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Emotions on discharge!!!!

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Emotions on discharge!!!!

Old 6th Dec 2016, 14:02
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Join Date: Mar 2008
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Emotions on discharge!!!!

Well the big day is soon approaching, 31 years and 7 months as an ID card holder and uniformed body comes to an end through PVR.

I know its the right decision and I have an exciting future planned, a big move and a new career shaping up nicely. The thought of staying in churning SJARS, collecting Stats and observing chiselers would pain me.

My resettlement time has been used wisely and to my advantage and all remaining leave and terminal time is occupied with trips, holidays and preparing to move.

However the final big day when I hand in the membership card say goodbye and then realize I cant walk back on unescorted seems bit daunting. Am I focusing on it to much, will it come and go with no big affair or will I back flip over the barrier with joy?

I dreamt of joining the RAF since probably 10 years old, cadets at 13 and then straight in at 17--------I leave at age 49 + as a FS. It now seems to have gone in blur and I am wondering what my next ambition will be?

How did / will everybody else approach it?
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Old 6th Dec 2016, 14:11
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How I summed it up on my last day was, when I reached the main gate and waved goodbye to my former colleagues, nobody was going too care much if I turned left, or right. Best of luck on the outside, it's great fun. Just to warn you, yes, SJARS will be gone, but stats and chiselers are everywhere

Last edited by Army Mover; 6th Dec 2016 at 15:22.
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Old 6th Dec 2016, 14:22
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How did / will everybody else approach it?

Lamin,
I left at an earlier age and with less time done in 1971. I confess I felt a little lost to the extent of overstaying my welcome by 3 or 4 days on base. One of those days included a "Do" in the NAAFI bar attended by the Staish where I had a gingerish beard and was wearing a colleagues uniform. I left next day and after some interviews started a new occupation also involving much travelling. Personally I never looked back after that but like many others I have fond memories of my time and continue to be in contact with lifelong friends made back then.
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Old 6th Dec 2016, 14:22
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I retired in 2015 from a thin blue line service after 43 years, no plans to do anything else quite content to do whatever I wanted when I wanted, tinkering with a sports car and motorcycle and anything else SWMBO wants doing. I don't miss the old job but miss some of the people I left behind. After a year of retirement I did start thinking I needed something else to do, found myself a casual job with a local funeral directors, not much money in it but it suits me and what I do make pays for my hobby vehicles.
Stepping into the Civvy world will come as a bit of a surprise they don't work like the Services, quite a culture shock but you soon learn their ways. I wish you well for the future.
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Old 6th Dec 2016, 14:45
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Join Date: May 2007
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I left in '74 straight into 3 day week etc etc.
Not much future for anyone with NBS skills in Swaffam so commuting into London for 6 months on a weekly basis. Back to live in Swaffham courtesy of a friendly computer company. Then to Cambridge (still there BTW) , lots of fun whilst in the RAF but found myself 10 years adrift of every one from outside the service at first, soon caught up and then had fun with one of those jobs where you say "and they pay me to do this?". Did I miss the RAF, it was all I knew at the time, so I'd be a liar if I said no, after all I do follow PPRuNe don't I :>)
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Old 6th Dec 2016, 14:57
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Join Date: Oct 2008
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Originally Posted by Lamin View Post
Well the big day is soon approaching, 31 years and 7 months as an ID card holder and uniformed body comes to an end through PVR.

I know its the right decision and I have an exciting future planned, a big move and a new career shaping up nicely. The thought of staying in churning SJARS, collecting Stats and observing chiselers would pain me.

My resettlement time has been used wisely and to my advantage and all remaining leave and terminal time is occupied with trips, holidays and preparing to move.

However the final big day when I hand in the membership card say goodbye and then realize I cant walk back on unescorted seems bit daunting. Am I focusing on it to much, will it come and go with no big affair or will I back flip over the barrier with joy?

I dreamt of joining the RAF since probably 10 years old, cadets at 13 and then straight in at 17--------I leave at age 49 + as a FS. It now seems to have gone in blur and I am wondering what my next ambition will be?

How did / will everybody else approach it?
I PVRD to coincide with my 22 year point as a Chf.Tech. I was asked if I wanted honorary mess membership but I had left because I didn't like it anymore so couldn't see the point. I'd doubled my wage within 12 months without all the tripe that caused me to leave. The main thing is that you have enough time to get another pension which you will probably find is more than your RAF one. Good luck, you won't regret it.
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Old 6th Dec 2016, 15:01
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I left after a total time of 31 years (1999), could not stay in until age 55, but in hindsight it turned out good for me. Had plenty of good times, some not so good, but didn’t miss the life like I thought I would. I still needed a job and did worry a bit and got talked into a low paid job due to having a pension, which in hindsight was a good stepping stone for where I finally ended up.

As I left after clearing, I felt strangely unmoved and only concerned about my ability to gain a decent job doing something I could enjoy, and get my teeth into something different but still utilised my particular skills and knowledge.
To a certain extent some could say I was still ‘in’ as my work has been within the aerospace industry supporting the services, and despite the large numbers of ex, and in some places serving military personnel, it always surprised me that a large proportion of civilian management that had not served did not understand the ‘military’ environment, actually that applies to some that had been, and still are, in the military to be honest.

I have now retired and am quite content overall to do most of what my better half decides is for my own good. So, enjoy the big world outside the military environment, I reckon it is as good in some areas and better in others, depending on who you work for and where, the good thing is it is now your choice.
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Old 6th Dec 2016, 15:21
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I spoke with a client this week, overseas, from where he'll retire. He was trepidatious about how he'd feel, not what he'd do. I was the same, but spent a year on gardening leave. I didn't even remember the looming big date, until the chief clerk called and sarcastically asked me if I had any thoughts on clearing, handing my ID in, that kind of thing etc. Thankfully, I had enough credits in the bank with the right people still in post who knew me, and I cleared in two hours flat. The chief clerk fumed I didn't have my ID or dog tags, but he was looking at someone booted and suited, who had officially been a civvy for two days.

I expected I'd be emotional, but I wasn't. I wondered if I'd offer some kind of nod to the guy on the gate as a symbolic final farewell, but didn't. I wondered if I'd be a little choked up. But I couldn't be. I had been employed for almost twelve months with a very demanding FTSE 100 company and I had moved on. The system had moved on too, I was long forgotten. I still drive past Wittering and look with fond affection at the Regt office bolted onto 1(F)'s old hanger and smile - I spend more time seeing clients there now, than I ever used to spend chatting with folk in the NAAFI, or whatever it morphed into. In a way, I haven't left I guess.

I hope he won't mind me repeating this, but I spoke with a VSO a couple of years back, and we discussed his final days 'in office'. He left Main Building with not much of a fanfare at all, and contrasted his final days with those of a WO, who knew everyone on station, and who could conjour up 36 years worth of willing participants to a beer call at the drop of a hat. Command can be a lonely place. My final day in uniform, on the other hand, was being amongst the first on the scene when a T4 rolled on take off, killing Jack London. Mine was a sad one instead, I didn't have the time or luxury to be self absorbed.

One thing I do know. Those who retire to something are far more successful and fulfilled than those who retire away from something. And on that note, I'm shortly off in the direction of Waddington. Fingers crossed for minimal fog.
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Old 6th Dec 2016, 15:35
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Handing in the ID and walking out the gate {Waddington] also hurts for some Met Men and Women.

Until that fateful moment I had been "with but not of" the RAF almost continuously for 41 years, with most of the privileges and not many of the drawbacks.

This included 15 years in OMQs, included briefing student pilots and navs, Hunters and Lightnings, choppers and transport.

Only my medical history stopped me from joining up, so I had the best deal possible under the circumstances.

PS. The pension is brilliant, thank you very much!
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Old 6th Dec 2016, 15:41
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Lamin,

As a former blue-suiter (PVR after 30 years in 2013) thank you very much for your contribution....I wonder if our paths ever crossed? I had a fantastic time in the Service but knew that the time had come to go. I have thoroughly enjoyed exploring my new world. Have all my problems disappeared? Of course not, but my service has taught me the skills I need to deal with them. I stay in touch with the friends I made but have many new friends as a result of my retirement. All the big decisions in life are bound to make one apprehensive (how nervous was I at the prospect of saying 'I do'?!) but if your judgement says it's the right thing to do then you won't regret it. I'm so glad I made the decision to join....what a blast it was...but equally, I'm glad I've moved on. I'm sure you will be too. I wish you all the very best for the future.

PS I've still got my ID card!
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Old 6th Dec 2016, 16:20
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I went for a gradual normalisation into civilian life by going straight into the reserves, it has kept me emotionally sound.
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Old 6th Dec 2016, 16:47
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Retired as a pretty senior officer, 38 years in service.. Handed in the ID cards etc. Expected to find the pension on time and the gratuity. Wrong, took 3 months to sort out and no interest on the missing gratuity. Also imagined a letter of thanks, but that took 6 months.
When your gone you can be forgotten.
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Old 6th Dec 2016, 17:06
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Clearing was easy, I signed most of it myself with various coloured pens and signatures, medical, PMC, clothing stores and the section were the only ones I bothered about, the rest seemed pointless to me and who the heck was going to chase me for the others.

Biggest regret was the friends and companionship you invariably lose as civilian street just does not have the same attitude and support.

I handed in my ID (the old white plastic credit card version that fell apart months before I left) and that was it, I visited a couple of weeks later for the section Christmas do and was signed onto Brize by my ex boss even though I was still technically in the RAF.... It would be another 27 years when I visited RAF Cosford museum, before I stepped back onto an RAF establishment.

You will find you are to a certain amount brainwashed when you come out, and I mean that in the nicest way, you could always recognise ex RAF who were freshly out by the shoes. For some reason ex RAF shoes seem to always be in vogue.

You will be ok
..

Last edited by NutLoose; 6th Dec 2016 at 17:26.
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Old 6th Dec 2016, 17:11
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I don't own this space under my name. I should have leased it while I still could
 
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Mach2. I wrote my thank you letter myself AOC signed it. Then duly filed. Wonder whatever became of it.
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Old 6th Dec 2016, 17:28
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My thank-you from the Director-General of the Met Office added, as if an afterthought :

"please feel free to make any comments or suggestions" or words to that effect.

Ridiculous, because all my pithy comments, helpful suggestions, criticisms and general "all for it" contributions had been studiously ignored by all of my line managers for 41 years.

And, no, I don't know where mine is either. It was probably of the "laugh and tear up" variety.
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Old 6th Dec 2016, 18:24
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Lamin you clearly loved the job and the RAF and that's a fantastic thing, really. And you sound pretty well sorted mentally as well. And sound positive.
As I've said before on similar threads you will be presently surprised how actually easy civvy street really is.
I mean I'm not trying to paint it like the magic roundabouts garden, but it is easier, people are generally nicer, more polite and treat you with more respect.
Important point- I'd had a bloody hard paper round in the FAA before I left-a lot of time in not so nice corners of the globe where our lovely flag flies - but Id saved a fair bit in cold hard cash because of this, and that saved money plus the grat plus the pensh went a long, long way in easing my little mind an awful lot.
Keep some cash handy mate for yourself, never mind what everybody else wants.
Good luck man, and well done.
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Old 6th Dec 2016, 19:14
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I PVR'd after 14 years because promotion had effectively died. As I was getting my blue card signed I got a bollocking for some minor thing.

I knew I'd made the right decision there and then.

Loved the work but didn't like the (un-nessessary) bulls*t that came with it, particularly from ars8holes who'd been promoted because they were useless and promotion was the easiest way to get rid of them.
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Old 6th Dec 2016, 19:38
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I don't own this space under my name. I should have leased it while I still could
 
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You will meet retirement with a sense of loss. No longer will your life be controlled by some staffer somewhere. Now you can go to bed when you want, rise at noon, read the papers in bed. In short you control your own life.

This euphoria will last about a week.

Then SWMBO will chip in with can you paint this . . . can you prune that . . . Soon the jobs build up. What took one woman 5 days and one man 2 more days now takes you more than a week. The realisation sinks in and you wonder how you found time for work. You need an electronic diary to plan and deconflict appointments a year or more in advance. No longer are you busy for children's/grand children's birthdays, plays, sports etc. You become an unpaid child minder and so it goes on.
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Old 6th Dec 2016, 19:43
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I'm in the same boat Lamin, my last day at work is next Friday (16th). I too spent my childhood years aching to join up, I became a cadet at 13 and joined as an Apprentice at 17. I've thoroughly enjoyed the vast majority of my 30 years and have no regrets. I'm leaving to continue full-time the part-time job I've been doing for the last 4 years so effectively I'm up and running already which is a relief. Guaranteed terrible pay but I think I'm striking the right work/life balance; we'll see!
As to leaving, everyone I've spoken to say the last little act where you hand your ID over is massively underwhelming. The young clerk says "Thank you, is there anything else I can help you with?" and you toddle off out the door into a new life! Endex, no duff
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Old 6th Dec 2016, 19:56
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I must confess to having a tear in my eye on my last day. I resigned in the traditional manner, and carefully stuck my service ID card into the turd I had just dropped on the Commanding Officer's desk...
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