Monday, February 7, 2011

Wait. There are women in the military?

Today my guest blogger is Jessica over at Misadventures of an Army Wife. I think she's a real hoot, so head over to her blog and check her out.

I know that there are women in the military. In fact, I know some. Shoot, even some of our fellow bloggers are female service members. For some reason, however, there was a disconnect in my mind between there actually being women in the Army and my husband, C, serving in a unit with women. It was almost like women in the Army were some sort of mythical creature - something I'd heard about but not anything I had personally experienced.


C has spent the past four years in an all-male unit. And when I say all male, I'm talkin' A-L-L male. 100% testosterone. No females for miles. Not even in support positions. So, it was strange to me when he came home last week and started to say, "Yeah, this girl in my class said..." Wait. Hold up. Girl? Like a female? Like, estrogen? Why is there a girl in your class? Oh....wait a minute...you're in the Finance Branch now, right? Of course there's going to be girls. Girls are in the Finance Branch. Okay, continue with your story.

Now, don't get me wrong. I have no jealousy issues with my husband serving with females. What I'm getting at is that it was strange to me to even think of there being a female in his unit because for four years there hadn't been a female in his unit.

This made me wonder what other sorts of things were going to be different now that he's in a unit with women? I've already realized that I can no longer say "wives" when I'm really referring to "spouses". I got into that habit with our last unit because "wives" was just as correct as saying "spouses", but I know this is no longer the case.

So, that is my question to you. Is an all male unit different from a mixed unit? If so, how? Do husbands actually participate in unit events? Do they come to coffees? I'm interested in any and all perspectives. The last thing I want to do is to exclude or offend anyone because I wasn't aware.

6 comments:

KrysTros said...

Well, I was stationed in Vicenza from 94-97. I was the first female in my unit and it was definitely an experience. At company family events I was the only woman who wasn't a spouse (well, until I got married to another soldier)and it took a little longer to make friends with the wives, because their husbands hadn't served with women before but I think that you'll have an easier time than I did because women are so much more prominent in the military today.
Several years after I ets'd, my husband was in USAG at Ft Polk where the male to female ratio was more even. At company events, I met wives and husbands of the soldiers, some who were not also in the military and we got along just fine. As for having been on the other side of the fence, I never worried about my husband working with women either, because most of them want to be taken seriously and that's already hard enough without hitting on the men in their units. It will be an adjustment and I am sure you will both be fine with it and now you have the chance to learn about another part of the Army with him being in a Finance company.

Mowenackie said...

I'm afraid I don't have much input other than to say that I can relate. T is infantry, so his unit is all men. I've had people try to gently correct me when I say "the men" or things of that nature and it annoys me because I'm not doing it to be a jerk or "un-PC". It's just a fact, Jack.

Natalia said...

As Mr. F's spouse, I only deal with other wives at (the few) social functions we've attended since he is Infantry. I definitely get a few comments from the wives when they learn I'm Army Reserve. It will be soooooo interesting when he comes to my unit's events as MY spouse! I'll have to get him to write a post for us on the matter...

Meg said...

Spike's current (about to be past) unit has a good mix of male and female soldiers. In the one coffee I've been to there was one husband...and he has been, by FAR, one of the friendliest and most welcoming spouses I've encountered. A pleasant surprise, to be sure!

MooAtU2 said...

DH's unit was all males, but now a female SGT arrived and is leading his shift. He's told me about some of those jokes they pull, and pretty sure having a woman around is going to put a stop to farting in each other's faces and talking about their junk.

I've met a few male spouses here and there, but not in my husband's unit, so I really don't know how it is for them.

Newly Mrs. Cravinho said...

There's always been at least 1 female in my husbands units. None of them were married though, so I don't really have much advice to give on the subject :/