Hello there! This is the first post on what I hope will be an ongoing endeavor.
So why am I writing this, and what does “Orders to Nowhere” mean? Well, let me start at the beginning, or at least close to it.
I am a career Marine, and I have been serving for over a quarter of a century. At the ripe old age of 17, while Ronald Reagan was still in his first term, I raised my right hand and swore an oath to support and defend the United States of America. Soon after I enlisted I received my first set of orders.
Orders, in military terms, are a set of documents that tell you where you are supposed to go and what you are supposed to do when you get there. The closest thing in the civilian world would be a transfer from one location to the other, but the difference between the military and the outside is that civilians have the option to take it or leave it. Not so much in the military. You don’t have the option of turn them down because you don’t like them. That’s why they call them orders…
Anyhow, that’s the way it works. Every couple of years or so the Marine Corps (or the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, and even the Coast Guard) issues out a set of orders to send you to your next assignment, and off you go. Pretty much everything is decided for you- where you are going, where you will be working, and even in many cases where you will live. All things considered, it is a pretty good gig because all you have to do is what you are told to do- pick up your orders at your administrative section and off you go!
That is, until you find yourself on the offramp from military service, which interestingly is where I find myself now. For the first time since big hair and parachute pants were all the rage I am faced with making a transition from a life that I have thoroughly loved (most of the time, anyway- there were times when I hated it, but such is life) to one that I left a long time ago.
This blog is about that transition. As each day passes I find myself learning things I didn’t know (but are second nature to pretty much everyone else) and doing things I that I have not done in a looooooooong time (like getting to know my hair comb again!)
I hope that you, the reader, get something out if it, particularly if you are in the service. Someday you won’t be, and maybe I can help make your transition a little smoother by sharing how mine goes…