Just have a few hundred questions, I don't know much after the defence force.For those of you who joined the defence force or who have partners who did, Are you still happy with the choice you made? Dh wanted to do it since school but I didn't want to be a defence force wife, I kind of wish I had just let him do it. How do your children cope moving schools all the time and just generally being a defence force child? What are your likes and dislikes about your lifestyle? What are the advantages of joining the defence force?If he was to join the defence force I am considering it too but I was wondering, For those of you who both work in the defenceforce what are the chances you will both get sent overseas at the same time? (we have young children) Can they post you to different areas as to where your husband is?Do administration people have to go overseas?Do you get any say as to where you are posted to?Anything else I should know?
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22-09-2012 06:23 #1bellaandmiasmum
- Join Date
- Aug 2012
A few questions about being involved with the defence force.
Last edited by bellaandmiasmum; 22-09-2012 at 07:02.
22-09-2012 12:46 #2Senior Member
- Join Date
- Jan 2009
Cant answer all of your questions because some haven't applied to directly to us and the scenarios may be different depending on what branch of the defence force you apply to eg navy/army/raaf.
My hubby was Navy and he has just retired after 21 years with them.
Him joining wasn't a decision I made with him, he was already in the navy when we met, however it was a mutual decision for him to leave.
My likes and advantages were its a decent pay, its a secure job - so they don't have to worry about getting retrenched etc, can be a good way to meet new friends, and my husband really enjoyed the travelling aspect of it - he pretty well got to travel around the world and for a 21 year old (how old he was when he joined up) that is pretty awesome! Education support can be quite good - Dh has managed to complete 3 trades while employed with the navy plus after the length of his service he was able to apply for additional education/training to be able to merge smoothly into a civilian job so that has been really handy for us as well.
Negatives for me was he was away a lot and really it was a lot. He would go away on 3-4 month deployments on a regular basis sometimes multiple times a year. Eg he might have gone away for 3 months, come home for 6 weeks go away for 2 weeks, come home for 2 weeks, go away for 4 months etc. In our first few years together he did 3 gulf deployments 3 years in a row so that was 7 months in a row we spent apart each of those years, not including workups or other short trips. And personally I found that quite hard. I was lucky that hubby stayed in the same posting for the whole time we have been together and as it is my home town, I have my family and friends close by. I think I would have found it harder not having family or friends near by as well. But that's just me!
If you a person who doesnt mind alone time then that totally may not bother you at all. Or if you are a social person who really enjoys getting out and meeting new people. I have quite a few friends who really enjoy this part of it and like getting posted elsewhere and living in new places and meeting new people. So its really an individual thing
Children wise again DH & I had our children just before he went on shore leave/discharged so I don't really have a lot of experience in having children while in this lifestyle. I had said I preferred we waited on having kids until DH was ready to get out and for us my DH agreed as he has 2 older kids from a previous marriage and he was away frequently while they were growing up, and I think he really missed having them close by.
As for both partners being away at the same time - again it may be different for other sections of the defence force. But a few of our friends have both partners enlisted. And I am sure they do it in that you cannot be posted to the same ship your partner is on. And also they don't send them away at the same time. This is just what we have heard from our friend's experiences, it may not be the standard I am not sure....
With regards to posting I am under the impression you can request certain locations, but whether you actually get that location can depend on a lot of variables. Sorry not much help there either as my hubby has stayed in the same position for about 12 years now.
The only other thing that I would say is that there are a lot of support groups/social groups but you do have to be quite active yourself in finding them. It took till our 3rd gulf deployment before I even got so much as a letter to say here is a number you can call if you need assistance or support etc. But since then I found out there is a lot of people you can call/talk to, but you have to know its there. They don't come to you (or they didn't here) but then I think that is a lot my hubby's fault too because he would have known these services existed but he certainly didnt tell me hahaha
I think the services has its pros and cons as does every job. We were ready for a change hence Dh getting out but overall it has been a pretty good job to be in.
Good Luck with your decision!!!
Last edited by erinn; 22-09-2012 at 12:50.
22-09-2012 12:54 #3Senior Member
- Join Date
- Jan 2009
I should also say communications with them while they are away is getting better and better as well I think, so you can still keep in touch with your partner. Dh tells me early on in his days you could write a letter home but now they have email access so I could get emails from him most days while he was away and occasional phone calls if they were in port. Doesnt feel quite so bad the away time if you are still able to keep in touch. Also I have heard that some of them have skype access now too!
22-09-2012 14:17 #4
I'm not a defence force wife and would never choose to be... But I am a defence force kid. In all honesty the moving was fine. Absolutely fine. It's the culture I dislike though... I found it to be very patriarchal and that just doesn't mesh with my feminist views.
I'm not a particularly outgoing person but the moving was never a problem for me or my brother.
28-09-2012 06:04 #5Junior Member
- Join Date
- Jul 2012
Im a defence wife and generally love it. Half price rent... great salary... job safety.. seeing all of australia. The only negative is hubby is away for half my first pregnancy.
Yes they can send admin on a deployment. Currently have a friend on 6 month stint in outback australia building aboroginal houses.. 1 in ghan and 1 in timor.
Yes you can be posted to seperate locations.. my friends are married and one is posted to perth and other to sydney. They cant guarantee same location as you go where they need you
Communications - when my hubby is away i can speak to him every day as hes in IT so he always has powered tents laptops and phones however i know plenty in infantry who had less communications..
Feel free to message me x
19-12-2012 15:41 #6
Re: A few questions about being involved with the defence force.
Both myself and my dh are in the defence force, he is navy and I'm RAAF. If you both join you won't both be sent overseas at the same time as you have children, however that doesn't mean it won't stop them from deploying one after the other comes back. If you both were to join, I'd recommend different services, but that's just my opinion. They keep saying that defence is family/female friendly and they probably think they are but different units work different ways. My unit made one of the girls I work with life hell because she was a single parent and couldn't work nights because of her child. They finally gave her a day only position but she is now not looked upon highly. It's sad. I would recommend only one joining but again that's just my opinion from our experience. Make sure if he does join that he chooses his job wisely because if he loves what he does then the other b#$@!&^t won't affect him too much.
Just be prepared for him to be away a lot, especially if he joins the navy.
This is our first pregnancy so with moving around and stuff with children I'm not sure plus this is our first posting together, we met and married at current posting but I know we are limited to places we can get posted together.
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28-12-2012 22:06 #7
A few questions about being involved with the defence force.
Both myself and my partner are in the Navy. In the last 3 years my partner has lived in two states, I have loved in three. We were posted apart for around 12 months. Put ontop of that one partner being out at sea. It was tough. Hardest thing I've ever done however we don't regret it as its proven how strong our relationship is. So when I was able to be posted to Sydney with my partner it just made us both appreciate living together even more.
When you have children they won't deploy both of you however as someone has mentioned they can deploy back to back.
It depends what service as to what your requirements are. I would say if your looking at admin - I would choose RAAF. Less deployment rate. Admin positions overseas you APPLY for, so if you aren't interested, don't put your hand up lol
It all comes down to what service, what rate/job you what to do. Army - more Likely to deploy overseas. RAAF - not fully up with RAAF postings. Navy - more likely to go on either 6 month deployments rotation, spending long periods at sea - my partners ship was out every week, sometimes gone for a month. Another ship that has just come back from 5-6 months away, was only meant to be 4 I think. Things change, so you definately become flexible.
Hope this helps. Feel free to ask any questions.
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