I know I don't generally talk about work on here anymore. Despite the fact that I don't have my full name anywhere on here, I still don't want my Soldiers to accidentally find it. Besides which, my chain of command all know about this (downrange blogs and webpages have to be registered). When I first got to the battalion I was told that if I'm too negative or critical that can also be seen as insubordination as well as a sign regarding the unit's morale for the enemy. However, this was just too cute/amusing not to share.
One of my specialists, well former specialists since I'm no longer his platoon leader having taken over the XO slot, had asked me a few months ago to give him the oath when he reenlisted. Shortly after this, he'd realized he wasn't in his window yet, but asked me if I would still be here when it did open and if I'd still be willing to do it down the line no matter what. Well, we finally got to the point where his window was going to open this week. He came up to me and told me, "Ma'am, I'm not going to reenlist after all. I didn't realize that if I reenlisted for stabilization, I'd have to add a year to my contract."
Now when people reenlist, there are usually a few incentives, especially for those doing it the first time: money, choice of duty station, reclass (change of job) or stabilization, which means they will get stay with the unit they're with for an additional year beyond the time they were already supposed to. The only reason this particular Soldier had even wanted to reenlist was to stay in the unit, so it is very unfortunate that his plans didn't work out the way he'd wanted them to, however that comment was just classic from that individual. He's nice, accomplishes his tasks but like many other young Soldiers his age, occasionally is a little naive. Naturally, the whole reason the Army has reenlistments and gives people these incentives is as a reward/bribe to get them to add time to their initial contract. Granted there are the occasional people that get lucky or time it just right: for example, downrange I had a Soldier that reenlisted for stabilization but the way the timing worked out, she only added a month or less to her contract. That's not the norm, though, and she also wasn't a first term Soldier, meaning she had reenlisted already once before.
Anyway, just thought I'd share - also if there are any cadets or new platoon leaders out there reading this, just make sure your Soldiers always read the fine print/understand what exactly they are committing themselves to - in this case, at least, he realized it before he signed on the dotted line.