Drill Sergeant spouses train for role
February 12, 2009
Every quarter Army Family Team Building helps drill sergeant spouses adjust to the lifestyle change with its Drill Sergeant Spouses Training.
Marriage to a drill sergeant can easily be compared to marriage to a deployed Soldier because drill sergeants spend a great deal of time away from home, said Angela Crosland, AFTB program manager. Reversed priorities can add more weight for his or her spouse to carry.
"They may be a mile away from you, but they can't help you with the kids or they can't take the kids or do this or do that around the house because they're out in the (training) cycle," she said.
The training includes an introduction to Army life, community involvement, stress management, family readiness, and ended with an open dialogue with a drill sergeant.
Most of the presentations refreshed the veteran Army spouses on military life, but since they are new drill sergeant spouses the course emphasized self-reliance and relationship strengthening.
During her stress management presentation, Tangela Pasley, Prevention and Education coordinator, suggested spouses stop once a day for seven deep breaths to relax and refocus energy, so they can confidently complete tasks without the help of his or her drill sergeant.
An exercise designed to boost productivity and as Crosland said, "(Drill sergeant spouses) have to deal with a lot on their own."
Pasley said couples should also take advantage of their time together because they would appreciate it during time apart.
One suggestion, share a 10-second kiss once a day as a reminder of physical and emotional attachments to each other.
Problems in military relationships are common, said Crosland, but for a drill sergeant's relationship those problems are heightened because the drill sergeant is close by, but cannot help at home.
"When they are deployed you know when they are coming home, but when they are a drill sergeant you know they're coming at night, but they'll pretty much go to sleep, wake up and go to work."
For some like Cursha Lunderman, a former Soldier, being apart from her husband for long hours will not be the problem, but she not being able to help him.
"When we were both in Afghanistan I could literally solve his problems, I can't do that now because I don't hold rank and I don't know what he is doing," Lunderman said.
Crosland said isolation is a common problem for drill sergeant spouses and most of them solve it by associating with other drill sergeant spouses.