How did it feel when your enlistment was up and you said goodbye?

Mudassir Ali
Jan 24, 2020 01:09 PM 0 Answers
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Mudassir Ali
- Jan 24, 2020 01:09 PM

My commander called me into his office a couple of times when I was a First Class Petty Officer, E-6. He asked me to reenlist.

At the time, if you re-upped, you could pick two of these three incentives

a lump-sum bonus between $1,000 to $12,000, depending upon the skill specialty you reenlisted into.
Guaranteed pick of duty station
Guaranteed pick of specialty training school

We had been negotiating. I wanted all three. His final answer was, “we have two of them and we’re working on the third.”

So I said no.

The actual check-out procedure was normally:

Check out from your command.
Fly to Treasure Island near San Francisco, and process out of the Navy like cattle led to slaughter.
Then take the Navy’s plane ticket and fly to your “Home of Record,” which is usually the place you enlisted.

But I asked the local Personnel Chief if I could out process from the Navy differently, and she said yes.

I had saved up 60 days of unused leave time. So I flew to some vacation spots, with my wife, that I would never see again in my life (Hong Kong was one). Then I flew to Kansas to see some old friends, and flew to Orlando (closed now, but they used to have a boot camp there). At Orlando RTC, they had to open some books to learn how to out-process me. I still had 50 days of leave saved up, so they paid me 50 days of pay, and I walked out with thousands.

I went to the road, stuck out my thumb to hitch-hike, and a retired chief picked me up.

As we drove off the boot camp base, I looked at the “beach” on (now) Lake Baldwin, where recruits would spend a few hours, co-ed, during boot camp.

On the beach was a small brick building used as a bathroom.

I built that with my own two hands—with a SeeBee in charge, of course—when I was in boot 10 years earlier. It was nice to see it again.

As we drove off the base, I felt great.

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