Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Going to COT & JASOC with your spouse

This is a message from a wife who went to Alabama with her husband. Thanks for sharing.

My husband just finished JASOC and we were able to find an apartment nearby that offered a short/flexible lease. We were really lucky and fortunate, actually.

And for anyone who is as unaware as I was, you actually get reimbursed (at a later time) a small amount of money each day (that really adds up by the end of the month) for rent (since my husband didn't stay in the "extended stay/hotel room" on base during JASOC) and it covered our stay so my children and I could live with my husband while he was in JASOC. This is not including BAH.

May sound confusing but I think the key is asking questions. If you want to make it happen during JASOC, it's possible. It just seems like a lot of that information isn't readily available so it's not always easy.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Question: Moving to Alabama with my husband during JASOC while pregnant

Someone asked if they can move to Alabama with their husband while he attends JASOC.

Short answer: You can but it will be at your own expense to get there. You can still receive BAH but you will not be reimbursed for your travel expenses. He will be busy and will not be allowed to take time off. The person asking this question is expected to deliver their 3rd baby while her spouse is at JASOC so I can see why she'd want to go. I could see him being allowed to miss a day, maybe two for the delivery but it's not a guarantee. When at JASOC they are not allowed to take leave days generally. So it would be a gamble. Consider going somewhere that you have family so they can help with the other two kids and you while you deliver and recover. Otherwise, you're potentially going to be in Alabama alone without much help. This would be worse case scenario. On the flip side, you could go and he may be allowed to take time off and be present for the delivery which we all want for our babies and selves understandably.  Good luck and keep us posted!

Saturday, March 5, 2016


Oh my is this update long overdue! Jeremy has officially been off active duty since September 2014. We settled in Northern California where he opened his own law practice. His practice focuses mostly on Estate Planning as well as Business Law.

But....we haven't completely left the Air Force! Jeremy has joined the Air Force JAG Reserves. This was quite the long process as well. He didn't immediately decide to join the reserves when he initially separated from Active Duty because we weren't sure where exactly we were going to settle. That was important because you need to request a specific base to be attached to as a reservist. Once we got settled (about a year and half later) he began the process to be in the reserves. It took 9 months! You think I would know by now how slow the military can move at times but honestly we didn't think it would take that long. However, I am very grateful he got accepted because each base only takes so many reservists and ours just happen to have an opening.

The perks are great, especially since Jeremy is self-employed running his own practice. The health insurance is awesome, not a 100% like Active Duty, but we can't complain! Because he sets his own schedule it's been easy to fulfill his reservist duties as well.

Honestly, I loved the military life. It's still crazy for me to think that I was once adamantly opposed of him joining the Air Force. It was the BEST four years!! When we felt prompted to get out that was super tough but had to rely on our faith and trust that God had a greater plan for us. As usual, God is always right. Just like He was when He told me the Air Force was His will for our family and would bring us great joy; He has also been right about the need to separate from what we loved in Sept. 2014. His plan for us was to take all that we learned and carry it with us to another stopping point on our journey in life. We are surrounded by family right now and exactly where we need to be. Life is good!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Looking for JAG Wives who want to help others

I'm reaching out to see if any JAG Spouses out there want to contribute to this blog by sharing your experience. I have had several women reach out and ask if they can contribute. Instead of limiting it to only them, I thought I would send out an announcement to all. If your interested in any capacity to share and help others, let me know!


This post has been a long time coming. It took a little over 1 YEAR for Jeremy to get a job that was high enough pay to meet the needs of our family (after all we live in California and have 4 children!). The legal market is a tough field right now. But I am ecstatic to report that Jeremy has a job with a plaintiffs law firm in Sacramento, California.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

How Jeremy seperated from the Air Force earlier than his commitment date...

In May 2009 Jeremy signed a 4 year commitment putting his service member date to May 2013. He served his first 2 years at Sheppard AFB in Texas. Then by accepting an assignment at Ramstein, Germany AFB, he added on another year because oversees assignments are for 3 years if you have dependents. (If no spouse and kids, it's 2 years)

He didn't remember/realize/know that this was the case and thought he could simply not sign up for 2 more years come May 2013 and we could be done and go back home to the good ole' USA in May!

It wasn't until May 2013 that he remembered/realized/discovered that his commitment was extended and we were set to be at Germany regardless until July 2014. SHOCKING! He had already told his SJA that he was planning on separating and would be leaving sometime that summer (2013). The office was already in motion and planning on not having Jeremy around.

This was confusing for Jeremy because he had felt strongly that the time was NOW to get out of the Air Force. He wasn't too excited about having to wait a whole year. He remembered a fellow JAG we were stationed in Texas with that went to Aviano, Italy Air Force base for only 1 year and then separated from the JAG. Wondering how she did it, he called her up a day or two after he realized his commitment wasn't expired for another year. She informed him that there was a "special" reshaping program that she used to end her commitment a year early.

Essentially what it was is that any JAG that wanted to end their commitment early had to go through an application process and request an early separation. For that particular year of 2013, all JAG that chose to apply to separate sooner than their commitment date had to have a new separation date of September 29, 2013, regardless of when you applied, be it in January 2013 or late May 2013 (which is when Jeremy submitted the application). Oh and did I mention that the application takes 8 weeks to be processed and notified if they accept your request to separate early?? Let me tell you, it took exactly that long. We found out in late July that they accepted his request. We patiently (not really) waited to get orders so we could schedule with TMO to have our household goods packed and shipped. We shipped our car as soon as we could. Sold our second vehicle. Jeremy wrapped up at work. We took a planned vacation the first week of August to Ireland and on September 11th moved from Germany to California. Phew, that was a very busy 6 weeks!!!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Air Force ReShaping Program

The Air Force JAG has become more and more competitive ever since Jeremy entered the Air Force in 2009. It was typical for some JAG in years past to serve for a few years and then get out and take a civilian job. However, because the economy hasn't turned around the way we all would prefer, fewer and fewer JAG are separating by their own choice (like Jeremy did last September). As a result the Air Force is retaining more JAG than the demand calls for. The Air Force has gone to their Force Shaping Program. Essentially, its a reduction of military members. Right now the 2009 JAG class is being looked at to reduce their number of Captains. Basically, the Air Force makes a decision off of performance reports etc. and selects a number of Captains to be honorable discharged from the JAG Corps..

They don't just do this to Captain's but it is done all the way up the chain to Colonel's. The benefit to this happening to you after you've served in the Air Force for 6 years is that typically you receive some kind of severance package. At times, they have even asked for volunteers to separate and they will pay out up to 1 and a half the normal severance package. This way they weed out those who are planning and/ or want to separate instead of letting go other members that actually want to stay in.

THEN, there is the reshaping program that Jeremy found out about (kind of last minute if you ask me) that allowed him to get out of his commitment early. To which I will write about in my next post. And this time I PROMISE it will be soon!