Proof I'm a bad military spouse

This list has been going around the base lately, and I was reading it and just completely confused on a lot of it and how it means you're a "Military Spouse". While I know it was made all in fun, it is just strange what things people pick to put on the list...

You Know You're A Military Spouse When:

Someone asks when your Spouse will be home, you say July or August instead of 5 or 6pm
-Well this is somewhat true, I do deal with deployments and TDYs and trainings so there are times when I am asked when my husband will be home and I have to say "Well, he won't be home until the Spring" or whatever season is appropriate. Although it is interesting that a lot of spouses claim this is true when a large portion on the Active Duty personnel have never deployed. Some civilians have long business trips and can be gone for months at a time. 

You live on your own and by yourself more after you're married than before you were married.
-Mildly true. N and I have been married for over 2 years now and he's been gone for half of that. But depending on the branch, squadron, base, AFSC and person, this isn't always true. Nate hasn't deployed nearly as much as others have but has deployed more than some people will in their career. Its a crapshoot. Some times you'll have a short dwell time, sometimes you'll go years between deployments. It's not the  status quo. Look at spouses of doctors and lawyers and truck drivers., they too can be gone for long stretches of times. 

You know all of your Spouse's co-workers by their last name, ...and rarely know their first name.
-It is polite in social settings to at the very least ask for their first name. Or present people with their first and last name. Sgt Sarah Connor vs Sgt Connor   You can address them by rank, but its not unusual to know full names. 

You say "I'm going to the commissary" instead of "grocery store".
-meh. You know they call it the commissary in prison as well, right?

You need your I.D to buy groceries
-Well, yes to use installation commissaries and exchanges you do need to show identification granting you privileges. However, you need to show ID at Sam's Club as well. 

You really want something but you say "dang, well I'm going to have to wait for the 1st... or 15th for it ".
-Uhh, Really? Its called Financial Management. If you manage your budget, you don't have to wait until the military pay days. Also having my own career has helped me be able to buy the things I want when I want them. Working does have its benefits.

You ask someone "what's your rank?" instead of "what's your job?!"
-I don't believe I've ever asked a service member what their rank is instead of what their job is. All service members have jobs and they're not all the same. There are hundreds of jobs in the military. That will tell you more about a person than their rank. Rank will sometimes come up in conversation when you are trying to put a name with a face as there may be 2 Sarah Connors on base but only 1 SGT Sarah Connor and the other is an airman. But instead of asking "So what do you do for a living?" asking "So what's your rank?" just seems odd and rude. Yes they're military, but the military is more than that. A person could be an aerial gunner, or an admin clerk, or an EOD specialist. 

Half of your wardrobe has some kind of Military insignia on it and once belonged to your Spouse.
-Oh for the love of Tim Gunn, no.  Hell, no.
I think I have 1 shirt that has some sort of Military Insignia on it and it was given away at a function. I don't even know where it is because I never wear it. I think I have 1 PT shirt of N's that I wear to bed. And even then it isn't a normal occurrence. Do I need to break the Liz letters out?

The sounds of helicopters, and Jets flying over your house shaking your windows, surprisingly soothes you
-Ask a civilian that has lived near an airport of a train track and they'll tell you the same thing. You adapt to your surroundings. While I may hear the sounds of bombers and be used to it as it's the sound around my house, its pretty common for a lot of people. Just like people that live near active harbors might be soothed by the sound of ship horns. 

Your Spouse's work and dress clothes cost more than yours do.


I imagine he does wish this was true. Mess Dress is probably about $600 and over. Depending on medals, insignia etc.  It isn't required dress on a regular occasion for most service members.  And if the event calls for Mess Dress, a spouse should dress accordingly. Mess dress is usually seen as Black Tie or White Tie civilian equivalent. So a spouse should wear a floor length gown. (No you can't wear that cocktail dress you wore to the club last weekend that barely covers your ass) Which can run into the thousands depending on designer. For male spouses, tuxedos and suits can run several hundreds as well. 

Service Dress is usually less than Mess, and women's gowns will still run several hundred as can suits. Just ask Barney Stinston. 

Also, while service members do have a number of formal occasions during their career, they don't need to buy new uniforms each time.  I usually would buy a new gown for a new occasion. 

Day to day wear, ABU's cost about $30-$40 per blouse or pants. so lets say $100 for everything. Buy 5 sets for one week and you are set for a basic work week. Boots can cost a few hundred.  So you're basic wardrobe for utility dress is less than $600

Also, this is why you get a clothing allowance every year ;)

I'm not even going to comment on my clothing budget...

You only write in pencil because EVERYTHING is subject to change.
-This can go for civilians as well. Especially in this day and age things change drastically. While I try not to plan set things too far in advance due to his requirements with the military, my job isn't very predictable either. I have made appointments and plans before and had to cancel due to things at work. Meetings can be scheduled, or rescheduled at a moments notice. Schedules can be changed, projects can abruptly start or end. (I've had less than a few hours notice a project would start that evening so things had to be rearranged last minute.)

In all aspects of life, military and civilian flexibility is key.

You know that a 2 month separation IS short, no matter what your civilian friends say.
-This is a huge pet peeve. The same people that mock civilians about having to deal with a 2 week separation are usually the same ones whining about their Service Member having to work an unannounced 12 hour shift or have to pull weekend duty. 

First, a separation is a separation. My friend Erin had to deal with her husband being in and out of town for work for a few months. It seemed he was always gone on some sort of meeting and she was at home with an infant with feeding issues and health struggles. I felt just as badly for her as I do my fellow spouses of deployed members. She had the same struggles as I did. If not more because she didn't have the military support systems in place that I do. 

Should she suck it up because someone some where has to deal with a 24 month deployment? Fuck no. I wish there was more I could do for her in that situation because I know how much it can suck.

When you marry a military member, or your spouse decides to join, you know that his or her service will require separation. It is a choice. There is no active draft. 

Does it suck? Yes. Separations are never easy. But you know this going in. Separations will come.

Some civilians enter a job not knowing that it will require a lot of travel. And are blindsided by being gone for weeks at a time. Missing someone is missing someone. No matter if its a week, a month, a year of a decade. 

Yes, the military deployment has its dangers. But there are thousands of civilian contractors doing the same things overseas without some of the benefits the military enjoys. There are thousands of dangerous jobs performed by the civilian world and they don't get nearly as much credit as the military. 

I will say it again, a separation is a separation. If you love someone, any time away can be painful. Just because one wears a uniform doesn't make that love stronger or better. It just comes with its own set of difficulties just like every relationship. 

You know better than to go to the commissary between 11:30 and 1:30 or on a payday unless it's a life or death emergency.

-Patience is a virtue. As is planning ahead. If you don't want to deal with crowds, don't go to crowded places. Yes, the commissary is busier on payday. But its not nearly as busy as places like The Evil Empire. 

You know that any reference to "sand box" describes a deployment to Afghanistan, not your kid's backyard toys.
-Actually the "Sandbox" refers to the Middle East. Not just the 'Ghan and it doesn't necessarily mean the actual deployment but more the place. Also, did you know there are computing sandboxes as well? When I first heard the term I thought they were talking about a computing sandbox. 

You don't have to think about what time 21:30 is.

-Neither do Europeans or medical professionals. Most areas use the 24 hour clock format.  

You pick apart uniforms on TV and in the movies for being inaccurate with your Spouses'.

-WOW! I didn't realize spouses attended briefings on proper military uniform, protocol and customs. I missed that one!!! I sadly am not an Official Uniform Inspector, I didn't get that badge in my Military Spouse scouting troop.  

Seriously? It's a movie. It isn't supposed to 100% accurate. If this bothers you so much, why does it not bother you that Army Wives is even on the air?! That show is riddled with inaccuracies. But it's not supposed to be a documentary on military life. It's a drama. It's make-believe. If all the spouses that nitpick uniforms in movies truly cared, they would have petitioned to have that show cancelled or refuse to watch it. 

You are asked to stop talking in acronyms and translate it all to English

-I wonder how many spouses truly know what the acronyms stand for and aren't just repeating what they've heard. 
Also, many civilian jobs have acronyms. My friend, Brandon will talk about his job from time to time and I will phase out because unless he breaks it down Barney style for me, I'm not going to understand. If his wife Erin starts talking medical terminology to me, I'm going to have to ask for stick figures. 

When your Spouse says they get to "Sleep In" and is referring to 6:30am..
- uhhhhhh

yeeeeah. Most active duty members I know, can sleep in with the best of them. I believe N's slept in until afternoon. 

Ask a mother of a young child what they mean by sleeping in and they'll tell you similar things. 

:O You mean civilians actually work and have responsibilities?! !?! You mean they DON'T just sleep all day, get drunk and make liberal statements that my spouse has to fight for!?!? OH THE HUMANITY!!!!!


Before I get huffy people commenting saying they sacrifice so much and they are sexually deprived for my freedom to say this drivel, remember this:

We all have difficulties. No one is better than someone else regardless of what their spouse does. Being a military spouse has its ups and downs. There are real dangers we face and our spouses face. We have lost thousands of military members over the last ten years during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. There have been countless civilian lives lost as well. 

We as military spouses due have a special duty to represent the heart of our Military and our nation at home and abroad. We have the chance to represent a powerful nation and strong Armed Forces, by giving it a human face.

Be gracious, be respectful and above all else, loving and caring. For those in and out of uniform and for the families that struggle with things just like we do. 

Love yourself. Take pride in yourself as a human being. Embrace your own self worth and celebrate YOU. I love my husband more than I can say, but I know that to be a strong military spouse, I must love myself and be strong and have a sense of humility and perseverance. I must represent more than my husband, I must represent myself. 

While my husband is in the military and is currently on deployment, I don't see myself as just a military wife.

I am Nate's wife. I support him in his career and I represent myself as a loving, caring and devoted wife and woman.

Think about how you represent the military community. If its with an air of disdain to the civilian world, if you act as if your love is greater for your spouse because of their job, think about how that represents you, your community and your nation. 

But without the support of our military and civilian communities, our military would never be what it is today.

And remember the words of  Dumbledore:

in the light of Voldemort's return, we are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided. Lord Voldemort's gift for spreading discord and enmity is very great. We can fight it only by showing an equally strong bond of friendship and trust. Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open." 


  1. According to this list I'm one horrible military spouse!! Some of this is just dumb.

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  3. Didja know it's actually illegal (?) for movies/shows to use accurate military uniforms? Since non-military peoples aren't supposed to wear the uniform. I'm not a know it all - the husband told me that! LOL.

  4. I had heard that Rena Nichole. A lot. However, so far I've yet to find any actual laws that back it up.

    The Supreme Court has one case where it was decided that the wearing of military uniforms in a theatrical production was legal as long as it does not discredit the armed forces. However, that was declared unconstitutional.
    So as far as the US Supreme Court stands its perfectly legal.

    I spoke to a friend in JAG who said its an urban legend and that in some movies, the military (or an ex military member) works with the movie producers as a consultant. Not many movies think to hire one, so they simply go off the costume designer's vision. Or they're working off of old regulations. Movie producers are usually exempt from laws regarding impersonating an officer or stolen valor as its obvious a production and used as a theatrical device.

    In movies where the Department of Defense is working in conjunction with the producers, they work extremely hard to accurately portray the military. Such as the movie I Am Legend starring Will Smith, they had a representative on staff to help, however on the days of some shooting, that rep was not present so things were able to slide.

    There are several ex military members that work in the movie industry now that specialize in military portrayals. These people are brought in on some military movies to help the props and costume departments guarantee authenticity.

    Kevin Bacon was in an HBO movie once with a perfectly squared away uniform and ribbon rack.

    In the show JAG, the awards and decorations of the actors were correct as the creator is a former Marine and expects regulations to be followed.

    Well that's a ramble! I did some research regarding this as I found it rather interesting.

    But thanks for bringing it up!


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