Just curious..

Alyssa - posted on 02/18/2010 ( 11 moms have responded )

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My husbands 4 year contract with the Marines ended this past July. We had our first Baby this January (whom we love so much!). My Husband is thinking about joining the Army in the next few months because, as he says it, he "doesn't like these boring civilian jobs that don't pay enough", lol. I've heard that the Army is very 'Family Oriented" but I'm not too familiar with the Army's benefits for families. Does anyone have any helpful information?

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Lori - posted on 02/19/2010

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The Army hasn't been that family oriented to us, BUT that will depend on your unit. Deployments are currently at 12 months but can change at any time without notice (my husband's last deployment was 15 months). Our current unit is NOT family oriented at ALL, we were in the process of adopting and his unit wouldn't approve his leave to go get our kids, so we were forced to back out. When we found out we were pregnant with #3, his 1SG had a fit. He was not allowed to take me to the ER when I needed IV fluids, we've had to fight to get him to go to important appointments for our two special needs children, etc., etc., etc. BUT, the 1SG he had before this one was AWESOME and prior to the deployment, our unit was very family oriented... So it really just depends on the 1SG and commander of the unit. Clear as mud? ;)

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I was in as a single soldier, and know I'm an army wife. The Army can be Family oriented. IT does depend on the Unit he gets attached to, and his Chain of Command

Tamara - posted on 02/20/2010

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It really depends on where you all get stationed. The post we are at is very family oriented. The unit my husband was with when we got married was too family oriented. It really depends on why type of person the cog or your husband boss is. many military post try to do a lot of things geared towards family (MWR, ACS, etc) it's all about finding about it and doing it. So far I have been enjoying the Army life. I haven't grown up in the military as a kid but I take things as they come and try to enjoy it.

Colleen - posted on 02/20/2010

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I agree with Christina and Lori. Just I was raised Army and married AF. The Army was not very family oriented then either. And even now, from what I hear, it hasn't gotten much better. My sister is married to an Army guy and says they are not very family oriented. And the deployments for Army are long anywhere from 12 to 18 months.

Shelby - posted on 02/20/2010

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I just saw that she was asking about housing, medical, etc...

Alyssa, Thats the same...No matter what branch. Every branch has Tricare medical. You either choose Tricare Standard where you are able to have a better say in which doctors you see, and you see them more out in town, and you pay a co-pay, or you go with Tricare Prime...Which you are seen for the most part at the Branch Medical Center nearest you and you pay nothing. Your referrals are sent out in town and they are also covered. Your prescriptions can be filled at the center for free (I know this from the Marine Corps, so if its not the same in other branches I apologize) or you can have them filled out in town at a pharmacy for a fee, either 3,9 18$, something like that.

All branches offer on base housing. All branches are now tearing down the worn out houses from the 50's and 60's and quickly putting up beautiful new spacious homes.
All branches pay you to live off base also. The amount is the same based on the Echelon rank of your husband. E-4, E-5, etc...

All branches have the equivalency of the Marine Corps MWR, (Morale, Welfare, Recreation) They all offer, Commissaries, PX, etc....They all offer recreational sites at most bases such as bowling, theaters , pools, etc. (again this is all depending on the size of the base)

All bases offer some sort of child care system, be it trained child care providers in base housing, or a child care center, that could very well have a VERY long wait list

As far as which branch is more "family oriented" that will differ with who you ask. Of course every branch member will say its their branch as they've heard awful things about the other branches, In true fashion, My husband is a marine and in the 10 years we have been in, It has been wonderful. I mean yeah he has worked some...."shotty" hours, but the family has always been taken care of. A lot of it depends on the unit of course. We have been lucky he has has some good ones. Of course he is an outstanding marine and they don't mind giving him anything that he has EVER needed, Even though at least twice in those 10 years that has meant taking a month off without leave because I was sick and in the hospital.
Good luck in the army though. Personally I'd be scared to death in the army, I mean taking daddy/hubby away for 12-15...18 months away at a time in a LONG time!!!

Stephanie - posted on 02/20/2010

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The Army does have the 'Families First" program, but how that is implimented is really different post to post, Commander to Commander, 1Sgt to 1Sgt and even Plt. Leader to Plt. Leader. Our first Co. together was awesome, he deployed with them for 12 mo's. Then we were PCS'd to Germany, the second Co. as okay, he deployed with them for 15mo's. I had a complicated pregnancy while he was deployed the second time and they really worked with him. More phone time, better communication, that kind of thing, they even had him sent home or R&R in time for the C-section. We are now in MO on Drill Sgt. duty and this post has a great FMWR (Family, Morale, Welfare & Recreation). It all depends. hopefully the cards all lay right for you and you get a good post with a good chain of command. Remember attitude changes everything, lol.

C. - posted on 02/18/2010

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Take it from an AF Brat and Army wife.. The Army is FAR LESS FAMILY ORIENTED than the AF. I don't know WHERE you heard that the Army was family oriented, but they were WAY wrong! Maybe compared to the Marines? I don't know.. But compared to the AF, they are shitty towards the family (pardon my French).

Shelby - posted on 02/18/2010

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Just be prepared for those longer deployments!!! my hubby is marine, but from chatter, and all Army deployments are still twice as long...AT least. That has to suck.

Alyssa - posted on 02/18/2010

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Well, Julia, like for families, Ie. Housing, Medical, etc.

My boy will be entering as an E4, I guess its like the rank of a Cpl in the Marines.
So he should be on his way to being a SGT :D

Kari - posted on 02/18/2010

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They're pretty family oriented but then again it depends more on who his sgt is. but theres a lot of family things that go on around base that is for famiiles. and if you get into a good frg group they have good information. and i assume the marines have the same benifits as the army, tricare, bah the usual. if u have any other questions just message me.

Julia - posted on 02/18/2010

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just wondering what you mean? There are plenty of benefits but I have no clue as to what you are referring to.

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