I have been contemplating attempting to join the commissioned corps for some time now. Since graduating nursing school
I have worked for the Department of Veteran's Affairs, as well as the DOD. My wife is an active duty officer (non medical) and that means we move quite often. I have been weighing the pros and cons of joining, and have a lot of unanswered questions even after speaking with the corps and individuals who have served personally.
My main concern is the filling of positions. Anyone who has worked in civil service knows how tedious it is applying to, and waiting for, a civil service position (even direct hire positions). It has been months to begin work in my positions with the VA and DOD. Has this been the experience for anyone within the corps?
Secondly, how easy is it to relocate within the corps, and is it recommended to switch agencies for career progression? For instance, if your first position is within the BOP, and due to dual spouse status we have to relocate and there are only positions within another agency or in an area that I don't have experience, how easy would it be to secure a position?
Finally, how quickly can you promote through the ranks? Being a GS12 currently, it is a bit frightening to look at the salary of an 01 or 02 (which is what I understand that I would probably go in as). Of course dual BAH would be nice, but I still am not sure if the salary and benefits would be comparable to my salary/benefits now (already have TSP, tricare, time toward 20 year retirement) for the foreseeable future.
Any information would be greatly appreciate.