Adjusting to life in the Air Force

  • Published
  • By Airman Daniel Brosam
  • 341st Missile Wing Public Affairs
Marrying into the military can be tough when a spouse is brought into a completely different lifestyle. What comes with making it through the many moves and having to leave friends behind is the perspective of being a part of the world's greatest Air Force.

Carol Phillips, school liaison officer at the Malmstrom Air Force Base Airman and Family Readiness Center and member of the key spouses' program, said what it really comes down to is having a great support system and strong marriage.

"Honestly, a strong marriage based on mutual respect is key," said Phillips. "Just know throughout your career, you're going to have assignments you love, parts you love, the best friends, and then you're going to have times that are really, really tough. Just reach out."

Carol is married to Col. Christopher Phillips, 341st Medical Group commander. They met back in college in choir class and he planned on going to medical school.

As life takes its own path, Col. Phillips joined the Air Force with a three-year commitment. The Phillips wanted to be stationed at a base in the south but received orders for South Dakota.

"If your expectations are really high that they're going to go a certain way, and it's not, you're not going to be happy," said Carol. "If your expectations are 'I have no idea what it's going to be like, but it'll probably be good' and you don't know what to expect, then you're going to be happy."

Carol said the best way to really appreciate a duty location is to get connected with clubs, get involved, stay busy and make new friends.

"In my experience, the difference between a good assignment and a bad assignment is just a couple of friends," she said. "Just be positive."

Ashlee Hobert, member of the Malmstrom Spouse's Club and wife of Senior Airman John Hobert, 341st Contracting Squadron contracting specialist, echoed Phillips' statement.

"Get involved," said Hobert. "When you come to a new base, you don't know anyone especially when there's not a lot to do."

Hobert said it took her a while to get involved but once she started, she said it was a good decision.

"It helps you feel at home," Hobert added. "You make friends and you have someone that can help in times of need.

One of the programs offered on base is the Heart Link spouse orientation. Heart Link is offered quarterly to all new military spouses and is designed to strengthen military families and enhance mission readiness. Heart Link's goal is to assist spouses in acclimating to the Air Force and military environment. The next class is scheduled for Nov.13.  For more information, contact the Airman and Family Readiness Center at 731-4900.

The Malmstrom Spouse's Club is open to all active-duty officer, enlisted and retired military spouses.  Anyone wanting more information on becoming a member of the club can email the membership chair at