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Wearing Rank as a Spouse

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Spouses who do their best to take advantage of the system or simply one-up another person by wearing the rank of their soldier are at the top of my annoyance list. While many claim not to indulge in the practice, they often contradict themselves while espousing their belief against the practice.

"I agree that spouses shouldn't wear rank. My husband is a Captain and I never tell people his rank."

I can't tell you how many times I've seen a similar statement made by spouses. And what makes it even more laughable is that they are completely oblivious to what they just said.

Perhaps the most famous incident of a spouse wearing rank was at Ft Bragg. Leslie Drinkwine, wife of Col. Drinkwine, was the FRG leader. In 2009, she was asked to step down as the complaints against her behavior continued to mount. There were numerous reports by soldiers, spouses and families being threatened and harassed.

The situation caused undue stress for soldiers and family members all because one wife decided she was more important than others due to her husband's rank in the Army. What's even worse is that according to published reports, it appears the behavior was encouraged by him.

This was clearly a case where things went too far. Many of us who encounter the rank wearing spouse won't have to deal with such blatant threats and harassment. But it's annoying, nonetheless, particularly when it is done in a manner to undermine the person or make them feel lesser because of a spouse with a lower rank.

While spouses of soldiers have every right to be proud of his accomplishments, they are just that -- his accomplishments. The spouse, while serving her country in her own way, does not actively serve in the military in the majority of cases and should not assume the role of his rank as if she does.

Rank belongs with the soldier. Let's all strive to remember that.

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