Wednesday, March 4, 2015

JOPA For Life

Congratulations universe, you win.  I am officially back in the Navy as a reservist.  Only time will tell if this is just another way-point in a long string of under-informed (read: bad) decisions but at this early stage I’m happy about it.  ’Happy’ is probably the wrong word, let’s say I’m amused by it.

If the recruitment process is any indication of reservist life, I’m in for a pretty long road to retirement eligibility.  My first communication with the recruiter is approaching it’s second birthday:

I completed a thorough package to the E-2C SAU but never heard anything back.  Honestly, I don’t hold it against them.  I wouldn't have been a very good squadron-mate, I don’t think they have much use for a weekender who hasn't been inside the aircraft since late 2007 (Jesus that was almost eight years ago).

So I’ll go to the Philadelphia NOSC and search for a local billet; hopefully there’s something interesting – I welcome any advice.

I have been warned off this decision by people whom I trust and are in a position to know what they are talking about.  I did not pay mind to that advice because I am dense, arrrogant, and a poor decision-maker.  I served nine years of active duty; that is too many years to just leave on the table so I feel obliged to pursue retirement.  The benefits will serve as both a supplement and an insurance policy, and in the meantime I naively think that reserve duty might be interesting.  I have a good job at a good company with good pay and good benefits, but it can be a little boring so I’ll dress up and play sailor once a month to relive the glory.  Maybe I'll get some good blog ingredients out of it.

The rub is that I start over as an O-3; apparently that is my penance for making a clean break back in ’11.  That was a bad decision.  I know now that I could have hit the IRR with almost no risk of mobilization and I would be hitting the ground as an O-4.  In hindsight, I should have done some research or asked somebody for advice – well hindsight, unlike Hawkeye NFOs, is 20/20.  Fuck it, JOPA for life.