I started my Civil Service Career ten years ago as a GS5. A bit humbling to go from Commanding Companies, Detachments, etc. [BTW I was an E7 before I became an Officer] to being a clerk. And worked myself up from there. Now that I am a GS12, I really don't want to go any higher. Between the military retirement (O3E with 26), and GS 12 pay, all an increase in pay will do for me is throw me into another tax bracket, which pretty much doesn't make it worth. I am also one of those CPX's (30% or disabled Veterans). Maybe the next step would be to talk about RIF processes. That get's even more fun (not). I have heard stories of non-Vet GS15's bringing guns to work to shoot another GS15 that was a CPX with Veterans Preference for RIF. Everyone knows that my crystal ball states that thing are going to get real ugly come January. Luckily, I am the only "30%'er" in my office with Vet Pref for RIF, the disabilities were caused "by instrumentalities of war". Most don't know that a retiree, with 30% or more disabilities caused by instrumentalities of was do get Veterans Preference for RIF (as long as they aren't a Major or above). This changed about 6 years ago, when DOD redefined what "instrumentalities of war" meant.