Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The Start of a New Life????

It all started about a month ago. I was sitting in my office, enjoying a quiet Friday afternoon and my C.O. asked me to come down to his office. He then informed me that I was being ordered to Iraq for one year in a non-flying billet as an augmentee to either an Army or Marine ground unit. Talk about a way to ruin a guy's weekend.
You would think that a guy with 17 years of military service, 7 years as an enlisted Marine, would think nothing of that sort of news. Nope, you're wrong. After digesting the info and the implications involved, I realized how significantly this will change my life.
How about a little history? After the war on terror began, some 5ish years ago, the CNO (Chief of Naval Operations) began the Individual Augmentation (IA) program. The program was designed to place Navy personnel is operational/support wartime billets supporting the Navy and other services that are coming up short-handed due to operational commitments. Anyone, from Pilots, Submariners, Admin clerks, Cooks, etc. are being placed in jobs to support the war effort. The sticky thing is that in most cases the job you are assigned has nothing to do with the job the Navy has trained you for. Perfect example is Me.
I started my military career as an enlisted Marine; went to college nights and weekends; left the military for awhile and came back into the Navy through OCS. After finishing flight school, I flew the F-14 Tomcat, then had the opportunity to transition to the F/A-18 Hornet. So that brings us back to that Friday afternoon in my office.
So far my wife, who has put up with me for nearly 17 years, is being a great sport about the whole thing. In her words, "It doesn't even surprise me anymore". My children, a daughter and a son, just know that Dad has to leave for a long time. Unfortunately, this is a too common occurrence in their lives and in this career.
I started this blog for a way to keep my sanity over the next year. As I make my way through the following months of training and operations, I'll keep everyone updated as regularly as possible. Till next time.

1 comment:

Dan said...

Welcome to the team! Best of luck to you over the coming year.

You're right that this will change your life, but I hope you have the same experience as me, and feel this is the best year of your career.

I'll link to you and get your counter higher than "2".