There have been many changes in the front office. With the exception of the DCM's OMS and myself, the entire staff has turned over. I recently returned from a 3 week vacation and found myself in the position of being the office veteran. Change can be both good and bad, but I think the positives are outweighing the negatives. The demand on us staffers is different; the hours are still long, but I am not chained to my desk as strictly as before.
The best change for me has been a sense that I can make a valuable contribution if given the chance. As the "office veteran," I am being utilized in a way that I haven't been before and it's nice. Of course, my time in the front office is coming to an end so this nice feeling will be short-lived.
A junior officer emailed me the other day because she is thinking about bidding on this position. She asked me to tell her about the job and it forced me to summarize the past 11 months; it wasn't easy. I told her about the dark side of what is a thankless job - the mundane tasks and the monotony. But I also told her that when I look back on this assignment when it's over, I will probably focus on the unique experiences it offered and the amazing people with whom I had the privilege to serve.
Two more months to go!