Thursday, January 28, 2010


Did you have the military move you or did you do it yourself?

You can do what they call a DITY move, Do it Yourself, which is what we did. We chose this route for a few reasons. Most our stuff was already boxed up b/c we were temporarily living with family. If the military moves you they come in and box everything up for you. They are liable so they will come 'un' box anything and everything you currently have boxed and redo it themselves. Crazy, I know. But the main reason we did it ourselves is because you can generally make money by doing it yourself. The military will pay you depending on rank and dependent status, per pound you move and by the mile. We used ABF, a upack, they move truck service. We loaded up the truck and they came and picked it up and delivered it to our new home, and then we unloaded it. They take it to a weigh station before and after and print out a ticket. That is what we gave to the military to determine how many pounds we moved. It cost us a total of $2200 to move our belongings from California to Texas. With 1st LT rank and with dependent status (married constitutes dependent status) and for the number of miles we moved we were given roughly $8000. They do take taxes out of the difference from what you actually spent and from what they give you. Thus, they taxed us on roughly $6000. We pocketed around $5000. As a side note, the military does not pay to move your vehicle unless you drive it yourself. We had family drive our car for us and I flew with my 3 girls since Top Gun wasn't around to move with us. They did pay for the gas to move my car though b/c I put some belonging in there and they do pay to move all belongings. So does that make since? You keep receipts so you can give them the total amount it cost you to move yourself so they know how to tax you. They don't actually reimburse you the exact amounts you spent. There is a set amount they give you, once again dependent on rank and distance traveled. So if you're moving just a state away you may not make any money moving yourself at all. You can find out what the rate would be that you would get paid before you decide for sure to move yourself or not. Oh and if we would have driven our car we would have pocketed a little over $1000 more. But it wasn't worth it to me to drive 26 hours with 3 little children alone :)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

He loves what he's doing

One thing that makes me happy is that Top Gun loves what he is doing. He enjoys going to work, he enjoys the variety of work that is placed in front of him, and he enjoys the people he works with. The thing with JAG's is that every 2 years they are moving stations and so are the other people in the office. Which means every summer half of the attorney's in the office are leaving. Which also means that you move up in Seniority and are given more responsibilities, more difficult cases etc, very quickly, relatively speaking. It can take years to be in a court room with big firm jobs when it was literally a matter of weeks when Top Gun was presenting closing arguments in front of a judge. (Something that was and still is completely out of his comfort zone. He is an introvert by nature.) This summer he'll have been a JAG for only one year yet he will be in charge of so much more come then b/c he will be the third in Seniority out of like 10 JAG's in the office. The experience he is/will be getting is priceless. Whether we are in the military for the long haul or short term what he is being exposed to is obviously benefiting him professionally but very much so on a personal level as well.