Thursday, August 7, 2008

Civilians DO NOT Salute and How I Learned to Tell Rank

The “Tell-Your-Own-Story” military spouse contest sponsored by in connection with Lifetime TV’s Season 2 of ARMY WIVES has announced the contest winners. Their names and the winning essays can be read at

Here are winning essays by two of the five grand prize winners; reprinted with permission from

Jennifer B. Civilians DO NOT Salute:

Shortly after my IRR husband and I were married, he began to consider re-entering the Army, either going active duty or perhaps finding a reserve unit in our area. So during a visit to the county fair, we stopped by the Army recruiting tent for a chat.

After a LENGTHY discussion of the options available, we finally began to depart. As we did, the sergeant saluted my husband, who is an officer. My husband returned the salute. As did I.

When we were out of the sergeant's earshot, my husband made an on-the-spot correction through gritted teeth: "Civilians DO NOT salute."

Abbey P. How I Learned to Tell Rank:

We had only been married about 18 months when my husband got promoted to SGT. It is a big promotion for NCOs and I was so thrilled.

I was approximately seven months pregnant with our 2nd child when the pinning took place. Back then, the guys ranks were pinned on, not velcroed on like now.

Anyway, I went to this ceremony thinking that I would just record it on my camcorder and be on my merry way. Well, half way into the ceremony, in front of the whole company, my husband’s 1SGT called me up front.

Suddenly someone took my camera from me and shoved me a little bit. I waddled up to the front wondering what the hell I was needed up there for. I had never been to a promotion ceremony so this was all new to me.

Suddenly in my hands lay a single pin of points. My mind starts flashing "Do these go up? Down?" I honestly had no idea.

And as the time came to pin him in front of the whole company, as he was taking his NCO oath, I pinned him upside down. I didn't realize that it was wrong and I proudly stood back to look at my handsome husband and his new rank.

Somewhere off in the distance was some snickering, and then a soldier stepped in front of me very quickly to right my wrong. I would have run if I could have, but all had seen it anyway and running would have made it worse. I slowly sunk back into the background.

I went home and promptly learned all of the rank.

Technorati Tags:
, , ,

No comments: