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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    351

    Family Housing at FLETC

    I found a little bit of information in an old thread but still have a few questions.

    In the old thread they metioned some apartments that were for families of those attending FLETC. Does anyone have anymore info on this?

    How many of you are thinking of taking family with you?

    I am married with a one year old. We are still debating the issue. I currently live about eight hours away. My mentor has told me there is not alot of time for family it may be pointless to move them down there for six months and them move them again. At the same time it would be difficult to be away from them.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    674
    I'm pretty sure there are NO apartments for families at FLETC. If people have brought there family, they usually stay in a hotel room. Not much fun.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    CA!
    Posts
    2,041

    icon22.gif

    Not only is there *NO* housing provided to family of students attending FLETC, but your wife/family can't even spend the night with you in your dorm room overnight. So even if the wife/kids were to fly in on a Friday, you can't have them stay the night in your room with you over the weekend (not that there would be enough room to do so anyway).

    Some of my classmates had family come to FLETC during their academy. They rented a residence inn/apartment (on St. Simon I *THINK*) for a few months. Expensive and not very practical if your significant other works. As you've already heard, there won't be a ton of time to spend with family outside the weekends. Even on the weekends you'd probably want to hang with your classmates a bit. Hard to study and help each other out when you're only in class and they never see you outside of that.

    I left my newborn and wife at home when I was at FLETC. Hardest thing I've had to do... My wife wasn't able to come with me with our son, but looking back now, I think even if she had been able to it would be better that she didn't. Set aside a weekend (especially if you get a 3 day weekend while there) to go see Jacksonville, Savannah, etc with the family on a visit. Staying there full time is not a good idea (in my opinion).

    Kahuna
    Humuhumunukunukuapua'a

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    South of the border...
    Posts
    534
    Worsham,

    Had a good buddy who rented a place for his family while he went through FLETC. Bottom line, it wasn't a very good idea. Long, unpredictable training hours, steady homework/study in the evening vs. spending that time with your family who haven't seen you all day makes it a tough go. Also, you sort of unwittingly isolate yourself from your classmates who generally hang-out/bond and blow off steam during the short weekends... It can be done, but I would give serious thought to removing the family from a known, comfortable spot and uprooting them to GA. Most of us with families had them come up for a few long (2-day) weekends and then it becomes a small vacation! St. Simons Island has some nice resorts that are close by and family friendly. Good luck!
    Better than honor and glory and history's iron pen-
    Was the thought of duty done and the love of his fellow men
    - Richard Watson Gilder

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    196
    I suggest locating the halfway point between your house and FLETC. Since you only live 8 hours away, a 4 hour drive wouldn't be too bad. Maybe schedule a visit every few weeks. You will need some weekend time to bond with your classmates. Friendships formed there can keep you sane.

    Good luck!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    6,371
    I would support the advice given here about maybe a nice visit. Another thing you may want to be aware of. If you are housed at FLETC you will be on very limited per diem and it is not your choice to move off base and switch to a higher rate. Cost of putting the family up and living off base in a temp apartment or hotel is overwhelmingly on your dime. Back in the day, you got the incidental expense money which was a couple of bucks a day. Given inflation it is probably still a couple of bucks a day. Maybe a more recent alumnus could put a figure on it for you.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    8

    St Simons condo

    I rented a small 2 bedroom 2 1/2 bath furnished condo for my wife and little girl on St. Simons Island. It's less than a mile to the beach. The girls have a great time without me during the week and I see them every weekend. Every once in a while, it seems like I missed some drunken revelry but I also know EVERY single one of my classmates would prefer spending the weekend with their families. I feel sorry for them. I don't know how I'd go without seeing my little girl for 6, 5, 4 or even 1 month. It's costing me $1,325 a month and includes utilities.

    my .02$

    bsd777

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Just down the road....
    Posts
    660
    "Overnight guest (s) at FLETC dorms are strictly prohibited"..........that's a paraphrase quote (oximoron) at the main entrance to some dorms..........FLETC training is designed to isolate the student from the family issues as much as possible, so the student only concern is training...........

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Not at my desk
    Posts
    7,502
    I don't know how I'd go without seeing my little girl for 6, 5, 4 or even 1 month.
    I'm glad this is working out for you right now, but as soon as your agency sends you on a detail somewhere, you'll learn how (and so will your family). Not that it's going to happen every day, but it still happens - especially nowadays, when it seems like we're getting tapped for things that we didn't traditionally get tapped for due to various government entities being stretched thin. Even though this seems like a great plan, I would advise anyone else against it because you need to be able to be on your own eventually (and so does your family).

    FLETC is a controlled environment as far as separation from family: your weekends are generally free if the family is close enough to visit you or vice versa and there are always 3-day weekends. Not to mention the fact that you can speak with them by phone every day, multiple times a day, if necessary (and you get paid by the G for phone calls - I think it was $5.00 a day). It's a great "testing ground" for people who don't have a whole lot of experience being away from their loved ones. If you're not used to it now, it'll be even more shocking for you (and your children) later on when you're in a scumhole like New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, unable to see them at all for the duration and sporadically unable to even speak with them for 2 or 3 days at a time because of duty issues, lack of phone service, whatever.

    Moreover, there have been a handful of people in the various FLETC classes I've attended who brought their families and they missed a lot more than just "drunken revelry." The experience you have there depends a lot on what you put into it, and by bringing your family with you, you end up being able to put less in than everyone else, whether you intend it that way or not.

    I would only advise doing this if you have no other choice. One agent I knew had just given birth a month before so she moved her husband and newborn into a motel so she could take care of the baby. That's a given. But I wouldn't do it just because you don't want to miss someone or be apart, because I think you'll just be prolonging the inevitable separations that you'll experience with this job and potentially making those future separations worse by delaying them. FLETC lets you "ease" into it, so I would take advantage.

    k
    "I don't share your greed...the only card I need...is the Ace of Spades, the Ace of Spades..."

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    HQ
    Posts
    374
    I know of a few situations in the past that agencies have paid for off site housing when there was a critical need for the family to be near. The two I know of were for medical necessity and the agency made accomodations. I believe that in both situations the agency did not pay for the full cost of the lodging. I think they paid the standard rate and the trainee had to pay the rest.

    They won't make exceptions because it will be "hard" on the family. You won't get any sympathy 'cause almost everyone there has been there and done it.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    787
    In the line of leaving on the weekends, is there any limit (official/unofficial) to how often a student would head home?

    Granted the wallet will place a cap on the number of trips home during a 6 month training period. I was thinking once a month might be reasonable, but I'm not married yet, so I don't have a wife and kids waiting home for me. I also wouldn't want to be branded 'that guy' who runs home every other weekend.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    252
    Quote Originally Posted by LongTermGoal
    In the line of leaving on the weekends, is there any limit (official/unofficial) to how often a student would head home?

    Granted the wallet will place a cap on the number of trips home during a 6 month training period. I was thinking once a month might be reasonable, but I'm not married yet, so I don't have a wife and kids waiting home for me. I also wouldn't want to be branded 'that guy' who runs home every other weekend.
    It all depends on your agency. When I was at FLETC with Customs, they didnt mind me going home as long as my class coordinator knew about it. However, when my wife was at FLETC with the Secret Service, she came home several times and then had a talking to by her ASAC.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Ny
    Posts
    298
    Get yourself a laptop with a web cam and you can talk to your family every night right from your room.My kids are young and took me being away real hard but after a few weeks and me calling them everyday they settled down.Two months later I flew home for Christmas for the weekend and going back was a disaster.The kids were crying and hysterical and got me all off my game.I had my firearms qual the day after I got back and even though I had never shot the course below passing I failed my qual because my mind was not where it belonged.I was worried about going home and having a scene when I had to leave again and that is EXACTLY what happened.If I had to do it all over again I probably would have bought a lot more gifts and stayed at FLETC.Almost everyone down there has family and is going through the same withdrawal.If you want what is best for them in the long run you will concentrate on the task at hand.Get the job,keep the job and make lots of money.This way you can give them all the things they deserve.Once you get home from your hard earned graduation the time away is soon forgotten.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    230
    Quote Originally Posted by bsd777
    I rented a small 2 bedroom 2 1/2 bath furnished condo for my wife and little girl on St. Simons Island. I don't know how I'd go without seeing my little girl for 6, 5, 4 or even 1 month. It's costing me $1,325 a month and includes utilities.
    Wow, great post (I am pming you)...especially for those of us who are looking for alternatives for family, have done the "my job is my life" thing for a quite a while, and who do not need to create space away from the family to get the experience of doing so(because we have checked that block on year + long combat deployments or in other experiences). All I can say is that a job is just a job meaning fraternity brothers and boot camp buddies all play second fiddle to births, kids, and wives...maybe requiring "environmental isolation" applies to 20 somethings who need teamwork experience or time management training but I personnally find it difficult to justify not making every effort to be proximate to family. The prevailing sentiment on this particular thread sounds ominously like silliness I have heard from inexperienced young company commanders in the military who are advocates of working 90 hour weeks only to pressure people in to "mandatory fun" on friday nights because it builds "esprit de corps". I cant imagine that there wont be enough mandatory fun to attend in a 25 year career in a federal agency to keep me well briefed on my peer's cocktail party banter. If you have to take weekends or time off away from your family during training (on top of the week night after hours teamwork or studying you can accomplish) then there has to be something wrong. K Rellum said it best, "you are going to be on your own eventually (for extended periods)" and when that happens I will be kicking myself if I dont make every effort to maximize every second with my family like bsd777 is doing because I've experienced the burdens of a long separation on a marraige and it has taught me that the solid relationship you build with your spouse during the time you are afforded together is the thing that is going to pay off when the heat is on...and I know from experience that training is not the heat. Im sure this post will draw counterfire but to each their own, thanks BSD777. HD
    Last edited by huntrdurhm; 05-19-2006 at 02:10.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Not at my desk
    Posts
    7,502
    I've been on an overseas deployment as well, and it's markedly different from FLETC. FLETC and the training you receive there is not even remotely similar to a military experience overseas.

    On deployment, I was already trained and knew my job. Still training, yes, but the basics had already been hammered into me in the schools I had attended. Having my wife there would not have lessened my skill level or attention on my duties to the same degree. FLETC, on the other hand - at least the first time - was a new animal for me, as was law enforcement in general. For that reason I had to focus a lot more, as I think anyone who is new to the job SHOULD be doing at that initial point in their career. If someone has been there a few times already and is not there for a basic class, then bringing family is certainly an option, but if you're there for the first time or for a basic school and you bring your family along, you're cheating yourself, your classmates, and ultimately, the competence level that you could have when you leave - it will be lessened to some extent because the attention you were able to give to your work/studies was likewise lessened (maybe not a lot, but it will be less than the student who didn't bring their family with them). This obviously may not apply to someone who is already near the top of their game as a LE officer or who is on their Nth visit to Southern Georgia, but I don't think we're talking about anyone in that category here.

    Being with your classmates is not just about "esprit de corps." It's also about making and enhancing future contacts (for job purposes, i.e. to make you a more effective investigator) and about soaking up everyone else's collective expertise. This is something that is not always done just by sitting alongside them in a classroom, but also by spending time with them away from the books. And outside of the sheer LE-knowledge aspect of it all, there are some very unique personalities that you can learn from; something I've done each time I've been there and something I would NOT have done if I had been taking off every evening or weekend to be with my wife on St. Simons (I've seen people do this and they DO miss out).
    "I don't share your greed...the only card I need...is the Ace of Spades, the Ace of Spades..."


 

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