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Dual Military with kids

danagomez

New Member
Hi,
I’ve searched around and couldn’t find exactly what I’m looking for. I’m curious about dual military couples with children. I’m considering going back into the Navy, as an Officer, after graduating college. My husband is still active duty (just hit 10 years). We have two children- 6 yo and 3 yo. I know about co-location, but how realistic is it for us to be stationed in the same area? Was it too hard on the kids? I know it’ll be an adjustment, but i don’t want to go back in and then wish I hadn’t because of the kids. They’re used to their dad being away right now, not me. Just curious if anyone has gone through a similar situation and has any advice. Thank you.
 

danagomez

New Member
I've read all of those, and I've done FCP's before when I was active duty. I'm looking for more realistic advice/opinions on how it affected the kids, marriage, and how realistic it is to be located together. We all know needs of the Navy come first, which I'm not against either.
 

Suberov

Active Member
I've read all of those, and I've done FCP's before when I was active duty. I'm looking for more realistic advice/opinions on how it affected the kids, marriage, and how realistic it is to be located together. We all know needs of the Navy come first, which I'm not against either.
Fleet concentrations like Hawaii, San Diego, Hampton Roads etc. make your family co-location more convenient. If you have done a FCP then you are aware of half of the challenges faced by dual military families. As far as spousal co-locations go, I have done over 100 requests for sailors over the last 5 years and have found that fleet concentrations, naval community, and sea-shroe rotation were the greatest factors when getting them done. Typically, the only time there was an issue was when a member failed to be proactive in the process. Being aware of the instructions, communicating with detailers and meeting career milestones (CWAY, Screenings, OBLISERV, FCP, etc.) will carry you far. That being said, nothing promised, nothing guaranteed. Have your spouse discuss spouse colo options with his detailer. You won't get a concrete answer but you can get some perspective. Also, what officer community are you going in? Knowing this will help understand the sea-shroe demand signals the Navy will have to work with to keep you and your partner together.

From a personal perspective, I was Mil-Mil without issue and found that all of my friends were able to be Mil-Mil colo'd without issue. Again, nothing promised, nothing guaranteed. As far as family dynamics... Navy life can be demanding. Almost assuredly one of you will be on sea duty and this will be the case for the entirety of your careers (depending on your communities). I was a submariner and my spouse was a Corpsman. When children came to be, she dropped the Navy... we couldn't handle it with my arduous sea duties. Now, I am no longer a submariner so she may consider re-joining.

Also, from the perspective of orders assignments, needs of the Navy is heavier on the shoulders of fit for full duty world-wide assignable bodies. As a spouse colo Mil-Mil sailor you will likely enjoy orders selection oppotunities not available to most. Enlisted sailors should always have a verbal conversation with the detailer after reviewing options in CMS-ID.
 

danagomez

New Member
Fleet concentrations like Hawaii, San Diego, Hampton Roads etc. make your family co-location more convenient. If you have done a FCP then you are aware of half of the challenges faced by dual military families. As far as spousal co-locations go, I have done over 100 requests for sailors over the last 5 years and have found that fleet concentrations, naval community, and sea-shroe rotation were the greatest factors when getting them done. Typically, the only time there was an issue was when a member failed to be proactive in the process. Being aware of the instructions, communicating with detailers and meeting career milestones (CWAY, Screenings, OBLISERV, FCP, etc.) will carry you far. That being said, nothing promised, nothing guaranteed. Have your spouse discuss spouse colo options with his detailer. You won't get a concrete answer but you can get some perspective. Also, what officer community are you going in? Knowing this will help understand the sea-shroe demand signals the Navy will have to work with to keep you and your partner together.

From a personal perspective, I was Mil-Mil without issue and found that all of my friends were able to be Mil-Mil colo'd without issue. Again, nothing promised, nothing guaranteed. As far as family dynamics... Navy life can be demanding. Almost assuredly one of you will be on sea duty and this will be the case for the entirety of your careers (depending on your communities). I was a submariner and my spouse was a Corpsman. When children came to be, she dropped the Navy... we couldn't handle it with my arduous sea duties. Now, I am no longer a submariner so she may consider re-joining.

Also, from the perspective of orders assignments, needs of the Navy is heavier on the shoulders of fit for full duty world-wide assignable bodies. As a spouse colo Mil-Mil sailor you will likely enjoy orders selection oppotunities not available to most. Enlisted sailors should always have a verbal conversation with the detailer after reviewing options in CMS-ID.
I’m looking into SWO. I know it’s demanding and requires a lot.
My husband is a CS1 and stationed in Mayport. In my head, it’s cheaper for the Navy to send me there rather than pay to pack us all up and move across the country (or wherever), being that everything is in Mayport already. Not sure if that is a realistic option. I’m almost sure that I would be put on sea duty, and my husband put on shore duty since we have kids. At least that’s what my officer recruiter says, and that makes sense to me. My kids are used to their dad being away since it’s all they know. I worry about me going back in and being gone.
 

Suberov

Active Member
I’m looking into SWO. I know it’s demanding and requires a lot.
My husband is a CS1 and stationed in Mayport. In my head, it’s cheaper for the Navy to send me there rather than pay to pack us all up and move across the country (or wherever), being that everything is in Mayport already. Not sure if that is a realistic option. I’m almost sure that I would be put on sea duty, and my husband put on shore duty since we have kids. At least that’s what my officer recruiter says, and that makes sense to me. My kids are used to their dad being away since it’s all they know. I worry about me going back in and being gone.
SWO is a seagoing community. I was just picked up for it. It has given my wife pause about rejoining as well. I agree that you should assume you will be sea and your spouse will be shore. Expect 3 year rotations. As far as geographical location... that is a mixed bag. Many things affect what makes the Navy move a sailor... in my first colo, I was moved from San Diego to Kittery, ME and my wife was moved to New Hampshire to follow me on a ships change of homeport. We stayed together and it turned out to be an amazing time in our life but we thought we'd stay in San Diego forever as Mil-Mil.
 

danagomez

New Member
SWO is a seagoing community. I was just picked up for it. It has given my wife pause about rejoining as well. I agree that you should assume you will be sea and your spouse will be shore. Expect 3 year rotations. As far as geographical location... that is a mixed bag. Many things affect what makes the Navy move a sailor... in my first colo, I was moved from San Diego to Kittery, ME and my wife was moved to New Hampshire to follow me on a ships change of homeport. We stayed together and it turned out to be an amazing time in our life but we thought we'd stay in San Diego forever as Mil-Mil.
It’s such a hard choice when kids are involved.
 

RecruitingGuru

Making Recruiting Great Again
I’m looking into SWO. I know it’s demanding and requires a lot.
My husband is a CS1 and stationed in Mayport. In my head, it’s cheaper for the Navy to send me there rather than pay to pack us all up and move across the country (or wherever), being that everything is in Mayport already. Not sure if that is a realistic option. I’m almost sure that I would be put on sea duty, and my husband put on shore duty since we have kids. At least that’s what my officer recruiter says, and that makes sense to me. My kids are used to their dad being away since it’s all they know. I worry about me going back in and being gone.
There's alot of variables that need to go your way and your husband's way just to get Mayport. Ship assignments change and during your OCS class there might not be one for Mayport (it is a fairly small homeport compared to Norfolk, San Diego, etc.). Next, as a SWO you will most certainly be on a ship for the next four years (two tours in between) with 1-3 deployments (depending on timing/mission/etc.) during that time. That's a significant amount of time away from the family and a huge burden on the spouse who will need to juggle Navy/family.

During my six years of recruiting, I have worked a decent amount of prospective mil-to-mil applicants. How many ended up actually joining? None. Once they realized the sacrifices taking place, the ultimate decision was to keep one member on active duty. I'm not saying it's impossible, but I think you really need to realize the sacrifices that will be taking place.
 

danagomez

New Member
There's alot of variables that need to go your way and your husband's way just to get Mayport. Ship assignments change and during your OCS class there might not be one for Mayport (it is a fairly small homeport compared to Norfolk, San Diego, etc.). Next, as a SWO you will most certainly be on a ship for the next four years (two tours in between) with 1-3 deployments (depending on timing/mission/etc.) during that time. That's a significant amount of time away from the family and a huge burden on the spouse who will need to juggle Navy/family.

During my six years of recruiting, I have worked a decent amount of prospective mil-to-mil applicants. How many ended up actually joining? None. Once they realized the sacrifices taking place, the ultimate decision was to keep one member on active duty. I'm not saying it's impossible, but I think you really need to realize the sacrifices that will be taking place.
Would they likely move him to a bigger base (Norfolk or something) if I get stationed there? We’ve already spent a significant amount of time away from each other (long story). Basically because I needed to finish my degree. The more we moved, the more I got behind. So, I’m here until I graduate in May, and he’s in Mayport about 3 hours from us. He comes home usually every weekend or every other. I know it would be a huge sacrifice. I understand. I just worry about the kids and the co location.
 

Suberov

Active Member
Would they likely move him to a bigger base (Norfolk or something) if I get stationed there? We’ve already spent a significant amount of time away from each other (long story). Basically because I needed to finish my degree. The more we moved, the more I got behind. So, I’m here until I graduate in May, and he’s in Mayport about 3 hours from us. He comes home usually every weekend or every other. I know it would be a huge sacrifice. I understand. I just worry about the kids and the co location.
School shouldn't be a reason to be seperated right? I'd call that a voluntary decision.
 

danagomez

New Member
School shouldn't be a reason to be seperated right? I'd call that a voluntary decision.
I’m in a teaching program and in the middle of student teaching. My husband was on unaccompanied orders to GTMO for 18 months, so I stayed here with our kids and went to school. If I transferred now, Georgia requirements are different than Florida. I’d have to restart the student teaching, adding another year.
 

Suberov

Active Member
I’m in a teaching program and in the middle of student teaching. My husband was on unaccompanied orders to GTMO for 18 months, so I stayed here with our kids and went to school. If I transferred now, Georgia requirements are different than Florida. I’d have to restart the student teaching, adding another year.
What's the degree level you're pursuing? Is there an accreditation at play? National vs Regional? State boards & licensures? Makes sense with the IA type orders your spouse took that they would be unaccompanied but the education isn't triggering your separation, the IA is.
 

danagomez

New Member
What's the degree level you're pursuing? Is there an accreditation at play? National vs Regional? State boards & licensures? Makes sense with the IA type orders your spouse took that they would be unaccompanied but the education isn't triggering your separation, the IA is.
He’s back now and stationed in Mayport, but I’m in the middle of my program. I’ll finish in May with my Bachelors in Education.
 

Suberov

Active Member
There's alot of variables that need to go your way and your husband's way just to get Mayport. Ship assignments change and during your OCS class there might not be one for Mayport (it is a fairly small homeport compared to Norfolk, San Diego, etc.). Next, as a SWO you will most certainly be on a ship for the next four years (two tours in between) with 1-3 deployments (depending on timing/mission/etc.) during that time. That's a significant amount of time away from the family and a huge burden on the spouse who will need to juggle Navy/family.

During my six years of recruiting, I have worked a decent amount of prospective mil-to-mil applicants. How many ended up actually joining? None. Once they realized the sacrifices taking place, the ultimate decision was to keep one member on active duty. I'm not saying it's impossible, but I think you really need to realize the sacrifices that will be taking place.
To clarify my post with this, that flexibility I referred to with being Mil-Mil is not available to new ascession places like OCS. Refer to @RecruitingGuru's advice on first tour officer orders selection.
 

Suberov

Active Member
He’s back now and stationed in Mayport, but I’m in the middle of my program. I’ll finish in May with my Bachelors in Education.
Those requirements should travel across state boundaries fairly easily if the accreditation is regional. However since you're close to finishing it may not matter.

Ask yourself, was this hard? If this season was terribly difficult, assume life as Mil-Mil will be more difficult. How did your children cope? This is period of separation you are going through can be a good indicator of your future success.
 
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