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my advice to n00b wives.
Published on December 3, 2004 By dharmagrl In Blogging

So, you're in love.  You've met the man of your dreams, and he's asked you to marry him.  You've said yes, and are full of hopes and expectations of a long life of blissful happiness together.

Say that your dream guy is a cop. In the US Air Force.  You're going to be a cop's wife.  Not to rain on your parade, but life amongst our ranks is a little different, sistah. 

Here's what you can expect:

Expect to move every 3 or 4 years (less if your man is commissioned).  They'll give your husband a 'dream sheet'; he gets to write down all the bases he wants to be stationed at and sumbits it to his personnel office.  The premise is that when the time comes, the powers that be look at his dream sheet, look at his rank and career field and if there's a slot for that rank/career filed at the base he wants to go to, he gets orders there.  That's the premise, anyway.  In actuality, you probably stand a 30% chance of getting your first choice.

Expect your man to deploy at the drop of a hat, and usually at least once every 18 months.  We used to deploy for 90 to 120 days at a time....well, that all changed.  Now his orders will say 180 days, but it can be longer.  Surprise deployments happen all the time; my husband has been told to have his crap together and ready to deploy within 24 hours.  Usually you get a couple of months warning, that should be plenty of time to get your wills and a Power Of Attorney together.  By the way, never, let him go off without your having both  General and a Special POA.  In my years as Key Spouse I've seen the unexpected happen and getting a POA after someone's deployed is an absolute nightmare.

You husband, as a AF cop, is going to be a slightly different breed than the rest of the AF.  Cops are pretty much the AF version of infantry. Some places are in 12 hour shifts, some are in 8's...either way, expect your man to pull a 14 or 10 hour day.  They don't go right to work, you see...they have to go in and arm up, which takes time, they there's guardmount....then at the end of the day they have to wait for the opposite shift to break guardmount and get everyone out to posts.  You man can't leave his post until someone is there to relieve him....and once that happens, he has to go clear and turn in his weapon.  Once he's done all that, then he can leave.  However....sometimes things happen right before shift change, and he can't leave until he's got those taken care of.  Crime doesn't work with any specific timetable, it doesn't care that you have dinner plans. It also doesn't care that you have a parent teacher meeting, or that you have to take a kid to the doctor.....he can't just 'step out' of work for stuff like that like his buddies in other career fields.

 Unless he has a back-office 'desk jockey' job, he will have to work weekends.  Some places work a 6-on, 3-off schedule (that's usually when they're in 8 hour shifts), others and 3-and-3.  Some, like where I'm at right now, work a 'Panama' schedule, 2 on, 2 off, 3 on, 3 off.  Either way, weekends are a given, as are holidays.  I have learned that you really can celebrate Christmas any damn day of the year, and the birthdays and anniversaries are really just another day.

Don't expect to hear all about his day when he comes home.  There are things that he cannot tell you.  It's not that he won't, it's that he can't.  That's not meant to sound cloak-and dagger(ish), it's the truth.  My husband was a detective for a couple of years and ran the jail for 2 years before that....and it wasn't until I went to work in the Military Justice department at the legal office that I became privy to some of the things he investigated.  Even if your husband isn't an investigator, you can still expect there to be things he can't talk to you about.

 This is really just scratching the surface of what it's like to be a cop's wife.  Have I scared you yet?  I hope not.   It's not all bad, y'know.  It's not easy, and sometimes you have to work at your relationship....but if you really love and value each other and are prepared to make the best of what time you do have together...well, you can be happy.  I know I am, despite all my bitching.

Coming in part II - make the First Sergeant your best friend, and how/why not to piss your husband's Flight Chief off.

 

 

 

 


Comments
on Dec 03, 2004
Very informative, I look forward to part 2
on Dec 03, 2004
I have learned that you really can celebrate Christmas any damn day of the year, and the birthdays and anniversaries are really just another day.


Amen to that.
on Dec 03, 2004
I'm looking to forward this and the sequels to a cousin of mine who's about to marry an Infantryman bound for deployment to Iraq...

Thanks for this.
on Dec 03, 2004

I'm looking to forward this and the sequels to a cousin of mine who's about to marry an Infantryman bound for deployment to Iraq...

Thanks for this


Forward away....and give her my email address if you like.


Danny: thanks!


Dana:  Ain't that the truth.....!


 

on Dec 03, 2004
Do you ever get used to all the change?

Thanks for the inside look into your life.
KellyW
on Dec 03, 2004

Do you ever get used to all the change?

Yes.  The only thing that's constant around here is change.  If things are the same for too long we both get worried.

 

on Dec 04, 2004
Great post! So many people take on the attitude "I will be happy when,"...my husband can be with me for every important day... when I don't have to bear all the responsibility for the children...when I get a vacation...when my mother-in-law stops bugging me...when my mother stops meddling in things that are none of her business...when I get a husband...when I get divorced...etc.

You seem to have acquired the maturity that can enjoy your life ... dispite tough circumstances. Thanks for sharing.
on Dec 07, 2004
I enjoyed reading your post. As a fellow wife of an AD AF member, I can understand some of your challenges. I'm a reservist who works with the AD full time, so that makes our life even more difficult at times. I did want to remind you about OPSEC and while you share your experiences, to try and not give too many details that can affect the mission, such as shift details. I don't mean to be a downer or pick at you, I just want to make sure all of us stay safe, and terrorists can piece together lots of bits of information that can hurt us.

Dagny
on Dec 07, 2004

I did want to remind you about OPSEC and while you share your experiences, to try and not give too many details that can affect the mission, such as shift details. I don't mean to be a downer or pick at you


Thanks....but I'm fully aware of what I can and cannot publish.  I asked my SO's chain of command before I wrote this what I could and could not say and followed their advice...in fact, I've been a little conservative.


 

on Dec 16, 2004
Good, I'm glad you are taking the proper precautions to help keep us military members safe.
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