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Married to the Military: A Survival Guide for Military Wives, Girlfriends, and Women in Uniform

Married to the Military: A Survival Guide for Military Wives, Girlfriends, and Women in Uniform

3.4 54
by Meredith Leyva, William Ruoto (Designed by), Marcela Landres (Editor)

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When you marry a service member, whether a Reservist or active, you may feel you've also married the military! There are plenty of orientation books on military training but almost nothing about handling the personal aspects of military life. Married to the Military demystifies the often confusing military world so you can make the right choices for yourself and


When you marry a service member, whether a Reservist or active, you may feel you've also married the military! There are plenty of orientation books on military training but almost nothing about handling the personal aspects of military life. Married to the Military demystifies the often confusing military world so you can make the right choices for yourself and your family. An experienced military wife, Meredith Leyva offers sound advice on:

Keeping your love life together during deployments

Relocating around the world

Maintaining your own career when you're expected to move every three years

Understanding and maximizing your service member's pay and benefits

Dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder and other threats to your service member's well-being

Whether you're figuring out military protocol or trying to understand the Tricare Medical system, this savvy, friendly yet authoritative guide details just what you need to know to manage day-to-day issues and get on with the adventure of military life.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"For someone new to military life, adjusting can sometimes be overwhelming. Married to the Military provides great information and a commonsense approach that will help military wives and significant others make the best of their experiences." -- Sylvia Kidd, director of family programs for the Association of the U.S. Army (AUSA) and spouse of the Sergeant Major of the Army (Ret.)

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5.70(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.50(d)

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Welcome to the Adventure of Military Life!

Welcome to the sisterhood of military women! We are military wives, girlfriends, moms, and women in uniform. Just like you, we had to familiarize ourselves with military life and get to know the community pretty darn quick, sometimes while getting engaged and planning a wedding and other times while reeling from the shock of our Reservist husband suddenly being sent off to war. With all the crazy acronyms, rules, and bureaucracy on top of finding bridesmaids' dresses, it's easy to get overwhelmed — but don't! You can master this, and we are here to help you.

In effect, this book is an orientation manual on military life based on the collective knowledge of military wives and women at CinCHouse.com. CinCHouse.com is a nonprofit organization and community of military women all over the world. In fact, the name "CinCHouse" is military jargon for "Commander in Chief of the House." That's what you are! And don't you forget it.

You are the CinC of your house because, while your husband is out playing G.I. Joe, you are primarily responsible for raising the kids, managing the household finances, and establishing yourself and your family in the community. This is no job for the faint of heart. Don't be deceived by the feminine looks of many military wives standing next to their macho men; underneath lies the heart of Scarlett O'Hara. Besides, although the military may joke that "if we wanted a servicemember to have a wife, we would have issued one," your needs and personal and professional goals are just as important as your man's.

Just remember this cardinal rule: Success in military life is all about knowledge and perspective. The purpose of this book is to give you information and a well-rounded perspective on military life so that you can make the right choices for yourself and your family, especially if you are starting a new life as a military wife. This book will:

• Introduce you to daily life in the military and what you can expect in terms of services and the community — and what is expected of you. • Help you understand the benefits and how to get the most out of military life (the business of your marriage). • Help you understand and take control of the two primary threats to your sanity: relocation and deployment. • Strengthen your marriage by helping you develop a strategy with your servicemember on how to live together.


Unfortunately, military jargon has become a language all its own. You can refuse to learn it and find yourself corrected or stuck not knowing what was said, or you can become familiar with the basics. We prefer the latter approach, although we limit our use of jargon as much as possible. After all, our hubbies signed up for the job, not us.

To help you through, every time a new acronym is introduced, we write it out fully and explain what it means. We explain military jargon in the same manner. Chapter 14 is a glossary entitled "Really Stupid Acronyms and Jargon," for your reference. The glossary is also good for translating lingo when on base, especially with the die-hard Marines.

Also, let's skip the political correctness and just acknowledge that this book is written primarily for women, namely military wives and women in uniform. The Department of Defense (DoD) is required to use the term "spouse," but we use the more accurate term "wife." While the number of military husbands has increased slightly, they still represent only 6 percent of all military spouses, and the vast majority previously served in the military and are already very familiar with it. That is very different from a 20-something civilian woman who is just entering or marrying into the military for the first time. We are women, and we want to act and be treated as such.

Additionally, this book takes a fresh approach by recognizing that women in uniform and military wives have common concerns. While military wives are primarily addressed because there are so many of us, many female servicemembers will find it useful because they share the same responsibilities for raising kids and managing households, finances, and relocation. There are plenty of orientation books on military jobs and protocol, but there are almost no good books about handling the family and personal aspects of military life. Thus, the term "military wife" also refers to those female servicemembers who feel married to the military and want solutions to these issues.

Finally, before I get hate mail from nitpickers, let me say that this book covers the general concepts behind key aspects of military life. Different military services, bases, and offices, however, will do things slightly differently. Form 840 on Base A may be referred to as Form 850 on Base B, even though they say the same thing. The two forms are just printed on different-colored paper. What is important is that the concepts are the same, and the book will give you the tools to get through them.

Your husband, boyfriend, or fiancé may freak out when he sees you reading this book. Why on earth, he'll say, do you need to understand this stuff? He'll take care of everything! And he can explain what you do need to know when you need to know it. Right?

Wrong, bucko! You need to know about military life so you can control your family's destiny, and he may not always be around to explain how things work or to handle the situation. Your gut instinct tells you that. What you can tell your man is that, by reading this book, you will feel better about entering the adventures of military life, and you will be better able to support him in his mission and have a stronger relationship.

The Least You Need to Know • You are neither the first nor the last woman to face the complicated world of military life. • This book is designed to help you succeed in taking control of your destiny and strengthening your relationship with your servicemember. • The key to controlling your destiny is to learn about military life, including all its acronyms and jargon.
Resources • http://www.cinchouse.com — A nonprofit organization and the Internet's largest community of military wives and women in uniform.
Copyright © 2009 by Meredith Leyva

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
"For someone new to military life, adjusting can sometimes be overwhelming. Married to the Military provides great information and a commonsense approach that will help military wives and significant others make the best of their experiences." — Sylvia Kidd, director of family programs for the Association of the U.S. Army (AUSA) and spouse of the Sergeant Major of the Army (Ret.)

Meet the Author

Meredith Leyva is the founder and editor of CinCHouse.com, the Internet’s largest community for military wives and women in uniform. Leyva currently resides with her family in Norfolk, Virginia, where her husband is stationed aboard the USS Enterprise.

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Married to the Military: A Survival Guide for Military Wives, Girlfriends, and Women in Uniform 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 54 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I had to smile a bit at the reviews that insisted this was a Navy/Marine Corps book, or that bemoaned the lack of in-depth detail. I felt it was clear from the introduction that this book was largely for new military wives (and as a Navy wife, I thought at first that the author was an Army wife--I did not sense a Navy/MC-centric tone to the book at all). This book does a good job of introducing new military wives to a lot of the idiosyncrasies of military life--and it also contains some info that could be good for the long-term military wife. It is especially strong on the bureaucracy that can drive a military wife crazy--and I say that as a 10-year Navy wife who was also a Naval officer for 7 years. The book deals mostly with generalities, which is appropriate for a book intended for wives in all services, but contrary to a statement in an earlier review, it also includes details such as the rank insignia of all members of the military, officer, warrant, and enlisted. My only problem with this book is that occasionally it takes a very pugilistic tone. Ms. Leyva appears to have had some negative interactions with her husband's commands, and that comes through with a touch of an attitude that the service (and specifically the service member's command) is 'the enemy' to any wife. There will always be bad commands, but in general the commands will not be as negative towards families as Ms. Leyva implies. The best recommendation that I can give is that I will be purchasing multiple copies of this book. My husband is currently a ship's Executive Officer, and will take command in his next tour, and as the XO/CO's wife, I will be handing out copies of this book to the newly married wives in his command.
CLDoyle More than 1 year ago
My husband is in the Air Force and I read this book prior to his joining and it gave me great insight into military life. It gave information about what to expect when you are new to a military lifestyle. The author is a Navy wife so some of the information is on the Navy lifestyle but it provides information for every branch of the military including how to set up your insurance and housing and what to expect from others on base. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is a new military spouse or fiance!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am the spouse of a man in the AF, and this book helped me SO much when he was in basic. It really gave me some basics as to what to expect. This may be an older book (back in 2003), but face it, this military never changes! I still find myself pulling this book out to help me read my husband's pay stubs, refresh my memory on rankings, and abbr. help! I loved it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
These bad reviews I cannot understand. I loved this book! I was totally new to the military life and it really helped me understand some of the things that I wouldn't have known otherwise. If you are already pretty familiar it may not be the book for you. Why would you give a bad rating for something just because you don't fit in the population it was written for? I gained a lot of valuable knowledge and am extremely glad i found this book!
LakerGirl13 More than 1 year ago
My boyfriend, who is in the Army, bought this book for me before he left for Basic Training. I learned so much about how the military works from a spouse's point of view. Now, my boyfriend has become my husband and I'm turning to this book again to learn about new situations that I will have to handle as an Army wife. I also gave a copy of this book to a friend of mine who started dating a sailor. It was a great help to her in understanding some of the tasks her boyfriend did daily. This book is so informative and written from the perspective of an experienced woman speaking to a world of friends. I'm so glad to have this book in my personal library!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've been a military wife for a little over a year now and I wish I would have know about this book when I first moved on base. It gets a little confusing since every branch of the military opperates differently but is great for general information!
usmcwife13 More than 1 year ago
This book really helped me understand marriage in the military. It was a great book overall and has helped me learn how to deal with the life my husband and I have choose to live.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have been with my Soldier for 6 years. I thought after running a battalion FRG that I knew most everything there is to know about the Army. I read this book to see if it was all I had heard it was. Let me tell you it was!!! I have been recommending this book to everyone I know. I learned a few things from it and I refuse to get rid of it. I love to keep it around for reference. There is no bias in this book towards branch of service nor is there towards officer or enlisted. I think this is something that every new and seasoned spouse should have.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am a new Air Force Wife and this book is great ! It is so informative and definitely is preparing me for what to expect when I move on base with my husband. All the jargon is a little confusing but the book breaks it down for you so it is easy to understand. Thank you so much for writing this book, I searched everywhere for a book that would help me out and this book, I HIGHLY recommend to ALL military wives.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am a soon-to-be Officers Wife. And I found the book 'somewhat' informative.. BUT comming from an Air Force Brat.. Not something that should have been targeted towards all brances of the service. This book should have been Called 'Married to the Department of the Navy: A reference point for young Wives & Girlfriends of Officers in the Marine Corps and Navy.' So, if you are in the Market for a book to assist Officers spouses in the NAVY or Marine Corps.. Buy it. If your are looking for something for ARMY, Air Force or Coast Guard. Dont waste your money, Try Chicken Soup for the Military Wives Soul.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is nothing short of amazing. I couldn't ask for a more informative book for wives of servicemen. It covers every topic I can think of.Something I would def reccommend to another military wife.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I just got married and I was very clueless about the military and everything they have to offer. This book is great. I loved it. I recommend it to all the new military wives. Does anybody know about any other books that will help me?
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book has really gotten me prepared for what to expect in the Military life. It has made me understand that you make it what you want. My husband and I realize that this is a chance of a lifetime; this is going to be a great journey! I can't wait to take advantage of the benefits of the military as well, a lot of people don't take advantage of them.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I want to thank the author for a job well done...being newly married to a 'boot' Marine, I found this book as helpful as he found 'Stand By to Fall Out' for his on base and in the bushes time.... these two books allowed us both to learn...and grow together
Guest More than 1 year ago
Married to the Military has helped me understand a lot of things that my husband didn't have the time to explain before. The USMC puts everything into terms and codes and I before I just didn¿t get it and I think I was driving him nuts trying to understand. LOL This book has broken it down so well that even the most difficult aspects on military life are explained with ease. This book should be handed out at the front gate to all new military wives! :) I just wanted to send out a huge thanks to the author for writing it and for her military wives support site CinCHouse.com they have both been a great help to my new found role as a military wife!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I knew this book was going to be very useful and fun to read. I also knew that it would be jammed packed with information! The correct information! I also knew that I would feel very comfortable with it even though I am 'just' a girlfriend. The reason I knew these things is because I am a member of CincHouse.com. I was so glad that the title to the book includes everyone. I wasn't surprised that it did because the web site is so welcoming of everyone. When I received my book I read it cover to cover that very first day. I have also purchased a copy to keep in my car!! I loved the 'Did You Know' sections and of course the 'War Stories'. I am now re-reading it with my yellow highlighter and with my sticky note flags!! I would suggest that anyone with a service member in their lives to read this book. Many of the male service members are reading it also! I knew that Meredith Leyva would write a book that was straight to the point with lots of humor just like talking to your girlfriend! I am so thankful that I found the web site and I am so grateful to Meredith for writing 'MY' Survival Guide!!! THIS IS A MUST READ!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
As a newer marine corps wife I can tell you that this book does really answer all your questions. Other people seem to have a very different opinion, yet I can understand why. The author has very accurate info and even though it may differ from each branch of the service, I think she covers most of the bases needed. As far as her being a Navy Officers wife Who Cares!!!! My husband is a 'lowly' enlisted MP and I seem to get what I need done on base and off. It seems like the other reviewers need to carefully re-read the entire book. It is a reference guide! And is not meant to teach 'wives' how to divorce their husbands- It clearly states that some of the crud wives put up with is because of the few other wives that used the previous system to their advantage. This book is also written for the enlisted female, since she may still be a wife and mother and is definately married to the military. As a Key Volunteer and Military Housing Resident Volunteer I strongly urge you to read this book, several times. It gives advice I could not live without, and can definately pass on to other wives in our unit.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I find this book full of information I would be glad to pass on to anyone who is taking the step of getting married to the military. So many helpful things... from purchasing uniforms to reading your LES. Its a kind written book, and the real life wives who are in there... leave you with the impression that you are not alone, and you can do this!! I keep it handy to help others or refresh my experience to date! I am getting one for my niece who is getting married to her military man. I totally without reserve recommend getting this book, and passing it on to others. Give it as gifts to girlfriends and fiances of military men! It can only serve to make them an asset to their career!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book - it was very informative with a bit of laughter - i'm new to the military scene and it makes things a little easier to learn everything you can - so that you don't lose money or end up in a pickle.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love it!!
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