We learned a few days ago that my husband was selected for command! This means that in a few years he will be the Commanding Officer of a jet squadron. I am so, SO proud of him, and I know that this is only the beginning of big things for him. I’m so happy for him and I’m excited to do all I can to support him and the squadron he is assigned to.
So … now what?
First and foremost, he will finish the tour he is in. We expect to be at this location until at least November.
He is in the process of filling-out paperwork regarding his future Command. As part of the paperwork, he can rank where he wants to be stationed based on where the jet he flies is based (F/A-18s are based in Virginia, California, and Japan, and E/A-18s are based in Washington and Japan, for example).
Also, he’s been fielding tons of telephone calls and emails from former Commanding Officers from all over the Navy tactical aviation community – including people he doesn’t know at all! Former Commanding Officers (many of whom are now in more senior roles or out of the Navy altogether!) have been calling and emailing him to offer their congratulations, advice, and support. He has received a warm welcome to the club.
Following this tour, he will report to a 2 week course on Command Leadership. We spouses are encouraged to attend also. I’ve heard that spouses attend a handful of classes with their spouse, but we also have separate classes to attend. I’m very excited learn how I can support my husband and his squadron, and I am absolutely committed to helping my husband succeed in his career and bettering the Navy community as a whole, but I am not super excited about having to take two weeks off work to do it. I will make it happen, though, because I believe this will be an important class for me to attend.
Following Command Leadership school, he will attend several other short schools around the country, in places like Pensacola and Fallon. I don’t expect to go with him to all of the schools, but you better believe I’ll try to sneak in a long weekend in Pensacola!
Then, my husband will likely report back to the FRS (Fleet Replacement Squadron, sometimes referred to as the RAG), where he will go through a refresher syllabus. The syllabus is meant to reacquaint him with the jet and ensure he gets all of the qualifications he will need to fly. This might take a few months, and it’s likely that he will then work at the FRS as an instructor or perform other duties for several more months while he waits to join his next squadron. He could be at the FRS for up to a year. Life at the FRS would be pretty good for us. The only drawback is that we would be living day to day based on the flight schedule, but that’s okay with us because that’s what we are used to. My husband would not deploy from the FRS, which is the trade-off for living day to day … and we’ll take it 🙂 He will promote to O-5 (CDR/Commander) during his time at the FRS.
Finally, he’ll report to his squadron. We will likely be there for a few weeks before he becomes the squadron XO at the Change of Command. He will serve in that role for about a year and a half. Then, the squadron will have another Change of Command, at which time he will become the CO (Commanding Officer). He will serve in that role for about a year and a half, also.
We have absolutely no idea what will come after, but for now we aren’t thinking about it. I will likely still be working on my PhD when he leaves his Command tour.
I am very happy to know what’s to come for his career and, therefore, for us. I am settled in this PhD track and now he’s settled in a Command tour track. This is good, and about as predictable as a military marriage can get.