In total, NMPS falls just short of being a complete waste of time. The entire weeks' schedule could very easily be achieved in a single afternoon. If you have completed the ECRC checklist, expect to have very little to do here; however, you still have to show up everywhere and be told that you already did it. It's frustrating, but still not overly time-consuming; you will have plenty of time to yourself, so make friends, especially friends with rental cars.
Here's a few things you may not have heard:
1. Rental cars are available, just call the coordinator and ask for one, and the accounting data will be added to your orders.
2. For some reason, they go out of their way to say don't wear a flight suit. Ignore this, bring a flight suit and wear it everywhere. It is not a big deal what-so-ever. I recommend a Khaki flight suit since you already have to pack a bunch of brown T-shirts.
3. You will want a few pairs of civies for liberty at NMPS. Just bring them and plan on mailing them home. My wife is coming to South Carolina on the final weekend of Fort Jackson, so I just brought an extra duffel bag, which I will fill with all my overflow gear and send back with her.
4. If you require eye-wear, that might be worth getting sorted out before you show up here. Everything else, don't worry about, get it done if you have time, but don't sacrifice valuable family time to do it. The final day of NMPS is when they make the legal appointments, so if you want most of Friday off, get your will and POA taken care of ahead of time.
5. Do not expect any real connection between NMPS and Fort Jackson; I thought having the eye-wear forwarded to Fort Jackson would be no problem, but they won't do it, I have to have them shipped to my wife and mailed to me. They don't know anything about Fort Jackson, so don't ask.
6. NMPS is undermanned by activated reservists; the staff is not interested in hearing your pissing and moaning, so just leave that shit at home. A smile and a cooperative attitude will earn you great customer service, act like an asshole, and you will politely be told to go stand in line somewhere.
I have a very light schedule tomorrow, I plan on meeting up with a buddy and possibly doing some drinking. We all leave on Saturday, the first day of Fort Jackson is Sunday.
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