This morning was S’s (and my) meeting with his branch manager (although, they are calling themselves something new. Assignment coordinator?) I was able to go and sit down with them, ask questions, and get a feel for the process, as well, which I very much appreciate! I dropped the girls off with a friend and met S for his early morning meeting (seriously. I had to get up by 7 am, which is no easy feat for me. Morning person I am not).
So, we went in with the list of positions/locations ranked 1-40, his last 3 officer evaluations, and a copy of his ORB (I have no idea what that stands for). The first thing the branch manager did was look over his evaluations and explain how a board will review them. I know S is good at his job and that he’s gotten very good reviews, but it was really nice hearing someone who knows what is actually going on say “wow, these are really good,” and then tell me that I should be very proud. Insert happy feeling here.
Next he went through whatever is in the ORB and made some suggestions on how to edit it or something. I really have no idea what that was all about, but S did, so… go him.
Next, the Branch manager looked at “the list.” He wrote down what S wants starting with his top choice (Fort Story, VA), and moving down. When he got to the 3rd position, he said that he wouldn’t suggest it for S because it isn’t a position that could lead to a command, which is the current goal. Apparently, there were several broadening positions (remember last year when he was selected for one for about 45 minutes?) that they haven’t filled yet, and that was one of them. He said he could keep it on there if we wanted, but advised against it. Obviously, career comes first, so we told him to nix it, but, unfortunately, it was a position in Germany.
We went down a few more slots, and we ran into another position that had the same issue, and one that he said need to be filled by an airborne officer. And while technically S could go to airborne school first and then go to the unit, he said he didn’t want to do that because the position was in Italy, and if for some reason S got injured during the course and had to be held back (said it happens all the time), our stuff would be sitting in Italy for months on end while we were hanging out in the US waiting for him to finish. Not ideal. So, we crossed those off the list, too.
We also had an opportunity to discuss Korea. Because S has such a high dwell time, Korea is a distinct possibility. S has said if it was a command position, he wouldn’t mind going because it essentially kills 2 birds with one stone: command and reset the dwell time. I’m trying very hard to focus on the positives of it now because the negatives are pretty obvious. If he were to go, though, the Army would PCS- move the girls and I home to GA if I wanted (which I would), and he would be there for at least 15 months (boo) due to the command component. The branch manager said that it’s a very high possibility unless someone else comes into one of the meetings and asks for that position as their top choice. But, there is only one Korea slot for which S is eligible, so… who knows.
Right now, the list looks something like this:
Fort Story, VA
Fort Stewart, GA
Aberdeen Proving Grounds, MD,
Fort Bragg, NC
Fort Bragg, NC
Fort Campbell, KY
We should know something no later than mid-September. This is going to be a long month.