Update: Yeah, I moved it to the top. Really, please, any thoughts, please leave them. Looking for any advice I can get.
I have been getting quite a bit of correspondence lately. One, however, has been weighing on my mind, and I have decided to lay out my questions here, on the off-chance that someone might be able to give me some extra info, or at least point me in the right direction.
The letter I got was from Millington:
Yes, I got it over a month ago, but I have been mulling its ramifications for a while. A brief rundown follows, or, if you care to read the whole thing, the content of the letter is here: Page 1
, Page 2
So, basically, my obligation to the Navy is up. Finished. I can happily go my own way as a full-on civilian. The problem is, I am not sure I want to. Don’t get me wrong here, I have no plans on going back to a boat. As much as I am convinced that was the best job I have ever had, or will ever have, frankly, kids trump job. I had a somewhat absent father, and it sucked, so I decided, after coming back from my last deployment, that I would not do that to my kids. This decision was aided by the reactions of my boys to my return: PBS V2.1 (3 at the time) refused to talk to me for weeks, as he was mad that I had left him; and PBS V2.2 (1 at the time) would only cry or scream when I came near, as I had only been around for about 7 weeks of his first year – he didn’t recognize me.
Why then the conflict? Was it not yours truly who skipped happily off ustafish on his last day? (Well, no – my last day was in Souda Bay, Crete, and, well, the going away party the night before in Xania was apparently quite the party. I couldn’t tell you for sure, though – as I remember only the first 45 minutes or so). Why the turnaround?
The truth is, I *like* feeling that I could still contribute if I was needed. Being in the IRR suited me OK – if things really hit the fan, I was available, but otherwise, I got on with my life. Now, however, that is not really an option. I am currently Standby Reserve – Inactive (USNR-S2), but that is only a temporary thing. So I have to choose – do I join the no-kidding reserves, or do I finally bid the Naval Service a fond farewell?
Complicating matters is the fact that I miss it. There, I admitted it. I miss being in uniform, I miss feeling that I am actually doing something worthwhile, no matter how small. I miss being of use to something greater than myself, something that I value very much. So yeah, I am seriously considering giving that pesky Reserve recruiter a call (Heh, we parted terms on our last call on not the best terms. He admitted he had been an ELT before going officer. I couldn’t help it, I exclaimed, “You were a SMAG?!” The conversation pretty much ended there. Touchy touchy).
I haven’t yet, though. The reason is, there are a few complications that I would like to try and get a handle on before I open myself up to his pestering again. This is where the bleg comes in.
Question 1) I am currently working as a DoD civilian, a very
nice deal, as my 7 years active duty count towards my civilian retirement. Which plays into my question: If I got reserves, how does the reserve retirement deal interact or interfere with my civilian retirement? I am assuming I cannot take credit for those 7 years for both my civilian and reserve retirements, yes? So do I start over from scratch? And if so, do I get to chose how those years get applied (I really do not want to loose my time in grade on the civilian side, it actually means more there)? Anyone ever served as a DoD civ and reservist at the same time who might have some insight?
Question 2) I understand that the DoD offers military leave to those civilians who also serve in the reserves, as a separate category from annual leave and sick leave. What I can not determine via the OPM websites is what exactly military leave entails. Do I continue to draw civilian pay while on mil leave, or is it basically leave without pay while I draw my military paycheck? (That would actually mean a pay cut for me, as I have gotten a few raises since I became a civ)
Question 3) This one is rather minor compared to the other two, but it is still non-trivial. How do I find out if I can get stationed at the base which I work on as a civ? I know, vaguely, that there are paid and non-paid billets, but, frankly, I know nothing about billets other than that. The Reserve recruiter at SEPS was rather vague about that, as he was doing his best to paint a happy picture.
So, there you have it. My dilemma boiled down to three questions. Any insight anyone can give me would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.