Last Updated on June 13, 2023
It sounds so nice! Fill out a wish list of your top three locations to live and the Army will “do its best” to accommodate your request. Well, let’s clear one thing up right now. There’s a very good reason why it is referred to as a wish list.
It’s a Wish List, Not a Guarantee
I’ve seen many military spouses be very disappointed when their soldiers did not get one of the duty locations notated on their wish list.
With first-time enlistments, I would actually be quite shocked if the Army actually even looked at the list when making decisions about the soldier’s first duty station.
I’m more of the belief that if the soldier was given the first duty location of his dreams, it fell into the pure luck category more than anything else.
Changes Announced in 2022
Changes were made in 2022 that allowed some new soldiers to choose their first duty station. This is seen as a recruiting incentive in the same way an enlistment bonus is. There is a list of duty stations to choose from and this list can be updated at any time. If your soldier is adamant about being close to home (or far away!), then be sure to ask the recruiter about this option.
Stacking the Odds In Your Favor
Of course, the wish list should be completed because, after all, you never know. Maybe you’ll be one of the spouses who is deemed lucky with a soldier who gets choice #1.
How can you increase your chances of getting lucky? There’s one main tip.
Your soldier has an MOS. He may have an MOS that is at nearly every Army post there is or he may have one that is only at a handful of posts.
If your soldier lists posts with units that don’t need his MOS, then he really just wasted his time in completing the wish list at all. Do some research ahead of time and be sure that his MOS fits the duty locations that are chosen.
This also applies to schools or programs that your soldier may be attending. For instance, there are only a few airborne units.
While those that graduate from Airborne school are not guaranteed a spot in an Airborne unit, it usually works out that way. If your soldier is attending Airborne school, make sure the wish list contains posts that have an Airborne unit.
With Ranger BN and Special Forces, these guys are only stationed at certain locations. Unless things have changed drastically, a Ranger BN assignment really is the luck of the draw.
Rather than choose your wish list based on the best locations, be sure to choose based on the best choice for your soldier and his MOS. And remember, the needs of the Army will trump all else.
Your soldier can access his wish list on the HRC website under ASK (Assignment Satisfaction Key).