Yeah, I’m going there. The Dora/Finding Nemo approach to this whole situation, although that wasn’t my first analogy. I started thinking about sharks, and that thought that they can’t stop swimming, or else they’ll die. Discovery, the lovely purveyors of “Shark Week,” partially dispel that myth, but I digress. Can you tell it’s been an exhausting week turned drill weekend?
We know that the military is an endless waiting game, and patience is a virtue, but even the most patient can only hold out for so long. Does that mean that I’m giving up on OTS? Not at all, but it does mean that I’m starting to do more forward-thinking, especially if this should fall through.
The last two school dates for this fiscal year are 20 May and 1 July. I’ve heard rumors that they are full through this fiscal year, and I’ve also seen stories from people who just found out on 30 April that they’re in the 20 May school [yikes!]. We are also coming up on my eligibility to do Airman Leadership School (ALS), the Professional Military Education (PME) course that I need to complete in order to be promoted to SSgt. As a Reservist, at 42 months Time in Service (TIS), I am eligible to do ALS, at least as someone with a six-year enlistment. You have two options for ALS – by correspondence (online) or in residence. When I am eligible, my school year will have started, so while I could do it at my local base, I will most likely opt to do it online.
Why go to this trouble? Because if I’m going to be sitting around waiting for OTS, I may as well do it at a higher pay grade, or like I said before if OTS doesn’t pan out for whatever reason, at least I won’t have wasted all of this time waiting. Side note, there is a Time in Training requirement for my promotion as well, but there is a waiver process for it if desired/possible. I am also promotable in my current position (up to TSgt). If you are active duty, your process for promotion will be very different, but ALS is required for you as well.
So, that’s where I’m at. A hungry shark, who can’t stop moving. Dori, who is just going to keep swimming. [Insert persistent sea creature here.]