Saturday, May 5, 2012

You Can't Please Everyone...

UPDATE: 12/23/2013 If your intent of reading this post is to bash my family, my husband, how he wears his uniform, whether or not he should be wearing certain awards, the color of his flash, or just feel like bashing on the Army, its cadets, or the officers, please just leave right now.  If you can't read (I have sited ALL the Army regs on the bottom of this post) or spell, or have limited vocabularies and can only express your feelings in profanity, go away.  All you self-appointed "curtsy police" need to understand that my husband's uniform is going to look different than a typical cadet, because he was PRIOR enlisted.  This is a family blog.  This post was written over a year and half ago, so get over yourselves.  You don't know my husband, you don't know me.  I value your opinion if given with curtsy and class.   Anonymous commenters who only wish to be jerks, are cowards, and will be deleted from now on.


You may have noticed that I haven't been posting as often and much as I would like.  Computer time is a luxury these days, that I hardly have time to sit down and check my email!

I have had this inward battle with myself these last few weeks, and I didn't want it to reflect in my blog posts.  The last thing I aim to do on here is to offend anyone with one of my emotional blah-blah's.

I have also learned some important lessons about myself and my relationships with others.  I learned that no matter how hard I try, I can not please everyone.  Someone is always going to be ticked off at me for some reason other.  I haven't done anything wrong, I think, but I feel like sometimes just the fact that I am a happy person with a pretty good life will make some people angry, jealous and hateful.  It isn't my problem.  And without compromising myself and the values I hold dear, there are just some people that will never be my friends.

You may have noticed that I have a few unspoken rules that I abide by on this blog.  First off, I never use this as a way to gossip about people.  When I first started this blog, I admit, I tended to poke fun at people once in a while and I have since learned that it wasn't very nice and I even lost a few friends over it.  It was dumb, and I changed.  I don't gossip about people in real life, it isn't nice and can have some really serious consequences.  If I talk about other people when they aren't around, I ask myself: "Would I say this if they were here?"  Usually, good news like babies being born and people getting married can be good news to share and other stuff like that.

Secondly, I try very hard not to talk about things that can be controversial.  I hate being the cause of contention.  But don't think I don't have an opinion, because let me tell you, I have one about everything!  I just know when it isn't worth fighting about and losing friends over.

I like to believe in Karma.  That if I am a good person, people will be good to me and good things will come my way.  It's a great attitude to have and has been mostly true.  But we all have trials in life, and it's those moments when things are the hardest that we have a chance to grow and get a glimpse of the person that we are and who we have the potential to become.

I have been put in a bit of a pickle this last week.

I won't go into details because I don't want to point fingers or call anyone out.  I just want to have a moment where I can congratulate my hubby in his hard work and achievements and not have my feelings hurt for feeling good.

At the beginning of this last semester, my Ben was asked by his ROTC Commander to be the captain of the Ranger Challenge Team.  (They are kind of like a varsity team for the ROTC and they compete against other schools in several areas like PT and written tests, shooting, assembly and disassembling weapons, grenade throws, rope bridges, ruck runs, etc.)  I was really happy for him because he had worked really hard to make the team and compete the fall before.  The first year he tried out he didn't make it, then last summer he did P90X and worked for it.  So I was really happy for him to be the captain!

Now, he was supposed to carry over this leadership position into his senior year, so you can imagine my surprise when we went to the award ceremony and they announced that someone else was going to be the captain of the team next year.  Then after they started calling off the MS-4's new leadership roles for the next year (MS-4 is the title of the cadets that are in their last year of college before graduating and commissioning. . MS-1's are first years, MS-2's are second years and so on).  They didn't say what Ben was until the very last, and announced that he would be the new Cadet Commander. (Now, to many of you that doesn't mean much, but in the ROTC it means that Ben is now the highest ranking cadet there, the big cheese, the top of the totem.)  I was pleasantly surprised, a little confused, but very happy for him.  I felt it would be a great learning opportunity for him.
I took this picture off the Utah State ROTC Facebook page.  I figured they
wouldn't care if I used it on here... Hopefully :)
Before the award thing even ended, I had to take off to go pick up the boys from school.  When I got back for the BBQ after, I overheard some people talking about me... and it wasn't nice.  To say I was shocked would be an understatement.  I hadn't even had a chance to tell my Ben that I was proud of him and congrats, and rumors about me as his wife were already going around.

Now, I had a choice.  I could either pretend I didn't hear it and slink off and stew about it.  I could call them out on it and maybe make a scene... OR I could do what I did and said "Hi!" really loud and let them know that I heard them but that I was going to rise above it.  You should have seen their faces!  Two words: Kodak. Moment.

The only thing I was guilty of was having a super cool hubby.  If they had issues with that, then that's their problem.  And you know what?  I can't let it bother me.  I can't let it eat at me.  There is a part of me that wants to hide and not take part in the ROTC next year because the other wives might think I am a snob.  But I can't let people like that win.  So I am going to be the best Cadet Commander wife that I can (even though I have no clue what I am doing...), be a good person, and the rest... well, let's just hope that the rest takes care of itself.  Besides, chances are that gossip and backbiting is going to happen everywhere we go... it's just way people are sometimes.  Sad, but true.

I believe in myself, and I know that if people don't give me a chance to be their friend, then they are missing out on having a good friendship!  And heaven knows, we ALL need good friends.

So I want to end off by giving my hubby a big congrats on not only for the opportunity to serve the ROTC as Cadet Commander next year, but for his hard work in earning and receiving the German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge -- See that pretty gold Eagle on the left... looking good!

(Note, he isn't wearing his new rank because I haven't ordered them yet for the class A's... and he felt like he hadn't EARNED the right to wear it yet... silly men and their honor... but that's why I like him so much!!)

For those of you who have just received the German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge (GAFPB) and have no idea how to wear it, here are the rules:

Proper Wear of the GAFPB:
Males wear a foreign badge ⅛ inch above the right pocket flap, or ½ inch above any unit awards that are worn. Females wear the badge ½ inch above the nameplate, or ½ inch above any unit awards that are worn. Personnel may not wear a foreign badge unless at least one U.S. medal or service ribbon is worn at the same time. Foreign badges are not authorized for wear on mess or utility uniforms. Personnel may not wear foreign badges that are awarded only as cloth badges. Personnel may not wear foreign badges that cannot be worn properly because of size or configuration. -AR-670-1, section 29-19 part B
In addition to this, the badge may only be worn on the  US Army Class A and/or ASU jacket.

UPDATE: There has been debate on whether or not the GAFPB should be "centered" or not since the rules aren't clear.  After asking around, this is all I can tell you: every commander is different.  Some would rather have it offset as to not be under the collar (especially in the Class A's), other's prefer it centered (mostly on the ASU's).  Your best bet, when in doubt, ask your commander.  The way Ben is wearing it above is they way HIS commander prefers.
Here is an updated picture of my husband in his Blues (ASU's) with the rest of us at his commissioning Aug 2013 :)

Check today's Military VA loan rates to take advantage of the best rates ever!


Carrie and Karl said...

I hate gossip too. Good job of handling it! And congrats to your hubby!

New Mommy Confessions said...

Congratulations to your hubby!

And also a big congratulations to you for handling things the way you did. It's not always easy to be the bigger person, but it's definitely the better way to go.

Keep up the good work, girl!

armywife said...

Congrats to Ben!!!! So happy for the both of you.. I am very proud of you in the way you handled yourself with those women.. You have great amounts of poise and grace.

Tobi said...

Sometimes I think being mature and the bigger person sucks sometimes. Especially when I just want to be a brat and cause a scene. Congrats to Ben on all his hard work.

Jessica said...


I have been reading your blog and have found myself smiling through most of it :) I actually started reading at the very begining and had not gotten to a post about ROTC yet, so I had not know he was in the program untill I saw this one pop-up on my phone. First congrats to your hubby and you, and no man with three children, (who cares for his family)could get very far without a supportive wife, so it is a part of your work as well.

Second I just wanted to let say that my hubby is also in the ROTC program in Arizona, he spent 9 years enlisted and then went Green-To-Gold. He will be attending LDAC this summer and then be an MS-4 in the 2012-2013 school year. At this school my hubby is the only person that is married, well to someone other than another cadet, and the only one with children, so it can be a little lonely.

Anyways keep up the good work with your blog and family :)


Cat said...

Jessica -- Ben is going to LDAC too! I wonder if they will be there at the same time... that would be cool.

It is hard being one of the only families with kids. We have some other friends with kids, but they just graduated, so I think we are pretty much the only ones now. There is one other, but they never come to the activities :(

That's awesome that your hubby was prior enlisted, we love those guys!

Jessica said...

My hubby is actually the last regiment going (13th/14th). I saw your Monday post and we are in the same situation because mine has Annual Training During June and then LDAC for July :) But we are going to go visit friends from FT Bliss before one PCS's and then see are family and I may be able to fly to Seattle for the Graduation... We will see.

Cat said...

Bummer... Ben is in the 6th and will be leaving in June. Sounds like you have some fun stuff set up for the summer though!!

Utah Reservist said...

A couple things; I hope your husband is open to constructive criticism because his uniform is a little messed up. The GAFB is supposed to be centered on one of his unit awards, and the regimental crest can be offset based on the foreign award. Also, his MUC looks a little off center, he should check that.

Also, that's a unique beret flash. Where did he get it? There's only one unit in Utah with that beret flash, and it's not the Engineer unit in Ogden. He should check to make sure he has the correct flash.

Cat said...

Utah Reservist --

Thanks for the info. My husband's uniform actually passed inspection by his commanding officer.

And, as for his flash, my husband was attached to a civil affairs unit when this picture was taken. He has only recently transferred to engineering.

Utah Reservist said...

Aha, well, sorry if I came off as rude. That wasn't my intent. I'm sitting here at drill here reading your blog with a group of NCOs and we just got a big nitpicky, haha.

Utah Reservist said...

Out of curiosity, which Civil Affairs unit was he attached to, and in what capacity? Was it just as a cadet? I have always wondered what cadets would do in a CA battalion.

Cat said...

Well, the class A uniform is a bit of a sore spot with my husband and I. See, ROTC standards and Army standards are actually different! We have to move every thing around every time we go to a different function!! He is wearing it ROTC style above. I tell you, I am getting really good at sewing on patches!!

I didn't mean to come off snappy either. I get all mama bear when anyone suggests my husband is wearing or doing something dishonorable -- because he is the most honest guy (especially when it comes to the Army) that I have ever known.

People used to ask about that flash all the time. Because they would see the "engineer" stuff and then the civil affairs flash and get all confused. He was an engineer attached to them for about 2 years BEFORE he joined the ROTC.

When it comes to Army vs ROTC, things get really weird...

Cat said...

Utah reservist -- email me @ and I will tell you about what he does and the unit. There are some things I don't like to talk about online if you know what I mean :)

Utah Reservist said...

Yeah, sure thing. I totally understand about the OPSEC thing. I have no doubt about your husband's integrity, I just wrongfully assumed that he was one of those goofy SMP cadets who are chronically jacked up, my mistake and I apologize.

Cat said...

When you said you were a bunch of NCO's I literally laughed out loud, because I saw where you were coming from!

Ben has yet to meet an NCO, as a cadet, that hasn't giving him the stink eye the first time they meet. Then they find out he was prior enlisted and actually knows what he is doing, things change. We have the up most respect for the NCO's out there. Your experience, expertise, and service is invaluable!

I know what your saying about cadets, it's a hard stigma to battle! The stories I could tell you... :)

Anonymous said...

Your husband while in ROTC and wearing the ROTC uniform set-up should be wearing a flash assigned to an Army unit, per Cadet Command CC670-1 (basically AR670-1), I know this because I am a Senior Military Instructor in ROTC. And his commander is jacked up and doesn't have the authority to dictate how awards are worn on the uniform. The GAFPB should be either centered above the unit citation or aligned to the left as you are looking at the uniform. Good luck to your husband and hope he does well in ROTC and received his commission when earned.

Cat said...

Anonymous, maybe I don't understand you completely, but he is wearing the flash of the unit he was assigned to at the time this picture was taken -- a few years ago. He enlisted with the unit before he joined the ROTC and was MOS qualified with them.

As for the alignment of the award, it is aligned to the left as we are looking at him. It drove him crazy because he wanted to center it, but then it was tucked under the collar and annoyed him more. A lot of debate was held at the ROTC over it, because it works out much better on the blues rather than the greens... which he wears now, by the way -- centered.

Cat said...

OH, and just for the record, he isn't wearing the uniform ROTC style, this is how his Army Res unit required him to wear it with all his army and mos pins. They require all the cadets to wear their school patches on their arms, not the unit patches. And all cadets wear the dot outside of ROTC.