Thursday, February 09, 2012

Making the Army Decision

I was going through my posts this morning labeling the posts related to pregnancy to make it easier to filter if someone didn't want to read my other random ramblings. I can go off on tangents or vents a lot.

I then decided to label my posts on the Army as well. There weren't many posts dealing with this so I thought I should update. I think I figured I would keep it all private until any final decisions were made, but since this is a family blog and this is a big part of our family right now I decided it would be worthwhile to post. If our situation changes I can always remove the label.

Towards the end of November we found out that Matthew was not selected for the US Marine Corps Officer Candidate School (OCS). This was a huge disappointment at the time because Matt has been working towards this goal for over a year. The military has been downsizing drastically so there weren't many positions open after the ROTC, enlisted, and military school grads had been placed. Our district was the last to be evaluated and by that time all the eligible spots had been taken.

Matt was offered the chance to enter his packet for the Marine reserves or to try again for active duty at a later date.

We discussed the options among ourselves and with close friends and family. Matt decided to meet with an US Army recruiter to discuss Officer Candidate School in that branch. After his initial meeting he felt very comfortable with the Army and wanted to pursue that branch. We had to change our mindset as we had been planning Marines this whole time, but we both felt at peace with this switch.

Now, a couple months later, Matt is still working through the selection process for the Army. Many of his documents from his Marine Corps packet could be transferred over to the Army packet so that cut out a lot of processing time. He is waiting to go to MEPS (Military Entrance Processing Station) to complete some exercises he wasn't required to do for the Marines and then we'll just be waiting for an opportunity for him to go before the review board. The review board makes the decision if he will be selected for OCS or not. While right now we are told his chances of selection are high, there are certainly no guarantees. The Army has been downsizing similar to the Marines, and the Marine recruiter thought Matt was a shoe-in for OCS.

I am so proud of my potential soldier for all of his hard work through this process and for his positive attitude. At this point he has managed to complete his Physical Fitness Test (PFT) for the Army with a 300 score, which is the highest possible. He has a high GPA as he graduated his undergrad with honors and scored in the 97th percentile on the AS-VAB. Thankfully, his areas of interest for his MOS (Military Occupational Specialty) are the areas he scored highest on in the AS-VAB. He is interested in Military Intel, Aviation, and Infantry. He would enjoy Infantry, but listed it as his third preference since it would ease my mind slightly when he was deployed.

If he is not selected for Army OCS then we are planning on going the enlistment route. We feel confident that the Army is the route for us at this time. God has led us through this process and we both feel this is the future path for us. As Matthew has his undergrad degree he would still try to attend OCS at some point after he enlisted.

Of course, God could just want us to pursue this path at this time and in the future may have far different plans for us. If he is not selected for OCS and the door to enlistment is closed to him, then I hope and pray we will continue to have positive attitudes while we wait for God's direction. It is difficult facing the unknown, but I suppose that will be a constant in our life in the military.

I know we have grown as a couple throughout this process and I am thankful for that. I pray and hope everything will work out smoothly so that Matt will be satisfied and content with his placement. He has a strong desire to serve his country and I know he would be successful as an Army officer. I hope the review board sees this in him and makes the appropriate decision.

Prayers are appreciated as we continue through this process.

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