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The number of civilian male military spouses is increasing. Female active duty service members have a divorce rate that is nearly three times higher than the national average. It is going to take efforts from many people to help alleviate this issue. There are many ways to help male military spouses and military families reverse the divorce trend.
Our efforts are aimed at helping increase America's national security efforts through a global network of male military spouses who enhance the readiness of our female active duty spouses and families. We work to reach, teach and mobilize the nearly 187,000 male military spouses toward this vision.
As a growing organization, Macho Spouse is developing a global male spouse network to advocate against the current divorce trend, while partnering with other organizations to help develop programs and services for male military spouses and military families.
- Help remedy the problem of isolation by helping male military spouses connect with one another and assure that we are not alone in this military family lifestyle.
- Help remedy the problem of emasculation by educating and informing male military spouses about their worth in our nation's security efforts.
- Help male military spouses find their niches by helping them find outlets to pour their passions into and contribute to surrounding communities and re-establish their identities.
- Help reverse a divorce rate that is nearly three times higher than the national average. Enlisted female soldiers continue to experience the highest rate of divorce - 9.4 percent. In the Army, the female enlisted divorce rate is more than triple that of enlisted males. (Military.com)
Welcome to the Macho Spouse newsroom. You're in the right place to read what others are saying about the Macho Spouse project and the work we're doing in all corners of the country.
This is also the place to get the scoop on the latest Macho Spouse happenings. Scroll down for news releases announcing special events and our efforts to help civilian male military spouses.
Currently, there are nearly 187,000 male military spouses around the world. See first-hand perspectives of what life as a male military spouse looks like around the world.
What does a male military spouse look like in your community? Share your own story to help us educate others about male military spouses.
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Watch our videos and spread the word about Macho Spouse and Male Military Spouses on YouTube
Macho Spouse videos contain interviews from current and former male military spouses, military family and relationship counselors, military spouse career and entrepreneur experts; as well as a variety of other individuals who have an in-depth knowledge of what it takes to be a happy, successful, strong, supportive person in military family life.
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Happy Male Military Spouse Appreciation Day!
This post is specifically for those guys interested in winning a scholarship from the Sonoran Desert Institute's Schoool of Firearms Technology. Â The only way you can be eligible for this amazing opportunity is if you are a member of the MachoSpouse.com community AND if you register your name and email below. Â THE ONLY NAME WE CHOSE WILL BE FROM THIS EMAIL LIST.
There are a lot of male military spouses who have different interests, hobbies, careers, and life situations, so we don't want to award this scholarship to someone not interested. Â That would suck for all the guys who really want this.
If you're not interested, hey, we will still have a few give-a-ways throughout the day on May 7th.
A very special "thank you" to our sponsor, the Sonoran Desert Institute's School of Firearms Technology. Â Most of this was their idea, so visit their Facebook page/website and let them know how much we appreciate their support.
GOOD LUCK GUYS!
Enter to Win the SDI Scholarship!
Hey! Does anyone have a marriage map that I can borrow? Better yet, does anyone have a military marriage map that I can borrow? (I could sure use a military marriage compass, too, if you have one. But I don't want to press my luck by asking for too much at once. So, I'll wait on the compass.)
I tried "googling" (yeah, that's a word) "marriage map" but Google kept giving me links to "wedding map" instead. Thanks Google, but I don't want to know how to get to Don and Susan's wedding! I want a map that I can use to help my wife and I get to that Happy Marriage Wonderland place that I have been hearing about since we have been married!
Still don't know what a marriage map is? Don't worry, I think Google is still trying to figure that one out, too.
Seriously, though, I am looking for a military marriage map that my wife and I can use to figure out exactly where we are and navigate to exactly where we want to be in our military marriage. Do you have one?
The School of Firearms Technology (SFT) at Sonoran Desert Institute (SDI) and Macho Spouse have announced the first ever Male Military Spouse Day dedicated to the male spouses of America's service members. To celebrate the launch of Male Military Spouse Day, SDI is offering a scholarship opportunity for male military spouses. To be eligible for the scholarship, you must be a member of the MachoSpouse.com community (registration is FREE and all we ask is your email address).Â This year's debut Male Military Spouse Day will see one spouse within our community win a full-tuition scholarship for the School of Firearms Technology professional Gunsmithing certificate course. The winner will also receive a complete build of an AR-15 rifle, for a total award value of more than $3,000.
SFT created this course specifically to fit within the MyCAA scholarship. However, you do not have to qualify for MyCAA benefits to be eligible for this scholarship opportunity. Â Hear from Terry Fields, a male military spouse on this great opportunity in the video above.
Male Military Spouse Day
The first Male Military Spouse Day will be May 7, 2015 in order to honor the lives and struggles of our under-recognized population.
With nearly 190,000 male military spouses globally (per DoD), our large but scattered group faces significant challenges. Stigma and social disconnection complicate common military spouse issues such as underemployment and family stress, leading to a divorce rate nearly three times higher among military-affiliated couples in which the wife is the service member. (Just released stats show this high % of divorce for male military spouses to be dropping, great news, but we still have a lot of work to do!)
The purpose of Male Military Spouse Day will be to raise the public profile of this group in order to facilitate awareness of male military spouse concerns and the development of solutions to preventable problems such as social isolation and educational access.Â Here's what Macho Spouse founder, Chris Pape, had to say about being a part of Male Military Spouse Day: â€œConsidering that Macho Spouse is the only legitimate resource available to male military spouses, it is a great feeling to be part of an official "Male Military Spouse Day." In fact, given that this is probably the first official Male Military Spouse Day ever, it's even more exciting! Now, throw in the fact that one or our members will be awarded a life-changing opportunity to receive an SDI Gunsmithing scholarship, and this will be one hell of a day!â€
Gunsmithing Scholarship Opportunity
SDI's scholarship opportunity offered in conjunction with the first Male Military Spouse Day is intended to showcase the resources that are available to male spouses who have yet to take advantage of their military-sponsored My Career Advancement Accounts (MyCAA) education entitlement. However, the Gunsmithing scholarship recipient does not need MyCAA eligibility to qualify for the award.
The School of Firearms Technology's Gunsmithing certificate course is an introductory class that teaches the knowledge and skills required to obtain an entry-level position as a gunsmith. All coursework is online and accessible from any location. Hardware for the course is shipped to the student as needed. Â Graduates of SFT's Gunsmithing course will receive a certificate to present to employers as evidence of their training in the building, maintenance, customization, and legal sale of different types of firearms. Certificates can be used to obtain valid employment as a gunsmith. Many graduates take the course to get more knowledge on an enjoyable hobby or to get started on their own business. With military connections, they have a ready-made customer base.
Macho Spouse and the Sonoran Desert Institute are initiating Male Military Spouse Day and the 2015 scholarship giveaway as a gesture of recognition and solidarity with male military spouses who struggle with economic or family stress. Readers can learn more about Gunsmith training at the online home of SDI's School of Firearms Technology or register as a member of Macho Spouse before the May 7thÂ announcement of the scholarship winner.
About Sonoran Desert Institute: The School of Firearms Technology began in 1921 (that's even older than the NRA!), under the name of the School of Gunsmithing. Since then, it has transformed into an internationally recognized school offering multiple programs, including one of the only Associate of Science in Firearms Technology degrees in the country, some of the nation's best Gunsmithing Certificate programs, and a diverse armorer's programs. The School of Firearms Technology's elite faculty and staff include celebrated military personnel, nearly 75 years' worth of combined higher education experience, nationally recognized firearms experts and more.
Well it's been a while since I've contributed any meaningful content to Macho Spouse and I owe everyone an explanation. No, I haven't decided to hang it up and retireâ€¦not yet anyway, quite the opposite really. As some of you already know, last February I was named the Armed Forces Insurance Air Force Spouse of Year, as well as, the AETC (Air Education Training Command) level Joan Orr Air Force Spouse of Year. Being recognized by so many people for the work we've done building a resource for male military spouses was incredibly humbling and an absolute honor. What a great way to start the year! However, I wasn't prepared for the amount of effort and time each of those distinctions would demand. The time I normally spent creating videos and/or blog posts for Macho Spouse was dedicated to new speaking engagements, interviews, articles for other websites and publications, and even a chance to author a small portion of, Stories Around the Table, Laughter, Wisdom, and Strength in Military Life. I had multiple opportunities to speak at many Air Force functions and present Macho Spouse (along with the plight of male military spouses) to the highest levels of civilian and military leadership. Hell, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs coined me! (To my high school counselor who 26 years ago called me a â€œflake,â€ you were wrong...so suck it.) Our message is slowly starting to gain traction and people of influence are listening, we just need to continue pushing forward. Anyway, toss in the fact that my wife deployed in March and I was working a full time job, well, there wasn't much time for anything else.
Make A Difference Male Military Spouse - Macho Minute
A message to Civilian Male Military Spouses to encourage them to use what they know how to do to help others and make a difference in their communities.
MALE MILITARY SPOUSE YOU ARE NOT ALONE - MACHO MINUTE
A message to Civilian Male Military Spouses to let them know that "You Are Not Alone" in this journey as a male military spouse.
Hey guys, here's a question from fellow male spouse Dave Etter. Anyone have some input?
TheÂ Association of the United States Army has a great article that you should check out.
Resiliency: Male military spouse style features Wayne Perry talking about how male military spouses are finding ways to build resilient communities. Macho Spouse is one such community.
According to whatever stats you want to view at any particular time, we as male military spouses are still small in number, relative to the total number of military spouses. You don't have to look far to know that the challenges we face are great. Facing the challanges alone is no fun. That's why we need your help, whether you're just starting out, or you're a 15-year-plus male military spouse veteran.
A few months back, I was looking for a ways to help male spouses and I stumbled upon a Macho Spouse video. I called Chris Pape and asked him how I could help. Using what I know as a web developer and IT consultant, I immediately began working with Chris to develop this website as an online community for male military spouses.
The Macho Spouse website is an online resource, providing valuable information to military spouses, stay-at-home-dads, advocacy groups, corporate organizations and others. MachoSpouse.com is also an online community - allowing spouses to connect and share experiences. Almost daily, we are adding features to the website to allow those of you who sign up as members different ways to contribute to helping another male military spouse.
Large, national organizations are starting to take notice of male military spouses. The National Military Family Association recognized Macho Spouse and male military spouses in their latest eNewsletter.
This is more proof that people find our stories interesting, helpful and worthy of acknowledgment. Pretty cool being mentioned by a prestigious organization such as this.
Thank you Katie and the NMFA! (Click the NMFA logo to see the story.)
Many rifle owners find crosshair squares helpful for fine-tuning a scope. While some people can successfully eyeball their targets to set the scope's position correctly, it is not something every person finds easy.
List Of Items Needed
â€¢ Heat-resistant gloves
â€¢ Electric saw
â€¢ Dial calipers
â€¢ 90-degree shelving bracket
â€¢ Small square of Lenan plexiglass
â€¢ Straight-edged ruler
â€¢ Blow torch
â€¢ Utensil for marking
Steps For Making A Crosshair Square
When making a crosshair square, it is important to follow the steps exactly. Precise measurements are key to a useful and accurate crosshair square.
Step 1: Prepare The Plexiglass
Start by setting the dial calipers at 875 thousandths. Put the leading edge on the plexiglass, and drag the calipers straight to create a line across the sheet. The scribed line will be a guide for cutting, which the next step details.
Step 2: Cut And Sand The Plexiglass
Use an electric saw with a fine enough blade to make a precise cut. Using the scribed line as a guide, make a careful cut down the plexiglass. Be sure to leave a little extra material on the side for sanding. If the material is sanded down too much, the crosshair square will be too small to work effectively. Use a sanding tool to sand the sides of the plexiglass until it is smooth.
Step 3: Scribe The Center Line And Align The Plexiglass
Next, set the dial calipers to 437 1/2 thousandths. Placing the leading edge on the plexiglass, scribe a line down the middle. Use the straight-edged ruler to mark the height of the square, which should be exactly halfway up. This is the bending point for the plexiglass. Line up the plexiglass along the back of the shelving bracket in the vice. Make sure they are aligned perfectly before tightening it.
Step 4: Bend The Plexiglass
Before starting this step, put the heat-resistant gloves on. Start the blow torch. Run it back and forth quickly along the plexiglass. Starting with a slight pressure, bend the plexiglass forward as it becomes hotter. Keep running the blow torch back and forth across the spot where the plexiglass should bend, and carefully bend the material forward to match the shelving bracket's shape. Hold it forward to set in shape and cool before using it.
Step 5: Test The Crosshair Square
When the plexiglass is cool, remove the crosshair square. Put it in the bolt action to test it. This product should fit in most centerfire rifles. Line it up with the scope, and adjust the scope as necessary to match the crosshair square's scribed line. Learn more from the above video.
These few simple steps yield a useful tool. For more gunsmithing tips, visit SDI's YouTube channel. Gunsmithing is a great hobby for any male military spouse. Be sure to check out MachoSpouse.com for additional gunsmithing tools, tips and information for male military spouses.
(The following is some good information from our friends at the Sonoran Desert Institute.)
Male military spouses find themselves looking to advance their skill set and have a great opportunity with a scholarship from MyCAA. The challenges of course are attending classes on campus when you may end up having to move before the end of a semester.
Many spouses turn to online education which is a great option. While online courses are a good fit. You need to make sure the school has a solid reputation. The key to a great online education is finding the right online education provider. Every man should know what to look for.
One of the first things I learned from interviewing male military spouses who have successful marriages is that they all talk with their wives. I'm not referring to common daily small talk, but actual deep communication about their feelings, desires, and fears. The stuff that can make most men squirm; talk of love, dreams, hope, and sometimes about what just happened on the Bachelor are all conversations these guys aren't afraid to tackle. Now don't believe they have their masculinity pounded down to dirt everyday as they run around spreading gossip like 13-year-old girls, because they don't. These guys know that when the time is right, they are tough enough to talk about anything. In fact, not only have their open communication skills made their marriages stronger, but it seems to have made these men more comfortable in their own skin.
This video is the first in a multi-part series on communication that features Scott Stanley, PhD. University of Denver, and male spouses from across the nation sharing insight into why it's important for military families to practice good communication skills.
(Interviews with Scott Stanley, PhD., Patrick Donaldson, Glen Mixon, Francis Guerrero, Bill Keller, and Jeremy Hilton.)
One of my Google alerts had the following article from Lifetime Moms (Lifetime - you know, the channel with all the dramas?...Oh, you don't know?).
Anyway, the post, Military Wife On The Mic: The Biggest Misconception About Military Life, has a video of Army wife and "Lifetime Mom", Angela Caban, at the 2013 Military.com Spouse Summit. In the video, Angela asks several military wives, "How would you feel if your child wanted to enlist in the military?" Since I know that most of you probably won't venture over to the Lifetime website, I decided to bring the question to you.
So, here is the question again for you male military spouses. How would you feel if your child wanted to enlist in the military?
This is the first video in a two-part series featuring Air Force spouse William McEvoy. William and his wife have been married for over three years, but have been a serious couple for about nine. Get to know William and learn what created his depression as he speaks openly about a difficult career arc and a strong desire to be a contributing partner within his marriage. Male military spouses and stay-at-home-dads of all ages and experiences may relate to William's story.
Depression affects quite a few male military spouses and not everyone handles it the same way, some better than others. In part two of William McEvoy's Man-to-Man interview, William shares how he has been able to successfully manage his own fight with depression. We're not saying this is the best way to beat all forms of depression. His strategy worked for him, it may not work for you. Either way, this interview is a good place to start for those who feel they may need help.
The Military Officers Association of America is the nation's largest and most influential association of military officers. It is an independent, nonprofit, politically nonpartisan organization. They are the leading voice on compensation and benefit matters for all members of the military community, and are a powerful force speaking for a strong national defense and representing the interests of military officers at every stage of their careers.
Learn why male military spouses and their families should pay attention and get involved with what MOAA is doing.
Interviews with Karen Golden (Deputy Director, MOAA Government Relations) and Monique Rizer (Deputy Director, MOAA Spouse Programs). Video Credit to MOAA Video Department for providing some b-roll footage.
The Military Officers Association of America is the nation's largest and most influential association of military officers. It is an independent, nonprofit, politically nonpartisan organization. They are the leading voice on compensation and benefit matters for all members of the military community, and are a powerful force speaking for a strong national defense and representing the interests of military officers at every stage of their careers. Learn why male military spouses should pay attention and get involved with what MOAA is doing.
The 2012 Military Spouse of the Year, Jeremy Hilton is an Air Force male military spouse and advocate for military families and dependents impacted by illness or disability. In this Man-to-Man video, Jeremy shares some great advice and life lessons. Male military spouses of all age ranges and experience will find some useful information in this interview. (Length: :07:12)
This promotional video briefly explains what Macho Spouse is and why male military spouses and their families need support.
We know that many our visitors here at Macho Spouse are dads - some working and some stay-at-home-dads - who are looking for answers to the question "How do I do this?" We are constantly looking for resources to help all male military spouses and we are happy to share a great online resource for dads.
Help is available for male military spouse dads at the National At-Home Dad Network. All dads can learn from this online resource that provides support, education and advocacy for fathers who are the primary caregivers of their children.
I am Roland Burton.....ok, so I'm not "actually" Roland Burton, but if you watch the show "Army Wives", then you are familiar with the lone male military spouse. I've been married to a Soldier since 2006 and that is exactly how I've felt throughout the years. I've only met one other male military spouse during this time, but I have connected with a few wonderful female military spouses over the years that have accepted me with open arms and made the transition from duty station to duty station much easier. We have two beautiful girls and we love the military life. My name is Dee and I am a "Real Life Roland".
Learning the support role as a male military spouse was very, VERY difficult for me. When I look back, I point to my pride and immaturity as major factors in my slow learning and acceptance of the role.
I changed over time, but time did not change me. I had to continuously choose to "fall back" and develop this as a way of thinking. That's not an easy thing to do when you're an aggressive, no-nonsense dude like me. Faith in Christ is what changed my mind and changed me, allowing me see that love requires that I demonstrate what it is to be my wife's support in a sacrificial manner.
Here is something for Valentine's Day - a re-post of one of my blog entries about demonstrating my love and support for my wife after a difficult week.
Tim Blake is an Army male military spouse with over 14 years experience as a stay-at-home-dad who has successfully guided his family through multiple deployments. Tim also writes for Military Spouse and his own blog, Army Dad (armyspouseami.blogspot.com). In this video, Tim shares some of what he has learned over the years about surviving a deployment.
This article is a piece of information that has helped me capture milestones for my loved one who is always at work. I know that it can be difficult so I hope this helps someone down the line.
I know that it has been awhile since I have written anything regarding Twin life but here is why. MILESTONES! The girls are almost one and a half years old now and the milestones have been piling up. From saying their first words to walking and the list continues to grow each day. As a stay at home dad and the love of my life working during the day it is expected that she will miss things in person. This can be depressing for our loved ones but I have found that the smartphone is my best friend when it comes to this. I take pictures and videos constantly so she does not feel like she is missing everything. As male military spouses we have to understand that we are that small percent as our wives are in the military community. We miss out on special time with our wives because they work, and they miss out on milestones and this can be daunting for some. We can use our smartphones for good and show them that we do care and we understand the sacrifices they make. I hope this helps any dad out there having trouble showing their wife that they do love them and understand. This has helped me with my twin girls and my marriage; I just hope it helps someone else out there.
I have focused the last 10 years of my career as a research psychologist on trying to better understand the needs, struggles, and success of military couples and families. I've worked with hundreds of couples, given numerous presentations, published several articles, received multiple research grants … yet it is quite clear to me that in some ways, I have failed in my efforts.
To give some background, I began my first academic position in 2005. Given all that was happening at that time, I wanted to give back in some way to service members and families who give so much of themselves in service of our country. As a civilian, I saw two main ways of being able to actively engage in this. One was to volunteer when I was able. The second way was to find a way to build this commitment to military families into my everyday life.
For me, the second approach – folding my efforts into the very fabric of my life – was the way to make a sustained commitment over time. That is when I set about trying to connect my everyday work as a clinical psychologist and researcher to helping this unbelievably deserving group of people. I took my expertise in research on couples and anxiety, and applied it to researching the experiences of military couples, with the goal of learning how best to help those couples when they struggle.
“Don't hit it right. Don't hit it right. Take a deep breath…relax…that's it…listen to the birds cheerfully chirping, sounds of a distant lawnmower, a breeze gently moving leaves around the treetops…nice, smooth swing. No need to kill this ball…just hit it off the tee. AND DON'T HIT IT RIGHT!”
As I stand on the 14th tee box at the L'auberge Casino Resort golf course, I look down at my dirty, dinged-up golf ball and realize I'm griping my old 3-wood way too tight. I had to take a step back, re-focus my brain. How did I get to this moment? Well, I guess I had USAA to thank since they're the ones who helped my wife and I get out of town for a much needed break. But how did I get here, here on the 14th tee box with only one ball left in my bag? Was it my braggadocios attitude on hole two where I thought it would be fun to tee off over the water? (lost one ball) How about the long, beautiful par four, fifth fairway where I pulled two balls into the creek. And then again on hole six, another two into that same damn creek! (Come on L'auberge, why are all the water hazards to the left of these fairways!?) The par four seventh? Yep, another ball in the water, again to the left. And then we had gorgeous hole number nine, a fairway so picturesque it belongs on the cover of Golf Digest, where I surprisingly didn't hit the ball left into the water, I hit them to my right…into the water. (2 balls)
If you are a gun enthusiast who enjoys light gunsmithing projects, you will be interested to know that you can nitre blue gun metal without using salts. To use nitre salts, you have to heat the solution, slowly dip the parts in and hope that they come out looking even. It is definitely a process that requires multiple practice runs before attempting to nitre any actual gun parts. However, there is a much simpler solution if you want to nitre blue your gun metal. Simply do it with heat and without tedious salts.
How Can I Nitre Blue Gun Metal Without Nitre Salts?
The process is easier and quicker than using salts. If you heat the metal evenly for a long enough time period, it oxidizes and changes colors. Do not expect a vibrant royal blue. This process will bring a nice subtle but darker blue color, which creates an attractive and sleek look on a gun. As you heat the metal, you will see the color change. Use a screw to practice first so you can see how easy this is.
What You Will Need
- Metal screw
- Propane torch
- Vice grips
- Personal protective gear
Steps To Nitre Blue Gun Metal Without Nitre Salts
If you are new to gunsmithing or using a propane torch, it is a good idea to wear protective gear. Wear gloves and goggles. When working with a torch, make sure you do not have baggy clothing or sleeves.
1. Grip The Screw
Place the threaded part of the screw in the vice grips. Tighten it enough that the screw is held in snugly but the threads will not be damaged. When using handheld vice grips, make sure the handles are in good condition to avoid burns.
2. Heat The Screw
Use the striker to ignite the propane torch. Hold it so the tip of the torch's flame touches the screw's head. Move the torch around in circles on the screw's head slowly.
3. Watch For Color Changes
As the screw's temperature changes with prolonged flame exposure, it will start to change color. It will start with a light but dull color change. Heat it evenly around the head for a continuous color. When the head of the screw turns purple, be sure to watch it closely. The next color change will be blue.
That is all it takes to nitre blue gun metal. Perhaps you have an old pistol that looks rough and needs a makeover, or you just like blue gun metal. This is a great project for any gunsmithing enthusiast. Check out SDI's YouTube Channel for additional gunsmithing tips. They also have some gunsmithing programs that qualify for the military spouse MyCAA scholarship program. For more information about gunsmithing as a career for male military spouses, visit SDI's School of Firearms Technology.
Independent researcher looking for male military spouses who have experienced a geographical separation or a deployment within the past 24 months to take part in a study about their experiences as military husbands. To take part contact Tonya L. Porter at 719-233-2759 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
By John Aldrich, AVP, Military Relations at American Military University
Movember, the grass roots movement to raise awareness about men's health issues is nearly complete, and for those of you who are growing a mustache to show support for the cause, I salute you. For those who didn't participate or weren't aware of Movember, there is always next November.
Just like the mustaches of the Men of Movember, male military spouses come in all shapes and sizes. Some are stay-at-home dads, some run businesses from home, and others balance careers outside the home and taking care of the family.
It's the holiday season and to me that means spending time with family and friends while reflecting on the year that was. How many had a good year? How many of you feel as if you've accomplished, overcome, loved and laughed as much as possible? There have been a few bad years in my life where I just wanted the damn thing to finish so I could start fresh with a clean slate, it's a mindset, but we all know that reality doesn't work that way. I usually judge my life in a similar way as to how we judge football coaches, “what have you done for me lately.” My year was a good one, a net-positive. So congratulations, you get “happy Chris,” or at least “less grumpy and sarcastic Chris.”
The tremendous amount of progress within the male military spouse community is one reason why 2015 was a good year. Guys, we're finally starting to get some recognition. People, businesses, and other organizations are starting to approach us and ask for our input, insight, and yes, our business. Marketers are finally recognizing that we are a demographic worth pursuing; just check out this holiday spot from Toys R Us. (I just bought 4 gift cards for my nieces from them because of this commercial.)
In 2015, Macho Spouse was approached by the Sonoran Desert Institute's School of Firearms Technology to hold the first ever “Male Military Spouse Appreciation Day” where SDI donated a full-tuition scholarship to their popular Gunsmithing certificate course. (Male military spouses are a large demographic for them.) USAA asked for our participation to help raise awareness on the importance of life insurance during “Life Insurance Awareness Month.” Yeah, I didn't know that month existed before this opportunity either, but USAA sure knows that we exist! And Marriott really knocked us off our feet when they offered several nights worth of hotel stays in return for a few reviews on their TownePlace Suites properties. TownePlace Suites made it very clear that they are interested in helping military families who are on the road, from PCSing to family vacations, TownePlace Suites wants our business! And it's not like this is some shabby hotel chain guys, their rooms are usually very spacious, clean, come with fully equiped kitchens, and hot breakfasts. I was surprised to learn how many were actuallyl located near military installations, which makes them a great temporary housing option, or vacation get-a-way. In full disclosure, I dispersed their generous offering quietly among those guys who have helped keep Macho Spouse up and running over the last few years. We don't make any money here, so when a top-notch organization such as Marriott offers us some swag, I like to spread it out amongst our volunteers first. If you want access to some of this cool stuff, contact me and be prepared to help build our community. But while I'm speaking of TownePlace Suites, you guys should check them out because they're really showing their appreciation and commitment to our military community! That goes for USAA and Sonoran Desert Institute as well, these organizations aren't just talking about supporting male military spouses, they're actually doing it. So let's not forget to return this generosity in 2016.
While I'm patting others on the back, I can't forget the amazing content NextGen Military Spouse, Military.com/SpouseBuzz, and Military Spouse delivered on behalf of male military spouses in 2015. When I started Macho Spouse in late 2011/early 2012, there was nearly nothing…nothing, written for or about us male military spouses. No blogs, no websites, no Facebook pages, no nothing. Now look at us, male spouses are popping up everywhere! (We've probably had absolutely nothing to do with this trend, but I will take full credit.) So despite terrorism, politics, war, and racial unrest, life hasn't been all bad this year. It's been good enough for me to crack a cold one, light a cigar, sit back and reflect on how far we've come and how many goals are still left to accomplish. Don't worry, I won't be consuming and driving while reflecting, Dana and I have already booked our New Year's Eve room at the San Antonio Riverwalk TownePlace Suites. Happy 2015 everyone, have a safe holiday season!
A couple months ago, Bradley Blackburn and Joanna Suarez of Fusion TV (a joint cable/satellite TV network between Disney and ABC TV) stopped by the international Macho Spouse headquarters. We were very impressed with their level of genuine interest in telling not only Macho Spouse's story, but that of male military spouses. The finished product is outstanding, thank you Fusion, Bradley, and Joanna! The story airs on October 30th in the evening (not sure the time), but if you can't find it on your TV...no worries, the link is below. Make sure you leave a comment on their website after the story, if they see interest from the public, they may tell more military family stories in the future.
Hello male military spouse community! â€¨â€¨My name is Jamison Stone and I am the spouse of Staff Sergeant Rebecca Bainbridge of the United States Army Field Band at Fort Meade, Maryland. Because of her assignment, my wife, and the rest of her company, are on tour and away from their families for over 100 days out of the year.â€¨â€¨
As you very well know, Military service is hard on families. While I speak more about this topic on my blog, the ongoing struggle is very taxing to both the heart and the mind. Most difficult for me is the sadness and depression of separation during my partner's deployment and training.â€¨â€¨
Sadly, many Military Families have it far worse off than we do, particularly those with service members actually in harm's way, and especially of course those who make the ultimate sacrifice defending our country. All these women and men who proudly wear the cloth of our nation, and their families, are true heroes.â€¨â€¨
Female Mil Spouses are very lucky to have a wide network of other military wives to lean on during these difficult times. Sadly, we men, are not as fortunate. Personally, I find it extremely challenging as an Army husband to find a real sense of community. This is particularly emphasized when my wife is away on training or tour.
Civilian male military spouses should know about [[EXLINK_20]] because it is a pretty influential organization that advocates for military officers and their families. Take a look at this description from MOAA's website:
MOAA is the nation's largest and most influential association of military officers. We are a powerful force speaking for a strong national defense and representing the interests of military officers and their families at every stage of their careers.
One of the great resources we have at Macho Spouse is the Men's Room for Military Spouses (sorry ladies, this is a private Facebook page designed for all male military spouses only). We plan to start sharing some of the more informative/interesting conversations on our website, the thread below is our first "share." Some of the names have been hidden for privacy purposes, see if you can figure out which names are fake...
Jar Jar Blinks: OK, what is this "Rule of 72?"
Yoda: Interest multiplied by time equals 72.
C-3PO: If you're not good at exponential math, it's a quick way to estimate how long your investment will double, given an interest rate. For example: if a CD is earning 3%, then it will double in value in 24 years (72/3=24)
Yoda: To double your investment.
Yoda: ^C-3PO's way is easier to follow. Way easier.
Jar Jar Blinks: So where do these investments live? Seriously, do savings accounts work the same way, assuming you can find one that offers interest?
Yoda: NFCU has a 3% CD right now.
C-3PO: It's all a matter of risk vs. reward/return. The S&P 500, aka TSP C Fund, returned about 30% last year. But it was down 37% in 2008.
Yoda: I was taught to expect a 10% rate of return on index funds back in 06, so my ROTH would double in 7.2 years.
â€ªJar Jar Blinks: I guess I have a trust issue... Can I trust the folks at USAA to steer me in the right direction eggs
Jar Jar Blinks: Eggs... Heheheh
Jar Jar Blinks: When asking to set up investments?help
Yoda: Not 100%. Their funds are kind of expensive compared to vanguard and the TSP. But it's better than nothing and their life insurance is fairly priced.
C-3PO: "It depends" USAA only has 2 real index funds, but together they match the entire US stock market. They are not the MOST expensive. Their insurance is pretty well priced, but you're probably find even better at NMAA or the equivalent for other services.
Yoda: If only all branches could use NMAA...
I'm not as conservative as some. Instead if having 6 months of expenses on hand I have 6 months of expenses in a USAA ROTH IRA (no fee for withdrawals of principle with some caveats), and now put everything into ROTH TSP index funds (lowest fees in the world!).
Yoda: I do keep some liquidity (cash or accounts that can very easily be converted to cash), but since we run a surplus each month even after investing, and the military pay is as stable as it gets, I don't keep much in that account (plus I "float" all my expenses other than car insurance, so I don't pay July's expenses until mid-September (if we have to spend more I can transfer assets as needed, has never happened, but just in case), and the "float" on credit earns us rewards and consumer protections).â€¨â€¨â€¨â€¨â€¨â€¨â€¨ Blue Cash Preferred, 6% back at the commissary, 3% back at the gas station and 1% everywhere else (no fee for military).
C-3PO: â€¨â€¨ I haven't dealt with them, but I hope AAFMAA is as good as NMAA.
â€ªC-3PO: PenFed has pretty good credit cards for military too.
â€ªJar Jar Blinks: .... all these damn acronyms....
Yoda: FUBAR right?
C-3PO: (image that can't be shared)
C-3PO: Sorry about being a wiseass
â€ªJar Jar Blinks: Better than being a wide ass
Yoda: C-3PO, you've got to take it easy on Jar Jar Blinks, he's a submariner. Just think how many bumps to the head he's suffered.â€¨â€¨â€¨â€¨â€¨â€¨â€¨ But on a serious note, it's pretty cool how many guys in this group have an understanding of personal finance.
C-3PO: If I only had a nickel for every time I hit my head while underway (says the 6'3" Marine)
Mace Windu: Personally, I would put my money in a multitude of investments. Like savings,cd's, 401k, TSP, money market fund and precious metals. Never have all your eggs in one basket.
Admiral Ackbar: â€ªLuke, to be excruciatingly technically correct, it's the rule of 69.3. Here's the math behind the answer:
I like the way they cheat by assuming that for small interest rates, the natural log of the quantity (1 + interest rate) is approximately equal to (interest rate). So it's not much of a stretch of radcon math to assume that 69.3 is about the same as 72.
You can also use the math to figure out when you'll be financially independent:
Luke Skywalker: I think NFCU has a special going on that if you open an IRA with $100 they will give you $100. I have 4 IRA's at USAA, IRA at NFCU, TSP and a 403(b) at Fidelity. Saving about $500 a month between all the IRA's.
â€ªLando Calrissian: Boy you guys are starting to make me worry about my future. Where do I start when I have no job and only a limited amount that my wife has volunteered to me over the years in some sort of retirement account?
Yoda: â€ªLando, my wife and I each maxed out our Roth IRA's for her first four years of service so we could build up our emergency fund (with the stability of military careers I feel as though the ROTH IRA is a good place to stash an emergency fund that is a very low probiotic of being utilized).â€¨â€¨â€¨â€¨â€¨â€¨â€¨ Now all the money goes into her TSP, but it's our retirement account.
**If you are a male military spouse and would like access to this private page, please send a request through Facebook and we'll usher you in as soon as possible.
As a male military spouse, I know how important it is to stretch every dollar as far as I can for my military family. I'm always looking for tips on how to save money and I really appreciate money saving tips for the Military Family.
Here are some questions to think about:
Do you have an emergency fund? Are you saving enough money for retirement? Do you have a budget? How close are you to financial freedom?
Military Saves Week (25 February- 2 March, 2013) is fast approaching, and we are helping to get the word out to the military community about this effort to motivate service members and their families to better their finances.
Very early in my experience as a male military spouse I encountered the [[EXLINK_4]]. I remember the day my wife brought home a floppy disk with the DOS version of this financial software. (Yeah, that just took me waaaaaay back.) It didn't have any frills, but PowerPay helped us calculate, plan and execute our path to debt elimination.
I know that there are plenty of money management tools out there. PowerPay is worth a look, especially if you need to develop your debt-elimination plan. This money management tool helped my family.
To work or not to work that is the question on all of our minds at one time or another in our military careers.
It seems that the subject of employment comes up whenever money is tight, when the kids are all finally in school, or you PCS to a new duty station. I can't tell you how many times I have thought about getting a job outside of our home just so we could have a little wiggle room in the budget.
I even tried it one year to get some extra holiday cash, and frankly it was a disaster. Nothing got done, the kids were disappointed because I wasn't home when they came back from college, and my husband hated the fact that his life had to change, not to mention my home business began to struggle as well. (Yes, he is spoiled but the fact that he is a genius on the grill makes up for it)
For some military spouses working outside the home works for them, but for many of us the constant changes, multiple moves and unpredictability of our lives make employment very difficult unless you are fortunate to have a career that can move with you.
In Part 1 of Nurturing the Money Tree we chatted about creating income by working for someone else. But if you are like me, maybe working for someone else isn't for you, and many military spouses actually choose to own their own businesses. I know I did.
This option gives them the flexibility and control that they are looking for while building something for their future at the same time. Being a business owner has some great advantages, but if you don't know what you are getting into and you don't have a plan of action it can quickly take over your life or worse leave you in a financial pickle.
Military Base Firearm Laws can be confusing, especially when you end up living at two different military bases within one year like I did. I own several firearms and the first time I encountered military base firearm laws was during the PCS move when the movers asked me if my firearms were registered on the base. My response..."Huh?"
This incident took place when we had to move from the Pentagon to Maxwell AFB for my wife to go to school. I was already a male military spouse for more than 10 years, but I had never thought about or encountered military base firearm laws. An interesting point to note here is that in my entire time as a male military spouse, we have lived on base once. While this may have had something to do with my not encountering the military base firearm laws before this PCS move, it had nothing to do with my ignorance of the laws.
First, I would like to thank Macho Spouse's founder Chris Pape for all of his past, current and future hard work and dedication for the male military spouse community. Also, I want to thank Macho Spouse for the opportunity to write about one of my favorite subjects, BEER! In this blog I will write about beer from a consumer perspective, home brewer and craft beer professional.
Who am I?
I am a service-disabled Coast Guard veteran that transitioned to the craft brewing industry and have now been working in the industry for 18 years. I began my brewing career at a craft brewery in downtown Seattle just two weeks after being honorably discharged. During the course of my brewing career I have also worked in Brewpubs where I held the position of Regional Brewer for a chain of brewpubs. Currently, I consult for breweries and also operate a pilot system to teach prospective brewery owners and homebrewers about the differences between home brewing and professional brewing.
I am also a male military spouse, so I have had to juggle work (when I can), home brewing and the challenges that come with military life. During the last ten years I have primarily been at home taking care of my boys (now 7 and 10), earning a bachelors and just recently my master's degree. I have been keeping my feet wet by home brewing and doing some part time brewery consulting. Now, I am re-entering the craft brewing industry and will be an instructor at both a Craft Brewery Start-up Workshop and Craft Cidery Start-up Workshop for Oregon State University this Spring. Of course, immediately after the workshop we will be relocating so the next five months will be busy! Enough about me, let's talk beer!
Male Military Spouses a group for men whose wives/girlfriends/fiances are active duty/reserve/retired military. The object of this group is to help us find each other and discover interesting places and things to do near our spouse's current duty station. We are also here to answer questions anyone may have about being in a relationship with someone in the military.
MANning the Homefront seeks to strengthen “MANspouses” by organizing diverse activities that allow men to develop friendships, advocating for recognition as a group and DoD program support, and facilitating members’ connections and service to the community in order to impact the families of service members in positive and constructive ways.
2013 MOAA Military Spouse Symposium: The Scoop From Macho Spouse was originaly written for MOAA Spouse Blog: Making it in the MilLife.
When I was asked to participate during this year's MOAA Spouse Symposium, I couldn't refuse. Sure I am insanely busy with work and my travel budget didn't include a 2900 mile trip to Tacoma, but these were the popular kids calling.
I felt like I was in elementary school all over again and the jocks just asked me to play football at recess, no way I would miss this opportunity. (Side note: The jocks did ask me to play football with them in elementary school where I torched Braden Kelly, the most popular kid in school, for an 80 yard touchdown run that day. Great memory.)
Not only would this event be great exposure for Macho Spouse, but it would help give male military spouses some “street cred” while hanging with a great organization at a visible event.
MachoSpouse.com is an online resource and informational hub for
However, you gotta have something you do that you really enjoy. That's what I'm trying to find out. As a male military spouse, what do you do for fun?Keywords: malemilitaryspouse airforce military
The videos contain interviews from current and former male military spouses,
How many of you guys have had the opportunity to listen to Dave Etter's blog talk radio show? If not, well, it's a work in progress and that lack of show polish is just the way he wants it. Dave is retired from the Navy and currently married to an Army medic, he has also volunteered as a Family Readiness Group Leader while stationed at Ft Campbell. So to say Dave (aka “Old Fart”) is an opinionated straight-shooter who often times fires “from the hip” and checks his facts later would be an accurate statement. I can joke about him because I know he can take it, hell, many times he insists on it!
I met Dave for the first time last May at a bar in San Antonio, a perfect setting for the conversation that would launch today's Male Military Spouse Radio Show (MMSRS – don't blame me for another meaningless acronym, Dave picked the title). As we sat there drinking some ice-cold brews and sharing stories, Dave mentioned that he used to be on the radio in Arizona. Yes, he has the gift of gab. I also knew he had a lot of experience helping military families navigate the often confusing path of DoD support groups and processes, so starting a blog talk radio show that combines his skills with knowledge was a no brainer. I think it was at about the 3rd or 4th beer where we decided this was a good idea. I believe he still feels the same way since he's been doing his show every Friday (noon CST) since June 2014. Hell, he even picked up a show sponsor in fellow male military spouse Doug Nordman (author of The Military Guid to Financial Independence and Retirement). The show quality continues to improve each week even though the Old Fart sometimes goes down never ending wormholes, but it's a remarkable improvement from the first show. In fact, if you ever want a good laugh, go back and listen to that first show…classic!
Dave is a good man trying to help the best way he can, by bringing us spouses together and sharing knowledge. He is rough around the edges and so is his show, which makes every Friday afternoon “must hear” radio. Just a friendly heads-up, as soon as Dave learned that he could cuss on Blog Talk Radio, he started dropping the occasional “F bomb” simply because he could. Hey, what do you expect from an old Navy fart!?
With all the stresses and demands in our daily lives, we sometimes forget about showing appreciation to the ones we love most. A simple, heart-felt compliment, or "thank you," can go a long way to keeping your marriage healthy and strong. In this "Quick Hitter" video, Elizabeth Cabibi, M.S.,LMFT (Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist), talks about the importance of sharing mutual appreciation in any relationship.
Lucky number seven. That's what this year's annual MOAA spouse symposium was – though it was a lot more than luck that made the day great. It was the 300 military spouses from across the Pacific Northwest who made the cold trek through Seattle-Tacoma traffic to spend a day at MOAA's 7th Annual Military Spouse Symposium. Here's what we learned, what made us cry, what made us laugh, and who made a special appearance.
Our recent interview with Everett Lopez revealed some of the difficulties associated with being a man in the predominately female community of military spouses.
Macho Spouse and Chris Pape are mentioned in Alice Swan's article, Tuning in to the Military Spouse Network, in which Alice covers lessons she learned at the 2013 Military.com Spouse Summit (April 11-12, 2013). Here is what Alice wrote:
Build a service out of your unique experience and skill: A great example is Chris Pape, male military spouse and founder of Macho Spouse (http://malemilspouse.com/). Chris was kind enough to talk with me about how he started Macho Spouse. Living in Columbia, SC, while his spouse is working on an ROTC assignment, Chris said he began to feel pretty isolated. He thought he was the only guy spouse out there looking for information and help. About two years ago, Chris began researching male military spouses on the web but found only two articles about guys manning the home fronts. One of the stories was written by Amy Bushatz who you may remember from my Spouse Summit blog: http://www.dcmilitaryfamlife.com/profiles/blogs/you-are-not-alone.
Chris emailed Amy, who helped introduce him to Wayne Perry, founder of Manning the Home front (http://www.dcmilitaryfamlife.com/profiles/blogs/the-outlook-for-mil...) – it was the Military Spouse network in action. A video producer for 15 years, Chris had been working in Arkansas for the Department of Education, creating instructional videos before the PCS to Columbia. “I didn't see any information sites out there for guys to help share lessons learned or how to find jobs,” Chris told me, “so I decided to use the skills I'd developed making the educational videos to create learning videos for male military spouses.” Chris's fledgling video series has grown into a full service site for male military spouses to connect, get information on employment, money tips or gain insights through the Male Spouse 101 tutorial.
Facing another PCS soon with his Air Force spouse to San Antonio, Chris is excited about the opportunities the move presents. “I'm building a business I can take with me,” he explained. And while Macho Spouse is his future, Chris feels it can also lead to other opportunities in the present. Chris is confident that the work he's done creating Macho Spouse will lead to video and film production work in Texas.
Macho Spouse Founder Chris Pape talks with Kristine and Jackie, of Semper Feisty Radio with USMC Life, about civilian male military spouses, the Macho Spouse project and making life work as a male military spouse. You can listen to Kristine and Jackie interview Chris in the second segment of the Semper Feisty radio show, starting at 25:50.
Chris shares how the Macho Spouse project started as a result of PCS that left him unable to find a job in his career field. He also shares insight into the growing number of civilian male military spouses and the similarities and differences between civilian male military spouses and their female counterparts. Also, you can hear Chris explain why he chose the name "Macho Spouse" for the project.
This Friday, Macho Spouse Chris Pape will represent male military spouses at the 7th annual Military Spouse Symposium hosted by our friends at the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA). Chris will be one of the featured speakers at the event to talk about the support network for male military spouses we have here at Macho Spouse.
Military spouses, service members and veterans are invited to attend the 2013 MOAA Military Spouse Symposium “Keeping a Career on the Move,” hosted by the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA).
WASHINGTON, Aug. 3, 2011 – Brian Campbell knew some challenges were in store for him after he left his Navy career to follow his military wife across the country.
But what he didn't count on were the additional challenges brought on not by his status as a military spouse, but by his gender.
Male military spouses continue to attract more attention from the media. In this article, Wayne Perry of MANning the Homefront and Chris Pape of Macho Spouse, share why they decided to start organizations specifically designed to help male military spouses and their families. This was initially published in the Journal Inquirer (Connecticut) by Kristen Tsetsi, who also authored the novel Pretty Much True..., the at-home war story inspired by her husband's 2003 deployment to Iraq.
We may be a little biassed, but we think it's a great read. Thank you Kristen and the Journal for taking an interest in male military spouses!
Chris Pape, the man behind Macho Spouse, is featured in an article on AOL's Homepage for Heroes.
It's unclear exactly why, but the divorce rate among female military personnel is more than twice as high as for their male counterparts, and higher than that of female civilians -- even though for men the divorce rate is lower in the military than outside it.
Chris Pape has been with his wife ever since she just graduated her college ROTC program in 2000, and never felt the need to reach out to other military spouses. "I'm such a fiercely independent person. My wife did her thing, I did my thing. I didn't really embrace the military as a lifestyle."
At Macho Spouse, we know the challenges civilian male military spouses face when it comes to finding gainful employment and dealing with career loss. We encourage civilian male military spouses to consider entrepreneurship as a possible way of making this lifestyle work. We're not naive, we know the difficulties that come with starting a business and successfully running it. We also know that there are great organizations offering help to civilian male military spouses who really want to start and run their own businesses. The [[EXLINK_21]] is one such organization.
Before starting a business, there are many questions to answer. A civilian male military spouse who wants to start a business has a few questions to answer that are military-specific, like:
- How can I start a business when I move so often?
- How can I start a business when I live on base?
- How will my business impact my spouse?
MSBA is a "link that rocks" because they provide answers to these military-specific questions and help civilian male military spouses get closer to their military spouse owned businesses.
Check out some of the info from MSBA:
At MSBA, we've tackled the steepest part of the military spouse owned business learning curve. We pioneered the military spouse peer-to-peer mentoring and community based solutions to overcoming the unique challenges of military spouse owned businesses.