Step 1 in the “2 Steps to Civvy-dom” Program
Well, that’s it. The beginning of the end. The end of my RAF life and being a rank and number and the start of my promotion to plain old Mrs!! Today I filled out my application to be considered for redundancy – eeeeeeeeeeeek!!!! I am now officially pooping myself about leaving the bubble, but it actually feels good to have made the first move.
So the way it all works is roughly this: the RAF decides how many of a particular trade and rank they need to lose in the redundancies, which is what they announced on 17th Jan. They ask for volunteers and if they don’t get enough volunteers then they have to start making compulsory redundancies. Whether you volunteer or are compulsory they will announce exactly which people are getting made redundant in June. If you’re a volunteer you get to leave in December. If compulsory you stay until June 2013.
I love the RAF, and I love being and RAF Photog, and in a perfect world would happily stay and see out the rest of my working days in a blue suit, but I know that for a number of reasons it is better for me to apply to be made redundant:
- I want to be able to actually live with Mr Photog during the week as well as weekends. At the moment our jobs are 120 miles apart, so we share our lives between the flat down there and the military quarter on base.
- I know the stress and worry it would cause my husband (and the rest of my family) if I were to ever go back out on operations to Afghanistan.
- By applying I feel in control of the situation, almost like they’re not telling me to go – I’m ASKING to go, it’s MY decision. I know it’s not like that, but it feels like it.
- With the numbers of photographer Sergeants they want I’ve at least a 50% chance of getting hit with it, whether I like it or not. If I apply though, they are more likely to take me over a non-applicant.
- With my dodgy knee I am currently classed as medically limited deployable – meaning there’s only certain places that I can go, so it would be more sensible for me to go, rather than someone who can be deployed anywhere in the world, and therefore more useful than me. If you’ve read my blog post “Those that can do, those that can’t…” you’ll know how I feel about being one of the “broken toys”. Although I’ve deployed operationally in the past, I still feel awful that I can’t deploy and take my turn alongside my colleagues.
- Voluntaries get to leave in December 2012, compulsories in June 2013 – if I’m going to go, I’d rather go sooner, not hang around for another 12 months.
- Those staying in the RAF are going to find it a very different RAF – I know every generation of personnel always come out with the “it’s not the RAF it was when I joined up”, but with less personnel, and the same amount of work, it’s not going to be so much fun!
- If I stay in and get promoted to the next rank up, my job will be behind a desk – not actually getting out and about photogging!
- After 15 years in the mob, I think I’m ready for the new challenges – I’ve got a couple of ideas in my head – teaching being the main one – stay tuned!
So that explains why I’ve done it, and I know feel much more relaxed about the whole thing – I’ve no longer got the proverbial Sword of Damocles haniging over my head. Now I’ve made the move, although I love the RAF, and am scared of moving out into the “real world”, I really do hope they pick me – now I’ve thought it all through, I’m not quite as sure as I was that the RAF of the future is for me.
So, when I started this blog, it was going to be all about my career as an RAF Photog – now it seems it could be the blog of my redundancy, taking you step by step through what goes on when leaving the British Armed Forces – wait out J