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Thread: How does the process of selecting orders work for your SO?

  1. Senior Member
    villanelle's Avatar
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    How does the process of selecting orders work for your SO?

    I read all the time about "the lists" (whatever acronyms people use--I think EQUALS, or something like that, is one of them) coming out, and other comments about how people try for orders, and it has me scratching my head. It is so, so different than what DH (and everyone we know well, though they are generally in the same community and platform) goes through, so I thought it would be interesting (to me, at least!) to talk about this.

    Post your DH's branch, O or E, and if you feel comfortable, something about his job, and then a brief description of how the orders selection/assignment works.

    My DH is a Navy O aviator.

    Mostly, he figures out what job he wants (through what's standardly accept as good for a career and/or through personal research if one wants to do something a little different), contacts his detailer, who sees if that job has any openings anywhere that work for one's timing and if one has the proper quals and ranking to be given that job, and then one either gets it, or not. This is usually started about a year out from current orders ending.

    Timing is crucially important. Leaving a job too early or too late can destroy a career so there isn't a ton of wiggle room that can be used to make a job work, so you can't delay much in order to make a cool opportunity work for you.

    There is never any list of available jobs. It's up to the person to figure out what opportunities exists, or a detailer might be able to help with a specific request. (For example, if you wanted to do an Exchange job with a foreign military, you would tell him that and he might be able to get a list of those jobs and see if you have the correct timing for them.)

    I have never heard of anyone getting a follow on, ever.

    That's about it, I think. You?
    Science always wins over bullshit. ~Dick Rutkowski
  2. MilitarySOS Jewel
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    Dh is Army Enlisted, when he was infantry it was go where they told you when, there was really no choices .

    His current job has opportunities to go elsewhere for a few years at a time, he just has to look up what's available and then try for it. We'll always come back to his current base with his job though.
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    DH is Coast guard.

    since we have been married it has been different every time;

    First this is how it is suppose to go: OCT 1 there is a list of open billets for each job and rank. each member in the rotation to PCS will choose a detailer directed number of jobs off that list. this is called an Eresume
    there is a deadline for these but it varies by job type. but most have to be in by dec 1.
    then we all wait while the detailer ( AKA assignment officer) decides our fates and assigns us to *hopefully* some place on the list.
    then most PCS between May and Sept- we call this the transfer season.
    there are other little details - but that is it in a nut shell.

    However we have gotten to do that only twice.

    when DH was recalled to AD in 2001- he was doing his 2 weeks a year as a reservist. they wanted to send him to Miami for 30 days to 24 months and we could not move with him. So he re-enlisted. the day he enlisted the detailer called him and asked him if he wanted Miami PR, or AK, he had to answer right then and there. We went to Miami.
    11 months later he advanced from 3rd to 2nd and we were short toured, we were able to do a normal PCS e resume- but we did not get anything on the list- we got the city and state - but got a new job that was not even on the list.
    we moved 6 months later.
    11 months later DH advanced again. and we were short toured again- this time DH talked to the detailer about taking another billet where we were so our DD could graduate high school.
    3 years later DH advanced again; short toured again we were able to do a reg eresume, we got our number 1 pick.
    3 years later DH advanced again and we were short toured again and DH just talked to the other 4 that were also PCSing and the detailer to decide where he was going to go. there were 5 jobs for 5 guys.

    DH has 1 PCS left---- we have known since 2007 where he will go after this tour....... home due to retirement
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    Right now DH is enlisted, E-8. In April he commissions, W-2.

    We weren't together for his very first set but his first after he rejoined, he wrote down his top 5 from the list of what billets were available for his rate/rank and window of picking orders and when he'd be able to check-in. The Navy picked one from his list.

    For his second set he didn't put together a dream sheet. He wanted to go RDC (drill instructor) so he applied and submitted his package. It took months to get the final ok and the. He had to go to school when he got there for 4 months. Had he failed the school he would have lost the orders and either been given another job in Great Lakes or sent somewhere else. A lot of people were failing out so they stopped moving families until after the member passed the school. Not sure if they still do that.

    For his next set he put together a dream sheet again. He was told by taking RDC he would at least get his pick of coast. Lies. He wanted all east coast orders and they came out of left field with Lemoore. So DH made a call since he knew a warrant officer at his first squadron which is on the east coast. The command requested him so he got east coast. But let's just say senior chief wasn't happy and called DH to let him know he was pissed and DH was lucky he didn't out rank a warrant officer.

    Then he went for that program the Navy was doing just a little bit ago where if you did back to back sea and were certain rates/ranks you'd get a bonus. The command he got requested him. There was no dream sheet. He went there TAD since the command was to deploy before he was to officially check-in. However, when he was selected for warrant officer he lost those orders. He is now TAD to another command but supposedly next month is going back to the original command he came here for right after his RDC orders since they have to do his commissioning paperwork. But then they are to deploy before he commissions so when they do he is to go TAD to the base. So confusing. LoL

    For warrant officer there was a list that would change every month. There was a section on it that he could pick from but compared to enlisted it was VERY short. In fact, as he had gone up through the ranks the list gets shorter and shorter do he pretty much gets piogioned holed into certain areas. He knows a warrant officer on a ship so by those connections, the command requested him. He was already getting requested for by several commands here. Word was during a CO meeting his name was dropped that he was the warrant officer to get so there was 'fight' to get him. He was told that even though there was a list he was more than likely not going to pick. The Navy would pick for him. But when he got requested for the ship and he is the only warrant officer up for orders with the bench experience he actually got to pick here or there. He picked there.

    Basically I've found it is a combo of what is on the billet sheet and who you know/requests you.

    ETA: Also, something I found with the warrant officer detailer that he didn't have with enlisted, he actually asked if DH wanted orders for location/family time or career. And he is a captain. Enlisted detailers tended to be either the same rank as DH or lower ranking. Much easier for somewhere that has been in longer and risen through ranks higher than yours to help guide you. Kinda hard for someone that hasn't done it themselves to help.
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    DH was a Navy O. For years, either the detailer or the admiral would call him and say you are to X in X for X long. What is this picking orders thing, lol?
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    DH is enlisted, Air Force, linguist. There is no orders selection process, as far as his side of things goes. He goes where they tell him to go. Period. There are two major assignments for his MOS and language specialty: Fort Meade and Fort Gordon. He is required to return to the Defense Language Institute periodically (sometimes TDY, sometimes permanent, depending on the course) for additional language training, where he could also be assigned as an instructor. He can actually "apply" for the language instructor position, but in the end they often send people who didn't apply for it anyway. There are several smaller assignments in other locations that are fairly rare and they don't take requests.

    He can make a dream sheet, it's good comic material for whomever does the GA vs MD drawing.
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    Navy, E side, he's a MM Nuke on Submarines.

    His order process is pretty simple. He calls the detailer to see whats open. If he doesn't like any of those places he waits, if he does like a place he puts in for it. Then he hears back if he was selected for that spot.

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    DH is Army enlisted. As an MP he could either try to reenlist for somewhere (although it had to be available obviously, they won't just make a spot for you) or he could try to call branch and see if they would work with him, but the way it's worked out he never got to do that because he was always on orders first. This last time he was able to get ahold of branch and they said they'd let him pick between Germany and korea, but he's going to end up reclassing anyways so it's pretty much irrelevant, although he did have to ask the branch manager super nicely to not put him on orders until his packet came back for reclass either approved or denied and his branch manager was nice enough to do that. In between that he tried to reenlist for a spot and was told Germany or some tiny little post and those were his ONLY options and the tiny post was scooped up quickly by someone else. However, he is currently in an overstrength MOS and due to being an e-6 it limited his options by a lot.

    His new MOS is a TDY en route school so he'll have his orders before he leaves. He called there branch guy as instructed and was given the entire list of his options which was like 8 stateside and anything overseas and was told to pick his top choice for stateside and his top choice for overseas and once the class fills they'll try to give him one of them. He'll be somewhere at the top of the list for preference because he was one of, if not the first to call with his selections and pretty much the only thing that trumps that is efmp requirements and dual military from what he's told.
  9. Team Rocket
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    San Diego!!!
    This is a cool thread. I've wondered about it too!

    When DH was done with A-school, he got to pick where he wanted to go. He was #2 in the class and so got second pick and went with San Diego. When he was up for shore duty, he called the detailer and they tried to find him a shore duty billet. After a couple months of not finding anything he was eligible for, he was given a spot to train as a counselor for the Navy drug & alcohol rehab facility (NDACS?) The school & spot were both here in San Diego. He was excited. For a number of reasons, that didn't work out. My husband also has Asperger's (we didn't know at the time) but it was a terrible terrible idea to make someone with Asperger's into a counselor for very upset & messed up people After he was told he wasn't going to graduate from the school, he started doing maintenance and patient care at the facility. The chief there tried to create a permanent billet for DH to stay on and do his shore duty there because he was very good at it. The detailer wouldn't accept it, told DH he needed to pick a new shore duty. Well, there weren't any. AT ALL. ANYWHERE. So DH had to choose a ship in San Diego, a ship in VA, or a ship in Japan and return to sea duty. He picked San Diego and his decision not to re-enlist again was solidified
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    Quote Originally Posted by jane3 View Post
    DH was a Navy O. For years, either the detailer or the admiral would call him and say you are to X in X for X long. What is this picking orders thing, lol?
    Maybe it is a Navy O thing, because this is much more like how it is for DH! Granted, coming out of his first set of orders he did say he wanted an FRS instructor job and got it, but that's largely because of many other factors (timing, FitRep order, etc.). For the orders after that, he told the detailer, "this this cool, little known job in Europe that I really want and I know the guy in it now and he's leaving and the timing is perfect," and the detailer said, "That's nice. Here are your orders, which have nothing to do with that." When we went to japan, DH said, "my dirst choice is San Diego, followed by Hawaii, followed by FL, and my last choice is Japan. (There are only four places he can go to fly.) And the detailer said, "Konichiwa to Japan!". Dh did push for Europe (anywhere in Europe) for these orders and got them, so I guess that's something!

    And I'd love it if there was a list of jobs, like other people have, that DH could look at. I'm sure there are tons of cool things that people don't even know to ask for, unless they hear about them word of mouth (like DH did for the first time he tried for Europe).
    Science always wins over bullshit. ~Dick Rutkowski
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