So It Begins...
Date Published: 29 April 2004
This is my first post to this blog, which I've just set up. I'm going to try and maintain it while I go through my deployment, but of course there will be times when I'm not able to access the Internet. I've set up my wife, Michelle, with a blog here as well, and she'll be able to post news and other stuff when I'm not online.
As a bit of background information, I enlisted in the Army in 1995 as a PFC in the Ohio Army National Guard. I went to Basic at Ft. Sill, OK and AIT at Ft Jackson, SC. Oklahoma sucked; South Carolina was nice. My MOS, which I never used, was 75F, which was basically a data entry job. I completed AIT in June of '95, I got married in August of '95, and I started ROTC at Ohio State University in October 1995. I went to Ft. Lewis, WA for my advanced course as a ROTC cadet and was commissioned a 2LT there on July 25th, 1997, shortly after I graduated with my bachelor of science degree in Computer Science Engineering. I branched Engineer and became a platoon leader with C Company, 112th Engineer Battalion, Mechanized, in Columbus, Ohio.
I attended 20 weeks of Engineer Officer Basic Course in 1998 at Ft. Leonard-Wood, Missouri. I was promoted to first lieutenant (1LT) in May of 2000 (almost a year later than I would have been but for some bureaucratic snafu). In 1999 I had moved from Columbus to Kent, Ohio, as well, and in 2000 I began taking night classes for my MBA at Kent State University. In 2001, I requested and and was granted a change in status from active to inactive national guard status (ING), which meant that I no longer drilled on weekends or did annual training, but I was still available to be re-activated if need be.
One can only be in ING for 1 year, after which time one can either return to active status or be transferred to the Inactive Ready Reserve (IRR), a federal pool of inactive soldiers. I transferred to the IRR in 2002.
Upon receiving my 2LT commission in July 1997, I had to sign a contract committing me to a minimum of 6+2 years of service, with the +2 being IRR duty. I had thought this was only 6 years and that in July 2003 I was completely separated from the Army, but I realized some months later that I was mistaken.
In February 2004, I was contacted by some human resources people at Ft Leonard-Wood who confirmed that I was not out yet and wanted to update my contact information. They assured me that they were not imminently activating me but did ask if I wanted to volunteer to re-enter active duty status. I declined.
In April 2004, after spending a week on the road with my family for a conference followed by some time at DisneyWorld, we returned home and found an answering machine message from someone in Ft. Leonard Wood explaining what I should do upon my arrival there. This was not the kind of news we were expecting after 9 days on the road and a 2-day car trip from Florida to Ohio, and the message didn't provide any details about when I was supposed to report for duty. I wasn't sure if I was already late. Our mail was on hold at the post office.
So the next day, Monday April 26th, we got our mail and I received my orders, which specify that I am to report for duty on May 22nd at Fort Leonard-Wood, as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. That's just under 4 weeks away, which is certainly better than, say, April 24th. Michelle and I are doing everything we can now to get our businesses squared away so that she can run them in my absence, and to get me prepared for duty.
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Steve is an experienced software architect and trainer, focusing on code quality and Domain-Driven Design with .NET.