Saturday, May 08, 2010

The Great Rank Debate

What?!?! I'm not supposed to mention rank? Oh?!?! That's considered "wearing" my husband's rank if I even mention it? Oh geez, I have pictures posted on my blog where my husband's rank is exposed! I even congratulated him a while back when he got promoted! Well shame on me!!!

Actually, no, not shame on me. I think the whole rank debate is ridiculous. While I do see everyone's perspective and have even tried to explain to many new Military wives why it could be seen one way or another, I truly believe that too many people put too much stupid stress over a really silly thing. There are so many other things going on in the world that the debate over what your husband's rank is is pretty insignificant in the big scheme of things.

Now that being said, I will say it's annoying when women think it defines who they are but you know what if that's what those people want, so what? If someone wants to not be friends with you because your husband is lower ranking than theirs, then again, so it really such a big loss?

I remember when I first moved to Fort Hood and was going to finally meet a girl I had "known" online for quite a few years. When I mentioned that we should all get together for dinner she told me that her husband had said no because my husband is enlisted and hers was an officer. You know what? I told her that was stupid and her husband was stupid but to each their own. So I didn't have to be tortured through a dinner that would have most likely been painful and I didn't have to waste any of my time on close-minded people. I also had a friend, someone I had been friends with for over a decade who told me she had been heartbroken when she had to quit being friends with so many when her husband got promoted. I was totally shocked! I decided to quit being friends with her before she had a chance to dump me, had to be ahead of the game you know!

I have numerous other stories I could share, and I know many of you reading this have some to share as well. Here's my point, it doesn't really matter what rank your husband is. It's all in your attitude.

And after 17 years affiliated with the Military and the whole politics of awards based on rank, well yes, that is a whole different story. And again it's all about the attitude. Believe it or not people see through all the crap. They know who is sincere and who isn't. So be yourself! It's so much better than playing games. Trust me, you can survive in the military without playing games. I promise, life isn't like an episode of Army Wives.

I am not going to spend time editing photos or watching what I say when I am proud of my husband. Oh and I'm going to go somewhere few people go. I cannot stand when people say that he earned his rank, I didn't. While I am not going to wear his rank, I am not going to stand by idly and agree with that statement. I have traveled this journey with him for over 14 years. I have studied for boards with him, I have picked up, dropped off, ironed and starched many uniforms. I have dropped everything to take him something that he needs. I have endured many goodbyes, many hellos, most laden with numerous tears. I have been his therapist, his cheerleader and his reality check. My husband has not walked this journey alone, and while he worked hard to get where he is, he has done so with me by his side. And not only me but my boys, we have all earned his rank in some way.

I'm not going to change my screen name to his rank, I'm not going to introduce myself by his rank. But I am also not going to hide it away because he has worked hard to get here and he hasn't walked that journey alone.


*Jenn* said...

Wow! Girl that was good! I am so new at all this, that I would have never thought of ann issue like that! How strange. Wearing my husbands rank is a foreign idea to me, and im glad you talked about it because now I can be prepared. I think i totally agree with you. While I will be vrey proud of my hubs, and I know that he does everything with me by his side, I am my own person and I plan tokeep it that way. =) Thanks for the great post!

USMCWIFE said...

Bravo, I think everything you say is right on. I have had friends that husbands have been all ranks. I have sat with Generals wives and chatted as well as Lcpl's wives. We are all wives after all and have a lot more in common than being married to Soldier/Marine/Sailor/Airmen; we are sisters, mothers, daughters, students, careerist, and volunteers. I understand rank structure and why it is necessary for our spouses to maintain that structure. I would never disregard someone based on husbands rank, and really unless they were someone in my hubs chain I probably wouldn’t even know or ask their rank because it wouldn't be important. I was with my husband before he was even a "boot" with no rank. I love him now as a Sr. Enlisted Marine as I did then. I can say that a lot of my friends have husbands of the same or close in rank but not because of that but because we have come up together through those ranks. I love when people ask me why I have my hubs rank in my screen name, and I love to tell them, sorry that isn't his rank it is his MOS...and I take pride in all my hubs accomplishments and will always show him in all his glory and brag about him any chance I get, I don't think he's better than anyone I just think he is awesome period. LOL..I love to hear of other spouses hubs and their successes. I think its important they are recognized, I hate when wives wear their husbands rank, that is different than feeling like you have helped earn it..of course we do. Now with that being said I also understand how compromising it could be to be friends with lower ranks only if that person is in your husband’s chain. I can't speak for other services but a Marine is a Marine 24/7 and a SNCO can't not really be hanging out with an NCO or non nco.from the same chain. I honestly thing it would be too uncomfortable for the younger troop anyhow. I remember when my hubs 1st graduated boot camp and we were over my BIL's and he was a SSgt. It took my hubs awhile to be comfortable around his own BIL! Ok so there is my "blog" within your I guess what I really wanted to say was GREAT JOB!! You can just post that if you want!

Knuckles said...

Great post. I also think this is one of the most ridiculous debate ever. Takes me back when all us little kids on the block are comparing our parents occupation.


Come on guys, we ain't 3 or 4 anymore. And this just isn't a spouse thing, it's a brat thing too. I've had live in places and meet some people who said straight to my face that we can no longer be friends because his Dad graduated OCS. Seriously? Ridiculous.

I remember Mom always used to say, "If I don't like her, I don't like her. If her hubby was King Charles, I still wouldn't like her!"

Well said, Mama, well said.


Michelle said...

I'm glad I haven't come across any of this yet, as a new army wife.. But I'm very glad to know what I might end up facing in the future! Thanks for sharing all of that. - Michy (

Southern Belle said...

You have such a way of putting things so that it comes across as wise and completely unoffensive. I hope that after 17 years of experience, I will be able to do that, too! I truly think it's a gift - finding that fine line of saying what you think without stepping on toes. Great post! :)

The Undomestic Army Wife said...

the only place I don't talk about my husbands rank is my blog. When I first started my blog, I gave myself a set of "rules" and that included that I would not discuss it. I am proud of him but it's not something I want out in a public forum. However, on a face to face basis, it's different.

TheAlbrechtSquad said...

Undomestic Wifey, I totally get that, we all have to do what WE feel comfortable doing. I respect your rules and understand them.

WolfleyFamily said...

What?! You mean that because my formerly-enlisted husband took a commission last summer, that I still have to be nice to enlisted wives?! JUST Kidding! =))) I wholeheartedly agree with what you wrote in both parts! That's something that's always driven us crazy!! The number of times we didn't socialize with someone due to rank, we could count on one hand (and that was when Greg was enlisted!). Some of our closest friends (when Greg was enlisted) also happened to be officer families - people we went to church with. But also, people who were not in a direct chain of command, either. A woman approached me in September at my kids' bus stop. She is retired Army & her husband's retired Navy - both were enlisted. I remember her asking me if she saw correctly that my husband is an officer. I said that's correct. Then she said, "Wow! I would've never pegged you as an officer's wife - you're not a snob at all!". It just baffles me how so many wives try to "wear" their husband's rank & especially to get gain or prestige for themselves. I told her I was very sorry that anyone treated her that way - especially because SHE is the military retiree, not those wives who were snobs to her. 90% of the time, my husband's rank doesn't even come up in conversation. When it does, it comes up naturally and pertains to the discussion. I am proud of my husband - not for the rank he wears but for all the hard work that he has put into the military. It's really sad to me too, that in the 8 months he's been at his unit, he's already got a better rapport with the NCO's than the other officers who've been in the unit for two years. It's because he treats them as people and they work together to accomplish what needs to be done. I think more people should spend more time focusing on how they're treating each other rather than what their husband's job title might be. :)) Thanks for letting me vent!

Dennis said...

This can be a very tender subject for many, enlisted or officer. Being retired AF (26yrs), I've known many in all ranks from the different Services that did not take seriously their first position, ""child" of God." When a tragedy happens, an errant teenager, an unexpected child illness, etc., it doesn't matter what rank anyone's spouse is. As for the consideration of professionalism being maintained in the military workplace when spouses interact up and down the ranks, it comes down to whether the active-duty spouse is professional and which ones can't handle the responsibility of being a human being inside/outside the uniform.