Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Recruiting Duty

When MilSpouses find out that Drew & I are here in Maine by way of the dreaded recruiting duty ... they wince and ask me how I do it. SO! I thought I'd diffuse some of the most popular questions I get asked:

1. Where are you at on your RD countdown?
We're a month shy of hitting our 2 year mark; I'm not counting or anything ... but it looks like we're T-minus 12 months! [cheer]

2. Where is your duty station of choice afterward?
SgtMajor has apparently agreed to put his signature next to any base that we choose to live at with an opening for his job code as an 1141 (electrician). No joke, it's a tossup between 1) going back to San Diego  or 2) The Marine Barracks Washington in the heart of D.C.   

Miramar or Pendleton in SD county is inevitably going to be an infinitely better move for his career, but the little Yuppy inside of me would love to work at the nation's capital, live on Bolling Air Force Base ... sell my car and take the metro/bus wherever I need to go. That, and I pink puffy heart the Silent Drill Platoon ... and Marine Barracks Washington is their "HQ" so to speak! (Never heard of the silent drill platoon?? View this video:


3. Any advice for the ladies just starting RD?
I promise, it's all doable. Ignore the rumors that you've heard about divorce rates. Do believe the rumors about long hours and random middle of the night phone calls. But most of all, you must learn to be flexible. Nothing about recruiting duty is set in stone and things are constantly changing, so you need to learn how to go with the flow. Half the time he's going to be stressed out/grouchy by having his life ran by high school teenagers that ultimately don't know what they want. It doesn't neccessarily get easier along the way, but you do learn to get used to it. Don't get angry when all of his plans change last minute, it's not his fault, and he would much rather be home with his wife and children than at the office making phone calls. In fact, recruiting duty is the perfect time to become a workaholic, spend more time on your hobbies, find someone to vent to (as a matter of fact? I don't think I would have made it without a sounding board.) This is kind of like a deployment in that you just can't sit at home waiting on him all day, you'll lose your mind!

One of the healthiest things that Drew and I did was designate a date night at some point during the week, because my fix to his insane hours was to work a heck of a lot myself ... except that I work nights and he works during the day, so we started becoming 2 ships passing in the night.  Even if it's just dinner at the table together, or a full blown night out, having one night exclusively for ourselves is extremely needed.

What was your breaking point on RD? At what point did you just want to throw up your hands and drive far away screaming?
It's been 2 years ... and I haven't had a "break point". Don't get me wrong, I've been frustrated with life and pissed at the Universe, but I don't blame recruiting duty for that. I think this question would be best directed to my husband, considering he's the one living and breathing it. If I could take a guess, I think his breaking point was a few weeks ago, when they were at the office at 7AM and leaving at 10:00pm for a solid 3 or 4 weeks. And you know? I don't blame him one bit. I'd be a raging a-hole with those work hours, and he did an amazing job of leaving work at work.

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