5 Tips for Dual Military Marriages

I have always believed that it is our support system that makes us successful in our profession. It’s hard enough to have one Soldier in the family, but having two adds a different dynamic. Being a part of a busy dual-military marriage, I am going to share my 5 tips for dual military marriages.

#1 Preserve professionalism at work; and respect each other’s rank

If you’re anything like me, I get to train with my husband’s unit (Recon Elite!) all the time. I’ve gotten to know many of the Soldiers in his Troop and have enjoyed training with an elite dismounted reconnaissance unit. By observing small things, such as: the officers go through the chow line last, even if you’re in my situation and am the officer that outranks their husband; chivalry cannot win at work. Preserve the customs and courtesies that exist for a reason, and save the rest for home life (including the romance!)

#2 Leave your rank at work!

I cannot stress this one enough! Rank has no place at home or in your marriage. I see this happen far too often. It’s one thing to make jokes, like how I’m the 6 at work and the 6 at home, but that’s all it is: a joke. And, that’s only in particular environments.

#3 Use each other as a sounding board

I am so fortunate! I have one of the best resources in the Army living in my house. He’s a former state NCO of the Year, made it to the rank of SFC in 9 years, and is the ultimate leader according to many people I have talked to in the organization. I would be crazy to not go to him for advice or encouragement. Being in a dual military family means you get to bounce your ideas off someone who understands.

#4 Keep each other at the top of your game

It’s easy to get bogged down by life. But knowing that we have to meet the same general standards, my husband and I work out together, do marksmanship drills together, and keep each other encouraged to make improvements in all areas so we can keep setting the right example for our Soldiers!

#5 Use your strengths to help each other improve

I am the writer, my husband is the tactician. We help each other improve in our weaker areas, which just makes us that much better at our jobs.

Final Thoughts: I think being in a dual military marriage is extremely rewarding and has more pros than cons.

What are your thoughts? Are you in a dual military marriage? Tell us your tips too. You can post your comments and questions below. Thank you.

About the Author: 1LT Candace Ginestar is the distribution platoon leader for 1/D (RSTA FSC) 141 BSB, for the 1-82 CAV headquartered in Bend, OR. She has been in the Oregon Army National Guard since 2003, first completing AIT as a 92F specializing in aircraft refueling for C/7-158 AVN (the premier medical evacuation unit in the Army), then re-classing to 15P (aviation operations) prior to her deployment to Balad, Iraq in 2009. She was proud to have served as an NCO before completing accelerated OCS in the summer of 2010 at Fort Indiantown Gap, PA. After graduating from Oregon State University, she held a federal technician position as the program analyst for the State Army Aviation Office for four years before moving to Klamath Falls, OR to attend cosmetology school.  She is currently enrolled in a Master of Arts program in Military Resiliency at Liberty University.

chuck holmes

Chuck Holmes
Former Army Major (resigned)
Publisher, Part-Time-Commander.com
Email: mrchuckholmes@gmail.com

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6 thoughts on “5 Tips for Dual Military Marriages”

  1. Great tips! I agree about the support system. Sometimes it’s not easy making sacrifices for each other. My husband is active duty, and I’m in the guard so interstate transferring for me is often. But we both love our jobs so we do our best to serve.

    1. Candace Ginestar

      I think being in different components would make things even more interesting! Both my husband and I are in the Guard, so we at least have a little bit less to worry about in regards to moving across the country or to a different country altogether. I admire the resiliency we all develop and that is because of our support for each other! Sounds like you and your husband make a great team.

  2. Candace,

    These are some great marriage tips for dual military members. Leaving your rank at work is very important. The last thing a spouse needs is their other spouse coming home and treating them like one of their Soldiers. That wouldn’t work out very well.

    Additionally, your idea of being a soundboard is wonderful. You should both get ideas from each other and help each other solve any problems you might have.

    Thanks for the tips.


    1. Candace Ginestar

      Chuck, Thank you! I agree that the rank thing is very important. Too often, people are able to be professional at work (which is extremely crucial to maintaining good order and discipline as you well know); but they go home and can’t turn it off, so to speak. That can create a lot of issues. Fortunately, my husband and I are able to leave our uniform in the closet when we are at home! We do talk about work a lot, but that is only because we do care and it never takes over our entire relationship.

      He’s the best soundboard I could ever ask for. It is said that ‘every officer has an NCO’, and that is so true isn’t it? A PL has their PSG. A CO has the 1SG, and so on up the chain. Every officer worth their salt knows that their NCO can provide counsel, and often times are experts on subjects where the officer may only be familiar.

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