In the eight months that I have been an Army wife, I have learned a lot, and I mean a lot, about military spouse etiquette.
Quite honestly, I was nervous when we arrived at our first duty station, because I knew that we would be around other military spouses who had been doing this dance for years. And the one thing I knew about military life was that I didn’t know much at all. So, I tended to just stand in the corner and observe the etiquette of my more experienced counterparts.
By nature, I tend to shy away from situations until I’m comfortable, and I always try to act with class and in ways that will be appropriate for the situation. But, even for me, there was a lot to be learned about acting appropriately in the military community.
Some of these things I learned from experience (and by “experience” I mean, I made the mistakes of acting the wrong way). But, like I said, I have learned, and now these military manners are coming much more naturally to me.
♥ Save the PDA for the privacy of your home
When your service member is in uniform, hand holding, kissing, etc. is off limits. I get it, trust me, they look incredibly attractive in their uniform. But, do resist the urge to kiss and be affectionate until you’re somewhere private.
♥ Dress with class and in a way that will reflect well on you and your spouse
This is kind of an unspoken rule, but military spouses and significant others should dress with class. You may look great in that low cut shirt, but the whole military base doesn’t need to see it. You encounter a lot of important people (like high ranking officers or their wives) when you’re out running errands around the base, and being a classy lady goes a long way for you and your service member.
This also applies to fancy military functions. There are a lot of beautiful gowns out there that just barely cover skin… but those kind of dresses may not be the best to wear to a military ball. Why? Because, again, military events are classy events. Remember, there are a lot of high ranking officers in attendance.
♥ Don’t try on your service member’s uniform and take pictures for social media
It’s cute, yes, but it’s also very disrespectful. Your service member’s uniform is not a Halloween costume, it is their uniform that they earned and a symbol of the amazing thing they are doing for their country.
♥ Walk on the left side of your service member when they are in uniform
Service members salute with their right hand, so it needs to be free for when they encounter other service members.
♥ Learn military ranks and how to recognize them
It only took me eight months since Connor was commissioned as a Lieutenant, but I finally learned all of the military ranks and how to recognized them. You may think that the spouses do not need to know rank, but I am here to tell you that there have already been many times when I did need to understand rank. It is difficult, but it’s super important, because in the military community, rank matters!
You can google military ranks, but here is a good list of Army ranks and their insignia.
♥ When at functions, keep the conversation light and polite
This is true in every situation, ever. Try to avoid the basics, like religion, politics, and super personal details.
♥ R.S.V.P. to invitations and be gracious with Thank You notes
This is just polite, and if we have learned nothing else from this post, at least we have learned that military wives need to have good manners.
♥ Become a pro when it comes to table manners
You will be attending a lot of events where it is important to have good table manners. Again, the way you present yourself goes a long way for you and your service member. There are really no excuses, and there is no getting around it.
If you need help with this, here is a list of Emily Post’s Top 10 Table Manners.
This list is by no means a list of everything. I still have a lot to learn! What manners would you add to the list? Comment below! I’d love to find out!