My stomach is in my throat. After sharing this article on Facebook about 1,100 Army Captains being given the boot sometime this week, my phone rang.
"I'm calling because that's us," she said. "My husband is in there right now being fired."
My friend was sitting in her car waiting for her husband to return from being fired. When they got up Monday morning they planned to stay in the military until past 20 years. When she picked him up Monday afternoon they needed a new life plan.
"I was super strong on the phone with him -- he kept saying I'm sorry and I kept saying its not your fault," she said. "I'm devastated."
With almost 14 years in (he is prior enlisted) they -- just like that -- are being shown the door. He has until April 1 to get out.
Ever since learning that a separation board would be thinning the ranks of my Army career folks -- both officer and senior enlisted, including possibly us -- I've been worried. No one likes to be fired from their job or hear that their friends are being forced out.
And it's not just the Army that is doing this -- Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy. We're all up for the possible slaughter.
You don't make the military a career because you want to be forced out. You don't give eight, nine, ten, 11, 12 years or more to the military because you want someone to give you the boot.
When they announced the separation boards last year they said it would be just the bottom 20 percent of the triad Captain year groups in question. You know, just the "bad" officers. Except officer or enlisted, that's never how it works. Good guys with almost perfect evaluations get cut for what seems like no reason. It's why we forked out almost $4,000 to the Army last year for missing items that my spouse was technically not responsible for and could've protested. ... because protesting would've put a blip on his record when he hit the board.
And then we would be out, too. Just like that.
In a perfect world the good guys get promoted and the bad guys get punished and cut. But that's never how it works in any office. And it's definitely not how it works in a giant bureaucracy like the military. People get promoted for reasons that seem so mindbogglingly unfair to those who feel like they've worked hard to deserve it.
And so we sit here waiting for the bad news. Are we next? Are we safe? Do we need a new life plan? Are we not good enough for the Army?
What about you?