Here are some of the first questions I usually get about the TACP life.
- What is TACP?
Click here to read Wikipedia’s description. It’s pretty good.
Here is a little video on the training:
- How often do they deploy?
This depends on the unit where they are stationed. As of right now, all TACPs will deploy on a regular basis. Single TACPs can volunteer to go on an even faster schedule if they wish (lots of the ones I’ve known are nice to do this so that the married guys can be home a little longer).
- How long are deployments?
Deployments are now going to be 9 months long.
- How do you deal with all the separation?
This is the toughest question to answer. I hope my regular postings will provide some insight into how I cope. But, I will share this…
– Keep busy, just as everyone advises. Try to get into your hobbies.
– Avoid the news when they’re away. It’s tempting, (especially when you don’t hear from them for a while) but ultimately, reading or watching the news about the dangerous things going on wherever they are – can only make you worry more.
– Have a good attitude. This is the most important thing of all. It’s so easy to wallow in the sadness of him being gone; we all do it at points. Not only are there deployments, but there are TDYs that take them away… so… I have learned to guard my thoughts. Don’t let your mind wander to the bad imaginings – what could happen while he’s away – or questioning the sanity behind living a life of so much separation in the most important relationship you have. Instead, focus on being a strong, independent woman. Mr.Hubs is an integral part of my life and I love him and lean on him when he’s around. But, I know that I can survive on my own and take care of things while he’s away. No need to focus on the fact that it’s easier when he’s home when facing day-to-day difficulties while he’s gone. I just appreciate him that much more when he is around. This doesn’t mean I don’t break down and cry when the washing machine floods the laundry room and all I want is Mr.Hubs to be there and fix everything and give me a hug. It doesn’t mean I don’t lie awake some nights when I know he’s on a mission and worry and pray until the morning. But – I strive to not let my mind go those directions, and it has really helped me in dealing with this military lifestyle.
- Where do you get stationed? Where do you live?
TACPs are stationed on Army bases. You can live in base housing, or find your own place off base if you wish. I believe there are around 3 Air Force bases where TACPs can be stationed, but it is rare to ever live on an Air Force base when you are in the TACP career field.
- Are many TACPs married? Are there wives/girlfriends to connect with about dealing with the life being connected to TACPs?
I know a lot of TACPs that are married. At Mr.Hubs’ graduation, we heard a speech on how TACPs shouldn’t be in serious relationships, and that they should prepare their families for their death (basically). Don’t be intimidated by these speeches. I would estimate about half of the guys end up married and with kids by the time they are 30. It’s tough, but it’s do-able… and you won’t be alone as the only wife of a TACP on whatever base you are stationed at. There are some of us at every unit. :)