(Closed) Army: enlisted/ officer/ wife/what? & housing question

posted 7 years ago in Military
Post # 3
Member
5183 posts
Bee Keeper

@canthugallcats:

Enlisted Vs. Officer  – Well no one is better to start, each has their own jobs to do. Enlisted is basically when you… enlist into the army lol You can go to one of those offices that tell you to join the army and they sign you up and you are done, go to bootcamp finito. Officers need at least a BS (as far as AF goes, Fiance is an AF officer) before you can be considered. Fiance went to the Air Force academy.. for the army, you would go to West Point. You could also go through an Army/AF ROTC program to become an officer and a regular university. One is commisioned (officers) the other is not (enlisted). I think an enlisted person can apply after some time to become an officer but from what I know, it is pretty hard. There are also some uniform differences, officers wear their rank on their shoulders and enlisted on their sleeves, pay differences, housing differences etc. 

Housing- I think it depends on where you are stationed. Fiance is at LAAFB (los angeles) and it is set up pretty strange where the base housing is far away from the base lol.. we live 5 mins from the base and the housing is about 30 mins away. It just made sense for us to live off base. As for the animals, you might want to check with your housing people to see if they allow animals, they might not and that might make your decision for you! I have heard that it is easier to get involved with the AF/Army life if you live on base/post.. but this is the first place we have been and I just assume that it is. We are pretty secluded off base (no AF wife friends ). 

Wife club- I think what you are talking about is the FRG (family readiness group). Anyone can go to the meetings because it is about family, and you will be army family ๐Ÿ™‚ Mostly wives attend from what I know though and yes you can still attend. 

Leaving animals- From what I know, when you move on post it will be a normal job ( 9-5) depending on your job. But you should be home long enough to take care of your animals and children if you have any. If you will be going anywhere for a long period of time ( a couple days or so) you will be notified. 

Yelling- sorry I can’t answer this ๐Ÿ™ But I am sure everyone gets yelled at. There is another thread by an Active Duty bee on here.. you might get more insight from her ๐Ÿ™‚ hope this helped! good luck!

Post # 4
Member
2373 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2008

Off base housing is usually better, especially as dual military (you each will get paid BAH. One will get bah +dependent the other regular BAH). Our BAH covers mortgage, electric, gas, and our car payment. If you want to see what your BAH rate will be you may can google “BAH calculator by zipcode” Add your/your husband’s rate (if  going in enlisted E-1 during bootcamp, possibly an E-2/3 after if you have some college).

 If you are going to be dual military you  won’t get BAH  during bootcamp if you go at the same time

 As for both of you joining the Army- you’re going to have to get rid of the pets. You both will deploy at some point and it may be at the same time. There is also no guarantee you will be stationed at the same base or even 50 miles from each other. Recruiters will tell you they do this.. most of the couples I know who are dual military are separated by a few states. One couple is at the same base, but when she deploys.. he’s home. When he’s deployed she’s home. They haven’t seen each other in 18 months. I’m not trying to deter you from joining, I think it’s great to be a dual military couple, but don’t believe everything a recruiter tells you and prepare yourself for long separations/no pets. Hope for the best, be prepared for the worst.

-My sister went to USMC bootcamp/my husband OCS- they both say it’s difficult, but  very doable. You will get yelled at, you will be tired, but you’ll do it if you really want to.

– I don’t know anything about the wives clubs. If you want to do something with your time and meet other wives you should look into  volunteering with the relief associations. I thought about doing it for awhile, but school takes up a lot of my time.

– There is no difference between officer and enlisted wives. The only difference I see is when something bad happens. Ex: I  know one of the wives. Her husband did something bad. She’s upset my husband didn’t protect her husband at captain’s mast. Her husband isn’t being honest and I can’t tell her the truth. There is a  difference between officers and enlisted active duty members-  My husband loves his chief (who has three degrees), but he could never ask him to hang out. They aren’t allowed to fraternize.

For clarification, you just don’t go to the Academy or West Point- they are among the most selective colleges in the United States.

@MrsNeutrino: Aren’t you Karissa?

Officers need at least a BS (as far as AF goes, Fiance is an AF officer) before you can be considered. Fiance went to the Air Force academy..

*is curious how your husband went from being airman to officer in a month*

Post # 5
Member
332 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

I agree with just about everything that @MrsNeutrino: said.

1. Enlisted and Officer–While a college degree is one contributing factor, it is not the only difference between officer and enlisted. I know several enlisted military members who have college degrees and at least one commissioned officer who does not.

By definition a commissioned officer (Paygrades O1-O10) is one who has been entrusted with a role of leadership under the direct authority of the President of the US. (At least for US military members). A commission can be earned in a variety of manners. The most common is to commission as a result of time at an undergraduate insitution, whether a service academy (West Point, Annapolis, AF Academy, CG Acadmey) or through an ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Course). A second option is to commission and attend OCS (Officer Candidate School). Receiving a commission and going to OCS can be done by applying for a commission as a civilian when you first enter the service or enlisting and then applying from within the enlisted ranks to commission. In the Army going from enlisted to commissioned officer is called “Green to Gold”, you can google that for more information. There are other ways to commission but they are not nearly as common or even applicable anymore, such as a battlefield commission.

A warrant officer (paygrade W1-W5) is a commissioned officer who holds his commission from Congress, not the president. A warrant officer is usually someone with a particular skill/knowledge set that is considered a ‘professional’ in that field and receives the warrant from that.

An enlisted member is pretty much everyone who is not a commissioned officer. There exists within the rankings of enlisted members a point at which they are called “Non-Commissioned Officers” or NCOs. This means that they have achieved a level leadership within the ranks but that they do not hold a commission. The level of NCO is generally reserved for those in paygrades E5 and higher (it differs a bit from branch to branch).

Basically, paygrade=rank in the military. It is generally easier to speak in terms of paygrade than rank because an E4 in the Army gets the same pay as an E4 in the navy but have totally different ‘ranks’ and as such it can get VERY confusing. Paygrades start at E1 for enlisted, W1 for Warrant, and O1 for officer.

As far as being a spouse, rank ought to have very little to do with it. That being said, there is still often a division between Officer and Enlisted spouses. The division exists because officers and enlisted members are not allowed to ‘fraternize’. It is a rathy hazy, generic term that basically boils down to the fact that a commissioned officer really shouldn’t go hang out and become drinking buddies with the enlisted guys in his command. No matter if your husband is an E1 or an O9, it is considered quite crass to wear your husband’s rank as a spouse.

2. Housing is going to vary from base to base. (or post, I keep forgetting you are asking about Army! lol) Some bases are going to have a lot of really nice housing available, others will have very little and it won’t be all that great. Some places will have housing available immediately, others might have a waiting list of 1+ YEARS for on base housing. The big thing to do is just do your homework for the base. Call housing and see what restrictions they have, especially concerning pets. When orders are cut to a new command, a sponsor will be assigned. Ask the sponsor and the sponsor’s spouse what housing is like both on and off base, make a decision based on the base and not on a general “all base housing sucks/rocks”. I will say though, that most base housing offices have a pet limit. As such, with more than 1 or 2 pets it sometimes just becomes easier to find off base housing that allows pets. Again though, it will vary from base to base.

3. Taking care of pets is a lot like taking care of kids, except the military doesn’t care quite as much. When you are in the military, your time is NOT your own. You belong to the US Government for however long your contract says. That means that you could leave for the office in the morning, and could possibly find yourself in the middle of a mission and be gone for 2 weeks. You are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. With a married military member with a civilian spouse, the onus rests with the spouse to care for any pets/children that the couple has. With a single military member the onus relies on the member to have back up plans in place at all times for car of pets/children. The single members I know tend to live in the barracks, no pets allowed, or with a roommate who can care for their pets in an emergency. The dual military couples I know have a close friend or neighbor that they can rely on to walk/feed the dog if hours run late or an emergency situation arises.

In short, your hours as a military member are NOT set. Very rarely will you have a position that has you in the office 8-5, Monday-Friday only. Even if you do have that as a ‘normal’ schedule, there will be exceptions to that.

4. Never having been through bootcamp myself, I cannot answer that. What I can say though is that if you are interested at all you need to go talk to a recruiter. They are the ones that can answer questions for you and point you in the direction of others to get a first hand experience opinion.

Feel free to send me a private message if you have any other questions.

Post # 6
Member
5183 posts
Bee Keeper

@maureen9004: My husband has always been an officer, I just refer to him as an airman because I thought thats what both enlisted and officers who read the airman creed were.  I don’t broadcast that he is an officer; most people don’t care. I don’t know what ever gave you the impression that he was not an officer. He did not go from airman to officer, my airman is an officer. Is that explaination ok with you?

 

 

 

Post # 7
Member
5183 posts
Bee Keeper

@Penguingal06: Great insight. I am fairly new and was giving her the knowledge that I have aquired during this time, I am glad you could come along and go into more detail as well as give me some additional information as well. 

Post # 8
Member
2373 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2008

@MrsNeutrino: Your posts on the old account contradict this- but hey, it’s none of my business. I was just curious.

What gave me the impression: 1. My husband would never want to be referred to as a seaman. He worked hard for his degree and commission. It’s compareable to calling your doctor a nurse- they would correct you. 2. You wrote a post where you were clearly upset I made a comment and thanked me for the apology. It struck me as odd then. There are other things, but it’s not worth debating.

Post # 9
Member
5183 posts
Bee Keeper

@maureen9004: they definately do not. I suggest you pay closer attention. 

Post # 10
Member
681 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2018

@serabell- Are you and your Darling Husband only looking into options with the Army?

Post # 11
Member
5183 posts
Bee Keeper

@maureen9004: I don’t know how it works in the navy and it is apparent things are different in the AF. My husband does not mind being referred to as an airman, because he is in the air force and is one. He is the one that told me they all read the same airman creed. 

Here is the original post you are questioning. make sure you read carefully this time ๐Ÿ™‚

OK! so I am fairly new to this whole military life thing..(less than 2 years..). All I know about military life is what I see on Army wives and from my USAF officer Fiance. My Fiance grew up as a military brat and his dad was enlisted…Fi then went to USAFA and is now an officer. Is there really this social divide between enlisted and officers??? An officer’s wife recently responded on one of my posts something to the effect of.. ‘this cost this much..and that cost that much..can you really afford that on an AIRMAN’s salary because MY husband is an OFFICER and we would struggle’. Ill tell you, I was furious for all of the enlisted wives that this sterotype of officers’ wives is true and they think they are better! I was litterally disgusted by the comment, and Fiance was too!  I know that salary is no secret in the military..but DAMN.. I feel like it is sooooooo reduntant to bring up SOMEONE ELSE’S finances! At that moment, i was ashamed to be an officer’s wife. Have any of you come across this behavior? Do you enlisted wives have experience with other wives like this? This is so tasteless and disgracefull.. 

AND here is the airman creed that my airman read…

 

I am an American Airman.
I am a Warrior.
I have answered my nation’s call.

I am an American Airman.
My mission is to fly, fight, and win.
I am faithful to a proud heritage,
a tradition of honor,
and a legacy of valor.

I am an American Airman,
Guardian of freedom and justice,
My nation’s sword and shield,
Its sentry and avenger.
I defend my country with my life.

I am an American Airman:
Wingman, Leader, Warrior.
I will never leave an Airman behind.
I will never falter,

and I will not fail.

Post # 12
Member
2373 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2008

@MrsNeutrino: I didn’t bother to read your entire post- there is absolutely no social divide- this wasn’t about officer vs enlisted.

 I was honestly curious because your wording and actions have confused me several times. it’s about you being truthful, don’t hide behind the officer vs. enlisted stuff. At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter.

Post # 13
Member
5183 posts
Bee Keeper

@maureen9004: well now I hope it is plain enough for you to understand. 

Post # 14
Member
832 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2010

Okay, well I just wanted to chime in a little. My husband is in the army and he’s an enlisted soldier.

Housing varies greatly from post to post. Whether it would be better to live on or off post, depends on your personal situation and where you are stationed. BAH is determined by your army post. If you live on post, your entire BAH goes to housing. In our situation, we saved a little over $100 a month by living off post. I know there’s usually an animal limit but I don’t know if it’s the same everywhere. I think it’s 3 or 4 animals at our post. There are also some limitations (i.e. no ferrets).

As far as any army wife clubs, do you mean the FRG? If so, I would say you are absolutely welcome. It might be harder because your schedule might conflict with the FRG or you may just feel like you don’t relate as much because most of the women are wives and not enlisted themselves. That really, really varies from person to person and from FRG to FRG!

I wouldn’t say you have to get rid of your pets but there are situations where you would need other arrangements to care for them. There may be times where you’re training in the field and won’t be home. Trainings can be for a night or two but they can also last a week or two. Some may be even longer. You would also need to make arrangements if you were to get deployed.

My aunt is in the national guard and she had to go through BCT just like she would have if she had joined the army. It’s definitely tough to go through and they will yell at you on a daily basis. Basically, the drill sergeants give a sense of authority and the trainees learn their place. Most people do end up crying. It’s a stressful situation.

No matter what anyone tells you, there is NO guarantee that you two would be stationed together. Recruiters will tell you otherwise, but it’s not true. You could get stationed at Ft. Lewis and he could get stationed at Ft. Drum. It happens. You would also have to consider deployments and know that they could happen at completely different times.

Post # 15
Member
948 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

I will chime in about Basic Training.  I went through in ’99, and I know alot has changed since then, but I LOVED IT.  It was the toughest thing I have done thus far.  I remember alot of running, alot of yelling, alot of push-ups, and wondering why the heck do I need to shine black boots every night, when they’re going to get filthy tomorrow! I also remember that I was treated the same as my male counterparts, and that gave me so much confidence in myself.

What you have to remember is that, although it’s difficult, no one wants you to fail, and they will work with you to make it through!

I went the Green to Gold route and received my commission in 2006.  You can also do OCS if you have a Bach. degree or a 2-year associates working on a Bach. 

@maureen9004:  Seems like the Army and Navy have alot in common.  In the 10 years I was in, whenever someone used the word Soldier, we knew they meant enlisted personnel.  

Post # 16
Member
5183 posts
Bee Keeper

@maureen9004: I find it very interesting how you edit your posts after I have already commented. I answered you about my husband going from airman to officer to quench your curiousity. I showed you the post from my other account that shows you I have already and always stated my husband is a USAF officer. I am not hiding behind anything, you pose no threat to me. If it rank does not really matter at the end of the day why are you so persistent? I am flattered that you care about me and my life so much to be honest. AND about me being honest? WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT!? Seriously, your ignorance will not change my FI’s rank so you can continue to think what you like. 

The topic ‘Army: enlisted/ officer/ wife/what? & housing question’ is closed to new replies.

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