Sir, I've been in the Air Force for 16 years and throughout my career I have NEVER seen anyone forced out past the ten year mark. I really don't think I have much concern of not getting my retirement benefits.
As far as my pension, I am looking for a place to put it for about 15-17 years. I really won't need it as I am pretty marketable (Security Clearance, Microsoft and CISCO, PMP certs, 20 years experience) and I'm sure I can find a job that pays more than an E-7 takes home (about $50K/year). Most of my colleagues that either separated or retired make between $65K & $80K starting.
What do you suggest I do with my pension between the ages of 38 and 55?
You can start by reading here about someone who has had their 20 year plan derailed (AF even). http://www.early-retirement.org/forums/ ... 56619.html
as far where to invest it while you slave away another 20 or so years, that is the question many PhD's have spent their careers trying to answer. You should first decide how much you need to retire. Then, you work backwards into a risk tolerance. Then, you pick an asset allocation. My normal smartass (and obvious) reply is, "a thing called the stock market."
But first, answer the question, how much per year do you need to sustain your ideal retirement? Perhaps your pension covers that, perhaps not. A lot of assumptions goes into this, but you need something to work towards.