Okinawa Hai fallback
We’ve still got a year to go, but recently my husband received an email from his detailer (Navy speak for the person who gets you your orders) saying he should start looking at “the list.”  And as I got to thinking about my friends who are PCSing this summer, some STILL without knowing where they are going, I realized there are a LOT of different ways we all react to this whole crazy process.  These are some characters that I’ve met…
“Choosing” Orders:
1.  The Traveller:  “I can’t WAIT to see the possibilities…  maybe we could go to Europe, or somewhere else in Asia no one has ever been to before…  man, I’ve gotta get my globe out so I can imagine our new life somewhere on that sphere!!”
2.  The Homebody:  “Please, oh, please, let there be an opening at the base near Great Grandma Nan.  I don’t know what I’ll do if I have to live another minute away from home.”
3.  The Hippie:  “Wherever we go, there we will be.”
4.  The Good Spouse:  “I’ll just let him/her choose what is best for their career.”
Awaiting the Word/Official Orders:
1.  The Neurotic:  “WHERE THE  *$(#&@&  ARE THE ORDERS!!!  I can’t live like this – not knowing.  I’m making myself totally crazy!!! (and everyone around me)”
2.  The Pragmatist:  “Well, ya know, there’s a lot of work that goes into generating those orders.  It just takes a while sometimes.  I’m sure they’ll arrive shortly.”
3.  The Yoda:  “The orders will come when right the time is.”
4.  The Oblivious One:  “What?  We need orders?  They said they want us, don’t we just go?”
Receiving Unexpected Orders:
1.  The Planner:  “WHAT?!   But I’ve been researching ____________ for 3 months now.  I’ve spent countless hours online and meeting people who live there.  We HAVE to go there!  Where in the world is this other place anyway?  WHERE’S MY GLOBE?”
2.  The Processor:  “OH MY GOODNESS.   OH MY goodness.  OH my goodness. . . . . . . Oh my goodness. . . . . . . Ok. . . . . . Oh my goodness. . . . . .  Well, ok. . . . . . Oh my goodness. . .”
3.  The Adventurer:  “Hmmmm.  Well, I guess this is a chance to be somewhere different!  I didn’t even know we had a base there.  But that’s near the mountains, right?  Well, I’ve always wanted to learn to ski!”
4.  The Ostrich:  “We may be going there.  But I’m just going to pretend like we’re not.  I’m going to pretend we’re going home instead.  I’m sure that will work.”
So which one are you?  Or did I miss a character?  Tell us how you deal with this time of upheaval!


  1. I loved this post!!
    I laughed so hard, i almost fell off my chair at work. It makes me happy to know that i am not the only woman in the world that feels this way when it comes to PCSing.
    I am also the traveling, neurotic, planner 🙂

  2. These are great. 🙂

    Because I grew up this way, I tend to be the one waiting for orders and getting twitchy when there’s not a move planned – and I’m willing to work it out because I believe “Home is Where the Military Sends Us” lol. So I guess I’d fall under The Good Spouse for the first one; The Yoda for the orders; and The Adventurer for the last one.

    I’d venture to say we all have days where all of them fit, but as with anything else, there’s always a predominant description. This kinda reminded me of reading an astrology article. LOL What a fun post!

  3. Ok so…
    “Choosing” I would say that I am a Traveller
    “Awaiting” I would say that I am Neurotic
    “Unexpected orders” I would say that I am the Planner

    Our list came out last week and we’ve put in our request and my husband is 90% sure that we’ll get it but that’s not something that I’m going to bet the next paycheck on!

    We still have about 10 months left here and quite frankly, if they said, “Borud’s, you gotta stay here forever!” I’d say, “K!” No arguments here!

    I wish!

  4. When my husband and I began the `choosing new orders` rollercoaster last Dec I was definately The Traveller. I wanted to stay overseas, maybe see Europe. We will get what we want, but now im morphing into neurotic planner type – nothing is happening quickly enough and there is never enough information to satisfy my questions and concerns. Meanwhile my husband has perfected the `hurry up and wait` mantra, so he is Yoda…suffice to say that Yoda and Neurotic Planner are not the best companions.

  5. Totally the traveller here- I suppose until my kids get old enough where they want to stay put. Or maybe they will want to work for Barnum and Bailey.
    I always have to remember to keep enjoying the last few months of a tour- its easy to get caught up in “whats next plans”…
    Really, you never know where you’re going until you’re literally strapped in your seat at takeoff!!! What’s that John Lennon quote….”Life is what happens when you’re making other plans”….

  6. How funny Joelle, my hubby just received this same notice~ it seems like we’ve just gotten here, but know we’re almost over the 1/2 way point. Liked your post! I was like Heather, couldn’t believe that Okinawa was an option for us 🙂 With kids and family it does throw a mix in there on your decision making. I would say I’m more of the traveler, hippie (just because I always believe we will be where we are meant to be-there will be a “purpose” ..but the good spouse always kicks in too! I am the neurotic awaiting orders just because I like to get started but have to remember the hurry up and wait process..and then I become the planner once the orders arrive. So Joelle, what did you all put down for your #1,2,3 options to go for conus/oconus?! 🙂

  7. Awesome post Joelle! I’m a neurotic hippie adventurer and that hasn’t changed much since I was a kid. The way I deal? I research all of the possible places we can go (hubby’s career field has limited locals) ask him what his preference is for his career and then throw a tantrum when the orders take too long.

  8. First off – LOVE this post, Joelle.

    I guess I’m really the “close to retirement and i can’t stand that every day our story changes” wife. TOO MANY IFs.

    IF we extend a year, we might get out after that in 2011. (TBD in the next month)

    IF he gets promoted one last time this fall we’ll stay in for 3 more years and he’ll be doing a total of about 27 years in the USMC. (currently at almost 23) (well, a total of 15 years with ME)

    IF he gets promoted we’ll move one last time – Hawaii? San Diego? DC? Dunno but somewhere in the US.

    IF he doesn’t get promoted, we extend that year and then get out – OR do we wait until the NEXT fall and try again? (AGAIN. ARGH.)

    SO really? I guess I’m the hippie mixed with a little planner mixed with one confused at-the-mercy-of-the-military woman; I really don’t like being in limbo – I can’t make ANY plans, but wherever we end up – there we’ll be. Together. And on to the new chapter in our life at some point!

  9. Oh, this made me giggle a lot over my coffee this morning 🙂 I am definitely the traveller when we receive orders. The whole process of moving gets me all kinds of excited for some reason! I love, love, love living in different countries and experiencing those cultures. When it comes to waiting, I’m a bit of a pragmatist/yoda mix. I always tend to think things will turn out the way they’re supposed to for better or worse, so what’s the use worrying myself over it? And the unexpected orders? It takes me about 5 minutes to process, then I get into full adventurer mode. I love change and all the possibilities it can bring, so I always see it as a positive thing 🙂

  10. I don’t have much experience with this, as this is my husband’s first duty station. But, under the choosing orders section, I would totally be the traveller. I like to go explore new places and learn the languages and cultures. I’d really like my husband to get stationed in Europe or somewhere else overseas. My husband on the otherhand is the homebody. He wants our next station to be close to his family. For awaiting orders, I was the pragmatist or yoda, until it came really close to our time to travel here and my gov. passport hadn’t arrived yet, then I was in the neurotic category. I can’t place myself in the last category yet, as this hasn’t happened. Your post made me laugh. I’ve totally seen all these types and combinations of people.

  11. I’m definitely the adventurer/traveller because the first thing out of my mouth at orders time is “WAHOO! Where we goin’?” Our craziest move was: Nine months into a three year tour we recieved orders to move out of the country within TWO WEEKS.Crazy enough under the best of circumstances to pull off an international move within two weeks; we got the call to move on Sept 12, 2001.

  12. Great post, Joelle!

    I guess I’d have to be a neurotic traveler who would have to process unexpected orders. In coming here, we put Okinawa on the top of our list, not thinking it would actually happen. We actually wanted to stay in CO for awhile longer. But then my husband called his branch manager and somehow convinced him to change the pending orders to keep us there to bringing us here instead. I don’t know how it happened, and we spent much of the next week saying, “Oh my God! Okinawa!” but we wouldn’t change it for anything.