Only the Army…

12 02 2006

WASHINGTON – They are the Pentagon’s new “rules of engagement” — the diamond ring kind. U.S. Army chaplains are trying to teach troops how to pick the right spouse, through a program called “How To Avoid Marrying a Jerk.”

The matchmaking advice comes as military family life is being stressed by two tough wars. Defense Department records show more than 56,000 in the Army — active, National Guard and Reserve — have divorced since the campaign in Afghanistan started in 2001.

Officials partly blame long and repeated deployments which started after the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and stretched the service thin.”

Read more of this article.

In true Army style, the education program is full of acronyms (“P.I.C.K. a Partner,” for Premarital Interpersonal Choices and Knowledge; “study a partner’s F.A.C.E.S. — family background, attitudes, compatibility, experiences in previous relationships and skills they’d bring to the union.” etc.). The article states what many military people know: that “[s]ettings like military bases are incubators,” said Van Epp, of Medina, Ohio. “They try to hatch … relationships extremely fast,” leading to higher divorce rates and more domestic violence.”

Being one such young military family, we can attest to the added stress that military life puts on our relationship. I loved this article- it shows that the military recognizes and is doing something about the issue. I now have one positive thing to say about the Bush administration: the proposed $5.6 billion to go toward quality-of-life services for troops and their families is a much-needed plan. The “no jerk salute” might be a little much, but they’re on the right track.



One response

21 02 2006
Ethan's Oma

Sorry, I can only think of one way to salute Bush and it involves one finger—-guess which one.

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