Orders are finally here, and where are you going? Civilian land for I&I duty.
What is I&I Duty anyway?
I certainly had never heard of it until my husband got orders. Here’s what you need to know to prepare yourself for the experience of I&I Duty.
I&I Duty stands for Inspector & Instructor. Basically, your Marine (I have no idea if there’s I&I duty in the other branches, if so someone pipe up and tell me 🙂 ) will be one of several active duty Marines in a Reserve Unit. You’ll probably be living in a civilian area, and might not have a base nearby. Your significant other will be doing their usual job duties, in addition to things like Toys For Tots fundraisers, events & activities, Funerals, Color Guards, and Parades. Oh…and Drill Weekends, and Annual Training.
Anyone familiar with the Reserves will know what Drill Weekend is, but basically it’s that “One Weekend a Month” when all the Reserve Marines are activated and do whatever it is they do on Drill Weekends. Active Duty spouses, you probably won’t see much of your husband/wife on Drill Weekend. Annual Training is the “two weeks a year” part where most of the unit goes off somewhere for a training exercise. Your active duty Marine may or may not attend this as well.
So what’s life like?
During Toys For Tots season is busy season. Your Marine will be busy with various events for Toys For Tots ranging from Gala’s to Parades and everything in between. Not to mention all the toys that needs picking up, dropping off, and sorting! They often are out late for events, and almost always have a packed weekend of T4T events. It is however, an awesome cause, and will make so many children very happy! In the end, I’m sure they will tell you it’s worth it. Especially if they get the coveted role of dropping off the gifts to the kids. That’s for sure my husband’s favorite part!
The rest of the time they will do their normal job, interspersed with various other events, parades, color guards and funerals. There was usually at least one event every weekend, and several throughout the week. Combine that with drill weekends and you’ll pretty much never see your Marine on the weekend.
I&I is a different kind of duty station. In the end, as with all duty stations, it is what you make of it.
Have I&I questions? Ask in the comments, I’d love to share my experience!