Joining as an officer with a young family

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#1
Hi, I'm a 24 year old female, married with two children. I've recently completed my application to join up as an officer and am waiting on an interview. I'm not really sure what I'd like to do if I am successful. I have looked into Medical Service Officer and Int Officer however just to make things more complicated, my husband is in the army too but as a soldier. Obviously there are no guarantees as to where I would get based etc and I would be "a soldier first" but I would like some info on how we would be dealt with as a family. I have tried asking such questions on the army jobs website but haven't really got anywhere with them. Could anyone shed some light on this situation please? I don't need any sarcastic comments so please don't feel the need to give me any. I am genuinely trying to find out information on how best to approach this situation.
Thanks
 
#2
All sounds very tricky. Sorry. Can't imagine how it would work ...
 
#3
If you are accepted, the best option would be to have your old man retire from the green baggy skin and become a househusband. You as an officer would be entitled to a better standard quarter and you could pay him to iron your kit and bull your boots.
Hope this helps
 
#4
Hahaha yeah we've already discussed him being a house husband! This would be a worse case scenario I think, as he does love his job and I would never ask him to leave it. No one really has an answer to my really specific questions which I understand are just that, really specific! However, I do need some answers and I have no idea who has these answers. I don't really want to just suck it and see...I have my family to think about so I would rather find out things now rather than when it is too late to do anything about it. :frustrated:
 
#5
I have known cases where an officer and an OR have been married but it's obviously not common. In both cases there were no children involved and the officer and soldier concerned were posted to different units. I left in 97 so things may have progressed a lot since then.
There must be an AGAI or equivalent instruction for service personnel who are married with children and both serving.
Get hubby to ask his Regt Admin Officer.
 
#8
Hi, I'm a 24 year old female, married with two children. I've recently completed my application to join up as an officer and am waiting on an interview. I'm not really sure what I'd like to do if I am successful. I have looked into Medical Service Officer and Int Officer however just to make things more complicated, my husband is in the army too but as a soldier. Obviously there are no guarantees as to where I would get based etc and I would be "a soldier first" but I would like some info on how we would be dealt with as a family. I have tried asking such questions on the army jobs website but haven't really got anywhere with them. Could anyone shed some light on this situation please? I don't need any sarcastic comments so please don't feel the need to give me any. I am genuinely trying to find out information on how best to approach this situation.
Thanks
Two lads in my Sandhurst platoon joined with young familes (one had 2 toddlers at the start and one had a brand new baby during the course!). It was ******* hard work for those guys I can tell you. I've got no idea how they managed it, I found getting through sandhurst to be bloody hard work and all I had to worry about was myself. It will test your relationship to the extreme, I can guarantee that now. Everyone else will have their weekends off and be out on the piss or catching up on sleeping, you'll be looking after the kids! It made their lives very hard, but they got through it.

However the added dimension for you is having a husband in the army, so I guess childcare then becomes very difficult etc. The guys I know moved into married quarters with their missuses and families as soon as they started troopies courses' and then at whatever unit they were subsequently posted to. This was with civvy wives so you'd have to worry about getting hubbies posting sorted to be near you, bearing in mind him being an OR may affect how you can be posted in. No idea what the rules would be about bringing a JNCO or Pte soldier as a guest to dinner nights at the mess etc would be if they worked in the same camp. I'd say none of the problems are insurmountable, but joining as a YO is a difficult and challenging process and demands a huge amount of your time and life in the first few years of service, even for a single person. You want to think long and hard about which is the priority in your life, I'd venture to suggest, before you commit to this.

Just the world as I see it I guess.
 
#9
It's not something I am going to take lightly and that is why I am trying to get all the answers to my questions sooner rather than later. I know the situation is complicated and is obviously not very common so it's going to be really hard to get the actual answers, rather than just speculation. Just something to add to the complication-we currently are based in Germany. My family come first and they always will however, I'm not just a mum and an army wife, I'm a person who is wasting away over here in a dead end job which I do to get out the house. I'm not challenged, I'm not paid well and I'm not happy but at the moment I don't really have much choice as we are in Germany. The battalion will be moving in 2015 which I hope will make some things easier. It is something that we have thought long and hard about and I hope that we manage to get some answers soon.
 
#12
Then welfare/familes/RAO should be able to give general guidance. The rest will depend on what job and cap badge your old man is, and what choices you make.
 
#13
TBH it sounds like a total nightmare to me. Sorry and all that. You are presenting the Army with a whole list of problems that I, for one, do not believe can be adequately dealt with. As a YO you will be run around from arm'ole to breakfast time just being a YO. I cannot speak for the current Intelligence Corps as I left it many years ago, but I have to say that had I been part of the selection process I would not countenance you joining the Int Corps as I knew it.

If I sound like a total downer, that's because I'm incapable of understanding why you have taken the decisions you have made. There are so many what-ifs to this scenario - YOU might be shipped out on a 6-month tour, and so might your husband - somewhere else. What happens to your young children then?

I can't believe you really have thought through all the ramifications of this life-plot.

tac
 
#14
It's certainly a tricky one. My wife and I stagged on as serving officers with several pre-school children for about 5 years. You're not guaranteed to be posted in the same location, though the Army will do its best. You may go away on a 6 month tour. In our case, circumstances led me to retire after 22 years and become a house-husband, thus doing away with all the possible dramas.

You have the added complication of being at the start of your career and being married to a soldier. It's not impossible, but it will be very testing for you both. Good luck with it.
 
#15
Ok you've got a fair point and I welcome opinions. I have already submitted my application which states I am married to a soldier and I have two young children, which has been approved. If the army did thought that I was too much of a risk or whatever then I would have thought they would not have invited me to an interview? I have inquired about us being deployed at the same time which I have been informed that only one of us at any time can be "away from home". As I said before I am open to any cap badge at the moment and have not made a proper decision about that, I have only been leaning more towards a few. I know it sounds like a nightmare, and it probably is to most people but I am trying to make some sense of it all and make a proper decision without it all being "ifs and buts".
 
#16
My family come first and they always will
Well if that's true then I think you have probably answered your own questions. There are so many bad combinations here that it almost makes for a Perfect Storm. You haven't said what rank your husband is but if you are 24 I'm guessing JNCO (unless he is a cradle snatcher) and I assume that your children are both very young.

Getting through Sandhurst for anyone is a challenge and is probably best suited to young, single people of either sex. To try and devote enough time to the course whilst juggling the demands of children and a husband, who presumably is busy with his career, would be daunting for anyone; no matter how capable they might be. Where do you intend to live; are you hoping for a quarter at RMAS and, if so, how will that fit with your husband's posting? Do you have relatives in or near Surrey who could regularly help with childcare? Sandhurst married to anyone could be problematic. Sandhurst whilst married to an OR could be more problematic. Sandhurst with 2 young children will inevitably be very difficult. If you put all 3 together then I genuinely can't see it working.

I notice that you are still only in the application stage and it may be that the system recognises your situation and may make the choice for you anyway.

I genuinely admire your enthusiasm and ambition but I don't think that will be enough. As you are only 24 you could perhaps delay the process by a couple of years by which time you will have better stability in the UK, the children will be older and less needy and your husband's career may be more flexible.
 
#17
Ok you've got a fair point and I welcome opinions. I have already submitted my application which states I am married to a soldier and I have two young children, which has been approved. If the army did thought that I was too much of a risk or whatever then I would have thought they would not have invited me to an interview? I have inquired about us being deployed at the same time which I have been informed that only one of us at any time can be "away from home". As I said before I am open to any cap badge at the moment and have not made a proper decision about that, I have only been leaning more towards a few. I know it sounds like a nightmare, and it probably is to most people but I am trying to make some sense of it all and make a proper decision without it all being "ifs and buts".
Well Ash I admire your spirit and whilst some might find it reckless. Would i have done it at your age well yes I might just have done if the circumstances were similar. If your team are up for it go for it.You have right up to signing on the dotted line to review the decision and you are obviously continually inquiring and checking the situation. Thats about all you can do. Whatever you do this old geezers advice is if or when the shit hits the fan remember that you analysed it as much as you could at the time and you took the decision based on what you knew. No recriminations no come backs and no arguments. Remember i told you that your team, your family is more important than the Army
 
#18
Ok you've got a fair point and I welcome opinions. I have already submitted my application which states I am married to a soldier and I have two young children, which has been approved. If the army did thought that I was too much of a risk or whatever then I would have thought they would not have invited me to an interview? I have inquired about us being deployed at the same time which I have been informed that only one of us at any time can be "away from home". As I said before I am open to any cap badge at the moment and have not made a proper decision about that, I have only been leaning more towards a few. I know it sounds like a nightmare, and it probably is to most people but I am trying to make some sense of it all and make a proper decision without it all being "ifs and buts".
I'm afraid the application "being accepted" means nothing.

All of these issues which have been highlighted will be complete drama-ramas; not just for you, but for the system which you are looking to be a part of. They will be a massive headache from day one, and will get worse when overseas posting and tours enter the equation.

As you state above, you are trying to make sense out of all this yourself, and are trying to think of ways it could possibly work. I'd suggest the reason that you are struggling to do so is that it would be a near impossible situation to manage as a young officer and for the military to administer.

You do not have any branch or service in mind as a definite preference , this is another issue for the interviewing officer, who I think will be looking for decisiveness and motivation from someone who presents such vague chances of success in other areas of your application (ie. your personal circs).

Maybe your main motivation for applying is a dissatisfaction in your current situation. Either way; good luck.
 
#19
I have inquired about us being deployed at the same time which I have been informed that only one of us at any time can be "away from home".

OK this is something you seem to gloss over. Have a think about the second order consequences of this statement, just so you are aware of what it could mean for both of your careers. Yes the army might keep one of you at home, but that can cause problems in itself.

I'll just chuck a hypothetical situation out there. You are a brand spanking new troop commander, doesn't matter what corps or unit. He's a JNCO, section 2IC or maybe even section commander in his bn. Both units get pinged for a short notice deployment somewhere, but one of you is going to have to put in a welfare case to be left with your respective units ROG to ensure the kids are looked after. Which one doesn't get the tour? As a brand new troopy you would be absolutely chomping at the bit to get away with your troop and command them on ops (unless there is something wrong with you! Why else put yourself through RMAS??) and equally as a keen JNCO then your bloke is going to be chomping at the bit to get the chance to lead his section on ops! One going and one not going could cause big resentment issues as one person misses that huge opportunity.

As an afterthought I actually know one couple of serving junior ranks in my unit who leave their kids with granny and grandpa when they bugger off on exercise and deployment, but that can't be easy on anyone concerned.
 
#20
Ok thank you for everyone's opinions. I will not admit defeat until I need to =). I just wanted more than one person's opinion on the matter. Just to let you know it was actually my husband who suggested I look into signing up therefore he is on my side and I know he always will be, good times or bad. I won't lie, my family will always come first and nothing will change that however I like to think that we can make it work. I am sure I will find out in the next few months whether or not this is all doable. As for the resentment, I would like to think I would never resent my husband however I don't want to be grey and old and look back and think that he stopped me doing something that we both think I might actually be really good at...anyway thank you all again
 
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