If you’re reading this blog, today should be the 30th of May, 2012. Assuming of course I use the schedule function here correctly, of which there is no real guarantee knowing yours truly, and I wrote this in early March. I also should be somewhere in Kabul, enjoying my second sabbatical in Central Asia. The significance of today is that this will be the final day of twenty years of service in the Army.
For those not in the know, the military offers a unique system of retirement. You basically get fully vested at only twenty years, at which point you can get out at half your base pay. Any years beyond twenty earn you an addtional 2.5% each up to 75%. Not a bad deal, overall. Of course, this is something our mouth-breathing elected officials love to look at on regular intervals as a cost-saving target, never mind they’re vested after about five minutes in Congress and exempt from any laws they pass. But that’s another post…
So here I am on 20-Years’-Eve. Scary, kinda, when you think about it, and it seems like just yesterday I was a fucktarded Second Lieutenant fresh from the factory, paint not yet dry on my bar and still sopping-wet behind the ears. Flash forward to now, and I’m a Lieutenant Colonel (emphasis on the ‘colon’ part of that) who’s probably looking at dim promotion odds going into our post-war military structure slash-a-thon, again sponsored by those we elected to keep the Capitol warm via body heat.
People often ask me how long I plan on staying in, and I always answer honestly: “Until this shit stops being fun.” Believe it or not, I still have plenty of fun, but I think if I squint really hard and shade my eyes, I might be able to see that point from here. I don’t rightly know. I’ve not given this much serious thought, either, and admittedly I should be. The problem is, after being immersed in military culture for (20+4 college years = ) 24 actual years, I have no clue what I’d be good at as a civilian and I loathe wearing ties. Some ideas I had for resume material:
Can produce detailed plans for conquest of foreign nations both large and small
Expert at generating obscure acronyms
The go-to guy when you absolutely, positively have to fuck something up overnight using large-caliber weapons
Can shoot the ass off of a gnat at a range of a mile using a tank
Knows five ways to kill a human using a paper clip
So clearly I have some research to do. Then again, after I decide and finally find my way out of the Army, I sometimes think something low-key would be a nice change of pace:
- WalMart greeter. At 40-something I’d have great longevity in this position given who I usually see doing this job.
- Library book reshelver. I like books, and I’m ready for some quiet time.
- Guy in the pit at Jiffy Lube. After playing with tanks, oil is not foreign to me.
- Medical test subject. After 20+ years, I’m tired and therefore great at just laying there.
The good news is, as I stated, I’m not yet bored or pissed, so on we go.