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Spouses deserve promtions, too
Notes from an almost-military spouse
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“No matter what rank you achieve, whenever you get promoted, your spouse will always be promoted ahead of you and one rank higher.”
An Army colonel spoke these words to a roomful of soldiers and their families at a recent function.  He was talking about the sacrifices Army spouses and families make over the course of their soldier’s career, and how Army families serve right alongside them.  
I thought about his words today as I watched my fiancé receive his commission and graduate from Officer Candidate School. He made the leap from enlisted to commissioned officer, a change that will impact our lives during the next several years. I wondered, did his promotion mean that I would now be an honorary first lieutenant?
As I reflected today on the three-month adventure of OCS, I thought about whether I deserved such a promotion.  If I were to decide this using Army promotion criteria, would I make the cut?
When an enlisted soldier goes before an Army promotions board, he or she is evaluated in six main areas: personal appearance, oral expression and conversation skills, knowledge of world affairs, awareness of military programs, knowledge of basic soldiering and overall attitude.  
I’m evaluating myself here, so I’ll try to be as objective as possible.  First, I’d say my personal appearance has remained pretty much the same over the past three months. My oral expression and conversation skills probably haven’t changed much either. My knowledge of world affairs has probably gone down, since I’ve been finding myself with less free time to catch up on news. My awareness of military programs and knowledge of basic soldiering has gone way up. The fact that I started practically from scratch several months ago helped, and today I pride myself on knowing more acronyms than my fiancé. As for attitude, well, that one’s a little less clear-cut. On days where things were going well, my attitude was great. But, there have also been tough days when my attitude was ... less than stellar.
So, according to my self-evaluation, would I make the cut? I don’t generally like to toot my own horn, but I’d say that I do deserve a promotion. Even though my attitude could have used improvement at times, I’ve grown by leaps and bounds through the experience. For serving alongside their soldiers, I agree with the colonel that spouses deserve to be promoted, too.  Now that I’ve passed my first promotions board, I’m looking forward to making captain.
Gotler is the fiance of a soldier formerly assigned to Hunter Army Airfield. She and her fiance now reside in the Fort Benning/Columbus area.
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