Monday, June 7, 2010

The Army Job I was Supposed to do is Open

It's strange to think about it, but the job I enlisted to do way back in 2007 is open at Fort Indiantown Gap.  Every week I get a list of open Army jobs in Pennsylvania.  For the last eight weeks, the list has included a job with the exciting title "Survey Team Member."  This is job is for a sergeant who is in charge of keeping  WMD detection equipment calibrated and ready for use.  He (the job is not open to women, potential for closer combat) also uses the equipment in the field--which could be a football field, baseball field or other place where a WMD might be used.

But even if I wanted the job, I am too old.  The same arcane rules which keep me from passing my Iraq educational benefits too my kids also prevent me from taking a full-time Army Guard or Reserve job.  I need to have five years left on my current enlistment to be eligible.  But I can't have five years on my contract because that would take me past age 60.  I could actually serve five years, but each of the years after age sixty requires a different waiver that cannot be granted except on a one-year basis.

So I can't take the job and I can't give one of my kids the education benefit, because the five-year rule applies in both cases.

In the Army, paperwork always trumps reality.