Monday, September 10, 2012

My Air Force Experience: The Next Sortie (10 of 11)

It’s go time. Tomorrow is the first day of my new career.

There is an indescribable feeling that comes over you when you jump out of a plane. Your brain hasn't fully grasped the gravity of the situation, but you can feel your heart pounding all the same. At the same time, the chaos that surrounds you vanishes just as everything seems to enter slow motion. You gradually become more aware of the wind in your face, the plane flying away from you, and (perhaps most importantly) the ground below you is coming into focus. This is where having faith that everything will work out is crucial to not freaking out.

I'm jumping from military service into the State Department and timing is everything. I mean, literally down to the day I started terminal leave. Because 5 U.S.C. 5534a that states "Military personnel on terminal leave are authorized to accept a civilian position in the U.S. Government and receive the pay and allowances of that position as well as their military pay and allowances," I must be on terminal leave before I can be an employee of State. That employment begins with training, which was a two day drive away. So to be on the safe side, I needed to be on terminal leave the day I rolled out of my driveway on the way to DC in order to avoid a paperwork headache later.
 
Static lines are kind of like administrative details...
Even if I get everything covered on my end, I'll still have to wait until my offical date of separation to get the DD 214 that documents my military service and adds a decade of federal service credit to my State Dept records.

But as for the transition from military to State, I found this video on line that pretty much captures how I feel right now:

Ok, so it's only accurate up until the guy throws the pilot out of the white jet...that's probably not the best way to start a new job. But you get the idea. Lots of things that could go wrong with lots of stuff hanging in the balance.

To read my Military to Civilian Transition mini-series in chronological order, Click Here.
To read my Entering the Foreign Service mini-series in chronological order, Click Here.
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