Adventures in PCSing Across Country: Part 1

Part 1 of 3

“Lieutenant O’Driscoll, you are going to Naval Hospital Bremerton.” 

We had put in our “wish list” in back in April of 2016 and Bremerton, Wash., was first on our list. And we got it! This rarely happens when it comes to choosing and receiving your next duty station. Luckily for us, we have gotten our second pick the last two times until now.

A flood of things entered my head upon hearing this! I need to work on transferring my license. We need to find a house. Where do we look for a house? Where do we want to live? How are we going to get there? When will we receive official orders? The list goes on and there are many more questions other families have when it comes to moving to a new location. For us, this one is going to be different. We are going to make it different, enjoyable, and as inexpensive as possible. We were going to make it an adventure!

Bremerton, Washington is 3,062 miles from Jacksonville, Fla. I don’t think we could have picked a duty station further apart that was on the list. That’s a long time in a car, but it is doable.

Since we had only received verbal orders of where we were going, we were a bit hesitant to totally dedicate everything to us going to Bremerton. After all, it is the military and things can change at the last minute and from what we have heard from others, it can come quickly!

The only thing that I went ahead and did in the first steps of our PCS was to book airline tickets and a place to stay in the area to look for a house. In the past, I have been able to fly to our next duty station a month before we arrive to look for and secure housing.

My wife never sees the house I have picked out for us until we arrive there with all our belongings. Right now, I am 3 for 3 and am going for 4 for 4.

May 2017 is the month we are checking out and checking in June 2017. In the past, others finishing the program my wife is in were given a check-out date of June and a report date of July. So right off the bat we were cut a month short.

In addition to checking out, May is also the month that my wife graduates USUHS with her DNP and will need to take her boards before we leave Jacksonville. The week of graduation, she will be in Bethesda with her fellow classmates for research week and it ends with graduation on Saturday. This only gives her about 5 days to get her authorization to test, find an available testing center, take and pass her test all before we leave. No stress right? So, this leaves the house hunting up to me, again.