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Rank: Does It Matter, Or Doesn’t It?

Please excuse me here, I’m on a little rant.  I hope that I don’t offend anyone, or start some sort of argument.  Andi’ll kill me if I do…

I was just reading over my Facebook page, and the American Forces Network Europe (AFN) status update advertised an USO-sponsored contest for a trip to Disney.  I honestly didn’t have any intention of entering, but I did click through to check out the details.  Family of five, boo, must leave from Frankfurt, inconvenient, late July, not going to work for us, must be E-4 or below, …WHAT?

I may be the only person on the planet who feels this way, but I find the mixed messages regarding rank to be very confusing.  Here at SpouseBUZZ, we try very hard to treat every single person as a person.  Because we are all people, and we all put our pants on one leg at a time, and because this is not a military organization.  And most military spouses are not also in the military, and the ones who are don’t come to SpouseBUZZ for military stuff, but for military spouse stuff.

And spouses, as we are constantly reminded, have no rank.

Except for when we do.  Well, we still don’t, but our lives are directly impacted by our spouse’s rank.  Like with the new MyCAA program.  Or the Sure Start program at the Elementary School.  Or this contest.  All things that my family can not use because my spouse has been in the military too long.

Because honestly, what this boils down to, is time, not rank.  I don’t know all the career paths of every individual part of the military, but from what I have seen, most service members will promote past the E-4 level if they stay in the military long enough.  And if these policies are, in effect, about time in the service, then doesn’t that seem a little backwards?  Here, you haven’t been in very long, let’s give you all these extras.  Once you’ve stayed, we’ll take them away.  Thanks for your loyalty.

So, which is it?  Should family programs be affected by their sponsor’s rank, or not?  I don’t really care what the answer is, but I find it frustrating that the answer changes depending on the situation.

What do you think?

About She of the Sea

Oh dear - SpouseBUZZ wants a bio from me. I hate writing bios! What do you want to know? I'm a Navy wife and have been for something less than 20 years. I have four daughters who are approaching the teenage years faster than I can drink a Diet Coke. I love writing for SpouseBUZZ because I know that someone out there understands whatever it is I am saying. I also write about money at The Paycheck Chronicles and I am studying for the Certified Financial Planner exam. This year, I have managed to avoid most of my usual volunteer responsibilities (Girl Scouts, PTO, church, etc.) so that I can focus on helping out at the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society. It also allows me to make decent but unappreciated dinners and keep relatively up on the laundry.

Still haven't learned to get Christmas cards out on time, though.

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