Saturday, February 4, 2012
Life After Basic: Tech School
I'm currently in that in-between waiting process: it's a lot closer to normal life than basic training, where you were basically cut off from your loved one, but you still aren't able to talk to them whenever you wish. Distance is typically still part of the equation, which makes this time difficult (although I don't think it has been nearly as bad as the BMT time period!)
My husband is currently at Sheppard AFB, TX where he is training to become a crew chief of KC-135's. The most exciting part of tech school (for me) has been finding out where our first assignment is. From the moment your hubby leaves for basic, people are immediately asking you where you are going to be stationed - you yourself are probably even wondering the same thing. There are many Air Force bases throughout the world; for a complete list, please visit here.
My husband graduated from basic on October 28th and was shipped off to Sheppard to begin his tech training the following Monday (they really didn't waste any time). The new Airmen live in dormitories, much like college, and attend class each week day. They are allowed off base and to have their own vehicles. The amount of time required for your Airman to complete his tech school training will depend on what job he has been assigned. My husband's was 4 months, but some trainings can last for up to 2 years. There are options available to spouses who wish to move to wherever their Airman's tech school is. I chose to stay where I was, move back in with my parents and work. I viewed the basic through tech school time period as a great opportunity for me to start taking some online classes - after all, I was virtually free of distractions with my other half a thousand miles away!
The Airmen are allowed to have their own belongings from the before life at tech school. I ended up bringing down a small rolling suit case of civilian clothes for him at graduation, and once I was home I mailed him a pretty hefty package which contained his Xbox and games, controllers, laptop, an Ethernet cord. If you are shipping things like this - insure your package! The price you pay is worth the peace of mind! Also keep in mind that the Airmen are allowed to have their vehicles.
While my husband has been at tech school, he's been very bored, and I believe that is an understatement. His days are basically all the same and he hasn't met very many other guys that he clicks with - he spends the majority of his time playing video games and I am okay with that (better he get it out now than when we are living under the same roof again!)
We were informed of our first assignment location about the second week of tech school. During basic, your Airman creates his "dream list" of bases he would like to be assigned. To put it quite frankly, do not think that just because you do or do not put down a base guarantees that things will go your way. We were initially told that we would be living in either Nebraska, North Dakota, or Japan! Come to find out, our first assignment is Macdill AFB, FLORIDA!
Once you have been informed of your first assignment and have pinned down a rough guess of a tech school graduation date, it's time to start planning the move.