By Rebecca Alwine, Army Spouse
You may have guessed it, but I have moving on the brain. It’s probably because I’m thinking ahead. Two weeks from today, we’ll be leaving our duty station on to our next adventure. Am I excited? Sure. Am I nervous about what’s in store? A little. Am I ready? Yes!
Been There, Done That
Luckily, I’ve done this before. I know that it’s going to take me some time to get used to the new place and settle in.
Lucky for you, so many mil-spouses have gone before you on this journey. And we love to share! I’ve gathered some of the tricks of the trade for continuing your life at the next place. Whether you are itching to volunteer for the same program, looking for a new place to pursue your passion, or want to completely reinvent yourself, the world is at your fingertips. And a PCS is the perfect time to do just that.
Go To Resource
Brittany Boccher, the 2017 Armed Forces Insurance Military Spouse of the Year, has some great tips on PCSing in general and getting involved at your next duty station. “My absolute must-have resource for a PCS is my hand PCS binder with remade templates that can be found on Pinterest. I also rely on PCSgrades!” As far as getting involved, she seeks the newcomers’ briefing on base and reaches out to the spouses’ club. At the 2017 Allstate Military Spouse Town Hall in May, Brittany emphasized how important it was for spouses to embrace the community and the opportunity, each and every day.
Reinvent & Get Involved
One mil-spouse who followed in her family’s footsteps into local politics and service also has some suggestions. Anna Blanch Rabe, the 2016 AFI Cannon AFB Spouse of the Year, is no stranger to moving. She grew up in Australia, and between her and her husband, they have called 13 US states, 2 Australian states, and eight countries home. She’s been encouraged by other mil-spouses to seek out opportunities to sit on boards. Earlier this year was appointed to the City of Alamogordo Housing Authority Board. Her advice? “Serve well and honestly.” Seek out positions that compliment your experience and passion, and get involved in local community affairs.
Back to Work
For some mil-spouses, this next move may be the time you decide to put your career first. 2017 United States Military Academy Spouse of the Year Lauren Hope experienced an extreme career shift in 2012. Before joining the mil-spouse community, Hope was a chef at the Ritz Carlton, utilizing the education she obtained at the Culinary Institute of America. After discovering her son had several food allergies, she took her creativity in a different direction and launched Hope Design Ltd. While living at West Point, Hope has established herself as a leader in her industry, becoming licensed by the USMA, recycling vintage military insignia into jewelry, attracting the eye of military protocol offices around the world.
There’s no end to what military spouse can do. Each time we move we are faced with the opportunity to do something new and exciting, reinvent ourselves. What will you do with your next move?
Author: Rebecca Alwine is a PCSgrades’ Blogger Affiliate, freelance writer, army wife, and mother of three. Over the past 10 years, she’s discovered she enjoys coffee, running, lifting weights, and most of the menial tasks of motherhood. Her writing experience includes military family topics, research pieces, guest blogging, and much more. She’s a contributing writer for ARMY Magazine, a regular contributor for several publications including to Homefront United Network, PCSgrades, ESME, and has also been published in Ms. Magazine and The Atlantic. You can follow her online at www.whatrebeccathinks.com or on Twitter (@rebecca_alwine) and Instagram (@rebecca_alwine).