Saturday, July 7, 2012

Just When You Think You Know Where You Stand With the Army...

... They go and change the game.

I mentioned this in passing a few days before, but didn't go into a whole lot of detail. S got a form letter from "the Army" saying he had been pre-qualified to apply for Special Forces, Psychological Operations, or Civil Affairs. I am pretty sure this is one of those things where if you are a 1LT and breathing, you are "pre-qualified," but I actually have absolutely no idea how this whole process works... Other than the fact that there are quite a few catches.
  • He has to apply to these schools by December 2012.
  • To apply, he will have had to already taken a few assessment tests
  • This will be his only chance to move into one of these specialties.
  • He will leave the Logistics field.
I think that last one is the real kicker for him. He really likes Logistics and was fully prepared to make that his career for the rest of forever. We have been planning for the inevitable move to the Logistics Captain's Career Course in Virginia, and he's gone all gung-ho mustlearneverything!!! about it. But this came up, and he looked into them a little, and I think he really likes the idea of Civil Affairs.

I did some asking around with the Army Officers' Wives board, and based on the answers some of the CA wives gave, he really likes the types of missions the CA officers seem to do; they "speak" to him and his philosophy on how the Army should be working as a whole. We're still trying to figure out a lot of things about the branch, how it works, etc, but right now, at least, we're proceeding as though he will apply (which obviously doesn't mean he will be accepted...).

Some of the things that are making this a hard decision:
  • Civil Affairs is growing while the rest of the military is shrinking. Pro
  • The missions seem very rewarding. Pro
  • The main installations would bring us close to home. Pro
  • The main installations are not installations we would really ever choose. Con
  • It sounds like their deployments are shorter than most Army deployments. Pro
  • It sounds like they deploy more often than most units. Con
  • He would have a year of schooling. Pro (school time is usually really low key and means lots of family time).
  • We have been given the impression that the Army would be more likely to pay for his graduate degree while in that branch. Pro
  • He would have to leave the Quartermaster Corps. Con (also, I would have to change my URL. DUMB!)
We're really hoping to find some people who are already familiar with the Civil Affairs Corps to give us some more info. So, if you know anyone, please send them my way!

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