I will never run in combat boots. It is a little rule I have. So generally I don’t care about what all those patches and badges on a uniform really mean. My strategy for rank is to call everyone in uniform Sir or Ma’am and smile like an idiot.
It works for me.
So I was really surprised at how useful I found Mary Corbett’s new book National Guard 101: A Handbook for Military Spouses. I flipped through it expecting the boring little DoD chart showing all the ranks and stuff you will never use. Instead, Corbett goes to the trouble of explaining the tasks of each rank and how they fit together, and hands us a great National Guard quote in the process. I never knew any of that. She also has a fabulous explanation of how people in the military actually get promoted. For Guard spouses who feel disconnected from group wisdom, this tight little book works.
It works best though when Corbett goes into the unwritten rules of how to get help during deployment. She is right on the money when she notes that if you don’t ask for help, you should not expect it. I recognize her three pronged approach as the kind of Spartan tactic that both protects your dignity AND elicits the actual help you need. But first, you have to learn to ask…
“As much as we would all like an endless army of do-gooders at our beck and call, life just does not work like that. The fact is that if you don’t ask for help, you should not expect it.” -- Mary Corbett: National Guard 101: A Handbook for Military Spouses.Navy wife Jacey Eckhart is Editor of SpouseBuzz and author of I Married a Spartan?? The Care and Feeding of Your Military Marriage.