Once again, our plans have changed, thanks to the Navy.
They just changed Navy policy to state that no one is allowed to extend. Therefore, Richard will be required to re-enlist (unless someone has a marvelously better offer for us, preferably in Iowa or Michigan) in July 2009. He can choose to re-enlist for three, four, five or six years.
He is still up for rotation in January 2010. This is when he will switch from shore duty (no deployments) to sea duty (as many deployments as they want). He will be on sea duty for three years before rotating back to shore duty for three years. With the switch from shore duty to sea duty, it will also bring a possible re-location.
This is why we had hoped to extend from July to January and then re-enlist. Then, we would have had a little leverage in asking for locations we want...he could say he is going to get out if he doesn't get the orders he likes. However, now he will be enlisted for at least 2.5 more years when he is up for orders. This means they don't care a lick what he prefers, they know he can't do a thing about it.
We also found out that he will be getting NO re-enlistment bonus. This is always touted as a "bonus" and not to be "expected" but it seems very cruel when you have friends getting from $60,000 to $100,000 bonuses and you get nothing. He is bummed but okay. I'm flat out ticked off.
He also found out that they have started to have a test for anyone wanting to re-enlist. If you do not pass the test to their standard, you do not get the option to re-enlist. He says he is not worried at all about this, as his record is stellar (not that you'd know that by his bonus :-) but it is yet another hoop he has to jump through.
The new uniforms did indeed come out and are available at the stores starting January 15, 2009. However, they cannot wear them to work yet. There is no date for when they can wear them to work. We are going to try to make sure he passes this "re-enlistment test" before we spend $500 on new uniforms.
I love the Navy, I love the Navy, I love the Navy....
We did get a pay increase and are anticipating another one in July (although not counting on this, anymore).
We do have free healthcare, although it requires an insane amount of time ensuring you get the care you need and that you do not get improperly billed for anything.
On another positive note, we lost a third of our stock accounts this year. We lost double what we put in. Whooooooooooo Hoooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!