Plan A versus Plan B

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NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — How many of you have received an assignment that you were not crazy about? Do you ever wonder if the Air Force is playing a trick on you?

As a young staff sergeant, I received a base of preference assignment and was stationed in beautiful Charleston, South Carolina.

The city and base were wonderful. They were close to the beach and had a variety of amenities available. I had a great team at work, a good group of friends and a beautiful girlfriend.

Additionally, I was close to finishing my bachelor’s degree and weighing all the options for my bright future. That’s when it happened. After only two years at my dream assignment, I received orders to Greenland. This brought many thoughts to mind. “Where?” “Can I get out of these orders?” “What are my options?”

It turned out I had two options, Greenland or some sort of punishment for not fulfilling my Air Force commitments. After a very short deliberation, Greenland was my new reality—and it was not a joke.

I arrived in Greenland in June. As I stepped off the plane and out into the 35 F frozen arctic weather, I instantly missed Charleston and the sunny beach life I had left behind.

Although I was unhappy about my relocation, I planned to make the best of my new assignment. Greenland was full of new experiences like, ice caves, icebergs, glaciers, the polar ice cap, igloos, seals, polar bears, Arctic foxes, 24-hour day light, 24-hour darkness, 100-mph winds, minus 52 F temperatures and the Danish and Greenlandic cultures.

There was a very small Air Force population, so small that everyone knew exactly who you were and what you would be contributing to the small community—this led to organic relationships and comradery that was truly remarkable.

Fast forward 12 months and I ended up loving my time in Greenland.

The assignment was full of once in a life time experiences that most people in the world will never be able to try. The lesson I learned from the unexpected assignment was, although my plan was great, it’s important to know that sometimes there is greater plan for us.

This can apply to assignments, relationships and everything else in-between. Approach life with a positive attitude, trust in the plan given to you and live life to the fullest.