My husband is almost done his initial 8 year commitment following flight school. As we get closer and closer to committing to the full 20 and taking the Department Head Bonus, we are taking a last look at our other options: getting out or getting out and then applying for Full Time Support (known simply as “FTS”).
At this point I am not feeling good about FTS. We would have to get out of the Navy in order to apply, which to me is a HUGE GAMBLE. We have no idea if he will be accepted into FTS, and recently FTS has had a 50% or worse acceptance rate among pilots. If my husband isn’t accepted, he’s not qualified to be hired by the airlines yet, so we would both be jobless. I might have to scrap my nursing/A&P education and find a job to support us while my husband scrambles to get airline qualified. Also, I have had medical problems in the past and insurance for me is a problem if the Affordable Care Act is ever repealed. So, if my husband isn’t accepted into FTS, we would be without jobs and maybe I wouldn’t be able to get health insurance. On the other hand, my husband may not have to deploy anymore (I can’t even imagine that glory!), and we have a variety of places where we could live. Following FTS retirement, my husband could fly for the airlines if he wanted. It’s worth investigating, but it also makes me nauseous thinking about it.
Getting out and doing something else is a non-conversation at this point. My husband loves flying jets and I am very happy with our military lifestyle. It isn’t easy sometimes, but it’s much better then the monotony I experienced in my 20s. I can’t imagine living in one place for the rest of my life. For some, living in the same town or same state is a blessing and wonderful. I would be antsy. I lived in Pennsylvania, Delaware, California, New Jersey, Virginia, and Washington, DC in my 20s, and I was still antsy. I changed jobs every time I moved, and even changed some of my friends. I dated many interesting men, I drove fast sports cars, and I just wanted to keep having fun and seeing how far I could push my life’s adventure potential. I traveled through Africa and India. I visited neighboring countries and bodies of water, too. Now, I live abroad and I am already dreading leaving, and I still have about 14 months here. I am all about traveling and seeing the world from the base of where ever the Navy stations us. I love the gray area and the ambiguity of what is possible and what could be. My husband doesn’t love moving and he’s less of a gray-area-lover, but he loves everything else that I love. We are cut-out for this military life.