When PCS season comes around, its always a fun to see where everyone has orders too. Some friends may be heading off to those dream locations, while others are going towards those big installations with the high op tempo and frequent rotations. Every now and then you friend or even yourself with orders to that remote assignment. The place where its an ROTC gig, recruiting job, or at a small installation like Camp Atterbury, Camp Shelby or even Red River Army depot where there is only a handful of active-duty folks.
These remote assignments usually mean that if you were used to Tricare Prime and being on post for healthcare, you will most likely be on Prime Remote with all civilians. You will not have any of your post amenities such as CYS, CDC, MWR, chapel groups, spouses clubs, or even family readiness groups. There will be no on post housing, no preferred military neighborhood or post school to register with. You will be thrown into the middle of civilian life.
For some, that may be truly terrifying. For a spouse who may not be heavily involved in various post activities or unit functions this may not be such a big deal. For those who thrive on being involved in the various organizations, the change of military climate can be a system shock. But, before you start the griping of how horrible its going to be (much like I did), you need to know that it isn’t so bad.
Standard Work Hours
One of the biggest perks of these remote assignments are the more standard work hours. Instead of my husband leaving at 0530 and not getting home until after 7pm during his key development time for his position, we enjoyed the more normal 8-5 time frame. We even had days where he would be able to help get the kids on the bus, and even be home early before the kids got off the bus. Knowing we would have family breakfasts and dinners during the week was a huge breath of fresh air.
Another perk of the remote assignments is the predictable summers. Really, the predictable all the times. We knew if there was a weekend he’d be TDY well in advance, and the chance of training schedules shifting or leaving being denied was slim. We were able to plan summer trips, vacations, and family visits easily knowing that we wouldn’t need to cancel anything. The extra family time did wonders for us, and gave us time to just relax.
Holidays and Birthdays
After multiple back to back deployments of birthdays, holidays and special moments missed we were able to celebrate a few years of celebrating those special days actually on the day! The big bonus was also because of being at a remote assignment, my husband was also able to take some of those days off too without any worry.
The Amazing Friends
While you may not have your regular group of other military spouses to join with, you will meet some amazing friends. While they may not understand military life, they are just as awesome at jumping in to help when needed, and being there for you. One of the best parts is when you move on to a new location, they love to come visit and see all of the “real” military things on post.
Sometimes it can be a struggle when you get orders to a place you don’t want to go, or a place knowing that it will be completely different than any of your other duty stations. But that remote assignment is not all that bad. In fact, it may be just what you need for a little rest, relaxation and reset!