In other news, the promotion board results for Darrell's possible promotion to master sergeant will be released on Thursday!! It usually doesn't happen until mid/late January. He, of course, is sure he won't get it. I understand that. It's a lot easier to deal with if you convince yourself you won't get it. I'm hopeful, but then this is his fourth time and I thought he'd get it each and every time.
If he's selected, he'll get a sequence number. It should be pretty low, since he's been qualified for promotion for years. If he's selected and gets a sequence number of, say, 7, then each month as the Army decides how many more E8s they need, they'll promote that many from the list. For example, say they need four in January. Sequence numbers 1-4 will get promoted that month. February they need three. Sequence numbers 5-7 get promoted that month, including Darrell. Get it? But it doesn't much matter what the sequence number is - if he's selected and gets a number, it's just a matter of time before his number is called (although obviously the bank account prefers sooner...)
If he's selected, we're almost surely moving this coming summer. There's only one E8 slot at the ROTC battalion here, and even though the guy there now is leaving this summer, there's already a guy on orders to replace him. Besides, they usually pick E8s that have held the rank awhile (and have already done a 1SG gig or two) to have that spot. We're okay with this - I'd rather move next summer and stay at the next duty station for a few years than to stay here and have Justin get even tighter with his friends here before having to leave (again).
Almost certainly, he'd get a first sergeant (1SG) spot in a unit getting ready to deploy to Afghanistan. That's where the need is. We're not expecting to have any say in where we go for this one. I'd love a short list to choose from, but not expecting that to happen.
If he's not selected, it's another year before the next promotion board is held. Last year, they selected only five out of hundreds with his MOS. He would have to walk on water or be BFFs with a board member to have made it last year. The Army just didn't need a lot of his MOS promoted last year - it was nothing personal. Although he knows that's the case, it's still really hard to take. His evaluations are pristine. His experience is as good as he can possibly have - he's done everything he can do that's within his control. However, he doesn't compete as well against guys who have gone to all the super cool schools (airborne, air assault, ranger, pathfinder, etc). He's never had the opportunity to attend any of them, even though he's begged to his whole career. Not fair, but it is what it is.
So, we wait. We expected the wait. But yesterday we found out that the wait is only one more week instead of almost two months. Eeeeek!! Also hoping for MY BFF's husband to make it. Cross your fingers for us...