Command Sponsored. This means that the military approves you (the dependant/s) to tag along and you and your spouse receive all the benefits of an accompanied tour. There are many reasons why the military would not want the spouse to go: unsafe, expensive, base not being able to accommodate special needs, etc. WITHOUT your name on the orders, you could potentially go anyway but you might only be able to stay for short amounts of time on a visa from the host country, you won't be able to use overseas medical services, they will not pay to move you and your belongings, you cannot live on base and the military member will not receive any additional funds for you. Basically, the military won't acknowledge you. So MAKE SURE YOU'RE ON YOUR SPOUSES ORDERS...or atleast understand why you aren't.Assignment Night
I'm not sure if assignment nights are done the same way at every base or branch, but here they have a big event at the club, sponsored by the graduating class. It's an open invitation, typically with free food and beer. This is a really casual and fun event, most people on base who can go, do. I'm sure the free beer helps. The graduating class presents their homemade 'class video' (light-hearted, funny, and often filled with mocking themselves and imitations of Air Force and pilot stereotypes). Next come the assignments. The student gets called up to stand in front of everyone, then they get roasted (the rest of his/her class has previously come up with a script for them), and then they find out what plane they will be flying and where they will be stationed next.Dream sheet
This nice piece of paper that lists what planes/bases are available for your assignment. Aaron had to write everything on that list in order of preference. He had 1 weekend to consult the list and make his decisions. It seems like sort of a mystery as how they pick people to go where. Obviously, if they need airmen in location X, you'll be sent to location X regardless of your dream sheet. I think that the dream sheet is used as more of a 'tie-breaker', if both base X & Y need someone like you equally, and location Y is on your list, you'll get location Y. The selection you end up receiving can also depend on the number of other people requesting that choice and your class standing.Exchange
I describe this as the military department store. It's THE place to buy stuff you need. Depending on the size of your Exchange, you can get cloths, furniture, household supplies, gifts, tvs, etc. I think ours here is one of the largest Exchanges in the world. Don't quote me on that though.HHG Shipment
HHG stands for Household Goods. There are lots of details involving a HHG shipment, so meeting with you Transportation Office or Readiness Center would be your first step for a move. We've only moved once within the states, so that's all I can really speak about. Basically, the government pays to move your stuff when sending you to another 'permanent' duty station. The service member (or designated other person, like a spouse) coordinates the packing, shipping, and arrival with a contracted moving company. This is typically your 'bulk' shipment, unless you are doing a full PPM.
ITT (Information Tickets & Travel)
A service offered on our base (and many other bases) that supplies information and tickets for events off base. Trips usually include transportation. They also offer discounted tickets to many things including special events/activities/hotels, and can make reservations for flights and hotels off island.
Chinese characters used in modern Japanese writing. Hiragana and katakana are also used. There are 5-10 thousand Kanji characters, and Aaron is focusing on learning the basic 1,000, which, if successful (and I have no doubt), he should be able to read things like menus, signs and newspapers when we arrive in Japan.OPSEC
Operational Security. Basically, by following operations security procedures, you protect little bits of information that could be grouped together to give the bigger picture. Things that seem innocent enough individually, such as publicly posting (facebook, blogs, anywhere) your/your spouse's/your friend's squadron/last name/dates & locations of deployments, could be useful for enemies to do bad things. And we don't want enemies to do bad things, do we? No. So we keep private information private.PCS
Permanent Change of Station. Well, as permanent as a military move can & will be. This is when a military member moves from one duty station to another.PPM aka DITY Move
Previously known as a DITY Move (Do It Yourself Move), a PPM is a Personally Procured Move. This allows you (the mover) to move all or some of your HHG. Following the appropriate procedures of a PPM, you will be reimbursed up to the governments cost. Most moves will include at least a partial PPM, which is what we did when moving from Florida to Oklahoma. The movers packed most of our stuff, but we filled our vehicles to the brim with things we didn't want damaged or lost, and things we would use right away at our new home. We got our vehicles weighed empty & when we were fully loaded. We were able to receive our PPM reimbursement, per diem, and mileage reimbursement, all for driving our 2 vehicles to a place we were going to have to drive them anyway. There are two major things that are awesome about this. 1) We made money off of doing a PPM and 2) We had a lot of our stuff with us, which was awesome when our HHG shipment took 2 weeks to arrive.
Report on Individual Person. A document with important information on a specific person.
Report No Later Than Date. Report early, report on time, but do NOT report later than this date.
SOFA (Status of Forces Agreement)
An agreement between a host country and a foreign nation stationing military forces in that country that clarify the terms under which the military is allowed to operate.
Temporary Duty. This is duty assigned somewhere other than the members permanent duty station. It could be for a variety of time, anywhere from a few days to a few months, and your TDY station could be anywhere in the world. One thing sort of awesome about TDY's is that they come with per diem pay to cover lodging, meals, and incidentals. Depending on requirements and how the member handles his tour...you could make some cash monies
Unaccompanied Baggage. This is a shipment sent separately from your HHG. Going overseas, your HHG's are crated and sent over via boat, and could possibly take months to arrive. Your unaccompanied Baggage is a limited weight of your essentials that you would like to arrive earlier. UB is sent by plane, usually a few weeks before your HHG's arrive. Sometimes they come after, but that's just the nature of the beast. Things suggested to include in your UB are extra cloths, pots/pans, linens, etc... Something good to keep in mind is that during a PCS or TDY you are authorized to use the loan locker, borrowing anything you might need until your shipments arrive.