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Just an Army Girlfriend? Dating a Soldier?

It is true that the Army does not officially recognize the girlfriends of Army soldiers. However, you only have to be “just” a girlfriend if you want to be.

Official Support Groups

Even as a girlfriend, you can generally still participate in the family readiness group and receive updates as long as your soldier passes along your contact information to the group. You can usually attend meetings and events the same as any wife of a soldier would. Note that there are some exceptions such as special operation units but most units welcome anyone who supports the soldier.

Online Support Groups

Reach out to other Army girlfriends online to form your own support group. On my Army message board, as well as many others, there are girlfriends of soldiers. You can come to the group to get information and support. Not to mention, there is plenty of information to be learned about the Army lifestyle. Just approach it from the basis that you will be ahead of the curve when you do marry your soldier.

Living with Your Soldier

It is true that you will not be allowed to live on post as an Army girlfriend. Until you are married, your soldier will not be authorized to have on post housing. However, there is nothing that stops you from moving to the area where he is stationed. You can just as easily rent an apartment in the same city as you can where you currently live. You don’t have to have a long distance relationship unless you choose to have one.

Even though the Army may not officially recognize your relationship, your soldier does. And that is all that really matters in the end, right? Be proud to be dating a soldier who is serving our country and don’t let your legal status keep you from providing support to him and reaching out for your own support from other Army family members.

About the author: Stacey is an Army wife of a soldier who joined in 2003. He has since been medically retired but she continues to provide information to Army wives and families to make their adjustment to the Army lifestyle easier. Connect with Stacey: Facebook Twitter Pinterest

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  • Life Lessons of a Military Wife October 5, 2010, 9:08 am

    I have to agree! Stateside, you CAN easily get involved in unit activities and more and more units are encouraging your involvement.

    I would also like to quickly mention something about wanting to go overseas with your BF. Sadly, I have to discourage that. First, you’ll only have your tourist passport and can stay only three months at most. Second, your BF will not get extra money (or housing), so you don’t want to be totally dependent on him….you won’t even be able to go on base unless he signs you in and out every time….and driver’s license, etc….even spouses who are not sponsored would have trouble living overseas (and wouldn’t have any of these privileges either).

    BUT, with that being said, being apart will be a good test for your love (we have a lot more deployments these days)….and, thank God for Skype, Vonage, Facebook, etc….much easier than the old days!

    • Naly February 24, 2011, 12:22 am

      So if your husband gets stationed overseas, you dont get the priveleges?

    • Inlove with SF MAN February 24, 2011, 2:05 pm

      hello, i read the advice that you gave to the girl with the BF going overseas, and I was wondering since you are an army wife that has been through the good and bad, maybe you can help me.
      i was dating a guy that was in the army and trying out for the special forces, everthing was fantastic for the duration of the relation until the stress of the SF tryout started getting to him, and then he broke up with me, because he feared that he could not balance a relationship with the program he is going into. it been a month now that i have not seen or heard from him, and i texted him yesterday but did not get a reply from him…i am very heart broken, and i just need advice on what to do? is this a common occurance with military relationships? We both care about each other alot.
      what do i do!! Help!

      • Stacey March 3, 2011, 5:43 pm

        I do think it’s somewhat common for them to pull away during tough training situations or deployments. But if the relationship is real, they will often come back. Just continue to try to support him.

  • Iris November 24, 2010, 9:43 am

    I am glad that there are possibilities for involvement for Army girlfriends nowadays… however those are only available to women in the States. I myself happen to be of the species “Army girlfriend”, but I am not a US citizen or living in the US. So apart from online communities, there are not many options to find support open to me, and to be honest, not being a US citizen, I don’t feel very welcome even online. This is the first time I actually voice anything on the topic anywhere :)

    I have to agree with Life Lessons. Following your guy to another state might be doable for US citizens, maybe, but following him to another country is really difficult. Especially when you figure the unpredictability of the Army. We almost did that, me joining him where he is stationed, and then he got notified, out of nowhere, that they are getting moved in a few weeks. All plans had to be cancelled. Then plans changed again, and it turned out he won’t be moved. It was a useful, if very disappointing lesson – you cannot make plans in the Army, and if you are, well, “just a girlfriend”, the Army won’t figure you in its plans. It’s just the way it is. Plus, unless you can find a way to bring some money to the table too, without the additional pay given to command-sponsored families, soldier pay would really not get you far. So in the end, as much as we wanted to be together, we had to face the reality – without a wedding band and Army okay, it is just too risky to drop your life to follow your soldier.

    That doesn’t mean don’t do it. If I had the opportunity right now… I am not sure whether I would not take it anyway. But I would take it knowing the risks, at least. And this time, I know how to evaluate a realistic opportunity as opposed to a “romantic” one.

  • Carrie January 31, 2011, 7:23 pm

    So is an army fiance pretty much the same thing as an army girlfriend?

    • Stacey February 8, 2011, 8:11 pm

      As far as the Army is concerned, yes. As far as I’m concerned, no.

  • felicia March 21, 2011, 9:30 pm

    Hi
    I’m hoping to GOD someone can help me here. My fiance is finishing up AIT at Ft Lee VA. we know when he’ll graduate, however we don’t know where his first duty station will be yet. We’re hoping to get married this summer, that way we can move to his first duty station together, however we’re worried about making plans for the wedding since we don’t know where he’ll be or what he’ll be doing yet. Should we set a date and hope the army lets him have leave? should we wait until he gets his orders and hope the site and caterer we chose is still available for the date they give us? PLEASE help me! Being away from him this long is killing me and if he gets stationed somewhere far away and i can’t be with him, i’m going to hate it. i want to be his wife, because the relationship with his parents is sketchy at best so if something happens, i’m screwed, i won’t even be able to see him. PLEASE help!

  • Struggling Girlfriend March 22, 2011, 11:00 pm

    My boyfriend is in the reserves and we started dating not long after he got back from AIT. From the beginning he said he was interested in joining SF but I didn’t think much of it because I thought it was just going to be a summer fling. Now after almost a year I am very in love and can not see myself giving him up. We haven’t been together excessively long and are still very young. We are no where near talking about forever but I still feel like an important part of his life. I am just really struggling with how much to say about my feelings about him joining special forces. I am very insistent that I don’t want him to give up his dreams, but at the same time I do not know that I am strong enough. I want to be supportive and it is killing me that I am feeling this but I don’t know how to encourage him and still be true to my own feelings.

  • Liz March 29, 2011, 4:27 pm

    What are the motions one must go through to marry an enlisted soldier? Can we go to a courthouse and elope? What kind of paperwork is necessary to fill out for our union to be considered official in the eyes of the Army? We are currently on opposite ends of the country, once married, would the Army help me relocate to be with my Soldier? Everyone I have to talk to was either married before their Soldier enlisted or they are from a different country and also married a US Soldier before enlistment and their circumstances are completely different from mine. We’ve been together for 8 years, with a year break when I moved to Anchorage and we’ve both realized with our time apart that we want to be in each others lives. I’m scared and feel completely alone, especially since my Soldier is 3000 miles away from me. Any input or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Liz

  • Savannah March 29, 2011, 4:54 pm

    my fiance is currently in AIT he was set to graduate in january or febuary not sure, but for some reason he hasnt. he says they keep looseing his paper work, but i am friends with several of the men that he was supposed to graduate with they say that they arent looseing his paper work it is because he is on profile but, he says he isnt? and i honestly dont know much about the military so i was wondering if you could help me understand the situation and maybe figure things out alittle bit?
    i would GREATLY appreciate it,
    -Savannah

  • Shiverz March 30, 2011, 12:41 am

    Hi everyone, I am a Army GF from NZ and i to am wondering if i am doing the right thing? But i love him and i jst want him home here in NZ but oh well the saying goes ‘money talks’. I have just been notified that if i want to have my BF home i have to pay $3500US too get him home and now i’m confused, is this right is this how its suppose to work out??

  • mikaela April 21, 2011, 4:56 am

    my boyfriend is a US army captain in afghanistan while i live in the philippines. he’ll be 45 while i’ll be 43 this year. it’s tough maintaining a long-distance relationship, given the irregularity of his schedule: he could just be on the base for a whole week, and then be gone for 4 to 5 weeks with no communication.
    we love each other, but he won’t marry me until he finishes his tour of duty in 2015. he tells me that if another decent guy comes up to propose, i should marry that guy — AND THEN in the same breath, he goes, he wishes i don’t meet anyone else. he thinks it’s unfair to tie me down to him while he’s on active-duty in a combat-zone, given the big possibility that he could die any time.
    how do i make him realize that i’m up to the demands of becoming an army wife?
    P.S. he’s a widower — his wife and son died in the tragic 9/11. he’s also an orphan and has no family — he grew up in an orphanage run by priests. i’m the closest thing he has right now to family and friend.

  • lauren April 23, 2011, 8:50 am

    Hi Stacy, I am the fiance of a soldier. He is getting cold feet as the big day approaches. His ex-wife left him during a deployment, and he sees other soldiers in failing marriages. How can I ease his fears?

  • christina myers April 26, 2011, 12:38 am

    I am recently an army gf and soon to be a wife I’m just wondering if anyone could give me advice. I’m in it for the longhall and want to be a part of what my man is doin for our country.

  • christina myers April 26, 2011, 12:44 am

    I need others like me to let me in on how things r gonna go please!!

  • Ashley June 5, 2011, 8:44 pm

    hello, i just saw this site and i read your article and I really liked it. My boyfiend and I have been dating for a year and he’s to be shipped to basic on the 15th and I’m so scared! I support him fully i just don’t want to lose touch and I can’t follow him because I will be in college. Are there ways we can communicate other than letters? Or do you have suggestons on how to deal with him gone? I would really appreciate it if you had any tips. :)

  • Stephanie June 13, 2011, 11:56 am

    Hi. My boyfriend is talking to the recruiter tomorrow about joining the army. If he makes it to the army he plans to get engaged when he comes back from basic and then get married as soon as we can after that. When we get married how soon will I be able to live on base with him. Also, how does the housing work on base.

  • sandy joyner June 25, 2011, 10:57 pm

    hi stacey i’m new to this here ..and i need some help in getting ready to be come a soldier wife and my boyfriend he is in the ARMY and he is a CAPTAIN…and i would gladly apparascate it you can help me ..because i don’t won’t to make alot of misatake’s ..so that’s why i join this web site here to get some help.and it’s a great hornor to be come a army wife to a soldier ..i had a friend was talking to my boyfriend bestfriend,..and he got on to my friend talking to another guy and when he find out he told my friend to f OFF….and my friend borke his heart and i don’t have much to say to my friend now..and when my boyfriend comes home from afaghstiane we will be meeting each other for the frist time.and i can’t wait untill all our men and women to be back home to there loved ones and there friends ..and i’lll talk to you later ..thank you so very much sandy joyner.

  • Danielle July 6, 2011, 2:44 am

    I recently started dating a boy in the army, he’s in pre deployment training to go to Kuwait. We’ve been friends for a few years and we’ve always wanted to date well I finally gave in and said yes.. We had been talking so much it was like we were dating! Any advice and support would be awesome, he thinks that I’ll be some great support system for him and understand what he’s going through better because I grew up on Army bases.