Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Military Spouse Rules: Yes, they have them!

No kidding.

In the 5 or so months since I have been an Army wife, I have quickly been learning the ropes of my new life, as you all know. One of the things I have been learning is the rules, the do's and don't's of being married to a man in the uniform. I came across this article a few weeks ago, and not only found it extremely informative -- and will most likely save me from embarrassment in the future -- but I also had to laugh. Seriously, laugh. There are so many rules! How can anyone know them all!? And you all know how I feel about following rules (If not click here).

Here is list I found on Milspouse.com -- not my favorite site, mind you, but it does have some great tips for newbies like me. For full article by Whitney Bailey click here.

Note: These rules only apply when the spouse is in uniform.

Do:

-Walk on your husband’s left side so he can salute others.

-Refer to your spouse by his first name or nickname, or as “my husband.” Do not refer to your husband as “Capt. Smith” or “the Captain.”

-Stand at a public function or ceremony when the senior officer enters and is announced. This applies to everyone in attendance.

-Offer your husband an umbrella in the rain, but only if it’s black. He’s not allowed to carry any other color.

-Push the baby carriage or stroller so your spouse doesn’t have to. It’s considered “unmilitary” to do so while in uniform.

-Help your spouse carry any packages or bundles to make it easier for him to salute. (Are you wondering if a man made up these rules so that wives would have to do all the heavy lifting?)

Don’t:

-Show public displays of affection, except at homecomings and goodbyes. This includes kissing and holding hands.

-Offer your spouse a piece of gum. It is not “military” for him to chew it. The same goes for smoking while in uniform.

-Allow him to put his hands in his pockets unless he is placing or retrieving an item.

-Refer to your husband’s orders as “our orders” unless you are a service member yourself.

-Offer him food or drink while he’s walking. He should not be eating, drinking or using a cell phone while walking in uniform.

-Refer to others in the service as “sir” or “ma’am,” even if your spouse does. Refer to them by their rank and last name (“Capt. Smith”).

-Allow your child to wear your spouse’s uniform for Halloween. Uniforms bearing insignia, badges and tabs should be worn only by authorized personnel.

-From the article entitled, "Do’s and don’ts while in uniform" by Whitney Bailey

The funny thing is, when asked Ben about this, he told me he had only heard of couple of these, but that they all sound like military rules to him! He even told me they were informed that the Army even has rules about how you can "do it" -- if you know what I mean, if not, too bad, this is a family blog! That one had me laughing my head off.

Anyone else hear any good ones?

17 comments:

Catherine said...

Man, I still have so much to learn. I gotta remember these!

Ana said...

Haha, my dh has pushed the stroller and carried the baby in uniform quite often. He also carries the heavy stuff. If their hands are full, it's expected they don't have to drop everything to salute. And I've called his orders "our orders" because, well, they affect me, too.

I wouldn't worry too much about these. If your hubby knows he should or shouldn't do something, he'll tell you. It's really not a big deal.

heather@thewifeydiaries said...

I don't know ANY but omgosh. Wow.

Idk HOW you do it girl. I would NEVER remember all of those, you're a better woman than I. lolol.

And you're the only one who notices a theme in these rules... lolol.

heather@thewifeydiaries said...

You're NOT. That's supposed to say not. lol

Sorry ~ my ocd refused to let me leave until I correcteded that ;)

Our Family said...

Wow, I hadn't heard most of these, either. How in the world are you supposed to call someone by their name and rank if your spouse only referred to the person using "sir" or "ma'am"? I suppose you could scan the insignia for clues, but I'm still not up on all the ranks. Thanks for sharing this fun list. :o)

Lydia said...

This list made me laugh, I think I remember hearing a few of these when we first joined but my husband is a gentleman and care more about me,

I have been holding his hand for years both when he is in uniform and not.

Most of these are from "old school" times, don't think about them again, just be yourself and respect others and you will do fine.

Mama Nut said...

THANKS!! You have NO IDEA how bad I have been stressing about meeting Ben at the airport because of these rules!! Should I put the kids in a stroller or not, do I have to carry his bag too? Or will I have to push and carry the bag, and what if I can't!!! LOL... it all seems so silly doesn't it! And what about all those pictures in the papers of soldiers kissing their wives... crazy!

DaveandRuth said...

You can do it!!! You are strong woman!

Meagan and John said...

I'm sorry but I am going to say it--If I was to pass a soldier in uniform and see that he was making the woman with him carry the lugguage or anything for that matter and his hands were empty, or if he was walking beside his woman pushing the stroller I would think "what a jerk"

I'm just saying, it is the man's job and for a man in uniform (of all people) should be able to do the work instead of making someone else--does that make sense?

I can't tell you how many people in uniform I have seen lighting up, so obviously that one isn't as important as not carrying stuff or pushing the baby in the buggy.

The one about the umbrella reminds me about how stupid some of the fliht attendant rules are--I am going to have to pull out my handbook and post those later, they are definitely very interesting and specific, oh and some of the stuff I got in trouble for doing--I once got written up/in trouble for pausing too long (I was trying to catch my breathe) while saying my annoucements.

Jill said...

I would be stressed trying to remember all the rules, too, Cat. I'm sure you'll do fine though. You always do.

Pam said...

Some of those make sense (not letting kids wear the uniform for Halloween), but others are just ridiculous. Why is it "unmilitary like" for a father to push his children in a stroller. What message are trying to send. That miliary men don't make good fathers? Just silly. Good luck with all that.

(I hope the rules about "doing it" are all in jest. Jeesh! Is nothing sacred once you join the miliary? Don't answer that...)

Single Mama NYC said...

I guess it doesn't speak well of me that my first thought is, "Who the heck is going to know if you are "doing it" in uniform??? LOL.

Tobi said...

Soldiers can only wear black sunglasses. They can't have any color on them and they certainly can't wear Aviator sunglasses unless they actually are a Pilot.

The doing it rules make me laugh too. =)

TMWW said...

I am a former USMC wife. I will never forget the first month of our marriage when word made it around the base that we were married. The other wives came out in force to invite me to their homes and "school" me in Marine Corps etiquette. Yep, each branch of the service has their own set of rules and you are right - some of them are absolute doozies! And deployments? OMG, I had to attend a CLASS when my husband went on a six month cruise on how to handle disasters, finances, family, etc. while my husband was away from home so that he could do his job and not have to worry about problems at home. Good grief Charlie Brown! Some of the information was really good and helpful, but other things were just plain common sense that a mule could figure out on their own!

I do love the close-knit military community though. I miss that...

TMWW said...

I am a former USMC wife. I will never forget the first month of our marriage when word made it around the base that we were married. The other wives came out in force to invite me to their homes and "school" me in Marine Corps etiquette. Yep, each branch of the service has their own set of rules and you are right - some of them are absolute doozies! And deployments? OMG, I had to attend a CLASS when my husband went on a six month cruise on how to handle disasters, finances, family, etc. while my husband was away from home so that he could do his job and not have to worry about problems at home. Good grief Charlie Brown! Some of the information was really good and helpful, but other things were just plain common sense that a mule could figure out on their own!

I do love the close-knit military community though. I miss that...

THEbrofesser Awesome said...

Easiest thing to do to avoid issues is to avoid being out with ur husband in uniform. My husband comes home after work and changes before we go anywhere it avoids the extra work of him being out in uniform. Avoids extra attention and scrutinity and he's more comfortable overall. He will not travel in uniform once was enough people stopped him non stop and he missed his flight he also had anti government people yelling stuff at him worst experience ever.plus it's safer too he is not a target.

THEbrofesser Awesome said...

Bec u can tell everyone's name and rank by their patches on their uniform :)