My last week…

I don’t know why but I had always envisaged my last week in the Army as a sentimental Military milestone where everyone patted you on the back and wished you well, where you did no work and cut around in civvies calmly (with a smug look on your face) getting your clearance chit signed…

How wrong was I?!

Actually it’s just another week. You are required to work if someone needs your help because you are still in the Army, nobody really seems to care that you are leaving, you are still in Uniform as you are forced to keep a set in case we (the UK) goes to war with Syria/Libya/Korea and you are recalled and the clearance chit is the MOST difficult document in the world to complete! For years as an administrator I have said to the guys ‘I’m the last one of the sheet’ or ‘you need to get this person before I can sign it’ and believe me – Karma is a bitch! I’m sure people were doing it on purpose and the icing on the cake is when you think you are nearly done and people start manually inserting other people to see! Aaaargh! Anyway, after a valiant effort I handed it into the Docs Sgt with most boxes signed.

My leaving do was also nowhere near how I’d imagined…After 13 years service I thought I’d be given a decent send off by all – instead my Dept of 8 people (including me) went to a restaurant, had a very early lunch which I had to pay for and then everyone less 2 people went back to work! To say I was mortified at the poor show was an understatement. Eventually people finished work and more of my friends joined the cause but I had got way too carried away drowning my sorrows in approx 8 bottles of Moet by this point and was taken back to the block by a friend.

The next day I cleaned my room in the block with a hangover from hell and handed it over to the QMs staff. I nipped into the Office to hand in my ID Card and sign my Official Secrets Act said goodbye to people in there and they said goodbye in return and then they continued to tap away on their computers and I was already forgotten.

I was so disappointed with how my Military service came to an end and felt that rather than go out with a bang, I just faded away into obscurity…but this just proved to me that deciding to leave the Army was the best thing I could’ve done as you are just a number, you aren’t irreplaceable and the big Military machine will continue to roll on without you!

7 thoughts on “My last week…

  1. When I left 3 Regt I was proper messed around by the 2ic. Can’t remember his name but he was a 24 carat bell end. After 20+ years I ended up sneaking out of the back door to my car and driving off before the 2ic could inflict more misery. The Det said bye and got me a signed Arsenal picture. Given that I am an Arsenal nut it was perfect. I now work with loads of ex squadies, the majority tell a similar story. Never looked back since leaving. Went to the Army v Navy and the same old problems not only still exist but have got worse. Onwards and upwards.

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  2. I was pregnant when I left so no big drunken top table for me. My section threw me a tea party after work on my last day wich was quite sweet though. But yes my last day of service was 9 months later ANC it passed without ceremony and I did feel a bit deflated and sad but then I look at my little family and my house and I couldn’t be happier. The big exciting military wheel will keep turning but we have done our bit and now it’s time for new adventures. I have witnessed how hard you work – months of 12-18hr days without a day off and still delegating jobs in your sleep! Civvy street is lucky to have you, you are a force to be reckoned with! X

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  3. It was a bit like that for me as well and I did 24 years service. When I left I rang our ‘Corps RSM’ to ask how much money I was entitled to for a leaving gift as I had been paying into a centralised fund for a number of years. I was firmly told I was not entitled to any of it as I was serving outside the main Corps (Royal Signals). He did add that I could go to Blandford and be dined out of the mess but this was not appealing to me as it would force everyone to a mess dinner where the majority of them did not know who I was. I must admit I was fuming …. yes just another number in the machine. Still I have moved on from that and have been out for 8 years now and set a couple of businesses up: Demob Job Ltd and CivvyJobs.com.

    Onwards and upwards as they say

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    • Thanks for the comment Adrain, its sad really that it ends up like that for a lot of us but you are proof that there is a successful life out there for us if we are ambitious enough to live it!

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  4. I was pregnant when I left the army too. I had a little meal (paid for by ourselves) an everyone left early – pregnant me and the hubby were the only people who ended up staying out! Was forgotten by the mess after paying in for all those years got nothing same from the battery too. They didn’t even ask me to de kit or do clearance…I was still living on camp as my husband was still serving so was now a “wifey” when I had the baby I got no welfare visit, nothing but my next door neighbour had the welfare round with the works – flowers cards etc! Felt really let down! Been in civvy street 3 years now, I do miss the army (probably the social side) but I get so much more appreciation now for the hours and work I put in! Good luck or the future šŸ™‚ xxx

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    • Lauren, thanks for your comment. Yeah, its sad that so many people just seem to be ‘forgotten about’. Has anyone out there had a positive experience leaving the Army I wonder?? šŸ™‚

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