I was told by a friend who just finished COT that I should try to get my uniform prior to arriving in Alabama to free up a little time my first day there. I have been really excited to get my uniform since I was accepted into the JAG Corps over a year ago so I decided to heed my friend's advice and go get my uniform.
In the COT packet I received there was a list of all the things I needed to get: an Airman Battle Uniform (ABU), a Service (Blue) Uniform, a Mess Dress Uniform (the Air Force's version of a tuxedo), some Physical Training (PT) gear, and some miscellaneous supplies. With my list in hand, I contacted the local Air Force Base (AFB) to determine what I had to do to get my stuff. I set up an appointment with the AAFES and headed up to the Base. Fortunately I went during a time that they weren't very busy so I could get one-on-one attention will my things.
I had to be fitted for my ABU, my Blues, and my Mess Dress and had to leave all but the ABU pants for alterations and for my various patches to be sewn on. The whole process took a lot longer that I was expecting (2 hours) but the people were very helpful. Unfortunately, they didn't have everything that I needed but I have been told that I can pick those things up in Alabama.
Besides my uniform, my wife and I have been focused a lot on organizing all our stuff. We had been preparing for a state-side assignment and had started packing accordingly, but now we have to decrease the amount of stuff we're taking and remove most of our electronics and appliances. One specific issue is our bed. We have been told that the bedrooms tend to be rather small and usually can't fit a king-sized bed. Since that's what we've got, we have started looking around for a queen bed to take over.
We have also been trying to figure out what to do about a vehicle while in Germany. The military will ship one car over with our stuff but we don't think that we want to take either of our cars over with us. One is an SUV with terrible gas millage (I've been told that gas in Germany can be between $6.50-8.00/gallon) and our other car is a Honda Accord (better gas millage, but a little small for our growing family).
We have been looking at some Diesel wagons in the states and also and some European cars. We still haven't decided if we want to buy something here and ship it over or wait until we get there and pick something up. There are definitely a lot more "family" cars with good gas millage in Europe, but we aren't sure we want to risk getting over there and not having something right away.
Anyway, life is busy and we are looking forward to the day we are settled in Germany and can start enjoying the European experience.