The joys of being a first term airman.

So Superman is an Firefighter… we’ve all figured that out right?  Awesome. šŸ™‚  So anytime you switch duty stations you in-process.  This week we found out that he’s missing an entire checklist.  He’s missing the station checklist.  Super Awesome.  I guess, back in the day, they used to run FTAC (first-term airman’s class) for 2 weeks.  Week 1 was all the classes on this is where this is, this is what services are available, this is what an STI (STD) looks like (no, not kidding), etc. etc.  Week 2 was meant for you to run around with people who actually know what they’re talking about and help you get in-processed.  In-processing is both no joke and highly irritating, you can get in serious trouble for not doing it.  They give you this packet and yell go!  Except it’s like registering for college classes, there are prerequisites to almost all of the stops… ok, maybe not ALL but many.  He totally thought he was almost done until he went to go have the lady sign off for the GTC (gov’t travel card) and she told him that he had to receive an email and then his supervisor had to look over it, then he could come back.  Does that make any sense to you?  There is also an internet training portion to this same signature that is done already but alas, now he’s waiting for an e-mail.. that I’m sure we’ll never get.  Anyway, since they changed FTAC here or maybe everywhere, there is no week 2 and when you’re on station 24 hours on/24 hours off you can’t really leave unless you have an appointment and they say it’s okay.  Who’s going to fight the non-existent fires while you’re gone?

Caveat.. did you know that most AFB’s are fireproof?  Yeah, there’s no action around here except people catching pans on fire and freaking out about smelling gas in a brand new home when they started their snowblower in the garage and left the door to the house open.  OMG, my house smells like gasoline… not natural gas, but gasoline and I don’t know how to differentiate between the two.  Or better yet, the guy that called housing maintenance because his light bulb burned up.  Housing maintenance called dispatch and there go the engines.  Guess what?  No one clarified what “burned up” meant.  Burned up = Burnt out.

Anyway, I digress.  So in-processing a first-term airman is suck, in-processing a first-term airman who’s car does not drive at all well in the snow, awful for the spouse.  Anyway, you end up doing most of this stuff on your days off.  Well, now he’s taking more training classes and tests and CDC’s and blah blah blah.  We found out on Tuesday afternoon that the class he’s required to be in starts WEDNESDAY morning at 9am.  Yah Yah Yah Yah Yah.  So now, he has to be there every day, while covering his regular shift.  So I drop him off at 7:30am (it’s going to snow) one day and I’ll have to pick him up at 3pm the following day.  Um.. what?  Fine.  His saving grace is that there are no classes on the weekends.  Look like he gets Sunday off.

Let me run some numbers for you… (2010 numbers)
Base Salary for E-3 (less than 2) = 20469.60
Scheduled hours/week = 72
Total scheduled hours/year = 3744 (assuming no deployments, TDYs, trainings, etc.)
Average Hourly Wage based on aforementioned numbers = $5.47

I know that’s not perfect, actually far from perfect… but you get the gist.  And they want to freeze the military pay?  Just for the record, he knew that he was making a sacrifice, I knew what I was getting myself into.  He’s proud to be an Airman, I’m proud to be married to one.  Before this whole experience, I was making more money as a salaried restaurant manager working 60+ hours a week… even after BAH, BAS, and my cost of insurance.  Looks like it’s time for me to get a J-O-B.  Unemployment has been so much fun though.

Too bad this base has the ability to teach the class, sometimes people get to go TDY for it.  I vote TDY!!


3 thoughts on “The joys of being a first term airman.

  1. My husband never did FTAC. lol He had a crap sponsor who forgot to sign him up so he went did all the stuff that FTAC people are suposed to do on his own and wasnt told anything till we where on base for 2 years and then they said they didnt care lol Lax paperwork much?And as for base firefighters.. lol Our last base was Dyess AFB in Texas.. SUPER dry and windy during the summer… Neighbor lets her kid stay home.. who is a 10 year old little boy.. who she knows likes the play with fire… Long story short he caught his back yard on fire on a windy day… took out my back yard and about 3 other houses. It was like a parade on my road!! 4 fire trucks, 6 security forces, 3 fire cheifs, and an ambulance… lol

  2. Your backyard or your house??? Holy crap. Nothing up hear catches on fire… except the occasional bush. I bet my husband wishes he could get out of all this crap, he's so frustrated and exhausted at this point. And he's making me exhausted too, lol.

  3. The days of FTAC…I do not reminice happily. Hell I dont even enjoy the PCS or in-process procedures since then. UGH I do love our life but today is just not the oozing with love kind of day. Best of luck with everything you are dealing with and the weather to boot. I have a friend stationed there from Germany but believe it or not she thinks its heaven on earth. I dont get it. Ill keep my hot and crazy Las Vegas, bend you over with registration fees cause you've been out of the loop for 8 years, to all your snow any day. Stay warm!

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