My life is going to suck for a month or so

I thought about making this a pit thread, but its not that aggravating. Just…well, bothersome, o me at least.

I’m going to PCS to Fort Bragg from Germany in just under 2 weeks. Now, I don’t particularly want to leave my current assignment, but orders are orders. So I’m currently trying to get my affairs together, make arrangements for my wife and three cats, ship my car, etc. But haven’t heard a peep from Bragg or the gaining unit on my orders. So I sent an email to Bragg…no reply. I sent another requesting a welcome packet. No reply yet. I talked to my Personnel administrator. He was truly shocked that no one had contacted me from Bragg. He called them Now get this…

I will try to elabotrate for non-miltary folks…usually when you PCS (go from one assignment to another) the gaining unit gives you a sponsor. someone already in the unit. That person will contact you and welcome you, help you find housing temporarily (until you can find a place) and in arrange for you to picked up at the airport.

Heres what I’m getting. NOTHING. No sponsor. The Replacement Battalion says I need to take a cab to the base. (Like I know where anything is) Despite my pinpoint assignment I have to in process at replacemet battalion. OK, fine…but what of my family? No help from the unit at all? Well, the unit says they can’t be sure i’m coming because replacement can theoritically send me to any unit? WTF? They can over rule orders from the Dpartment of the Army? Wow. They have as much power as Recruiting Command then…and Recruiting Command sucks. I’m amazed that they even want me to report to Replacement Battalion first. I’m not a new recruit…I can go to my unit and report and take care of my own stuff if someone sponsored me. I don’t need to be micromanaged with the privates. (I’m guessing I’ll meet a lot of disgruntled NCOs when I get there with the same sentiment)

Still, I’m a bit pissed. At the very least I’d expect a sponsor to help me get my affairs there in order. Its hard to PCS for anyone, but when you have a family, its really rough. how do they know I don’t have a family member with special needs? Or children that have to change schools? They don’t. They don’t even have transportation arranged for incoming soldiers! Damn, I’m a senior NCO, I can handle it, but I’d expect a bit more support. Basically they’re telling me “Well you have to report to Replacement BN at this date, but you’ve got to find it yourself. Good luck because we’re not going to help you.”. No welcome packet, no info nothin’. I made my own arrangements for a hotel on post and had to look up my own contacts for finding a temp kennel for my pets. The housing list is backed up for three months on post so I guess I have to look off post for a place to live. You know, if only I had a person that could send me info…help me situate my family…you know like a “sponsor”.

As much as it sucks I hope this is a problem just at Bragg and not other posts. I know my life is gonna suck for awhile, but I’d spare my family the suffering if I can. Man, I cannot wait to retire now. When I first joined it wasn’t a big deal to help a new guy get his shit together. Now its “you’re on your own…but you need to be here by this date.”.

My wife is right. Its time to seriously consider just getting out. This isn’t the same Army I joined. I know its stretched thin (thanks Bush) but if I’m not getting support to take care of my family why should I think I’m supported in anything else? I feel sorry for any new-to-the-army soldier right now. At least I know now…when I get there its apparently every man for himself.

Fort Bragg does have a welcome packet online, if that helps any:

There’s a bunch of links there and a printable booklet, along with phone numbers. Hope that helps, but yeah, I used to work for the Navy (as a GS) and our new incoming military always had a sponsor to get them at the airport and show them around.

As a completely non-military person, I find your description completely terrifying. It’s like you’re going to go where they tell you, and when you get there, they’re going to say you should have gone elsewhere, and you’ll get labeled AWOL. How do you go about at least establishing you’ve done due diligence to prevent any problems, if no one will talk to you about what you are to do?

Arkcon. I’ve never ever PCS’d with this much of a problem before. Thats why I’m amazed. Usually a month or so before you even begin moving, I’ve recieved a contact at the recieving post that at the least would inform billeting of when I’m coming in and what accomodations i’ll need. Hell, when I got HERE (a place with pretty much NO facilities, US wise) my sponsor not onlyy made sure someone picked us up at the airport, he had arranged temp housing for us!
And I’ve sponsored incoming guys before. I’ve always made it a point to ask " Do you have a family or pets? (So I can at the least forward info the guy about “Heres a kennel for your dogs thats not expensive…I’ve arranged for you to stay at ******…is that ok for your family?”.

I expect turmoil,. I expect it to be rough for me. I haven’t worked in a garrison for more than ten years. But I at least expect them to help me get settled. As I said, I guess its every man for himself. I have a lot to do and arrange, but it makes it twice as hard to know that I have little to no support on the other end.

BTW, since I’ve contacted them and my losing unit knows it, I have established due diligence. Not that I should have to. The gaining unit made no effort to contact me.

Ugh. That sucks Jolly Roger.

I hope that the move goes as smoothly as possible for you.

(And that somebody’s ass gets chewed out over this.)

Well, no one is gonna get chewed out over it. From what I found out today this is SOP for incoming at Bragg. (in a way I understand it…a good portion of the personnel at bragg are most likely deployed.)

On a good note, Mrs. Jolly Roger has found a few prospective houses near the post that she likes online. So it should be easier to find a place to live once we get to NC.* (Of course we have the 30 to 60 days before our stuff gets there and geez, my jeep. I hate being w/o a vehicle)* But what Mrs. JR doesn’t know is that I planned on getting her a car for Xmas. It kinda depends on if she has found a job by then. If not I’ll have to go for a used car with lower payments. If she has and its a job paying enough for her to make the payments, I’ll look into a newer one. Of course, she’ll get to pick the car. But we’ll need another vehicle and I she doesn’t like to drive manual transmissions. (So basically she won’t drive the jeep unless its absolutely no other choice) The Missus isn’t happy if she isn’t working. I hope she can find a job rather quickly since it does make her more content…and thus my life is easier. :D. She should be able to…she’s got a good resume’ and the veteran’s preference thing. (she was in the military when we married and a Desert Shield/Storm vet)

Still its gonna be rough. Having worked in staff jobs for so many years and outside of my actual MOS I’m sure its gonna suck ass for me for awhile. I don’t want to go to Airborne school, either, but as much as I bluster about not doing it (and they can’t force me to, but I’m sure they’ll try to coerce me into it) I’ll probably go if they push me on it. **(assuming I’m not medically dq’'d from it. High blood pressure, periodic checkups on my thyroid levels I had half of it removed last year because it looked cancerous, a bad nerve in my spine that occassionally makes my left arm go completely numb…) **I could probably get a medical board to dq me on a lot of stuff, but I never push for that. I could have gotten out of recruiting midway through if i whined enough, even my commander said that. But i don’t like to puss out in things. I also don’t like the idea of jumping out of a plane and I’ve never liked being anywhere where people are pretty much trying to kill me, but again, if i gotta go, I’ll go. To quote Superchicken “I knew the job was dangerous when I took it”. IOf course I was a lot younger when I took it…in my mid 40’s, I’m not as quick to recover as I once was. (Geez, any over 40 dopers remember when you thought nothing could hurt you in your 20’s?..I miss that feeling. Time can really kick your ass.)

I found out today that a former coworker who went to Ft. Hood was toldthat he can’t retire until he hits 21 years! :eek:. Not 20 but 21…because the army is trying to retain senior NCOS. )and this guy has kids…and he’s been in Iraq for about 20 months. Jeez, he just wants to be there while his youngest girl grows up) Apparently many got out due to multiple deployments so they’re hurtin’ a bit. Thats bad news. I’m pretty sure thats shot my hopes to retire by this time next year in the foot. Seriously i blame Bush for all of this…no foresight or planning. When you have to lower recruiting standards and compel servicemember with 20 years in to stay another year becasue you can’t afford to lose them, you’ve got a problem. This may not affect me, I don’t know, but anyone who does 20 years, whether they were a cook, a clerk or an infantryman, has done their time. 20 years is a long time. Some people just want to do something different or pursue their own individual dreams. Hell, all I want is my benefits for doing 20, a small but nice house, a decent civilian job and time to spend with my wife and friends. Oh, and a puppy. I’d like a puppy too, but I don’t expect the gov’t to supply it. :wink:

Anyway, yes, this move is going to suck. I’m going to feel stressed and tired and I’ll be hating life for some time. I just hope that when I do actually get to my unit the folks there will at least be somewhat helpful in aiding me get settled. I think they will be. The red tape may be a problem, but in my experience fellow servicemen and women have always aided each other.

As a completely military person, I also find it terrifying. Usually commands go through the extra pain to make an incoming feel good–help the transition, help the family, give plenty of time to settle in and unpack, etc. You want your newbies feeling good before you pull back the veil on what awaits them.

At this rate, I would have seriously been considering going myself and keeping the family in Germany until I had things arranged at Bragg. The OP is right–the worst crime here is the needless pain inflicted on the family.

And the coup de grace is that you’ll be in Fayetteville. Been there, been to Bragg and Pope, and been to Germany. Noooo comparison.

Well, I shipped my jeep this afternoon, which always sucks. Its never fun to ship your car…you know you won’t see it for at least a month. and this is the first NEW car I’ve ever had. So I’m obviously kinda attached to it. Military people will know that the inspectors are relentlous. It really hurts when they they show you the little dings and scratches that no one else would notice. (They have to, so the gov’t ins’t held liable to damage to your vehicle during transport). It wasn’t really as bad as past autos being shipped…there was only one dime sized cdent that bugged me to death. Dammit, I went out of my way to keep that car parked far enough from everyone else that no one would ding it with a door. At least that was about the the worst damage to the vehicle they found. They weren’t real happy about having to clean out the stuff I missed, but generally, the car was clean. I don’t eat or let anyone smoke in it (icluding my wife…i quit smoking after my surgery last year…I haven’t been ableto get her to quit, but she has never been allowed to smoke in “Sea Biscuit”…yes, I call my car “Sea Biscuit”.)

Man, I miss my jeep already. It sucks not seeing it outside.

But as I said, the wife is making inquiries to homes in the area. Hopefully we will be able to get settled rather quickly. I will admit it would be a bit easier for me if she would go take the cats and stay with her mom or one or of her sisters for a week or 2 while i got stuff together, but she hates doing that. I’m just surprised that Bragg…you know, the Army base that is supposed to be home to the elite 82nd…has such a terrible welcoming program going on. I predict a lot of woe for me anyway. But if I can get my family straight, then I can suffer the slings and arrows that await. sigh Tomorrow i’ll be going through the crappy process of boxing up my things. I alwasy hate that. The only good thing is the movers are scheduled for the same day that the “Hail and Farewell” thing is. Meaning I have an out so I don’t have to show up to give the obligatory stupid speech about " I will miss all of you, yada yada yada" and all that. I always think of it like 'Look, I am probably never going to see most of you again, and half of you probably don’t like me anyway…lets just shake hands and get on with our lives…".

I feel your pain, or at least I will in the next 3 yrs. Can MWR help you out at all? What about the G3 office?

Well as a completely non-military person who has respect for those that serve our country, my heart goes out to you. Not shit I can do about it, but it seems shitty none the less.

I’m just bitchin’, Omegaman. Its not like i haven’t moved before…it always sucks, and especially when I’m being moved not only from a good assignment but out of my “comfort zone”. This assignment now had want I wanted (and needed after recruitig duty)…beautiful surroundings, lotsa friends and to be honest access to the things I like most…historic monuments, art and easy travel. Oh well. Most people don’t get the chance to go to the places I have. I can’t really say I’m being mstreated or anything. I just hate moving…and I hate goodbyes, also. I really do not look forward to that part…saying goodbye to the friends I have here later in the week. I am going to miss so many folks here. We’ve become kinda like family…even the people i didn’t get along with well…you get used to them, you know? its like that cousin you don’t like, but you know he/she will have your back.

Last night my wife and I went to party at the local rec center. Her (former, now that she has quit her job in this organization since we’re leaving) boss is from the same neck of the woods in the US that she is, so they always got along well. His girlfriend, a local german national is a great girl. She and I have always had a fun relationship, since she is surprisingly into the same kinds of things I like…sci-fi, comics, fantasy stuff. Anyway it was her birthday party/halloween celebration. We all had a great time, but with me not as young as I used to be I left around 11 PM. The wife stayed until around 2 AM. She ain’t feeling to well today…but I can tell by her scratchy voice is more of a real cold than a hangover. But we both seemed to have the same mission today. Relax. Yeah, we have packing to do, and yeah the movers are coming to pick up our household goods tomorrow but we can scramble in the AM to get that stuff ready and do our duties for the move in the afternoon. I won’t lie, either. I wanted to at least have this sunday to NOT do anything army related.

Its a hard job being a military wife so I have to give my spouse props. She’s former military so she has experience in it, but she at least rolls with the punches without complaining too much. I’m skittish about the move, myself. I’ve said before I’m looking forward to retiring soon, maybe within a year (but maybe not…i depends on various factors). I just desire the humdrum life of a regular dude…no drils, no getting calls at odd hours, no dealing with problems in the platoon or squad. I know regular dudes have probs too…I just want peace and quiet though. I won’t get it for awhile though. Top of my list besides the movers tomorrow is securing a kennel for our pets tomorrow, and some more outprocessing. This PC sadly will packed up in the morning to be shipped. My secondary PC will be shipped the following day, but I have a laptop. My art supplies will need to be packed in the morning, too. (FYI: My actual job…that I have branched out from in the military…in the army is to be a military artist. Yes, thats an actual job, believe it or not.)

Well, I want to get moving now, to pack some software I have and disconnect a few appliances. **Shecky **I’ve gotten an email from my gaining units S1, asking me to report ASAP so they can help in the process. Though I’m going to arrange for my permissive TDY here just to make sure it isn’t denied on the other end.

Jolly Roger another non-military doper here hoping your move goes easier than you expect and all goes well. Also, thank you for your service.
Do we have any dopers near Fort Bragg and could act as a substitute welcoming committee?

Thanks Rick. I didn’t get as much done as I wanted to, today, but I decided to keep the PC until tomorrow when my houshold goods go. (Today they took the unaccompanied baggage…just stuff you want right way, like a few bits of furniture, appliances, etc.)

So far the cats have been holding up. I fully expected them to freak out and act crazy. (they usually do when they sense a move coming). But they’ve been pretty calm. 'Stache and Banshee are older (12 and 13) so they’ve been remarkably calm. Probably because they’ve done this before. Jet Jaguar being only 7 or 8 right now, well, this is only his 2nd move. Still he’s not been upset that I can see.

Actually i’m a bit shocked that my wife hasn’t been yelling at me either. :slight_smile:

We move out of this place on Friday. The wife is going to stay with a mutual friend with the cats I’m staying at the NATO School lodge. Why? Because our friend has a cat. We have cats. 4 cats and 2 women and one TV? No fuckin’ way. I’ll stay in the lodge over the weekend before we fly.

We have not heard anything from the realtor my wife emailed. Maybe the house we were looking at online has been rented already. The rent was only 650 bucks a month, too. Is that normal for a 3 bedroom in NC? It sounded way too cheap (but the realter was listed on the ok list on Bragg’s website). Maybe its haunted and they’re trying to give out a discount. (thats what a friend of mine says)

The movers are packing us out. I have last minute out processing to do. I need to find a kennel or spca or something in fayatteville that can house my three cats for awhile when we get there.

I’ve got the PCS/new unit jitters also which means I probably won’t sleep well for a few days, my stomach will be upset and I’ll go gray with worry. If anyone has any suggestions on a place for the cats in Fayetteville, NC on nov.3rd (we land at 1835) for a week or so I’d appreciate the info.