Is My Soldier Chickening Out?

Ms. Vicki

Dear Ms. Vicki,

My fiancé will be shipping out for basic training soon. Both of us were thinking of getting married during Advanced Individual Training since that way I would be on his orders by the time he gets his first duty station. Is that a good idea or would it complicate life?

Since the Army does not acknowledge a fiancée as a marital status, would getting married then affect my ability to attend his Basic Training Graduation or Family Day?

I also cannot seem to figure out my fiancé anymore. He tells me he loves me and is absolutely sure that he wants to spend the rest of his life with me. Then he says he is having issues as to when to get married. He claims that he wants to see what life is like since he doesn't know what life as a soldier will throw at him.

I've known him for a long time. I know when he's lying -- which luckily is really rare -- but I'm not sure what terrifies him so much.

He once got close to telling me what it was (he has a hard time telling how he feels) and it had something to do with being sure that he could support and provide for me. He says he's doing all of this for us to have a good start at life and still be together. 

I guess I just feel like I have turned from a priority to an option. Then again, maybe I am just being paranoid because of the uncertainty of what's going to happen. What do you think? Is he chickening out? Or is he truthful about what he is saying?


Dear VJ,

It sounds like a lot is going on for you right now. I’m not sure what’s going on with your fiancé. However, I can say that he is making a major life change, a transition to a new career.

New career moves can be stressful and can even have some uncertainty. In his defense, he doesn’t know what to expect as he embarks on this new journey. For this reason, maybe you both should just take your time with the plans.

You have known each other for a long time so you have had time to establish a great relationship and a friendship where you understand each other. So what’s the rush?

I can’t say he is chickening out. Honestly, it sounds like he is asking you for time. If that’s the case, I think you should trust his decision and give it to him. The fact that his is avoiding answering your questions sounds like he knows you may not like or appreciate his answer.

Now, you could marry him during AIT and you would be on his travel orders when he PCSs to his new duty station. Even if you get married before he leaves for boot camp, you will be responsible for paying your way to the graduation. Everyone has to pay their own way for travel, hotels etc.

You don’t have to be an option just because you don’t marry now. You can still be a priority. Just know that a priority is a special package, with special contents. It’s stamped as a priority not necessarily to rush the package but to let others know the package and contents are important. This is you, VJ! You are valuable and important. You don’t have to rush.

Ms. Vicki

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Ms. Vicki is a native of Dallas, is married to an active-duty Soldier and has three sons. She has a Master's of Science in Social Work from the University of Louisville, is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and currently works as a therapist with military servicemembers and their families. She provides services for a wide array of concerns such as combat stress, PTSD, couples and marital problems, depression, grief and loss, stress and coping.

Ms. Vicki also writes an advice column "Dear Ms. Vicki" that appears in the Washington Times, the Fort Campbell Courier and the Heidelberg Herald Post. Ms. Vicki also hosts an internet radio show and blogs on her community site with the Washington Times. If you want to ask Ms. Vicki for advice about your military life, please email her at

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