can an officers wife have her own career?

Discussion in 'The Other Half' started by coffeegirl, Oct 16, 2005.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. My husband is thinking of joining the army, and I have a few questions about how this may affect my own career. I will be going to medical school and in 5 years time will be a doctor. Is it common for officers' wives to have a profession like this? I realise there may be problems with moving around etc but presuming we could sort these out, is this workable?

    Would like to talk to anyone else whose husband is an officer in the army and find out what life's like in general :)

  2. Why don't you join as well?
  3. Anything is workable but if you're not prepared to put in the work I would suggest you leave the man to join the Army
  4. Bit extreme C_R!!

    One big problem is you'll always be moving, every 2 or 3 years, if not more often. I don't know what it is like to be a quack, but would this movement be a problem to you gettting or keeping jobs?

    Perhaps ask about being a doctor alongside the army on the "professionally qualified" forum. Thay might have a better insite.
  5. mysteron

    mysteron LE Book Reviewer

    It is possible to do both as long as you both are willing to stand the seperation. This will start from the very beginning and will never change. If you think you can do it then good luck, many people have successfully done it. If you think you can't...reconsider. That's my vote IMHO.
  6. I can't see any problem. While you are in training you will necessarily need to be static and possibly separated, but after you qualify the world is your oyster!Being in the medical profession will be easier to "follow the flag" in the long run. Depending on your chosen speciality you should be able to get post at a hospital in most places your husband may be posted. In fact you could potentially get some fantastic experience doing locums or rotations at great hospitals! Although Germany could be difficult, but not impossible, if you learn to speak German as well. I am a midwife and the only time I couldn't practice was in Northern Ireland, but that was because I had just left the Army myself and couldn't send my CV to the local hospital. Now I have more civvy hospitals on my CV it wouldn't be a problem again.
    Go for it and enjoy the experience. We are only here once and it would be a shame for your husband to look back on his life and say "if only".
    And yes I know a few wives who are also doctors. Their careers have been tailored to the hubbys job and children but so have a million other female doctors.
  7. Please tell me you are having a lough at wondering IF this is a suitable career for an Officer's Wife!!

    Good lord - its a suitable career for ANY wife - in fact any woman.

    If you are already wondering IF your career is suitable for someone who will become a Forces Wife then you are really not ready to become one. Plain and simple. This is the kind of bigotry we dependants have been trying to stamp out for decades!

    Any forces wife can have a career - just the same as any civilian wife can have a career. Yes you will be posted here there and everywhere but the medical profession is crying out for people no matter where you are so I cant see you having many problems.

    I think the only problems will be your own making - always wondering if you are doing the right thing and acting as befitting "an officer's wife".

    Ditch that presumption and live your life for YOU and you wont go far wrong :D

  8. CG, it is very common for officers wives to have careers such as this. It is equally common for the 'soldiers wimmin' to have careers as well. Panbash Tech, NAAFI Cleaning Operative and so forth. Fill your boots. And remember, ignore those rough wimmin, they are there to be trodden upon.
  9. Auld-Yin

    Auld-Yin LE Reviewer Book Reviewer Reviews Editor

    I thought that FAS was to get rid of this type of moving around. Why else would we get rid of so many servicemen and regiments. Nothing to do with saving money then?
  10. Only works if her hubby is joining the inf, Auld-Yin.

    Always thought that if the Bns/Regts go static the men will move around anyway, but that's a different matter.
  11. Yes and no, if you stay static then yes, if you are moving around then it is very difficult, and even moreso if you have a family. I work for the NHS and every time I move I have to go through the whole interview and processing thing, and by the time I get settled and moving up the ladder, I am back to the start again after a move. I am slogging on with it to keep my hand in, but my career is going nowhere professionally wise, but once we settle and my family have grown up then I can concentrate on myself.
  12. Hello coffeegirl! Welcome to the wonderful world of being an Army wife :)

    If you are both just starting out in your careers then expect long periods of separation in the early years.
    Medical school is a hard slog, and not often a course in which it is possible to take a sabatical to become a camp follower.

    That's the bad news.

    The good news is that when you are qualified there are some opportunities open to you that others do not have.
    There are Locum agencies that specialise in recruiting doctors for military medical centres. Look in the recruitment pages of "Pulse" and other mags.
    There are also the general agencies that recruit for local NHS hospitals, which are usually within commuting distance from many of the places your husband will be based.

    As others have said, your career trajectory will not be upwards (at least not fast!), but you will be practising medicine, which is what you obviously want.

    Good Luck to you both :)
  13. thanks for the replies. In response to the comments about whether it's a fitting career, sorry, I think I have explained myself badly.... I didn't mean to ask whether it was appropriate for an officer's wife to be a doctor, I just wanted to know whether it was physically possible. It hadn't occured to me that it might not be fitting!!

    In general I am encouraged by what I have read and feel quite positive about this. The division my husband is interested in right now is the Intelligence Corps which is based fairly centrally in the UK and I would not mind being 'based' there whilst spent some time overseas. I'm very interested in spending some time overseas with MSF at some point as well, not too fussed whereabouts, and in general don't really want to be rooted to one spot for the rest of my life, so the moving around is not as unattractive as it might be for some.

    I am quite keen on the idea of being part of a community of army families - and it seems like it is probably quite easy to make friends. Is the social life etc quite good?

    In terms of 'long periods of separation' - how long are we talking? supposing he did join the Intelligence Corps.. obviously he'd be at Sandhurst for a year... then would he probably be based at Chicksands for the most part, with a few overseas postings of about 3-6 months at a time? Is this right? What kind of % of the time would he be 'at home' ? I find it hard to get an idea of this from the various websites. I realise that when he's at home he's also doing training and so on, but I just meant in terms of actual percentage of time spent overseas.

    Do they take any account at all of the fact that you're married and/or have children? I mean, I've read many many times about how the army is Number One priority, and understand that, but I was wondering if perhaps they also go to an effort to try and keep you and your family reasonably stable, because surely if they don't do this then men are more likely to want to leave?
  14. LOL No they dont take into consideration if you are married, have kids, have 8 horses or dont like flying/boats/tanks. They send you whever and whenever. Saying that if you were having a baby they WOULD try and get you home in time and they arent so callous as to say tough if you are ill and there is no-one else to have kids or look after you. There is a heart somewhere in that which is the Military ;)

    As for how long - how long is a piece of string is the phrase I use a lot :D

    I think the social aspect is what you make of it - some places its very easy to fit in, others it isnt - but thats the same in civvy life.

    I'd say go with what you feel is your gut instinct and be true to yourself - you cant go wrong then :D

    best of luck to you both.

    Vik xx