This section is reserved for submissions by married military couples. Tell us how you manage a dual-military career.
Submissions are posted according to applicable branch of service: Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, Navy, and Dual Services
Posted: 24 JUN 03: MOS vs Joint Domicile in the Army
Posted: 28 JUN 02:
Posted: 28 JUN 02:
Posted: 12 Jun 01: "Dual Military Couples and Other Spouses" (In response to the 8 Jun 01 Post)
Posted: 12 Jun 01: "Dual Navy Marriage"
Posted: 8 Jun 01: Dual Military Spouses and Spouses
Posted: 19 Oct 01:
I too, was part of a dual military marriage. We were both in the Air Force, he still is....I am not and I am grateful. I had the highest marks in performance evaluations, my career was going strong, until one day. The United States Air Force lost an extremely valuable person when I was not allowed to take vacation time during a war exercise. I hadn't taken any vacation, sick leave or just time off in almost a year when my daughter's daycare classmates came down with Chicken Pox. I had notified my superiors in advance and was told that I had to find someone to watch my child while she had Chicken Pox...that's asking a lot of someone. They would have to watch my baby for 17 hours a day for 4 days while she had the disease. I couldn't believe I was denied vacation time to take care of my child. My husband was denied as well. I will never forget that day...it reminded me of what was truly important to me...my daughter...not my career. Guess what...she didn't get it afterall...but I left the Air Force and didn't even join the Guard, had she got Chicken Pox I may have gone AWOL. What's sad is, I was educated enough to become an officer, trained so well that I was regarded as being one of the best in my career field, I even had an opportunity to interview for a job at the White House. I could've gone far, but I'm glad I didn't, I'm glad I can stay home with my children. When you are dual military it's not easy...sometimes someone else has to raise your children while your both unable to do so. It's all about priorities and my children come first and I'm so glad I do not have someone dictating when I can care for my sick child.
Posted: 6 Jun 00:
Posted: 3 Dec 99:
Posted: 14 Sep 98: "A windfall life as a duel service family"
My husband and I met when I was in basic training. It took him over a year for me to marry him, but I'm glad he did. We were in the USAF for 9 years. We were fortunate enough to have been stationed together, except for his remote to Korea. I won't lie, being a two military family is hard, but its well worth it. I was in personnel and my husband was a COP. He worked nights and I worked days. Most of the time I'd pass him on his way home when I was taking our daughters to daycare on my way to work. More time than not he was TDY, while I worked 12 to 15 hour days. Someone said you have to have a little super mom in you. That's the truest statement there is, except you have to be a super couple, with alot of understanding and communication. I was fortunate enough to have a man that would clean house, do laundry, and cook if needed, (That is when he was at home). During our time in the military it was not always free flowing and easy. There were tough times, but we saw them through. We have now been married for 14 years. Though we have been out of the active military for six years, I will never regret the time we spent on active duty. It made my children stronger, more responsible, and much more tolerant of any situation that comes their way. If anyone ever asked me is the military the way to go, or should they marry a fellow military person, I would say go for it in a minute. I commend all those military couples out there for all they do on a daily basis, keep up the good work at home and at work. Your hard work is very much appreciated.
Posted: 31 Aug 98:
My husband and I are both E-4's in the USAF. We have a 2 year old daughter and are always being discriminated against because of our dual status. We have spent about a year total apart in our three years marriage due to TDY's and Deployments. They have strengthen our relationship tremendously. I am so sick of hearing people, at our base, specifically, complain about being away from their civilian spouse for more than 3 days at a time. The military is exactly that, the military. We are not here to be "babysat" or catered too because of our father's status in the military or because we haven't seen our mom and dad in 6 months. I work with a bunch of babies who are always passing on crappy duties to me because my "husband is military and will understand". So, to all those military spouses out there who keep whining about their spouses duties...this is a 24-7 job. Who said life was fair, and if you miss "mommy" and "daddy" that much, what's stopping you from going home? We ALL took that oath to SUPPORT and DEFEND, and that's what me and my husband are doing, without complaint. Unless you were unconscious at time of enlistment, then you should understand what the USAF, and military in general, is all about. If you don't like it, then get out or seek professional help. The military pays people to listen. I don't get paid to listen to whining, I get paid to do a job and to do it right. My whole goal in life, while on active duty, is get planes off the ground safely. My home life should not interfere with that mission. Just as the mission should not interfere with my darling daughter and home life. This is the military. And if that is not understood, then get out. The US military doesn't have time to cater to whiny individuals.
Posted: 23 Jul 98:
Hi, I am on my second marriage of dual Air Force military couples. My first marriage lasted 6 1/2 years to a military person who decided to get out and pursue his education and career. I came into the military with the idea I would stay in for 20 and he was aware of this. He followed me to Germany (he picked the base) and started school and finally got a job on base. He found it difficult to adjust to being known as my social security number and in 14 months he went back to his home to pursue his dreams and I had three years left in Germany. We finally divorced and two years later I married another military person. We've been married ten years and we've pulled our remotes concurrently, his in Korea and mine in Alaska. The separations are the hardest part, I've been TDY several times and now it's his turn. It's been a good life but it's had it's difficulties too. We've seen so much of the world that we would never have had the opportunity to see. I am enrolled in a masters program now and I came in with a GED. I could never have gotten my education on my own, I could never afford it. You have to be a strong person and willing to take orders but I would recommend it to anyone!!
Posted: 27 Apr 98:
My husband and I are dual Air Force members. We experience a lot of separation in our career field. This past 9 months have been apart more than together. We firmly believe that we must both do our part. I just returned from a 4 months deployment in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. A month after my return my husband went to the NCO Academy for 6 weeks. He was home for a week and a half and then it was my turn for the Academy. After being together for two months he will deploy to Yugoslavia. It is difficult to balance our travel with three children but I wouldn't trade it for anything. Our children are more responsible and a lot more independent than most of their peers because of out lifestyle. They must pitch in to make it all work. The Lord has blessed us and I am grateful. If I start to get down and feel it isn't worth it I just remember there is always someone who has it worse.
Posted: 10 Apr 98:
My husband and I were in the AF together for a short time. It was a wonderful thing being a dual-military marriage. However, when it came time for our child to be born, we both decided it would be better for me to get out and stay home with our daughter. It's a hard thing to let your husband leave on many TDY's, just imagine how difficult it is for our little girl. The least we could do for her is to have one of her parents home for her all the time. I sometimes regret getting out of the military, but I just have to put my family first, and reflect on the wonderful times the military gave me. I will forever value the sense of self worth and self discipline the Air Force gave me. It was a wonderful experience I would recommend to anyone. Besides, one of the perks is being able to have your spouse so close to you, they are always ready for a lunch date!
Posted: 5 Se 01:
Posted: 25 May 01: "Married to Each Other and the U.S. Army
Posted: 11 May 01:
Posted: 19 Jan 01:
Posted: 5 Aug 98: "12 hour time differance"
My husband and I just recently married. We are both in the Army. I am an E-5 and he is a E-6. I am currently stationed in Germany and he is in Hawaii, getting ready to PCS to Presidio in November. It is hard being separated by half of the world. It also is looking like we may not be stationed together when I leave Germany in March 2000. The closest they tell me is Ft. Irwin, which is 3+ hours away. This separation is hard but he and I are doing what we can to make the best of it. Thank God for email and DSN phone lines. Hopefully all will work out.
Posted: 22 Jul 98:
My husband and I are both retired Army officers. We each reached the grade of Lieutenant Colonel. We have two children, ages 16 and 14, who were born in Germany while we were on active duty. My husband and I just celebrated our 19th wedding anniversary. We had five major separations during our military careers:
1. My husband and I were separated for 9 months while I went to flight school in Alabama to become a helicopter pilot and he was in Maryland.
2. My husband kept our 2-year-old son and 3-month-old daughter in Virginia while I attended the Army's 6-month advanced course in Alabama.
3. My husband kept our then 3-year-old daughter and 5-year-old son in Virginia while I attended the Defense Language Institute in California for 8 months.
4. I kept our then 6-year-old daughter and 8-year-old son in Germany when my husband went to Desert Shield/Storm from Nov 90 to May 91.
5. Our last major separation was for almost a year. My 9-year-old son lived with my husband in Virginia and my 7-year-old daughter lived with me in Kansas. We got back together as a family in 1992, after about 18 months of separation.
In all those separations, we have spent lots of money on phone bills and plane tickets. With respect to our children, whenever I was gone, I talked to them everyday, even when they couldn't talk back. I read bedtime stories and sang bedtime songs on cassette tapes for them, which my husband played for them every night. I sent my children something in the mail every day--whether a piece of gum, a balloon, a sticker, etc. Every day I sent them a small note or a postcard. I've kept scrapbooks for them of these times we spent apart. We always tried to get back together every 4 weeks or so. It was harder between California and Virginia than at other times.
Our children are independent, bright, motivated, have seen the world, lived in Germany (went to German schools and German day care, lived in German neighborhoods, and spoke German), are tolerant, and capable. My husband and I are happily married and only regret that, these days, with teenagers and their activities, we have less time to spend together alone than we used to.
It was not easy being a dual-service couple. My husband was the most egalitarian husband I know. No job was too womanly for him to do. He did everything. The responsibilities were jointly ours. We each could appreciate the other's career. We understood about alerts and company command and not knowing the next assignment and being staff duty officer and having Christmas dinner in the mess hall and getting stopped on the way home by the battalion commander to check the motor pool one more time. It was exciting to be able to share every detail of one's career with one's spouse, because we each knew the atmosphere the other worked in. We knew the worries and concerns and stresses. My husband also had to deal with having a wife that was a helicopter pilot. He handled that very well, too. He was extremely proud of it, and would mention it to new acquaintances within 5 minutes of meeting them. He also liked the extra money.
In those years (1979 to 1994), the military worked well with us, but we did find that many military members with traditional spouses were exceedingly jealous of what they perceived as our "unfair" income. This was probably the hardest thing to deal with after our long and short separations, long hours, child care, etc.
But we're glad we did it and stayed in to retire. We have many golden years ahead. The military is a hard, hard life but the rewards are many, both during active service and in retirement. Best of luck to those of you still undergoing your active duty!
Posted: 5 Mar 98:
Hi, my husband and I love our life and career in the military. I am a E-4 about to make E-5. My husband is an Army Cpt/0-3. We have many challenges being a married couple, but nothing together we can't overcome. Last summer I attended PLDC in Hawaii and he remained at homestation commanding his company. It was rough but we both made it through. This is a very rewarding life and career and I strongly encourage military service and dual-military marriages, they really do work. Well I thought I'd share a moment of my time to share my thoughts and feelings on the subject. Thanks.
Posted: 14 Jun 00:
Posted: 10 Jun 99:
I joined the Coast Guard with a BS degree in Education and chose to go enlisted. I believe everything happens for a reason and soon after I met my husband who is also Active duty Coast Guard. I met him 10yrs ago at my first unit. We were close friends and stayed in touch even after transfer and got married 5yrs ago. The Coast Guard has been good to both of us and we are both willing to give the Coast Guard back all it has given us. The Coast Guard has allowed us to be stationed together from New York to Hawaii and now in Miami. We both know that the needs of the Coast Guard come first and there is always the possibility of being seperated but we have been very blessed. I think as long as people are flexable in location and make the most of where ever they get sent, things will work out.
My husband got a head start on me and retires in 2yrs. I still have 10yrs to go and he is very supportive of me staying in. We both have the ultimate dream of buying an RV at retirement and seeing the country
Posted: 23 Apr 99:
Hello, my husband and myself are both in the Coast Guard, and both Quartermasters 2nd class. We meet at A school 6 years ago and have been married 5. We have a wonderful 5 month old girl. We have been stationed together and apart from Hawaii to Virginia. But for at least a short time we are together in Virginia. He's afloat on a 82ft cutter and I'm now teaching A school. Times have been tough, especially being the same rate, which makes it harder to co-locate us but the Coast Guard has helped us and the Detailler does everything he can. But we also remember it's also the needs of the service. To anyone thinking about marrying another service-member, think hard, you're love must be strong, both to the family and the service. Thank you.
Posted: 10 Oct 98: "Married in the Coast Guard"
Hi! My husband and I met while stationed together in Miami, FL. We were both aircrew and dated for a year before marrying. The Coast Guard has been very supportive and always worked with us in our careers and duty stations to keep us together. Two years ago, I went to OCS and my husband stayed enlisted to achieve his goal of Chief Petty Officer. We've been married for eight years and even though we have experienced some separation while I was on a ship, life together in the service has been great. With both of us being active duty, we each understand the demands of a military career and find it easier to communicate with each other.
Posted: 11 May 01: "Dual Marriage -- Marine Corps"
Posted: 12 May 98: "THREE CHEERS FOR DUAL SERVICE MEMBERS!"
My husband and I stepped on the yellow footprints at Paris Island on the same dark night. Only we would not find each other until four years later. On May 17th we will celebrate our 12th wedding anniversary, everyday with him is cherished, because you never know when either one of you will be leaving and for how long. It takes two special people to make a duel military marriage work. The husband must be especially strong, understanding, and trusting, simply because of the work environment his wife has to work in and the wife needs to have a little "Super women" running through her veins. Our first two years of marriage, we were not stationed together, but since that time our monitors have kept us at least stationed on the same base. We have four children and we have been blessed with a wonderful childcare provider, that makes a world of difference. Your relationship must be based on support and the understand that neither's career is anymore important than the other's. Your goals must be established early on and you need each other to obtain them. My husband is an LDO Capt and I am a Gunnery Sergeant in the Marine Corps, do you think we don't get alot of questions. Communication is a must and mutual respect can never be in short change. We are each other's best friend, listening post, shoulder to cry on and "sanity check" when requested or needed. Our marriage has had it's rocky points, don't get me wrong. All our friends think we have the perfect marriage, they think we NEVER fight, and that's good for them to think. All our disagreements are kept in the privacy of our bedroom and worked out without anybody knowing (to include our children). Children of duel military families are the ones who have it the hardest, I do believe. They say a "normal" child needs a stable home, so that means we probably have the most "un-normal" children in America. Actually, I feel that military children are probably the most "balanced". They are exposed to more than any "normal" child in America, and yet they seem to survive with all the adversity surrounding them. Here's to the duel military families!
Posted: 4 Nov 01: "Marriage, Military, and Love Don't Mix"
Posted: 19 Aug 00:
Posted: 5 Apr 00: "Being married to a sailor"
Posted: 16 Apr 99:
I am the Navy wife half of this combination. My husband is a LTC and I am a LCDR waiting patiently for the results of the 0-5 board. We have been married for almost 12 years and in that time we have been stationed in the same place and shared a household about 4 years. The detailers try very hard to put us in close proximity to each other but normally that means 3-4 hours apart. We began our marriage with him leaving for FT Leavenworth (to attend school) 6 days after the wedding. He will be leaving soon for Korea for a year unaccompanied and I will remain in Newport RI at least until March 2000. Communication is the key - so AT&T has gotten richer from our phone calls (normally every day when separated except when he was deployed to the Gulf and to Bosnia). We don't have any children at home so that does lessen the burden but separated is separated. It is tough but he is a very special person and we have worked hard to trust and understand each other over the years. It hasn't been easy but it has been worth it.
Posted: 10 Oct 98: "Married in the Navy"
My husband and I have been married for 1 year and 5 months. We met in "A" school. We are both E-3's in the USN. We are both stationed in Naples, It. It has been hard being dual military. We have been separated many times sience we have been together, but nothing together we can't overcome. Being dual military is a lot of hard work, but anyone can make it work. If you just believe and never give up. Good luck to all!!
Posted: 5 Oct 98:
I met my husband, Charlie, while stationed in VRC-50 in the Philippines. We married in 1979 and had duty together twice in VRC-30 San Diego. Once 1979-1982 and again 1986-1990. We retired in Jan of 93 . Some of our career we were separated by oceans and some by opposite work shifts. Once we had to use a log book to leave messages to each other. These times are not the ones I dwell upon when my service comes to mind. I usually remember living out of a seabag on detachment in Japan, Korea and Guam. Or getting that 3am phone call to be on the early launch crew of a C-2A to the boat. It was an exciting life and a wonderful career.
Posted 31 Aug 98:
I am about to make E-7 and my second husband is an E-6. My first husband did not share in household duties and I had to find a sitter if I had duty. We were married for 9 years which included a 3 1/2 year tour in Japan. After my divorce I remarried a wonderful man who does share all aspects of house duties. I have a 15 yr old son and a 13 yr old daughter from my first marriage. In the five years we have been married he has done a tour in Diego Garcia (1yr) and a work up cycle and deployment (6 months) and another work up cycle on board the USS Constellation. Last year I deployed aboard the USS Constellation in a squadron, My husband kept my daughter while my son chose to live with his father. My husband and I both have the same rating, he is currently on shore duty but is required to travel so we always have to look a couple of months out to make sure someone will be home with the kids. They think that they can take care of themselves you know the "I'm 15/13 and think I am 20." We always joke and say we play tag with the checkbook. I takes alot of communication - thank god for email. My children have become very independent and understand duty and what the Navy requires of us and when we get time, we spend it together.
Posted: 29 Jun 98:
Being dual military definitely has its challenges. I am a First Class Radioman and my husband is a Senior Chief Electronics Technician. We are currently stationed in Japan. We have been married for 10 wonderful years, and have suffered and flourished through deployments, PCS moves and TAD periods. We have 2 wonderful children who have learned to adapt no matter where the Navy takes us. We have been stationed in Spain, Italy, Brunswick Me, and Japan. If we had it all to do over again, we probably wouldn't change a thing! It's great to find a web site for us and others like us.
Posted: 23 Apr 98:
My husband and I are both retired Navy. He retired as a ABHC in 93 and I retired as a LT (LDO) in 96. We met and married while stationed in Sigonella, Sicily in '78 and were fortunate enough to be stationed together over the next 18 years. We have three wonderful teenage boys (13, 15, 17) and loved every moment of our military life (well almost every moment). It was very difficult trying to get stationed together and was even more difficult to raise a family and be successful in the military. We managed to do it though and have no regrets. I managed to get stationed in my husbands homeport when he was on sea duty and vice versa. I finally got to go to sea when I was commissioned and we reversed roles as I went to sea for med deployments and he stayed home and was Mr. Mom. While being away from my family was very hard, I would not have traded that experience for all the money in the world. I learned what life was like at sea and my husband learned what life was like at home. We learned that life on the "other side" was not easy for us and discovered a whole new outlook on life. We have been married 20 years come August and can only hope that other married military couples out there have half a good a life as we have had. Good luck to all of you. Keep the faith and hang tough. Always Navy.
Posted: 22 Sep 99:
Posted: 31 Aug 98:
My husband and I serve in different branches of the military. He is a Cpl in the Marines and I am an AT3 in the Navy. We both have been in 4 years. We met shortly after boot camp, like so many other young duel military couples, but unlike the majority of those, we have made it almost 3 years (I know, it's not all that long, but long for some!). It has not been the easiest of paths we could have taken. I know there are times we were so frustrated because we could not live together. ( I was stationed in Norfolk, VA and he was in Cherry Point, NC) Somehow we survived the long time apart doing the weekend thing and are now stationed in the same state, happily living together. All I want to say to those of you who are in the situation where you cannot be with your spouse for an indeterminate amount of time, remember that sooner or later it will all work out. I think it made my husband and I stronger having to deal with being apart for the majority of our marriage. I am looking forward to the next 50-100 years with him! *Smile!* Take heart and don't lose hope. It is all worth it in the end. Good Luck to all of you!!
Posted: 24 Apr 98: "Dual Military, Different Branches"
It was one thing being dual military, but being dual military in different branches of the service made for an interesting life. My husband was commissioned in the Air Force and I was commissioned in the Army. We were both warned of how difficult the first tour of duty is for a newly commissioned officer, and in order to stay together, we both had to be prepared to make tremendous sacrifices. We were lucky to be stationed relatively close to one another - I was stationed at Ft Bliss, Texas and my husband was stationed at Holloman AFB in New Mexico. The 45 mile midpoint between the two bases was White Sands Missile Range which was where we called home. My husband, being an Air Force Security Police, had rotating shifts and there were many days that we would miss each other completely. I was a Platoon Leader and worked easily 12-15 hour days, not to mention the countless field exercises and TDYs. We both had to work like hell to reprioritize and ensure that we could fit a marriage in somewhere. We would have to schedule dates and do lots of strategic planning to ensure that we could spend quality time together as husband and wife. It was very difficult to tune out the military because it was so pervasive our lives. Our troops seemed to know us better than our spouses! That was pretty sad!
The year I had my son, I was up for promotion and due for a PCS move. My branch manager told me that my only choices were Korea or Korea. My husband was also in the same boat and his PCS choices were not only Korea but Japan as well. My assignment would have meant that I would be on an isolated tour of duty, and my husband would be left to care for our son. That was completely unacceptable to both of us. We both opted to get out. We have both been out of Active Duty for almost 4 years now although we both are in the Reserves. We will never forget the valuable lessons that we learned from our jobs and from all of the people that we met. I think that is what we both miss most of all about Active Duty - all of the wonderful people that we met and worked with. I really wish it could have worked out for us but we both decided that we wanted us more than we wanted the military. I have friends that are dual military that have managed to make it work, but they are lucky in that both of them are in the same branch of the service. I wish them and all dual military couples good luck in their careers and in their marriages because if they can combine the two successfully, it's a great life.
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