Saturday, February 25, 2017

PCS Status: Our Next Duty Station Is....

Eric and I knew that we were moving to Germany 9 months before he had to report there.  And we knew the entire 3 1/2 years that we lived in Germany that our next duty station was going to be here at Fort Lee.  So having no idea where we were moving a mere 3 months before we are supposed leave has been.... really stressful.

Pretty much all that we've talked about since we got here is where we could end up next; where we would want to live, and the next chapter of Eric's career.  I have to admit that I liked the excitement of not knowing what was around the corner for us, but for the planner part of me, it's been unnerving.  We thought we knew exactly where we wanted to go from here, but then as life unfolded and the closer we got to making a decision, our minds started to change and we were no longer so sure.

We couldn't be sure of anything until the list came out though.  

Yep... another list.  

We were back to waiting on another list.  

This list was actually three lists of 90 units needing pre-command logistics Captains, with each list being a different type of brigade.  We were asked to rank our choices in order of preference for each of the 3 separate lists, but knew that Eric being put into any of the units on one of the lists in particular was not likely, but we had to rank our preferences for that list anyway.
There are a LOT of factors that went in to our decision - the biggest factor being that it all depended on a list of available places that we had no control over, and the rest of the factors are too complicated for me to explain on my blog.  I mean, I could try to explain Sustainment Brigades vs Light vs Heavy, the types of company's Eric is hoping to take command of, where this all fits into his career path, and where he thinks he'll be most successful.  Mix all of that with aspects such as the amount of time he has in service, how that will impact his career goals, and fitting everything into a life that is conducive for a healthcare professional wife and teen aged daughter.  Plus, we had to factor in that there were 89-ish other Soldiers vying for similar units who have their own intricacies to think about.  And we had to abide by the rules that the Army set forth in guiding our decision.  Rules like: no back-to-back overseas assignments would be considered (since we came from Germany we would not be allowed to go anywhere not within the continental U.S, which we were fine with until we saw that Japan was an option and it was like taking a dagger to the heart... giant, extra pitiful, big fat pouty face and a foot stomp for extra emphasis!), and the strong recommendation that the Soldier go back to the type of brigade he/she came from.  But all of that is too intricate for me to attempt an explanation.

We have very little control in the military world.  Sure, we might get to rank our choices, but at the end of the day the Army will put Eric where he is needed.  And after talking to his branch manager, I got the impression that the teeny amount of control we thought we had, is actually a fraction of that teeny amount of control that we don't actually have but the Army will let us think that we do.  But we don't.  

After a really long almost 3 week wait, we found out that we are going to....


Fort Bliss, Texas!  

We are so excited!  But before we go any further I have something to say... 

YES, I have been to El Paso!  


So stop asking.  And stop with the "ew, El Paso," or the "Gosh, that sucks," or the awkward giggles or the pity stuff.  Guys, we put Fort Bliss in our top 3 choices out of all the choices the Army gave us because we knew what we were doing and we knew where we wanted to go from here.  Eric and I knew exactly what we were doing when we put our list together, and exactly what we were doing after we talked to Eric's branch manager, and still we chose to keep Fort Bliss in our top 3.  

Sure, Alaska, and Fort Eustis were higher on our list than Bliss, but when you don't have a whole lot of choices because you can't go overseas again (and Alaska is considered an overseas assignment), and Eric's branch manager says she never gives anyone their first choice, you'll take #3 in a heartbeat.  Especially when you hear about people getting #27 on their list, or #18, or a place that wasn't even on their list.

Trust me, this made sense to us.  And we are so excited!

1st Armored Division Sustainment Brigade doesn't even know yet how lucky they are!  CPT Schnell is comin' their way!


  1. Congratulations, Schnelle! Let the planning commence!

    1. Oh boy, have I jumped into the planning head first! :)

  2. I don't know a thing about El Paso, so you'll get no "ew" from me :) It must be a relief to know the next step! Moving is the most stressful thing in the world to me, so I give you major props for taking it all in stride!

  3. I know how you feel about PCSing! We have been at Bragg for 4 years, and my fiancé's name came up on the list for promotion (Yay! A CPT (P) now!) We Keating thinking we'd get the opportunity to leave Bragg, and hopefully go to Texas... nope! He's being deployed to Afghanistan on May 15th! :( I guess we'll find out whenever he gets back. *sigh*