When I decided to enlist in the Navy I didn’t give much thought to what it would be like to be a dual military couple – married and in the Navy. I didn’t know that being a woman in the Navy was going to be a “con” on someone’s pro/con “why I should date her” list. Boy, did I learn quickly!
I went on a date with a very nice Sailor who was handsome, smart, charming, driven, and career-minded. All the things that hit check boxes on my Dream Man Checklist. But after only three dates he told me that he was looking for someone to be a military wife, not a wife in the military; our ambitions just weren’t going to line up.
Fast forward a little bit and once again I was faced with meeting a nice, handsome, driven, man who just so happened to be a Marine. Thanks to my previous experience with how men took to the idea of dating a woman who was enlisting, I didn’t have high hopes for this going beyond just one quick lunch date.
But it turns out that not only was this man a 10 out of 10 on my list, he also supported the idea of me going into the Navy. In fact, after we got engaged a mere 6 weeks later, and I debated not going to boot camp after all, he kindly reminded me that the Navy was my dream far before he was my dream and that there was no way he was going to stand in the way of me achieving all the things I wanted to do.
Unfortunately my recruiters weren’t quite as happy with the news of my pending nuptials. My male recruiters wondered out loud if I was rushing into things to get out of going to boot camp. My female recruiters told me I should wait a little longer to marry him because my career might be more important to me once I was officially a Sailor. And the other recruits-to-be kept asking how exactly it dual military marriage could work if we were both active duty.