I suppose that this is the part where I try to explain clearly and succinctly what the Captain's somewhat unusual situation is. Bear with me; I'm new to the world of the Army, and "succinctly" has always been somewhat of a challenge for me.
When the Captain commissioned as an officer, he was assigned to the Chemical Corps (another one of those situations in which he didn't really have much choice--the Army just put him where they needed him). The Chemos deal with nuclear, biological, chemical, and radiological weapons.
The Captain can tell you all about mustard gas. Essentially, if you find yourself transported through time to a muddy WWI trench and you smell garlic, don your gas mask posthaste. If you do not have a gas mask, steal one from someone else or run.
Anyway, while he was assigned to the 18th Fires Brigade in the 82nd Airborne Division, our intrepid hero started to learn about artillery. In fact, he was eventually put in charge of two guns in Afghanistan.
Currently, Spike has put in for a branch transfer to the FA, which he estimates has about a 40 percent chance of going through. He's hoping that attending the FA Career Course will stack the deck in his favor. The problem, as he's explained it to me, is that both the Chemos and the FA are short on officers. So, it's anyone's guess as to whether the Army will rob Peter to pay Paul. Whatever happens, I'm glad that Spike is doing everything he can shape his own destiny, as it were.
Now, back to our story. Yesterday, Spike spoke with his supervisor in the Chemical Corps, who told him that if his branch transfer did not go through he would be assigned to the 1st Infantry Division at Fort Riley, Kansas. The Captain was hoping that he'd have a few duty stations to pick from, but alas, it was not to be.
This isn't definite yet, though. The proverbial fat lady will not have sung until Spike hears the results of his branch transfer application. If the Field Artillery wants him, the Fort Riley assignment will be null and void, and he'll go somewhere with the FA--and hopefully have a few posts to pick from. If the Army decides that he will remain a Chemo, then Kansas it is.
Our potential first home sweet home as Mr. and Mrs. Butters
That's the situation. We'll still be on pins and needles until we find out for sure if the Captain is to be a Chemo or an artilleryman, but in the meantime, we've started to do a little Internet research on our potential future home. All I can say is, we will NOT be getting a dog named Toto--and you all will make Wizard of Oz jokes at your peril. Mostly because I've never liked the movie...although Wicked is a different story. But my point stands.
Oh, and if you're the praying sort, please keep us in your prayers as we navigate the next few months. There will be a lot of changes coming up!