We’re all familiar with the Petreaus and Sinclair scandals resulting from their respective infidelities, military code violations, and other pertaining wrong doings, but little has been said from the wives of said men. This morning I read the following Generals wife speaks out where General Sinclairs wife speaks her peace on what her husband has been accused of. So I decided as a former military person and spouse to drop my two cents in the bucket.
Prior to my enlistment, I knew a few people who’d been in the military and I’d heard the varied accounts of what happens during the training phases and once you begin your career. Inappropriate sexual contact and infidelity were drilled into my head as actions that could send your military career into the toilet faster than slipping on a banana peel; however, my observations showed me quite the opposite. I saw many instances of sexual misconduct taking place between Drill Sergeants and trainees in addition to infidelity amongst trainees. Peer to peer interactions seemed like benign occurences of which most turned a blind eye to in spite of marital status; however, where I expected to see action being taken for the superior/subordinate interactions, I saw cover ups. Superiors covered for each other, swore the trainees to secrecy and trainees obliged thinking they’d scored favourable or preferential treatment and status against their peers. Chemistry and attraction are given and it does take a strong constitution to resist temptation, but when there is so much at stake, I often wondered what was going on in the minds of the superiors.
Fast forward to my own then situation where I found myself attracted to the DS of another platoon. I fought that ish like it was the sworn enemy and refused to be the one who gets caught out there. Fight as I might, I later, and reluctantly gave in to nothing more than having a personal conversation with him. I still swore up and down I was being set up and told him flat-out that if I went down, he was coming with me…We hadn’t done anything inappropriate, but I was taking no chances and wanted it known up front. The outcome of the conversation remanded us on amicable, but professional terms as I was all about business first and foremost. He was a laid back , amusing, often rude, but an overall decent guy who’d admitted that he’d never interacted with a trainee prior to me. I was flattered, though not easily swayed by his confession and remained my code of conduct. Near the end of training, I learned that he was actually telling the truth, which was confirmed when I was on duty one night and the DS’s were talking a little too loudly in a back room; booze will do that, about their respective escapades. He was being chided for not pursuing me and that I appeared to be a good catch for more than just a romp. He didn’t let on that we’d spoken and accepted his chastisement with dignity.
The night before graduation when all the trainees were wondering around getting their year books signed, I went to said DS’s office where we spoke more intimately; though still with some trepidation we eventually kissed. I was terrified to the umpth degree thinking we’d get caught and all hell would break loose, fortunately, that didn’t happen and I graduated and went off to specialised training school. I had his number and said I’d call upon getting to Virginia. Thought still reluctant, I did and we continued to talk via phone and exchange mail of which I included no return address in case it got into the wrong hands; he knew it from when I called. Unlike some of my peers who thoroughly enjoyed their against the United Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) relationships and spoke of them freely, but changing names etc; I remained discreet. I took the UCMJ seriously in spite of my compromising potential relationship.
Our first meeting was underscored with copious amounts of nervousness on both our parts and while we were in a neutral state, military personnel are easy to detect and we prayed that he wouldn’t run into anyone he might know. For a 20-year-old, I looked very young and hoped I nevertheless complimented his 27 years old self. Our relationship lasted the duration of my stay in VA and continued long distance upon my return to NJ. All told we lasted about a year with frequent flyer miles being racked up by me until he was deployed to Germany. In spite of his coaxing, I didn’t take the study abroad class which would have landed me in neighbouring France where we could have maintained the relationship with negligible distance, I instead ended it. The year plus had been good and we did the best we could once he was deployed, but the possibility of being a military spouse at 21 was a bit too much for me.
Let’s fast forward some more to my home station where I saw infidelity play out like a broadway show, with overt acts of infidelity being disregarded and covered up like an episode of Scandal.
To be continued…
That is all!