Congratulations on your promotion! Just not yet.

by jolyn on April 10, 2009

in Income,Mandatory Fun

The Hubs is a Captain in the Air Force. He was recently boarded for Major and made the cut. Yea!

This is cause for happiness on so many different levels. Yes, it is very exciting that he made the cut the first go-around. The percentage of Captains making the board in his AFSC (aka “job field”) is rather high, so we weren’t entirely surprised. But you just never know until you know. You know?

But this is especially sweet for us because once upon a time The Hubs was just a lowly peon in the enlisted ranks — in fact, we both were. (Yes, that’s how we met. *sigh*) It was a long, hard road for him to finally earn his undergraduate degree. It took the first six years of our marriage, in fact, what with all the moving around and starting over with new schools. (This was back in the 90’s, well before online degrees were so prevalent.)(And yes, we moved a lot, especially back then. Five times in six years, if you want a number.)

The Hubs comes from a career Air Force father, and uncle, and older brother, and various other brothers and relatives who have served in the military. But he was the first one in his family to actually earn a college degree. So to finally earn that degree, then be accepted into OTS (Officer Training School), and become an officer… Well, it surely felt satisfying. And at the time we thought he’d probably make Captain and then it’d be about time to retire. Becoming a major? Is really just icing on the cake.

HOWEVER. Being boarded for major and actually being promoted to major are two very different things. Or at least two very different dates.

Once the board makes its announcement, each selectee is given a line number for promotion. Just like it sounds, you have to wait your turn in line with all the rest of the promotees until your number comes up. It is not unheard of to wait almost two years to actually be promoted. John’s number is such that his promotion, or “pin-on” date, will probably be sometime in the Summer of 2010.

What this means in military terms: The Hubs is currently a major-select.

In layman’s terms: No pay raise yet, so who cares?

Apparently the Air Force does. So much so that they throw a party for you. Oh wait, excuse me. I meant to say, they compel you to throw a party for yourself. On your bill.

The Hubs warned me a couple of weeks ago that he was getting emails about this Mandatory Fun and that each major-select on his base was being asked to contribute $100, towards their own party.

Ooh-wee. That sounds like fun.

He thought he could just ignore it: it felt so much like paying for a bunch of beers for a bunch of guys he doesn’t even know for a promotion he isn’t even getting paid for yet.

But finally he just paid up. You’re just a schmuck if you don’t. He knows of others who paid who had no attention of even going to the party. But The Hubs went — at least he got dinner out of it. And I stayed home with the kids, nursing a cold, and getting ready for my parents who arrive tomorrow from out-of-State. (I finally got the luggage put away from our trip — yea, me!)

Because really, I simply don’t have any desire to attend these Mandatory Fun functions. I’ll go if it’s important to The Hubs, but it wasn’t.

Besides, when he actually gets promoted to Major? He’ll be expected to throw another party, albeit a smaller one, just for his office. Since we’ll actually be benefiting from a pay raise by then, I’ll probably feel like celebrating.

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