Newbie — The Bump
Military Families


Hello all-

My SO is considering joining the military and I have about a million and a half questions. I feel overwhelmed by all the things we need to know. He hasn't even looked into what branch he would be interested in yet. So I essentially need the most basic overall information on joining.

We have a four-month-old and are not married, would it be best to just get married? Are different branches easier to get into/more child friendly/less likely that he will have to leave?

I'm really sorry if these are stupid questions. If you all find it annoying to answer these types of things, could you point me in the right direction to get some answers? 

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Re: Newbie

  • There's an FAQ page at the top of this board. It was thoughtfully prepared with the help of several military members and dependents and answers most of the basic questions.

    As for getting married, it's absolutely possible to stay unmarried, but in all honesty, it's easier to be married. The military will not pay for you to move with your SO and junior enlisted members are often required to live in the barracks. You and your daughter will not be able to live with him in that case. He can apply for an exemption to live off-base, but they are not always granted.

    Your DD will get health coverage and benefits as his dependent. You will not.

    The situation gets more complicated depending on where he ends up stationed.

    Read through the FAQs and please feel free to come back with any specific questions.  

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  • There is a button in my siggy that will link you to the FAQ page.  There is a ton of info there.  You should also read through old posts here and on the Nest Military Nesties page.  It will give you a little insight into military life.  

    Encourage your SO to visit all recruiters.  I was convinced the Air Force was right for me until I talked to the Army recruiters.  That just felt like home.  Go with him and ask questions.  Come back here when you have specific questions.  

    Some people will tell you that the Air Force is more family friendly.  It's honestly a load of crap.  It really changes from unit to unit and job to job through out all the branches.   


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  • Agreed with the PP about the FAQ at the top or in PP's siggy. Personally, I think it's just easier and you get more from the military if you're married. They'll pay to move you, living on base with your whole family requires marriage or off base - if he can get it approved. It's just simpler in the end.

     As for what branch, have him go to ALL recruiters! My DH is Navy and I absolutely adore being a Navy Wife in sunny San Diego. We don't live on base and we're both extremely far from our old family and friends but we've made our own family and group of friends here that we wouldn't give up for the world. It all depends on you guys! 

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  • I don't really know anything about the other branches but ny dad was in the Navy for 20 years and now I'm married to a sailor.  When my husband decided to join the military we were engaged and I was pregnant with our first daughter.  For us, since we were already engaged it made more sense to get married because of the fact that I planned on being a stay at home mom and if we weren't married 1. I wouldn't have access to any of the income and 2. he wouldn't be getting paid as much as if we were married.  Also, its very hard to get along in the military world if you aren't married because they won't recognize you.  Unless you have his last name and you are on his page 2 (basically just legal documents saying that you are married) you will have no access to any information whatsoever, which can be very hard, especially if he were to get deployed.  You would basically be left in the dark completely.  So anyway, with that being said.. We got married a few months before he went to boot camp and before our daughter was born.  He left for boot camp when she was four months old.  She's two now and we also have a 2 and a half week old baby and he has been away practically the entire time he has been in.  He went through six months of schooling and during that time I lived in an apartment about 30 miles away from the base and he stayed with us every weekend and we visited him during the week.  Other than that we've seen eachother for about 3 weeks total.  He was home for 1 week (the week we conceived our second daughter) then he came home for 2 weeks when I was six months pregnant.  He missed the birth.  He will be home for 1, maybe (hopefully) 2 weeks next month then he will be going on an eight month deployment.  Its very hard but for us its worth it.  We wouldn't be able to give our children the life they have without the Navy.  We don't have to worry about insurance and how we're going to afford their doctors appointments.  They have food, clothes and a roof over their head.  I'm able to stay at home and teach them and watch them grow because of his sacrifices.  It takes a strong person to be able to do it but if you can then it can be a very rewarding experience.  
  • And also, whether or not he is likely to leave completely depends on what field he goes into, not the branch.  
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