The thing about applying for orders is that you spend months and months trying to figure out how the process is going to work and where the options might be and people ask you where the options might be (and you spend a lot of time explaining that you don’t actually know until you can see) and then you CAN see the options and even if there are options you like it’s nerve wracking because THEN what happens if you don’t get the one you want, or if there’s an even better one coming next month that you can’t see yet but also you want it to just hurry up and be over.
So then you apply for orders and then it’s a whole lot of waiting.
And more waiting.
And then you either get the billet or you don’t and the process is either over or you start again next month. Either way, it marks the beginning of the end of your time at the current location.
From a spouse’s perspective this is frustrating beyond reason and you feel like you have even less control over it because it’s not actually your job. We have the kind of relationship where choosing orders is a joint endeavor but there are a lot of cases where it’s not, or where for whatever reason there’s no negotiation window and you wind up just going wherever the Navy says you’re going to go. That’s stressful, too, but in a different way. But I refer to this process with a “we” because for us it’s a discussion and a thing that affects both our lives. “We” do this.
Anyway, my point is there’s a whole lot of anxiety leading up to applying for orders and waiting to get results.
And then the fun stuff begins. In our house we say that anything from the military is “written in Jello.” That is to say it could change at any time and with little or no warning.
So in our case, for instance, J got selected for a certain set of orders. Yay! But that set of orders is for someone his current rank. If he gets promoted in the next six months, he might not be able to fill that billet after all and we may find out in, say, September or October that we aren’t going to the place we thought we were going, but are going to another place entirely.
A whole new level of anxiety unfolds.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that the whole process is only the best guess we have at any given time and until the time when we arrive at the next location and J checks into his command is anything finalized. Or at least as finalized as anything is in military life.
But yes: we got orders and, if nothing changes between now and December, we’re headed back to the west coast. Wooo!