Last Updated on May 18, 2023
As I said in my first post about the top ten reasons I love the Army, I am not all sunshine and rainbows about Army life. There are definitely a few things I wish were different about Army life.
So without further ado, let’s dive into the ten things I hate about the Army.
10. Ridiculously Low-Speed Limits On Post
I get that you should drive slower around housing developments or during PT times in the early AM. But 20 mph on a road where there’s not a building in sight? Those are only there so they have an excuse to write tickets.
I don’t need to do 50 mph through post, but how about 35 when I’m in the middle of nowhere on post?
9. Weird Gate Guards
I will never forget the time I drove through the gates on post late one night only to have the guard ask, “Do you believe in ghosts?” Um, WHAT?! Do you see one with me in the car? It was bizarre!
It definitely made me paranoid about going on post, especially by myself late at night.
8. Hours For Services On Post
Some places are only open in the AM. Others have two-hour blocks for lunch, which is, of course, the time that most people can visit the office.
And it never fails that I would get to the door two minutes after they closed (at 15:00!!) after I busted my butt to get there on time and risked a ticket from one of the MPs (see #10).
7. Middle of the Night Phone Calls
Most of these resulted in him getting called in without knowing if it was for real (as in he was leaving for deployment with no notice) or just a drill.
Then I found out that most of the time, it was because one person screwed up, so they called everyone in. Nothing like mass punishment for the error of one.
There is no good news delivered in the middle of the night. A phone ringing that late is enough to create a massive spike in adrenaline.
6. The One-Up Syndrome
I swear it’s taught in orientation to always try to make your story sound worse than the person you are currently talking to. Sometimes I’m convinced the FRG has a class on it.
If they complain about deployment, make sure you point out that you went through one that was harder, longer, or with less communication.
“Well, when we went through XYZ, we had to…”
5. Spouses Who Think They Have Rank
Spouses do not have rank. And let me state upfront that I do agree with that statement.
However, the Army preaches that spouses don’t have rank but then institutes things like separate clubs for officer wives and enlisted wives.
How about only allowing wives of soldiers of a certain rank to serve in a leadership position in the FRG?
This was my own story. I was serving as a key caller and after making phone calls, I received a call of my own from the FRG leader.
A spouse who was married to a higher-ranking enlisted soldier (by two whole ranks!) complained that the wife of someone with less rank (me!) dared to call her phone. My role as a key caller ended that day.
Way to go with that whole do as I say, not as I do!
4. The Monthly LES
It drove me insane that the detailed LES was available only at the end of the month. Get a weird paycheck on the 15th? You’ll have no clue why until the next LES comes out. So, good luck! Especially if it was much less than expected.
3. Some of the Civilians Who Work On Post
Notice I did say SOME. And yes, spouses of soldiers are civilians, too – me included.
Two stories for you.
First, I went to enroll my son in DEERS after he was born. They asked me for his birthday and I told them (he was about four weeks old at the time). They then asked me for his weight, to which I replied, “nine six” (as in nine pounds, six ounces).
She looks at me and says, “96 pounds?” with a completely serious look on her face. Yes, moron, I gave birth to a 96 lb baby! Mind you, my husband is sitting behind me, holding our son in plain view.
Story number two, I had to get a new decal for my car. She asked for my driver’s license. In my picture, I was blonde and my driver’s license stated that I had blonde hair.
When I went to get my decal, my hair was light brown (some may argue dark blonde). The incredibly intelligent person behind the counter (note the sarcasm) asked me if I knew it was a crime to lie about my hair color on my driver’s license.
I must have given her quite the look so she explained to me that I should not have blonde on my driver’s license when I clearly am not, according to her. I suppose when I colored my hair, I should have headed straight to the DMV to have my license updated. Can you imagine if that was required?
Maybe this one shouldn’t have anything to do with civilians that work on post and should just be stupid people in general, regardless of where they work! 😉
2. Hurry Up and Wait
This should be the official Army slogan.
They expect you to do it all lightning-fast, but when it comes to them? You wait and wait and wait some more.
It took my husband a year to get his enlistment bonus as they consistently lost the paperwork. And his bonus for attending RIP just after AIT and Airborne? We got that one just before he got out of the Army for good. Yes, he practically was ETS’d before we got a bonus that was due more than three years prior.
If they are late on money, you can be assured that hurry up and wait will be the motto you will live by. However, if they make a mistake on his pay in his favor, you better believe it will be taken out with quickness.
This is at the top of everyone’s list, is it not?
Those damn things had me on a countdown of some sort the entire time he served. I was counting down until he was home, or I was counting down until he was leaving again.
The worry and the frustration over having absolutely no control were enough to drive anyone batty.
So there’s my list. I had to balance out the love, right? What would you add to the list?
Regardless of all of the frustrating things about the Army, we still miss it every day and he would definitely serve again if given the chance (he’s been medically retired). It was a great experience for us and the positives definitely outweigh the negatives of living the life.