The non-commissioned officer-turned-officer knew the service was downsizing after more than a decade of war. But he figured he'd be one of the lucky ones, in part because of his tours in Bosnia, Kosovo and, most recently, Afghanistan. What's more, he had just received orders to move to a new duty station.
So he and his wife, who's newly pregnant with their first child, signed a lease and put a deposit on a home at the family's next location. A few days later, he was called into his post's commanding general's office and informed that, effective almost immediately, he would no longer be in the military.
"I was led to believe that everything was good to go, and next thing you know, Monday morning, you're having to talk to the man," said the captain, who requested anonymity to speak freely about the incident and without professional repercussions. "You never think it's going to happen to you."