Settling In

 Sean is settling into a routine in at Camp Hansen Okinawa. Basically, he keeps the computers and networks up and running so the non-commissioned officers (NCOs) and officers can do their jobs. (USMC photo by Sgt. Richard Blumenstein. BTW, neither one of those is Sean.) He’s still waiting for Humvee driver training.

He is researching online seminaries and the process to “go mustang” (moving from enlisted to officer; all chaplains are officers). I’m not sure what his timeline is (or even if he has one). I told him that if he wants to learn a language (whether its Japanese or Greek, for seminary), I’d learn it with him. Yikes. I’m currently studying French and Spanish; at least they use our alphabet.

Some thoughts on a couple of ongoing “top stories” in Marine Corps news:

  • The drawdown: Now that the US is pulling back from Iraq (all troops gone) and Afghanistan (all Marines out by end of this year), command is planning to draw down troop levels from the current 202,000 to 182,000 by the end of 2016. According to Marine Corps Times, they’re hoping to make most of the reductions as painless as possible by “using a combination of retirement incentives and early, voluntary discharges—plus some separation pay.” They’ve targeted a little over 30 job categories (that’s MOS in Marine-speak) for cuts. Every story I’ve read, though, keeps stressing that in-demand career fields, like intelligence and IT, won’t suffer much, and indeed, may even grow. Sean has a five-year commitment, and much can change in that period of time. But for now, his “boat space” (his spot in the Corps) seems to be safe.
  • Okinawa drawdown: The agreement with Japan to reduce the number of Marines in Okinawa recently made national news (moving 9,000 of the 14,000 currently there to Hawaii, Guam, and Australia). This worried me; he just got there, and now they’re talking about moving a bunch of them. But according to Marine Corps Times, the III Marine Expeditionary Force (his command) will stay on Okinawa. No one has announced a timeline yet for the move.

The time difference (he’s 14 hours ahead) puts our day parts exactly out of phase, which makes Skyping difficult. Mostly, we have to arrange it for the weekends, and one of us usually have to get up earlier than we would like on a weekend. But we’ll get it figured out. I’m hugely grateful for Skype; I may not be able to get my hands on him, but at least I can see him. 🙂

–Mighty Marine Mom

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Posted on May 10, 2012, in III MEF, Marine Times Newspaper, Military Parent, US Marine Corps and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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