If only I had a magic wand. I would change a lot of things. I would use it to fold laundry and keep the living room looking amazing. I would also use it on the Military. I would want to change a few things to make it a little easier on the families while still allowing the service member to do their job. I have often felt that there were quite a few times in my Military spouse journey when things could be done differently and still allow for the Military to stay strong and do what it needed to do.
1) Change deployment rotations. I can only speak on the Army here, I know other branches have other time tables. I would make it so that you had to be home for at least as long as you were deployed for. And by home, I mean working at your local Military post, not spending months in training. After someone had been home for that amount of time, training could start up again. I remember when deployments were 12 months they talked about a system where the soldier came home for a year and then the next year would be when they would train or go to schools before deploying again. Makes sense to me.
2) Survey the family about moving or staying put. Now I know sometimes a family HAS to PCS because of career classes or changing their MOS. What I am talking about is people who are PCSing who don’t want to. Why would this be a good thing? For one thing, it would save the Military money by not moving people as often. It would also help with morale. This would be even more important overseas. Why spend money moving a family back to the US and another overseas when neither one wants to move?
3) Deployments hold more weight when it comes to promotion. I could never understand why deployments don’t count for more when it comes to promoting someone. Isn’t that what they are trained to do? Isn’t actually deploying worth a whole lot in experience?
4) Weight limits based more on family size then rank. Now I get it, we want to reward those that are higher up in the Military but it seems like if you have a big family and you are lower ranking, moving could cost you a lot of money going over weight. More people usually means more household goods. From beds, to dressers to books, to toys to sports equipment.
5) Remember that a lot of spouses are solo parenting. There have been so many times when I heard about a policy on post which leaves me going, “huh?” because it doesn’t make a lot of sense for a place where a lot of people are solo parenting. It isn’t always possible to find a babysitter for your kids, especially when you are new to a duty station and don’t know anyone yet. They have a policy here about OB appointments where you can’t bring your other children to an appointment under ANY circumstances. Now I get it, they probably made this policy because people were bringing their kids and they were not behaving the way they should. But all this policy does is make spouses freak out more than they need to. There has to be a better way. I normally don’t bring my kids to appointments if I can help it but sometimes I had to and I was glad that the places I had to go understood that.
What would you change? Is there something you wanted the Military to change and then they did???