Technicians go the Foreman of Signals route to get to SSgt and above then commissioned as TOT
Some of the teenager children also took on their parents rank., as a bus escort (one of the many part time jobs I did during 23 years as a wife of) one of the little dears (who had been swearing at me) threatened me with "My dad's a Major and he will have your job off you. Next morning he was there with his Mutti and an audience of many - I presumed Mutti was there to continue this however, she whispered quietly, he has something to say to you and thrust a letter in to my hand - a written apology (by said tyke) which took me by surprise - she was mortified by son's behaviour - oddly enough this 'orrible tyke transformed himself and a couple of years later I met him and he had become a total gentleman and a thoroughly pleasant chap but I did come across many similar incidents as related in this thread, one Major's wife said to a soon to be officers wife, Oh you will be able to call me Christine next week and not Mrs X., (pompous or what). Yes I can relate to the Tenko wives episodes also but I refused to wear the so called uniform of Hermes, pearls etc when my husband was commissioned, and stayed happily mates with all the NCO wives as well as the officers wives. Thank heavens it means nowt in civvy street.
It’s not just in the military although to be fair, a lot of the attitudes were learnt there.
A good few years ago we had a brilliant contract based in Indonesia for 3 months over the U.K. winter, flying pilgrims up to Jeddah for the Hajj. The pay was excellent even if the flying was dull and Jeddah was enough to destroy the soul. The real bonus for a slack handful of us was that you could take your family.
Accordingly about 100 pilots would go out and about 15 would take their wives. They were all senior Captains and the wives were all very clear on what number their husbands were on the Seniority List. They very soon became known by everyone else as the The Tenko Wives* and it wasn’t meant affectionately. They spent their time on shopping and little trips that were designed to ensure nail varnish didn’t get chipped etc. and on treating the locals with disdain. Unsurprisingly, a lot of them were ex RAF.
One year a mate of mine and I cooked up a plan that we’d go and takes our wives and horror of horrors, our 3 year old daughters. Crews were made up of one Captain and two First Officers and stayed as a crew together for the whole 3 months. We asked to be paired so our wives and kids could kick around together when we were down route and we’d do our own thing when on time off in Indonesia. The manager planning it all thought it a great plan and everything was set.
We were rostered with a senior bloke who was a tool. Everything the old RAF mentality had to offer and no people skills at all**. Even worse, he had his wife in tow and of course she immediately tried to inculcate the two renegade wives into the Tenko Club. That went well.
It was silly stuff. Every night we were supposed to meet for sundowners on their balcony but she’d get the hump because the kids would get bored and mess about in her immaculate hotel room which was like something out of Homes Beautiful magazine, right down to the little bowl of sweeties on the table. Try explaining to a 3 year old that they were for display, not eating.
In the end she complained and her cock of a husband felt that the best place to deal with that was to rift me and my mate in flight. Smart move.
The Two Renegade Wives split from Tenko and started doing their own thing, things like going to the village where one of the bell boy‘s family lived and seeing fruit bats with 4’ wingspans and having a chicken killed and cooked for a feast in their honour, eating goldfish without labelling the locals as savages, swimming on coral reefs etc. Basically doing all the things that this great opportunity presented for young families. Everywhere they went they were warmly greeted as white women with blond kids in tow were literally unheard of and Indonesians are probably the nicest people I’ve ever met. They were called Mrs Katherine and Mrs Jenny (after the kids names) by people they’d never met. People who had nothing were inviting them into their homes and giving them tea. It was very humbling. Tenko hated it.
It all came to a head when Head Tenko “had a word” with the degenerate twosome about them “flaunting“ themselves with the natives. “You should know Mrs Toastie, both you and Toastie were in the military, your father was a Navy Officer out here, you know how it works ”.
Mrs Toastie “what rank was your husband in the Forces?”
Head Tenko “he was a Flt Lt”.
Mrs Toastie “you’re right, I do know how it works, my father, my husband and I all outranked your husband. Feck off”.
* For younger viewers, Tenko was a TV drama series about a Japanese internment camp for wives and families following the fall of Singapore in WW2. The rank structure assumed by the wives mirrored that in the garrison.
** He apparently latterly came very close to failing a sim ride for exactly that kind of behaviour, demanded the result be changed as in his view, sim checks were a test purely of technical skills. He was told “change or leave”.
Not a SWMBO story but I flew with a couple of cocks like your captain. Also ex air farce, SAAF in this case. Complete Johnny-No-Mates social bomb scares who would order the crews to associate with them and go for drinks and such because they had no friends. I managed to swerve most of that by claiming to be teetotal. They did see me drinking beer but never made the connection.
One of them would also order a barbecue to be arranged, everyone would chip in and he'd always say he'll pay later. Later just never arrived. Same bloke's daughter went on a gap year tour of Europe and the stingy bastard made her fill in an expense sheet and fax it to him every week along with receipts before he'd put more money in her account. His kids and his wife hated him.
Same cunt cornered me one day and told me not to associate with the loadmasters as they were the equivalent of junior NCOs in his view, flight engineer was a WO and we were the officers. He was a vindictive shit, quite happy to shop a career, so I just nodded and continued doing what I was doing. His plan was that the officers would drink together with the WO, cutting out the junior NCOs who were my mates in order for him to actually have someone he could socialise with.
The ex SAAF types used to tell war stories with the flight engineer on flights over Angola about their heroism bimbling along 20000' above the war while I humped half my weight in water and ammo down in the weeds. Took some effort to bite my tongue but eventually the whole fucked up air farce shit show atmosphere got on my tits and I found something better at around eight times the salary in hard currency.
This. I've never really been exposed to much of it either, but have heard tales from the WO/Sgts' Mess. But likewise Mrs D_D hasn't been near a mess/camp for well over a decade.I never really came across much of the 'wives of' syndrome. There were good wives who helped foster the regimental spirit and there were problem wives who caused grief. There was one who was the wife of one of the Foreman/Yeoman types and took great pleasure in telling everyone how important he was as he'd been selected for WO1. Shortly after I got picked up for LE Commissioning and she was fawning over Mrs Devex about how wonderful it would be to be in the Officers' Mess. Mrs D (bless her cotton socks) shot her down by informing her that we were in the process of buying a house locally, I would be going unaccompanied and she had no interest whatsoever in the Mess social side of things. True to form I can't recall Mrs D ever coming to any Officers' Mess function, an arrangement that suited her and me equally.