Two Questions That Are Important To Me

Discussion in 'Life After the Academy' started by Chockstock, Jan 1, 2010.

  1. Chockstock

    Chockstock "Forever One Team"

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    1. Spouses

    I know most people generally find their spouses or potential spouses during college or at the workplace. I've been kind of worried that if I join the military/attend a service academy, it would be difficult for me to find a spouse (fewer number of women, restriction of movement/freedom etc). If you dont meet your spouse at a service academy, how are the opportunities after you graduate? I always get this feeling that in the military, everything is tight-knit and closed off to civilian life. Is that true? As a cadet AS well as an active-duty officer, do you get many chances to meet/work with other civilians/regular college students? Or is everything you do almost strictly limited with military people?


    2.

    I know there is another thread for this question, but I made another one because I still dont understand the concept of moving around. During your time in the army, what determines how often you move around? I remember reading posts about officers moving like 10+ times during their career and its not something that I find particularly appealing. Like, do you ever own a home? If you move around so much, where do you live? Is it possible to "go to work" like a regular civilian employee from a set location (your home)?



    Thanks!
     
  2. NROTC-Hopeful

    NROTC-Hopeful Member

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    Haha, I used to worry myself with question 1.
    But lately, I have not been caring as much, with a mindset of just "let it happen" naturally. Go with the flow man, don't try so hard to find love, let it come to you. haha.

    But other than that, there will be PLENTY of opportunities to meet ladies, and don't forget, some women LOVE a man in uniform, which is like an automatic ice breaker. And besides, you will be friends with other cadets, who will have lady-friends that they can introduce to you, or during weekend leaves, you can go about the town, and meet a civy.

    Anyways, don't stress too much about being single and alone, i'm sure finding a lady isn't as hard as it seems.

    reference:
    http://www.serviceacademyforums.com/showthread.php?t=9288
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2010
  3. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    CS- I know I posted much of this earlier- but to comment on both of your worries:

    1. 50% of the worlds population is the opposite sex from yours. You will find your soul mate regardless of your career- or you won't because of some personality trait that you possess or don't possess- not because of the profession you are in or the school you went to. hundreds of thousands of military members marry while they are in military- it didn't affect them. Try booking a wedding in the Cadet Chapel on Graduation Day- you will discover that many of your classmates apparently find the right person while at Service Academy. I was in two weddings on my graduation day - my two room mates- and when I attended VMI both VMI and Washington & Lee next door were all Male colleges. It didn't seem to stop either of those guys. I got married to someone I met in Korea- not a Korean at a time when there were very few American women north of Seoul. You will experience pretty much the with the same degree of difficulty in meeting your "other" as the guy who never left Cincinnati; Cleveland; NYC etc...

    2. You will move a fair amount-some services more than others- virtually all services some. Even if your family doesn't move you personally will be gone as your unit takes it's turn in the barrel. What does moving mean?:
    - Schools: you will go to multiple professional schools as a PCS (Permanent Change of station) to broaden your professional education. If you are not interested in doing that- you will not be professionally competent.
    - New Units: To stay in one place and one unit doesn't happen in any service. The Military is a constantly refilling fountain with junior officers filling in at the bottom - and others being promoted to new levels of responsibilitiy and command. That only happens because of mvement. Further- you learn by being exposed to multiple units and multiple styles of leadership in multiple scenarios. To be pigeon holed is to be stagnant. You have to learn , grow, or die professionally.
    - New geography, cultures and missions: the World is the US Military's playing field and to be successful units and leaders need to be prepared to operate in varied operational enviroments.

    None of the above is a negative. It means opportunity to experience a new and interesting environment frequently. While many of your peers are basically in the same town they went to High School or college in- you will know the world and have dealt with a far broader spectrum of the US population than they will have done. Your kids will also adapt - and most eventually see it the same way although as teenagers sometimes it can be personally an upsetting thing to move. But-if you don't like that concept and aren't excited about it- you really need to ask yourself- why do I want to be a military officer? Frankly - in my opinion you are either the kind of spirit that wants to move and wants to explore new situations and experiences - or you really are not right for the service.You are entering a profession where the ability to function in environments where there are a lot of variables is a must. You seem to be stressing over the fact that you can't arrange everything before you start. You need to be able to go with the flow and flourish regardless of the circumstances- if you can't do that you will dislike the career and you won't be very good at it either.

    I will add that having now spent 10 years as a manager for a very large multinational company after retiring from the Army - you will move in the Civilian world and be prepared to adapt to new jobs and new circumstances- or you will be an "also ran" in the Civilian world as well. There are no guarantees or cush deals anywhere. You do what is needed where it is needed and when, and frankly the Civilian world cares less about the effect on your personal life. They can't force you the way the military can- but they can pass you by or let you go and as millions of folks discover all the time - they will do so. So my advice to you- stop sweating the small stuff and learn to embrace what I believe is a huge benefit of a military career.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2010
  4. BeatNavy

    BeatNavy USMA Cadet

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    Bruno-
    Not sure how to express this but do moves correlate to a change in job?
    Like if you change jobs from a PL to a company x.o. does that mean you will be changing units and moving somewhere else?
    If not, how long do you typically spend at positions (like PL, company command, battalion staff, etc.) before getting a new job as part of you time period at that post?
    Lastly, I understand that as an infantry officer there are certain positions everyone usually holds at a certain point like company commander as a captain, PL as a 2lt ,batallion commander as a LTC, etc but what other positions do infantry officer often have in between these points? Or does it vary too much to say? I understand this might be a crappy question but I am trying to get a picture for what a typical career progression would be for an infantry officer.
     
  5. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    1. As far as spouses, it will happen when it is meant to happen. Back 20+ yrs ago, (Bullet was a lowly 2nd Lt), I would say 50% of the lts. were married and 50% single. From his 1st FTU to his 2nd operational, I believe there was only 1 out of the 16 in his class that was not married by the ripe old age of 29. Of course, there were several that had been married, divorced and remarried again by that time too.

    The important thing to look for in that soul mate is one that gets this premise....She will always be your mistress until the day you leave the military. At Bullet's retirement he even mentioned that I had always joked the AF was his wife and I was his mistress, now I was finally going to be the wife. The reason why she is the mistress is because when the military says you won't be able to come home that night for your anniversary dinner, you are placing the military first. When they send you TDY 120 +/- with 5 days notice and you were suppose to take the kids to Disney, you won't be going. There will be holidays, birthdays and special occasions that you will miss. She will be left to pack and unpack a home, give birth without you by her side and watch important milestones alone. She will also give up her career progression to follow you around the world. It takes a very strong love to endure what the military wife lives with, as much as you love her, just like the mistress she will never come 1st.

    Do not fall into the fallacy that she will change or eventually accept it. very very rarely does this occur. BIG CLUES: If she can't bear to leave her parents, it will be hard for her to move across an ocean. If she believes that you will be at every T-Ball game, when you talk about kids, there will be problems. If she cannot fathom ever living in Ft Rich Alaska or Minot ND, and tells you, that you are on your own, don't believe she will grow accustom to it, once you do go. I can't tell you how many careers I have seen ruined because of the wife. When the guy started giving her choice of places, that was when it went downhill. (Better bases typically meant not a career mover). The most successful military marriages consisted with a wife that had these four traits:
    1. RE-INVENTS her career everytime they moved
    2. GETS ITCHY FEET...@ 2 yrs after being there, they would start asking shouldn't orders come down soon? This didn't mean they were unhappy there, it was they saw the move as a new adventure, a new location, base, home, and friends. There are guys who will take remotes and follow on back because she doesn't want to move.
    3. COULDN'T WAIT FOR THEM TO GO TDY...I love Bullet, but there were times that I looked at him and said, is there a TDY coming up soon? Bullet would always call me and say "there's this good deal TDY and they asked me to go, do you mind?" I always said "GO". Sometimes, TDY's are good to make you miss each other and what they really mean to you. There are spouses who refuse to let their guys go because who will help with bath time for the kids?
    4. LIVES BY THE CODE: I AM WOMAN HEAR ME ROAR! I can change a tire, pump gas, scrape and paint a home, wallpaper, mow the lawn and trim the shrubs, and did all of that with 3 kids under 4. If my tire got a flat, I changed it. For the first 17 yrs of our marriage, I was the one who mowed the lawn and trimmed the shrubs, because if I didn't that meant Bullet had to on the weekend. I was a stay at home Mom, if I did it then we could have fun with the kids on the weekends. I understood he loved being with them and every second mattered because not one tour (3 yrs on avg) ended with him being gone for less than 6-8 months. If she expects you to do it all, what will happen when you are deployed? I can tell you, she will beaach! There is a joke/rule of thumb in the military...you can paint/fix the home, tune up the car before you leave for a TDY and within 24 hrs something will happen...the pipe under the sink will explode, the car will get a flat, a wind storm will come through and knock a tree down across the backyard.

    Do not search for her, fate is funny it will bring the two of you together. Just be honest with each other, don't play the premise, oh we are going to live in Hawaii, and I get 30 days of vacation a yr (old craniums :shake: because as you go up rank, you scurry around in August trying to make sure you don't lose any...use or lose happens at 60 days and you are sitting at 85 days). You get free housing, medical, they assist you in jobs, they have low cost daycare on base, they have 5 star hotels at Disney, Hawaii and Germany, you can travel for almost nothing with space A, the PX/BX sells Coach, yada yada yada. Most of that stuff will never come to fruition.

    Done with my advice from a spouse for that.

    As far as assignments, for the AF, your initial assignments for schools are defined, your operational assignments have a set duration, +/- a few months. For overseas (AK is included in that) Married it is a 3 yr assignment, single it is a 2 yr assignment. As you get much higher in rank it will change, for example, you get to a base as a newly pinned on Major, with a 3 yr assignment, you apply to school 15 months later, get accepted and go at 21 months, your next assignment will not be to return to the same base at the same job, but go on to a new place in a new position.

    Hope that helps.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2010
  6. America's Finest

    America's Finest USMA Cadet

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    1) I will give you the short and simple answer: look at the current graduates as well as senior members in the army. Most of them are or were at one point married so obviously it will work out. Don't stress too much on it.

    2) Every 3 years or so my dad would put in a preference to where he would like to be stationed next and the Army would tell him where to go. He was enlisted, however, and officers have a different cycle.
     
  7. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    DAMN! I KNOW I'd like this woman!!! :thumb:

    I doubt anyone could say it better so all I'll say is:

    "She's dead on accurate!!!"

    EVERYTHING I saw in her post...matches to a "T" the successful marriages I've seen in 26+ years on duty...and FYI...sometimes it was the guy that was the stay-at-home spouse because the wife had the AF career. Same format, etc., just gender different.

    VERY WELL SAID PIMA!!! :groupwave:

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  8. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    Oh, and just to show how it can happen randomly.

    "There I was...." in training for upgrade in my aircraft...I was a 1LT...and I met this Captain...she was brand new in the jet and needed some questions answered.

    Neither of us was looking for ANYONE in our lives then!!! :thumbdown:

    So we agreed: "Just friends."

    Two years later we were married. That was 1989.

    20+ years later...we're still going strong!

    And she asked this morning: "...don't you have a TDY coming up next month?"

    Hmm...is she hinting PIMA? :wink:

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  9. NROTC-Hopeful

    NROTC-Hopeful Member

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    HAHAH
    Quite the love story :thumb:
     
  10. Chockstock

    Chockstock "Forever One Team"

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    Bruno and Pima

    Thanks once again for the candid and full responses to my questions. Bruno, I went back and read your previous post, and again, I want to thank you guys for the effort you put into helping out some random teenage forum member trying to figure out what to do with his life :rolleyes: I appreciate it and always learn something about Army life from your guys' posts, even if it might be an answer to someone else's question. They are really helping me figure out if the military is right for me or not :frown:

    Its hard not to take my mind off of these things...not a day goes by when I ponder about what 5, 10, 20 years might look like depending on the decisions I make these next few months.

    A lot of the rest of you also mentioned that love often comes to people by "fate"...I honestly hope to dear God that its true :frown:

    I have a few follow up questions...:smile:

    1. So if you receive an assignment to a base, do you live ON the base or like drive to work from a residence from a nearby city or town?

    2. Are most Army wives also from the military as well or civilians?

    3. What MOS's are generally viewed as the ones with most relocating and which ones are the ones with most stagnant movement?

    4. If I joined the military and if I were to find someone I wanted to spend the rest of my life with, what is one thing that you would recommend me telling her to inform her of what kind of life we would share (because of my job in the Army)?


    Thanks so much again!
     
  11. wannabe2013

    wannabe2013 Member

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  12. mmb5

    mmb5 Member

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    Pima, I'm saving that post for my sons -- thank you!
     
  13. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    For the AF, the only time that I know single officers getting base housing is for UNT/UPT.

    As far as base housing goes, there are typical trends:
    1. Young Lts, newlywed Captains. Company grade base housing is too small for families with even 2 toddlers. The reg is 2 kids of the same sex up to age 10 (oldest) only qualify for a 3 bdrm. Opposite sex children at the age of 7. Most officers want at least a 3 bdrm, using one as a guest bdrm, thus by the time baby #2 comes along the house is too small. Typical company grade homes are in the 1500 sqft range.
    2. Field grade, people who have only 2 kids will take the field grade, because at the rank, the home is @1800 sqft, the kids are old enough to qualify for sep rooms, thus they may get a 4 bdrm.
    3. Overseas everyone wants to live on base, thus the size is not an issue, but the wait is long
    4. Stateside in places with a weak market, people will opt for on base, making the wait long again. When the housing market is bad people will squeeze into a smaller home on base, when it is good they will buy and the list is short.

    Do not expect to be offered on base housing the day you arrive. Out of 11 moves, only 2 times were we offered it right away. One time it was because we went to a sister school, however, we got it because the amount of children, not just because we were a sister service. The second time was at our last base because the homes were so small that Field grade officers elected to live off base (we did too).

    The beauty of the military is the VA loan, the 1st time you pay a 1% funding fee which is equivalent to a traditional loan fee...the second time it is 3%, thus people elect not to go VA. Buying a home is risky, however, even if after 3 yrs you are flat even after the closing costs, the reality is you made several thousands with you tax deductions over the course of time. The negative that we see alot is buying over your head, the BAH will rarely cover everything (mtg, tax, water, utilities, etc). You will see that at every post/base there are certain developments that people will jokingly call the "other base housing". For example, our last home in a course of 9 yrs out of 11 was inhabited by military. Only the original owner was not military. The neighbors on our left was turned over 5 times, each time from one military member to another. You will also find that certain developments are filled with specific ranks. For example at SJAFB, Colony Square was filled with Capt., Lt and Sr NCO's. Maplewood and Raintree were filled with Major, Lt Cols and Masters. This occurs alot because when you get there and check in with the "office", you will chat with the guys/gals there, and they say "Oh we live in XYZ", so it is natural to go and look there.

    mmb5, glad to help, on the same thought process...here are some tips for the folks:
    1. Learn the lingo, eventually it will become second nature to say to you I am going TDY enroute for my PCS...if they have to explain that to you over and over again, and why it is occurring, they will just start to shut you out, and say I have to go here first and then I go directly. There will not expound upon it.
    2. When they are up for promotion, don't ask weekly have you heard yet? Trust me, you will get the call the day they hear. They don't need you to bring up something that is on their mind already, your 10 minute call may be the only time they forget what they are wondering themselves. Again, you do that constantly and eventually they will keep their mouths shut until it happens, because they don't want to discuss it.
    3. Don't say well why do you have to do that, why can't you do this instead? They can't because the military told them this is how it has to be. You asking causes frustration, and all they will say to their spouse when they get off the phone is, G when will they just get it? Again, you have raised their frustration level and they will learn to keep their military life quiet.
    4. If they are being deployed for a long term TDY and are married, be cognizant of the fact that their life is in an upheaval and they may want some private family time, it is not the time to say "we're coming because I want to see you before you leave"..HINT: CUT THE APRON STRINGS! If you without a doubt feel you must go, then stay in a hotel, give them space. There will be alot of tears in the home, the last thing the spouse wants is to play host/hostess to you. Otherwise tell them on the phone, we love you and one week after you come home we will be there with bells on. This is when they are married
    5. If they call and say we are in a bind can you come, GO! The military is very tight knit, and will do everything they can to be there, but sometimes they can't, so for the child to call, it means if you can, get your butt there ASAP! As horrible as this might sound, you are their last resort (mainly because they don't want to inconvenience you).
    6. Be proud of them, but don't embarrass them. If they introduce you to their commander, realize that the commander is busy and only being polite when they stop to say hello, they don't need to know how proud you are of your Johnny or Janie. There is no need to tell them at the age of 5 they wanted the military, or recite their career progression, and which base you have been at to visit. Say hello, and move on, don't GUSH over the commander, he/she are not G*d.
    7. Accept the fact that even if you were military, it does change, and how they did it in your day is not the same as today. Don't try to mentor their career, you raised an intelligent child give them the ability to live their career.


    ALWAYS remember the adage: The BEST in-law makes themselves an out-law. This is their life, as my mom always said to us, "I don't pay the mtg, I don't sleep in their bed, it is not my place". Whether you agree or disagree, keep your mouth shut!

    Hope this helps, and I also hope that I will in the future be able to follow my own advice. It is easy to say, but hard to do.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2010
  14. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Forgot to answer the other questions

    If you did your part right in selecting the right girl, the easy part is not what to tell her, she will walk down the aisle with her eyes wide open that maybe one day there will be a knock on the door. The hard part for every military member and spouse comes yrs later, when your child is crying saying they don't want to move. Nothing prepares you for that. You will both make the decision to be in the military, your children will pay that price. That was something I was never prepared for when Bullet and I got together. I never thought about the impact our decision would have upon our children. Still to this date, we carry the guilt of forcing our children to accept that the military messed with their life. Bullet retired because we saw what it did to DS1, and did not want to do it to our other 2. Irony, DS1 will be our only one that will be repeating our path. THE TRUE HEROS IN THE MILITARY ARE THE CHILDREN...THEY DIDN'T ASK FOR THIS LIFE, BUT EMBRACE IT BECAUSE THEY LOVE WHAT THEIR PARENT REPRESENTS TO THE COUNTRY

    As far as spouses, I would say nowadays, it is probably a 50-50 split of military and civilians. However, most of the spouses that were military (guys or gals) will eventually give up their military career, due to the fact that it is difficult for both to have a military career.

    I really can't speak for movement, but IMHO, what your question should be is which ones are more difficult to progress in rank. An Army Ranger will be deemed more competitive than just a Jumper. The PA officer that is a Jumper will be more competitive than the PA that does not jump. The reason why exists because JUMPING is volunteer, thus, you can go to an assignment that is jump qualified and a non-jump qualified. More doors will open for you. I know when Bullet was at the 82nd, many of them did what I called a ping pong, Bragg, Drum, Bragg, Benning, Bragg, Leavenworth, Polk, Bragg, Carlisle. Bragg is the desired post for jumpers.

    Please take this kindly, but it seems that you want to do a balancing act. You want to be in the military, but at the same time have a "real world" life. You can "homestead", meaning you will PCA, but your career will take a huge hit. Even if you homestead that does not mean you won't be sent for major TDYS (120 + days).

    You need to do some soul searching...how will you feel, when your sibling is getting married and you can't go because you are in the sandbox? How will you feel when you are single or married, stationed in Korea for a remote and it is Christmas? How will you feel if you are in Germany and get a Red Cross notification that your FIL is in the hospital in critical condition? These scenarios are not maybes, they will occur to you or someone you know.

    I said before, when you raise that hand to take the oath, you officially got married. You lose the option of when you take leave, you lose the option of where you live, you lose the option of when you move. Think a wife is demanding, we have nothing on the military! The military is not 5 days a week 8-4, it is 24/7. Your left arm will not be yours, but the military's arm.

    I think that it is great that you are asking soul searching questions regarding if it is the right fit. Too many people go in with stars in their eyes, and end up deciding that it wasn't all that cracked up to be. If you go in knowing the "real world AD", then you will be incredibly happy, if you walk in "buying" what the commercials sell, you will be one sad puppy!

    Flieger..yes...she is hinting, probably because she is like me and looking at a room that she wants new furniture to be delivered on the sly or to paint without you becoming the ANAL shadow with blue tape and drop cloths!:biglaugh: Bullet would come home from a TDY, give me a kiss and then walk around saying "OKAY What did you do?" Sometimes it took him days before he figured it out, sometimes seconds...like the time I painted the outside of the house, including the trim and shutters, but I couldn't reach the peak over the garage for trim. The running joke was HEY LUUUUCCCYYY! Then again it might be because when you are gone, the bonus is all she has to make for dinner is a phone call to Papa Johns!
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2010
  15. BeatNavy

    BeatNavy USMA Cadet

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    That would suck. I wouldn't want to give up my career but I wouldn't feel comfortable saying that because the spouses career shouldn't be any less important. :eek:
     
  16. BeatNavy

    BeatNavy USMA Cadet

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    While I realize that this is not what the thread is mainly about, a lot of times the attitude, "It will happen, so I don't need to put myself out there and take risks because it will happen by fate" attitude is often a bad mindset to get into. While some people meet girls through random stuff, if you aren't trying to get dates or meet people, a lot of times stuff usually doesn't just take off on its own, especially as a guy. Haha speaking from my personal experience in high school ( or lack thereof I guess if you want to look at it that way :unhappy:)

    You also don't want to get an "Im a loser no one wants me" attitude if stuff doesn't work out, its attractive.
     
  17. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    Hey,

    Let me speak on the aspect of "BRATS" also known as the children of military members.

    I'm 3d generation military: Granddad did 41 years (1917 to 1958, Navy and Army), my father did 30 in the AF, and I have worn the blue suit since 1979.

    How the children are affected by the fact that one parent is military is WHOLLY dependant upon BOTH parents! I grew up in the 1960s and 1970s. I spent years petrified when a "white top" vehicle would drive into the family housing area. That was a Colonel with a notification team, going to tell someone that their father was KIA in Vietnam. ALL the kids knew what that meant and it concerned us all.

    And in my case, BOTH my parents kept me and my sister WELL informed. We understood what was happening, all the time. We all discussed PCS moves, the options dad had, the options he DIDN"T have, the disappointments (I was really excited about moving to Westover AFB in MA to learn to ski, only to learn it had been put on the base closure list a month before we left Lakenheath so we were sent to Offut instead!).

    The travel, meeting new friends, seeing various and exciting places around the world, were really REALLY exciting to both my sister and me! Realize: before I was 14 I had seen ALL of western Europe...and spoke a smattering of English, Spanish, German, French, and a bit of Icelander.

    BUT...my folks, God bless them, made career decisions to NOT move when I was in high school...to let me finish in the same place. And then my sister...that was a Godsend.

    So...there's GREAT BENEFITS being a brat...IF the parents are 100% involved!

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  18. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    What typically happens with these couples is a "meeting of the minds". I have known both guys and gals that leave, aka separate. It usually occurs @ a promotion or a move because that means they must sign another commitment with the service. As you both progress up the ranks sometimes it is impossible for both of you to get an assignment within a functional area...for example, they will place you in the same theater, but one of you may be in NC and the other in SC. The decision really comes down to 2 things:
    1. Does one spouse desire to be the "dependent"
    2. Is one spouses career progressing faster than the other. For example, both of you are Majors, one spouse gets PME, the other doesn't. If you don't get PME in residence the writing is on the wall. Now the only question is do you want to stay and ride it out, risking the other spouses career because it is more difficult to get joint assignments for career progression for the both of you, or do you say, I will get out and follow you around. Believe it or not, there are many guys who become Stay at Home Dads. For the last 8 yrs of Bullets career we were not in one squadron without one of them. Or in other words more than I could count on my 2 hands.

    Todays military is not like the one Bullet entered back in 88. Back then you only went on good deal TDYs for a couple of weeks, now you are lucky if your TDY is less than 120 days and it is usually with you being located in the Stans Brothers Countries. It is not uncommon in the AF that one spouse will go for 4-6 months come back and the spouse leaves. Hard to have a successful marriage when you purposely separate so somebody will always be home with the kids.

    As far as Brats go, obviously we have 3. Bullet and I were like Fliegers parents, kids always knew what was going on, except one time. Bullet was sent to the green zone for 120+ days, we elected to tell them that he was in the sandbox, but not in Iraq. Our children were at an age that they could grasp the severity and felt there was no need to place additional fear in their lives. They were accustomed to Dad going to the sandbox as a flier, but this time it was not flying and that already scared them.

    We also made the cognizant decision to decline a job which would have guaranteed him an O-6 rank, because it would have meant our eldest would have attended 4 hs. There will come a day when you will for the FIRST time have to think long and hard whether you accept an assignment based not only on the job, but how it will effect your family. Ours came 8 months after arriving at a base (our DS1's 2nd hs as a soph), knowing that if he took it, we would then move again 18 months later, and most likely it would be for a school which would only be a yr long. That would then mean not only our DS going to 4 hs, but our DD going to 3, and our DS2 going to at least 2. It was just too high of a price to pay to pin on bird.

    Brats are very unique, as much as parents worry that they have "ruined" their life with all of the moves, they make up a large % of the military. DS1 will be commissioned into the AF in 12. DD has always joked she knows she will marry a military man because she could never imagine living in one place for her entire adult life. Most of our closest friends have at least one child in the military, or their significant other is in the military. Look around this board and many of our posters are retired military with children going down this route. Just to prove the point even more, RAND did a study and found that many of the Flag officers were military brats. General Shorts kids are all in the AF. General Iversons son is in the AF. General McGhee's DD is in the AF. Those are just ones that I personally know within the AF, I am sure the same is true for the Army and Navy (John McCain probably their most famous). We also lived across the street from a 4 yr BPZ LtC, son of a 4 star, he would have made General, but because of his life as a military brat, they had already made a decision, it would be 20 (ret as Col) and out because he would not do to his kids what he had to endure. They had plotted their career so that the minute their eldest entered hs, he would never move again.

    The only time it is funny is when the child switches the branch, which also happens frequently...comical to see the Dad who was in the AF all of the sudden boasting how great the Army or the Navy is, when you know that before their child's selection they dogged that branch!
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2010
  19. Chockstock

    Chockstock "Forever One Team"

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    Thank you, once again. The military sounds SO different when coming from someone actually in it! Although I am patriotic (some of my friends would say TOO patriotic :rolleyes:), tbh the INITIAL reason why I considered joining was all those impressive Army and Marine ads I saw on TV. My high school's bulletin boards are also awash with fliers and posters about the military. You and others are helping me get a more realistic idea of what it might be like to be in the armed forces...

    I still feel unsure about what to do :frown: So scared that I might make the wrong decision :frown: I feel so alone lol:rolleyes: I usually ask my parents for advice, but coming from a non-military family, they literally cannot help me. I have no one but this forum to turn to!!

    Yes, it would be nice to be able to balance the military with a more family-oriented, private life. It sounds really tough though


    I don't know, I might be wrong, but it sounds like having a family as an officer makes advancing your career rather difficult and makes making decisions stressful. Would it possibly be a better idea going single for the first few years? :rolleyes: Do you tend to move more as you progress up the ranks or not? I think you may have answered that question, so my bad if I'm making you repeat yourself


    Some more questions...

    1. What does TDY mean?

    2. What does PCS mean?

    3. What determines how fast you go up the ranks? This is actually a question that nagged me as a kid...do you get a rank like you do a medal? Like getting a new rank after performing a heroic deed or is it just given periodically based on experience? What MOS is generally seen as the MOS with most opportunities to rank the fastest? The slowest?


    Thanks again!
     
  20. BeatNavy

    BeatNavy USMA Cadet

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    TDY - Temporary duty
    PCS - Permanent change of station
     

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