What are the dynamics of being married to an officer while serving as an enlisted member? Well, it is complicated. Kayla and her husband met at tech school and have served in the National Guard together, but her husband made the switch to Officer and when they were in Arizona people knew them. But then they moved to Florida and into the Reserves. Because of that they get a lot of strange looks and have dealt with being part of the gossip and rumor mill. Hear Kayla’s story of joining the National Guard because she wanted to serve, but didn’t want to move around the country every couple of years.
Why not join the National Guard?
Kayla was encouraged by her step-father to join the military, but she didn’t want to serve on active duty because the idea of moving every few years didn’t sound appealing to her. That is when she learned about serving in the Air National Guard. Being in the Guard would allow her to serve in the military, but would also make it so she wouldn’t have to move. She enlisted in February and started drilling waiting for her school slot.
She had hoped to start boot camp in the summer and complete her tech school in the fall so she would only miss one semester of school, but her Bootcamp dates ended up being in September and the six-month tech school that followed led her having to miss an entire year of school. But she met her husband at tech school. They started dating and both were serving in the Guard and were able to date via long distance and right before their one-year dating anniversary was engaged.
Moving to be with her husband
Because her husband was in another state and was working full time in the Guard unit she decided to move from Nevada to Arizona. Kayla had to go through a number of steps to be released from her Guard unit and it took a few months to get all the paperwork completed and signed. Once she had the release, she worked with her husband’s unit to get assigned there and was able to make the switch fairly seamlessly.
One of the struggles Kayla faced in her time in the military was being diagnosed with anxiety and depression. She was also in a unit where an officer committed suicide. The suicide changed the unit, but also made it easier to be open and honest with her struggles. She attributed having a supportive environment as one of the ways that she was able to find help during her mental health journey. There are a lot of misconceptions about mental health and she is passionate about sharing her experience and helping to break down the stigmas.
Married to an officer
Her husband also went from enlisted to officer to become a pilot in the Air Force. Kayla finds that sometimes people have questions about how she and her husband can be married since she is enlisted and he is an officer. But, people often ask other people what is going on instead of confronting them directly and this can lead to gossip and un-needed drama. She says that it has been a balancing act and she has had to learn and adjust course as different situations arise. But overall, she loves being a military spouse and loves continuing to serve in the Air Force.
Kayla encourages young women to do their research if they want to join the military. She didn’t know there were options outside of active duty and almost missed her chance to serve. Kayla also recommends talking to someone who is not a recruiter to help steer them in the right direction. If you are looking for someone to talk to or have questions please feel free to reach out to me or check out my free “Girls Guide to the Military.”
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