Anonymous asked in Politics & GovernmentMilitary · 1 decade ago

Will my husband's rank play a role in who will be my friends?

Ok, I started off really happy this afternoon because I made a friend in my Chemistry class at the community college I attend. She and I have been studying together and we seemed to really hit it off "big time" She's a military wife like me and even though she's older then me, I'm 19 and she's 26 we find many common interests besides a shared class. She has a toddler about 12 months and my son was 10 months on Oct 15 had a play date this afternoon at my new friend's apartment near the Navy Base where she lives. Luckily, the college allows children to be put in on an emergency basis without registering so they accepted him while I attended classes today (Tuesday). She knows my husband is a PFC (enlisted E-3) and her husband is an officer. I learned the meaning of Army ranks so I can determine with ease the rank of an Army Officer but Navy ranks are an unsolved mystery to me. My husband is deployed but is coming home for Thanksgiving Leave in November and I can't wait to see him again. Ok, her husband came home and at first he was really cordial but I noticed some tension in my friend that I couldn't understand what was about. I suggested that we get together as couple when my husband comes home on Leave and invited them to come over to my mother in laws home for dinner because I said that I'm sure he and Jamie share a lot in common since both are in the military. What he said after that hit me like a lead balloon. He said he didn't think it would be a good idea because of the "difference in rank" and went on in that vein. I excused myself grabbed my son and said I had to go. Frankly, I was crying while driving home and my little Jacob started to cry because he was scared seeing mommy crying like that. I stopped in a parking lot of a shopping center and got myself together because it's dangerous to drive when you're not in control of your emotions. When my husband returns and we live together near his base will I run into this problem again where my friends become a function of my husband's rank? For those of you who are not Math majors that means in everyday terms will my husband's rank determine the set of Army wives who are my potential friends? Oh, I'm not angry at anyone, my friend (I still consider her a school friend) or her husband, and I'm proud and happy that my wonderful Jamie choose me over all the prettier girls that are out there to be his life partner and the mother of his children.

11 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    Don't worry... it will be just fine. It's a shame that the O reacted the way he did. If they are in different services, it really has NO bearing on them at all... it's not fraternization.

    Now, within the Army, it may be hard to be "couple" friends with folks who are on the other side of the house, so to speak. It does make things more complicated. But it can be done, especially if they are not in the line of command. Our congregation is a mix of O's and E's, and no one really cares, unless it's on base and there are others around. Then the military bearing comes into play. But away from there... we're all friends and we all hang together.

    As far as my personal friends... I've got friends who hubbies are all different ranks and some whose ranks I don't even know or care to know. I know my friend, and that's all that counts! We all have our own lives and most of the time don't care what each other's hubbies do....

    So... go out there and make friends, based on the kind of woman they are, not on what their hubby wears on his arm or his shoulder!

    Edit: AF and Army play fraternization completely different than the Navy. Heck, the Navy doesn't even like SNCOs sitting with Jr. enlisted. Our guys can socialize as long as they are NOT in direct chain of command. It's Dave at church and at the house having a beer, and it's Lt. Col. at work when their paths do cross, very rarely.

    Source(s): AF spouse - 20 years
  • 1 decade ago

    On the level that your friendship is on with the officers wife things are fine as you are both civilians and it is largely outside of the military environment and community. The problem comes up when that friendship crosses over into the military environment and community because of the difference in rank for you husbands. The Army especially frowns on this and yes your husbands rank will determine some things in and around the military community. I would call your friends husband and tell him that you better understand things now and that you hope his wife and you can still be friends outside of the base and the military community but at the same time you also understand that the difference in ranks puts him in an awkward position and makes him vulnerable to certain situations that you did not understand or know about before but now understand. I would also ask him if he does not mind if his wife and you still remain friends outside of the base and military community and he may not be so disagreeable to that knowing that you better understand his position. He may or may not but the Army is very strict about this and it really can jeopardize his career if he has a commander that takes a hard line about this it could really make things difficult for him.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    It will all depend on the higher ranking person. Ive drank with my commanding officer as a pfc while he was a colonel. alot of officer wives will think that just because their husband is a captain then they are too. this is not true but try to avoid them. they are easier to notice. they are the ones who are yelling at the gate guards because they didn't salute her or the ones who get to the front of the line at the px because their husband is the commanding officer of some unit. don't worry about them because they have no power and their husbands can not affect your husbands career.

    Hang out in the common areas on base, especially the parks where other military wives bring their kids. It should be pretty easy to make friends there. Most military wives can be really cool and will do anything to help you out. They really come in handy when a loved one is deployed. Don't be scarred off by the higher ranks. their ppl just like you and me no matter if they have a degree in under water basket weaving or not.

  • 1 decade ago

    I'm very sorry to hear about your encounter, but it is not uncommon. It is a fact that Officers and Enlisted are not allowed, by military regulation, to have "an unduely familiar relationship" as it is predudice to good order and discipline. What the hell does that mean? Well, by regulation an Officer and an Enlisted member cannot socialize except as a group in a command function, even if they are not in the same unit.

    Likewise, your husbands supervisor, an Army E-5 or E-6 could not socialize with him outside of work either. It is to prevent favortism or the perception of favortism in the workplace.

    I'm a Navy E-6 and can't stand Officers anyway, so it doesn't bother me a bit. But, I'm very sorry to hear about your ordeal and it makes me sad for military wives who have to deal with the B.S. side of military life.

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  • Mrsjvb
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    here's the deal.. I am a Navy Officer's Wife and I have MANY enlisted spouses as friends( in fact most of them are Army spouses since we are currently stationed on an Army Base). BUT my husband..CANNOT socialize with theirs. plain and simple. even though they will NEVER cross paths professionally.

    as a civilian, you can be friends with anybody you darn well please. as an Officer, My husband cannot. It's just how the military works. it would be inappropriate if the four of you were to socialize alone. Now, if there was a big party and all sorts of people were invited, you can go and hang out and not have to worry.

    It is nothing personal, it's just Protocol and the UCMJ/Fraternization regulations.

  • NWIP
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    You can be friends with her without a problem, do things as friends, go out etc... But as a Jr Enlisted and an Officer there is problems in going out as a couples. It is something that is not really allowed at all in any branch. The only exception would be is if it is a command party or command function wherein everyone is there.

  • 1 decade ago

    totally depends on the wife. my husband is a specialist, but i'm still friends with a lot of officer's wives. in fact, one of my friends whose husband is a captain invited me, and my friend and her husband (who's a sergeant) over for thanksgiving with them. some wives (enlisted and officer's) wear their husband's rank and look down on other wives, some don't care. while i have a lot of officer wives friends, my husband and i honestly don't really hang out with other couples, so it hasn't come up about the fraternization. the only couple we hang out with is a sergeant so it's not a big deal. personally, i think, between wives, it shouldn't matter what your spouse's rank is. however, i am a bit more cautious about getting together as couples and having the boys hang out just because 1) i don't want them to be uncomfortable and 2) i don't want any rumors going around that my husband is getting special treatment or anything because of who we're friends with. if both parties are fine with it, then i say hang out with who you want (be very cautious if it's within his unit though...neither of us is friends with any couples in his unit. i don't even know but 2 wives from his unit.)

    Source(s): army wife
  • 1 decade ago

    You can be friends with whomever you want. You are not in the military so it doesn't matter what rank they are. You husband however has military orders to follow that restricts certain friendships due to fraternization rules. There are many people who don't follow these rules but some do. I hope you are able to stay friends with her. She is also trying to keep her husband out of trouble.

  • 1 decade ago

    yes rank is at time a big just the military has strict fraternization codes of conduct. sorry to say even some wives carry their husband's ranks like badges. it's best just to be on friendly terms with the wives then to push husbands together.

    there are just somethings with being a military wife you have to take with a grain of salt..ranking is just one of them. i rarely hang out with people from my husband's's mostly my neighbors. live by an assortment of ranks. we just don't talk about rank or pay or commands. pretty much talk kids and kids...and little neighbor hood gossip.

    Source(s): navy wife 15yrs.
  • Kim
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    It just depends on the woman some women act like that's their rank. Their spouse earned it not them.

    Source(s): Army Wife
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