no.

I’m confident enough in myself to succeed in my efforts without dropping the SecDef card, and my path, barring next week’s life-altering set of circumstances, doesn’t have me staying enlisted for the next 16 years.

I do, however, wonder if the overall stall on my instructor paperwork is due to this “higher” nomination. If so, I’ll have to work on politely declining the OSD. Hopefully that doesn’t enrage the royalty to muck up my Meade assignment, Insha’Allah.

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About salemonz

Born in San Diego, Calif. Raised as a Navy Brat, I jumped ship and crossed over to the Army. Served as an enlisted journalist for a bunch of years, then helped the DoD figure out what the hell to do with social media. After the Army, now I drift down the river of life, trying not to be a jerk.

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