Its a fact the woman love men in uniform. The clean shaven, fresh haircut and fit stature of a man in the military appeals to females. If you are looking to settle down with a man based on job security, the military offers a lot of money incentives and provides benefits for legal dependents ( you have to be married or legally related to the service member to get them. I don’t know any other job that will pay you to see the world. As a service member in the military or a spouse or child , you have an opportunity to see the world and experience different cultures on the governments dime.
There are some perks to dealing with or dating a service member but there are somethings that it would be to your benefit to know before you take the plunge to marry a service member or even seriously date one. I am going to primarily use the Army as an example because that the branch of service that I am in and the one I know the most about.
1. Work Schedule: The work schedule of a service member is not going to be the normal 9-5 banker hours. Service Members are not guaranteed weekends or holidays off. As a Soldier, Sailor, Airman, or Marine you are on call 24/7. Being a Service member in the military is a way of life and we are paid salary so there is no punch clock to clock us in or out.
Service members are often required to pull a 24 hour Duty or Watch (yes you read that right I did say 24 hours and no you don’t always get to sleep.) The next day is usually a recovery day where they get to get rest from the day before.
Service Members could potentially spend a lot of time away on field exercises on underway on a ship. This could be for weeks or months at a time and usually these events are the work ups or training for the actual deployment.
Service Members deploy and maybe months to years at a time. Some Soldiers are not even able to attend the birth of their own children because of deployments. If you are the type of gal that can’t do long distance relationships. Being in a relationship or dating a Service Member with the intentions of marriage might not be for you
2. Not all Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, or Marines are Infantry and serve on the front line or kill people in combat. The Military has different jobs and professions that serve different purposes. A man in the Army could be in an administrative field like myself of repair helicopters or military police. Not all of us are on the front lines defeating ISIS. A lot of members of the military come back from deployment with all these stories about how they were in combat and killed a whole bunch of people. One thing is for sure, if they are talking about it, it’s probably not true!
3. Another thing that you need to know about Military Service Members in general is that most men in the military have been married at least once or twice or are still married. In the Army we have a term called Geographic Bachelor, meaning that their wife and kids are in another location. Sometimes these dudes want to act like they are single but could have wife and multiple kids stashed somewhere in the United States or over seas so it might be worth you doing some research. Don’t be surprised if you find out that your service member has a couple of kids that you don’t know about. It’s the nature of the lifestyle and its not uncommon. The military provides financial security with a guaranteed pay check and some men just fall into the trap and end up paying for it for the next 18 years. There are women that target men in the military for that reason, especially overseas.
4. His phone is going to ring a lot. It may or may not be work related but units communicate via text or group chat. If there is a lot going on in the unit expect him to be pinged a couple of times. If his supervisor or 1SG/ Commander calls him, they have to take the call. So if you are one of those women that are insecure because a man is on the phone a lot, then you might want to pass on dealing with a dude in the military.
In addition there maybe times when he will not be able to communicate with you. On deployments the internet and phones go out a lot so there may be times when you don’t hear from him. He might be on a field exercise and can’t be on the phone. He might be in a meeting or briefing and have to decline your call. Its part of the job
5. This is a big one. Just because a man is in the military does not mean that he is free of Sexual Transmitted Infections. You can have HIV and still be in the Army. You can’t come in the Army with it but you can stay in the Army and retire if you happen to get in while you are in. We are not just talking about HIV, we are talking about other STIs as well and its about of the male culture of the military to sleep around. So naturally when its a part of common behavior someone is going to eventually catch something. Don’t think that just because they are in the military they are clean. Not true!
6. Cursing in the military is quit common. I know in my unit my leadership is trying to foster a more professional environment by prohibiting obscene language. In a field dominated by men, you are going to hear some obscenities because its just part of the environment. It does not make it right.
7. Here is a good one: Lets talk about the pay. Service Members in the military are guaranteed to get paid on the 1st and 15th of every month. The military pay scale is available on line for anyone to view. Service Members get paid according to their rank and how long they have been in the military. If its right after the 1st and the 15th of the month and your man is in the military and too broke to take you out then he’s in debt, paying child support, or gotten in trouble and they are taking his money as a punishment, or he’s trying to get over on you and use you for money. Service members may get basic housing allowance with or without dependents according to rank. This housing allowance is separate from base pay. So you meet your Army dude and find out he is getting BAH with dependents and he has never talked to you about have a child, you might want to do some investigation because the Army would not be paying him for that unless he had a dependent somewhere.
8. Here is another fact that most people are not aware of. A lot of men the military might have some mental health issues because of the nature of the job. During a deployment as a service member, you see a lot of things that you are not able to forget that are bad. Men in the Armed Forces are notorious for not getting the mental health treatment that they need when they come back and it causes them to self medicate. This is why alcohol has become so ingrained in the culture because its an easy way to self medicate instead of deal with their mental health issues. Not taking care of these issues often results in alcohol and domestic abuse. If you see signs of this when you are dating your service member, you might want to run!!!
9. I mentioned drinking in the previous point but drinking has been apart of military culture since the birth of this country. At countless military formal events there are segments in the official ceremony where their are official toast made and people are encouraged to drink. It is my belief that because of the stressful nature of being in the military drinking has become a method of many to distress. When you boyfriend comes home from a field exercise and finishes a 6 pack by himself, don’t be surprised.
10. My last and final point that I want to make about dealing with or dating a man in the military is that the Armed Forces does not recognize girlfriends benefit wise. There are some exceptions to the rule in some cases related to Service Members Life Insurance but for the most part the Army only has three categories: married, single, or divorced. Being a girlfriend does not give you any benefits that being an actual spouse would give you. So if you are dating a service member and the service member gets orders overseas or another part of the country, the military is not going to pay for you to relocate. As a girlfriend you are not privy to any medical, dental, commissary or post exchange benefits. If something happens to your service member no one is going to contact you because you are a girlfriend and not a spouse. Legally the military can’t even girlfriends any service member’s information.
I know this blog post was pretty lengthy and I hope that you benefit from the information that I have provided you. Many times women get involved with service members and have no idea what type of lifestyle they are getting into or potentially marrying into. Let me know what you think about the blog and if this information was helpful!