Many of you were wondering where I disappeared to. You might wonder what is up with the picture of the ships and helicopter above. Well, the short answer is…I got a new job! I know you all must be shaking your heads and thinking… “You just moved to Texas and got a new job there! What gives?” That is correct. In a nut shell…I got out of the US Navy in 2002 after almost 10 years of service and opened a retail computer store from 2002-2005. I then closed my business and became a police officer for the city of Norfolk from 2005-2011. The economy and the work climate became horrible and I needed a change. I needed a positive change. I applied for and was hired as a police officer in Lewisville, TX. My family and I moved to Texas in early 2011. While this was a positive change and the economy couldn’t have been better compared to Virginia, I felt something was lacking. I am not sure if I was just tired of the type of work I was doing or what. Even though I really improved my family’s well being something was just a miss. Long story short… a friend of mine from my first Navy ship, USS INDEPENDENCE CV-62, got in touch with me and told me about Military Sealift Command. Military Sealift Command, MSC for short, is a US Navy organization. MSC is responsible for the replenishment of US Navy ships at sea. MSC ships deliver cargo (food, parts, etc), fuel and ammunition to the Navy. Employees of MSC are government civilians and also United States Coast Guard certified merchant mariners. My friend said I could do exactly what I did in the Navy (shipboard electrician) but be a civilian doing it. I was interested…
Blessings and sacrifices?
I read up on MSC and I really liked what I read. The pay, the benefits, the travel, and everything I read was so much better than the Navy. So how is something a blessing and a sacrifice at the same time? Lets look at the benefits of the job I would soon be partaking in:
- Pay – Working for MSC I have the opportunity to double my police officer’s salary and make more money than I ever have in my life. Over 6 figures. Yes, you read that right…
- Retirement – My 10 years in the Navy will not have been worked in vain. I can use these 10 years towards federal retirement. So it is like being hired for a job where you already have 10 years tenure.
- Medical – My full coverage PPO health insurance by Blue Cross Blue Shield is $264.00 a month. Most health coverage I have had at other jobs were double that.
- Life insurance – The government offers really good term insurance for pennies on the dollar.
- Thrift Savings Plan – This is the government’s version of a 401K. They have a 5% match for your 5% contribution. Who doesn’t like free money?
- Job security – Is there really a such thing? I figure the government isn’t shutting down the Navy in the near future, and they will always need food/fuel/supplies and such so I feel pretty confident the job won’t be disappearing anytime soon.
- Travel – The one thing I did enjoy about the Navy was the travel. I have been to so many places and there is so many more places to see. Asia? Europe? Middle East? You betcha!
Ok, so what is the catch? What are the sacrifices? Separation from my family! Being a sailor again means I will be at sea. MSC has a 4/1 month rotation. You have to be attached to a ship for a minimum of 4 months before you can take a paid 30 days leave. That is a long time when you have a 9 year old daughter and a family that you love dearly. Before I even considered working for MSC, I sat down with my family and we discussed the pros and cons of the job. We felt that the pros definitely out weighed the cons, at least for now.
So what does all of this boil down to? Pretty much, you guessed it… money. By making so much more income than I did before, we can get out of debt even faster! We can buy a house that we want and provide our daughter a good college education. We can build a large and secure retirement. No Walmart people greeting for me when I am in my 70′s… Being debt free is really important to us. It is time to stop the financial leaks and kill all the financial leeches that are keeping us from financial freedom.
Where I am today
I was hired by MSC as a Second Electrician in the beginning of May 2012 and hung up my police uniform. I am writing this blog post from Norfolk, VA… Yes, the place I moved from just a year and a half earlier. I am only here until I am assigned a ship in the very near future. My family will reside in Texas for now and when I return from deployment, we will decide exactly where we want to buy a house. Preparing for my first deployment is exciting and scary all at the same time. Just to think, I was in the US Navy for 10 years, got out and did my own thing for 10 years and now I am back getting ready to sail again, but this time as a well paid government employee. Stay tuned for more to come!
Have you been stepping up the ladder of success as I have been trying to? What are your blessings and sacrifices?
To your financial health — Martilyo!