11 May 2013

PCS to Fort Bragg - How to Succeed Before You Even Go


This is not an official endorsement of RallyPoint.com.  I just want you all to understand how RallyPoint has helped make my PCS to Fort Bragg much better, because it can help you and your military family, too.  I asked RallyPoint if I could write this piece and they agreed.

I'm an 11B Sergeant First Class (SFC) in the Army, and I’ve deployed 4 times – twice to Afghanistan, and twice to Iraq.  I’ve been in the Army 11 years.  I’ve been a member on RallyPoint for approx. 30 days. Why should you care?  You’ll see.

I recently got orders to PCS to Fort Bragg, NC 6 months from now.  I’ll be moving from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA -- all the way across the country.  The first things I realized were:  1) I’ve never even been to Fort Bragg, and 2) I have no clue if anyone I knew is there.  My orders say that I am going to 1st BCT (Brigade Combat Team).  So, I’ll be in one of the maneuver battalions of that brigade.

RallyPoint has this map that shows you who is assigned at any duty station in the world.  I can only see this because I have a verified account.  I had played with this map a few times before – I connected with Army NCOs in the Virgin Islands and at GITMO, just because I thought it would be fun.  But now I used the map to see who I could connect with at Fort Bragg.  This is what I saw (edited) when I clicked on Fort Bragg, NC on the map.




From here, I just went to the Fort Bragg page on RallyPoint and started connecting with NCOs who are there right now.  I told them I was coming to 1st BCT later this year.  I asked them which battalion I should try to get assigned to and why.  It’s crazy how much you can find out about specific battalions by asking people in those units to talk with you offline about it.  I found out some of the battalions are better than others for an NCO with my date of rank.  One of the NCOs put me in touch with the CSM from his battalion – apparently he and I had been in Iraq at the same time.  We have talked a few times now via email and once by phone.  He is an excellent senior NCO.  Now I am slated to go to his battalion.  I can go on and on about this, but I’ll save it for another time.

Why this should matter to you
I have to ask myself – What if I had ended up in one of the worst battalions these NCOs told me about?  What if I got a bad assignment that put me behind in terms of promotion?  What if I went to a battalion with bad officers or bad senior NCOs?

Because I was proactive and used RallyPoint, I got connected with the right senior NCOs at Fort Bragg – and I’m not even there yet.

There’s no reason RallyPoint can’t do this for you, too.  I wish you all the best and thanks for your service.

SFC James (Last Name Undisclosed)
US Army
11B Infantry
RLTW


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