Married Troops can live together in Iraq

Discussion in 'Academy/Military News' started by WAMom68, Apr 1, 2008.

  1. WAMom68

    WAMom68 Founding Member

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    Married Troops Can Live Together in Iraq
    By BRADLEY BROOKS and RUSS BYNUM

    http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5hEI-l2_AjvNS-j-za8tqbNREgDagD8VOOCG00
     
  2. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Wow, that surprises me. When Bullet went to the green zone in 04, one of his officers told him she was pregnant a day before they shipped out of Qatar (staging area for him). They were not happy to say the least. Her husband was also in the staging area, and thus I would believe they broke the regs back then, but Bullet had to keep her back. BTW she was in the staging area long enough to show up not pregnant, that's why they knew she got pregnant there.
     
  3. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    I saw this on the news this morning and my wife and I discussed this one for a while. This seems like a double edged sword- it may raise the morale of that married couple that gets to bunk together, but I'm not sure what it will do to the morale of the other soldiers who aren't in that situation. Additionally there is already a perception among soldiers out in the field that "Fobbits" (support and headquarters personnel living and workling perpetually on these big FOBs) have life pretty cushy- it may certainly lead to more of that feeling. Don't know about this change. Once they have crossed that line- can they really enforce bans against nonmarried soldiers having sexual relationships? Seems like a can of worms that just got opened here.
     
  4. WAMom68

    WAMom68 Founding Member

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    I thought this article might make for an interesting discussion. I can see the pros and the cons of allowing this.

    I can understand how a couple, both in the military, may have a tough time keeping the marriage together. Especially if both are being deployed at different times…as one returns from deployment the other is leaving. They may spend very little time together over the course of years due to the continuing deployment rotations. This would give them the chance to have some sort of a marriage even while deployed.

    I also see the disadvantages to this situation. It can seem like favoritism for the married couple and the increased possibility of pregnancy.

    This is probably going to get me in hot water with some people but here goes. I just got done reading a book called “Surviving Iraq – Soldiers Stories”. There were stories from both men and women. After reading that book along with other things I have read and heard, I am starting to think that either women should not be deployed or they should be in segregated units. Women can do many of the jobs that the men can but it seems to cause a problem when a unit has a minority of women in it. The men seem to resent that the women either can’t physically do the same things as they can or the women use their gender as an excuse to not do their share. There also seems to be stereotyping going on, the women in the unit are labeled as either sluts or lesbians. Some of these women bring this on themselves, but others are just trying to serve their country and do their job but get labeled anyway. In addition to the stresses of combat do we really need to subject our men and women to more stress related to these interactions between the sexes? I really don’t know the answer to this. I suppose if we ever reach the point where we can see past gender, race, religion, etc maybe this issue would go away. My head hurts thinking about it. :frown:
     
  5. upsidezdown

    upsidezdown Member

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    curious as to what the air force's policy is on this? it may very well affect how long i stay in active duty past my ten year academy commitment.
     
  6. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    I would hope this isn't a deciding factor in your career or a big issue 10 years down the road.
     
  7. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    I must say as a military member married to a fellow military member this would be great if/when we get deployed; however, I'm not sure how it will work in the end. This policy has actually been going on for a while now as I saw an article several months ago about it as well.

    I do think this may cause some resentment amongst troops because it is placing some soldiers on a different level. It says if you're married you can live with your spouse, but what about those who are engaged? or just dating? why shouldn't they be allowed to live together as well (just playing devil's advocate)

    We shall see how it goes....I give it less than a year.
     
  8. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    The AF policy as far as assignments go is to place you in the same theatre. Understand a theatre can be very big! I do not know of any married couple that both fly or fly the same jet. A commander that is here, she is very famous in the fighter world Lt.Col. Jeannie Flynn, (1st woman fighter pilot) is stationed here (NC), her husband is stationed at Shaw (SC). I also knew a couple where one was here and the other at Pope (70 miles away).

    You shouldn't make it a factor, but the reality is, it is very difficult to get joint assignments, unless 1 spouse is non-rated. An example is 1 spouse flies the F15E, and one flies a F16, you will have trouble finding assignments together. Take a quick look, most bases are dedicated to one particular jet. Not meaning to be the naysayer, but that is the truth for the AF.

    This would also explain why it is not an issue for the AF. We have AEF's, thus there is a rotation schedule. I doubt if both of you do fly the same jet, they would put you in the same squadron. Also, when deployed the flyers have their tents set up by crews, so they get the required crew rest..Can't see that there would be enough married flyers to share...
     
  9. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    The military and the IRS has always made a huge distinction between being married and being engaged or living together. Being married is NOT the same as "engaged" or "living together" - sorry.

    Pima - you are right about joint assignments.
    I am willing to bet though - most of the married couples that are deployed are in the same reserve unit - this is not at all uncommon. I bet most are enlisted as well.
     
  10. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Remember the military will not in any shape way of form acknowledge a significant other!

    I actually know people who will get married because the member is going to PCS overseas, and once the truck pulls out of the driveway, that is it! They will also not pay for your airline tickets to get them over there after you are married.

    Significant Others are free to move to that base, but they will have no medical,commissary or job placement benefits. Try living in Del Rio or Cannon without the benefits it would be painful and those 2 bases are stateside!

    Now back on topic, if the above is true, can you imagine the anger that would occur from a guy who is in the badlands has a civilian fiancee that he dragged to a base in the middle of no where and she can't even get on base?
    Or if they allowed significant others to have that priviledge, then they would open up the question of why can't they have base housing at their station?
    What also happens to the squadron when the couple breaks up...imagine the nightmare of scheduling sorties!

    In the end it is about unit cohesiveness, this is why even couples dating within a squadron will hide it, untill they announce they are engaged...this typically occurs after one of them PCS's
     
  11. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    You are absolutely correct; however, the question is meant more as a means of being fair as perceived by the soldier. Why should one set of soldiers be granted privileges based on marital status? This is also one of the same arguments currently being tossed around in regards to BAH.

    As for some of the other comments on the thread: Don't forget that this policy has nothing to do with stateside billeting. This is purely for deployments.
     
  12. Zaphod

    Zaphod Founding Member

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    Wow. Not sure what to think on this one, and for all the reasons already cited. :confused:

    Even the one solution sure to cure the problem (no women in the military) opens up another can or three of worms, some strictly political, but others quite practical.

    It all seems to work on Battlestar Galactica, though! :rolleyes:
     
  13. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    Never watched Battlestar Gallactica - so "I don't get it" - LOL. Don't take it personally because I can't generally keep up with my kids either. :wink:

    First - the "obvious" solution (no women in the military) is NOT going to happen. We are in the 21st century and this country is not going to deny 1/2 of it citizens opportunites in the military based on gender. sorry.
    Gonna have to come up with another "solution".

    I am reserving judgement on this - would really like Bruno's input -
    Bruno? Bruno?

    As those of us who imbibe in the media daily know - the whole story is not often told in a simple article.
    Going back to my earlier comment - my gut feeling is that this is probably mostly enlisted personnel. The Army is trying to help families in difficult situations and in difficult times.
    I am on the fence - taking a wait and see approach.
     
  14. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Most active duty members do not have an issue about BAH, b/c when you are young do you really want a 2000+ sqft home?

    Where the real issue comes is at the 0-3 marker and when you have dependents your weight allowance goes up substantially.

    Zaphod you are right...
    Still 20 yrs later we are addressing issues about women in the military....LET ME SAY OUTRIGHT I AM FOR WOMEN IN THE MILITARY, I JUST BELIEVE THAT WE JUMPED INTO IT WITHOUT THINKING IT THROUGH, it is comparable to Don't Ask Don't Tell. We created a problem by not addressing major issues, i.e. married AD military members. I also feel having homosexuals in the service is not something we should be worried about, but we need to address how to handle the situation. (I am not putting on a flak jacket for saying that, wait a few seconds, it's on...fire away!)

    Many women in the fighter community will tell you when they were allowed in, the military said come on in, but didn't even think about the simplest thing for a women..."pittle pack", or how a woman's body is not typically compatible to the flight suit.

    Now back on topic, the military is required to follow regs., the minute they allow an exception to one, then they need to follow through for everyone else.

    Look at it this way, every person gets the exact same pay based on yrs and rank, no if and or buts. You get the same BAH for your rank compared to the other married member whether you have 5 dependents or 1. It is cut and dry.

    Allowing married couples in the Army may work, but I question how will that work for the married couple in the Navy, can they now have married quarters? It also is difficult to understand it working in the AF...their quarters for company grade are 4 to a tent, I can't imagine 2 couples A) Married and B) wanting to share a tent. Believe it or not it is quite primitive, they are TENTS

    JAM we crossed post and I agree, you cannot deny 50% of the population. Just because you have 2 XX chromosones should not be the final decision. That being said...we also need to realize that the military must address the fact that AD members are inclined to become involved. I am also of the old school, we need to get rid of the CFA/PFT that says women should be given more time to run, do sit ups, etc. I say this because when the plane goes down in the Ocean and I am told my husband is missing, I want to know...I NEED to know that they can drag his body into a raft. I know for a fact that many girls can out run my son, and with that fact why do we allow the military to give women an extra edge by reducing the quals for a CFA/PFT....Please understand Bullet is on the total opposite of this than me, but again he never had to be the spouse worried at home. Also I need everyone to wait until I re-button the flak jacket and this time I am putting the helmet on :D
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2008
  15. Zaphod

    Zaphod Founding Member

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    The ship is coeducational. COMPLETELY coeducational, as in "even the heads".

    It MUST work! I saw it on TV! :biggrin:

    Not only that, but I don't think we'd be able to complete our missions if we just wrote off 50% of the population. While the "solution" would address one issue, it would create many, many more. Not wise, no matter how you look at it.

    That's because the decision was made on a political basis rather than a practical one.

    Yep, some details still need to be worked out and growing pains will abound. That's life.
     
  16. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    I don't know what to think about the policy change. As I said earlier- it has the potential to be a double edged sword and it may cause more headaches and dissension than it helps - but maybe not. Time will tell I guess. As far as the posting musing about women in the military- clearly women are in the military to stay so that's not going to happen- nor should it. As I said in a personal note to the poster- I'm certain my wife is a better officer than I was so the Army would certainly have been deprived of an asset if that proposal had been in place-(women in separate units or barred altogether). As an Infantry man I never really had to worry much about mixed gender units- my wife however commanded a PRT in afghanistan and I know that she had a few problems with senior ncos both men and women engaging in inappropriate relationships. Relationships between men and women clearly have an ever present sexual tension built in- but I don't think that means there is no way to control that and I think that they worked thru that just like most other challenges. .
     
  17. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    I'd like to make a comment about "gender tensions" from an Academy perspective. I have seen more cases than fingers on my hand PERSONALLY of fraternization between upperclassmen guys and 4 dig girls that have led to disciplinary troubles. Neither seem to be able to control themselves. In fact, I've seen THREE upperclassmen guys get into trouble with the SAME freshman girl. While not really related to married couples in the AOR, I think the gender tension question is very valid and a VERY hard question to find solutions to.

    PS --> I've had the Cylons from Battlestar Galactica in my signature for over a year now! I like irony. :)
     
  18. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    Wow this got a little off topic.....

    The issue here is of MARRIED couples who are both deployed to a war zone who are able to share sleeping quarters.
    Sorry to put you on the spot Bruno - thought maybe you would have some inside info.....
    I seriously don't think this policy should cause ANYONE to consider that women don't belong in the military - this policy is not only for the married female soldier's benefit but presumably for the married male soldier's benefit as well.
    Perhaps - these married soldiers are able to perform and do their jobs better. I don't know but it does seem that the Army is trying to preserve marriages. I am not sure that is a bad thing.
     
  19. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    My only question is...what happens if she gets pregnant? Before you say it happens on ships, I know that, but if you are in a staging area, such as Qatar, to be deployed foward, what happens then, when she is the Specialist? It is not that easy to find the right person. I am not at all against this issue, I just hope the Pentagon thought this through all of the way. Remember, as I stated earlier, they put women in fighters and never thought about the "pittle pack issue".

    If we are saying that this is for the average personnel...how can you deny the specialists? How can you say that two flyers, be it helicopter for the Army, EA-6's on a ship for the Navy, or F-15's in the AF, doesn't have the right that this couple has? How do you re-configure a ship for married quarters? How do you say, that a 6 month sea tour in a hazardous area is not comparable? How do you say to the Helicopter Pilot that he can't have the same rights due to crew rest? How do you deal with scheduling conflicts if you are forced to have them fly for crew rest abilities?

    I am just saying it may work for rank and file, but I think that in the end it was a bad decision...Many bases, posts will not allow military members to be in the same brigade/squadron, thus, this is not a viable solution
     
  20. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    Well the only time that my wife and I were stationed together was in Korea in the early 80s (and got married there)- we kept up the fiction of having separate quarters although in fact were living 80% of the time in the same crummy little quonset hut room and it certainly did wonders for my morale! However everybody else was pretty much free to roam the "ville" most nights so I'm not sure how applicable my experience would be to soldiers in Iraq or Afghanistan where there is no "ville" and no way for them to have a similar relationship with someone of the opposite sex. My wife's concern when we saw this was that how do you enforce prohibitions against sexual realtionships between troops who are not married when you are allowing this? Theoretically you could say that " it's different" but in reality will the soldiers see it that way? Nobody thinks that it will improve efficiency or morale if sex between unmarried fellow soldiers becomes widespread and accepted in the theater. And- with more than 50% of the service being married- is it right that these few get to have conjugal visits with their spouses nightly while the other married service members can't because their spouse is stateside? Again- it's a question not a statement. The Army may be solving one small morale problem and creating a much bigger one.
     

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