Sometimes making it in a long military marriage seems like an impossible task — all those long separations, stressful deployments, sporadic TDY trips, and unplanned late nights really start to wear on you. If you’re going to go the distance, you’ve got to have some tricks up your sleeve … right?
The Army’s two top leaders have both been happily married for more than 20 years. So what are their secrets to making it work?
For Gen. Mark Milley, the Army’s chief of staff, the secret is two-fold: communicate and set aside time to be with your spouse, he said at the 2015 Association of the United States Army (AUSA) annual conference. While he said he may not always be good at keeping the balance, he knows that those two basic tenants are something to always go back to.
“Being able to communicate back and forth, I think, is fundamental to the health and strength of many marriages,” he said. “And then time — you’ve got make time for each other.”
But Sgt. Maj. of the Army Daniel Dailey, said the secret to staying happily married while staying Army is a little bit more complicated for him and his wife than just time and communication. Instead, he said, you both have to love the Army life enough for it to make you happy, and be willing to put up with the pain it can cause.
“I tell soldiers all the time … you’ve got to live this, you’ve got to love what you do and that’s no joke,” he said. “Because if you don’t, unfortunately you have to do something else. Because you cannot have a happy life without a happy wife.”
Photos courtesy AUSA.