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Pets and the military life questions....

** I do apologize for my lack of military wording and knowledge**

 

 

Hello! My husband and I just married on May 2nd, after being together for almost 4 years. He was toying with the idea of joining he Navy last year, but that fell through due to him only having a GED and no college. So....a year later he is thinking about the Army.

One of my main concerns is our pets. We are 20 years old and aren't looking to have children for a few more years.....so our pets are our life.

 I am just concerned that my pets won't be allowed to move with us. I will admit that I need to research more on military life, but it is very confusing and overwhelming. I think I just need to have other people tell me in simpler form.

If he joins...can we get off base housing for sure? We would have to find a place that allows our pets. Also...how often would we be moving around? I really don't want to have to move around every year....and I definitely do not want to go over seas. My husband has been talking with a friend who was in the Army and he did forklift operation, so my husband is wanting to also do something like that because he currently works in a warehouse.

We do eventually want to own a house within the next few years, so how possible is this in the military?

Do we get to pick where we want to live, or do they just put us there?

 

I also should add that we have 1 small 13lbs dog, 2 kitties, 3 small house rabbits, and 9 pet rats (one whom is very old and will not live much longer). All of my pets are neutered, besides the four female rats (because the males are neutered).

 

Thank you in advance, and I do apologize again for being so clueless.

Re: Pets and the military life questions....

  • first of all, congrats on your marriage!  welcome to the board.

    my first thought is that the military might not be for you guys if you do not want to live overseas.  i'm not sure how the army works, but you might get to make up a 'dream sheet' of the bases where you want to be stationed.  you might get your pick or you might not.  i think in general you move every 2-4 years in the military.

    you can certainly live off base and choose your own housing.  housing markets probably vary a lot depending on which base you're stationed out of.  if you live on base i think you are limited to two dogs/animals.  off base you would just have to clear it with your landlord or check with city codes if buying your own house.

    fwiw, we have a bunch of dogs, but we live off base.  dh is af and we have never pcsed.  every military family is different.

    hth & gl!!

  • 1) Check out the MN FAQ website link in my siggy.  There are a lot of links that have a ton of information about military life.  Also, lurk around here if you want to hear more about what military life is really like.

    2) I do not know why only having a GED would bar you from the Navy, or any other branch for that matter.  There has to be more to the story.  What was your husbandnd's ASVAB score?  Was he trying to go into the officer track?  Will get over this bridge after you provide more information.

    3) Your pets should be able to move with you at some point, but probably not until after YH (your husband) is done with all of his initial training.  During that time you will probably not have orders to go with him, and therefore your pets will not be able to go with him.  Once he gets stationed at his permanent duty station, pets would probably be allowed.  It depends on the rules on base if that is where you are living.  Some bases do not allow certain breeds of dogs, exotic animals, hight number of animals, etc.  If you live off base, it would depend on if you rent or own your house as to whether there will be rules there.  Lot of military people have pets (just like everyone else), so it isn't like there is a "no pets allowed" rule.

    4) Moving - You will move around often.  YH will probably move around a few times during the first year as he does all his training, which may be located at different bases or posts.  Permanent duty assignments range from 6 months to years, but again, it depends on his job, his unit, and the demands of the military.  There is no easy answer except to say that yes - you will move.  A lot.  And sometimes without much warning.  You just have to accept it and get used to it.

    5) If you have a problem with the idea of moving every year, then you need to have a serious conversation with YH.  Military life will more than likely not be for you if this little detail is enough to make you upset.  Trust me, military life gets much harder than just moving around.  You need to have thicker skin than that.  Also, moving overseas is always an option.  You need to be content with the idea that this might happen.

    6) Owning a house is possible.  You need to weight a lot of options - how long you will be stationed in one place, the market, your financial situation, etc.  But you can do it.  DH (dear husband) and I own our home.  DH is active duty Marine Corps.

    7) You do not get to pick where you live.  They pick it for you.  You may be able to request things depending on your circumstances, but don't count on it. 

  • image RDM1024:

    first of all, congrats on your marriage!  welcome to the board.

    my first thought is that the military might not be for you guys if you do not want to live overseas.  i'm not sure how the army works, but you might get to make up a 'dream sheet' of the bases where you want to be stationed.  you might get your pick or you might not.  i think in general you move every 2-4 years in the military.

    you can certainly live off base and choose your own housing.  housing markets probably vary a lot depending on which base you're stationed out of.  if you live on base i think you are limited to two dogs/animals.  off base you would just have to clear it with your landlord or check with city codes if buying your own house.

     

    Thank you!

    I know I don't want to live over seas because I know that I couldn't keep my pets at that time. "Getting rid of" the pets is not an option...they are with us for life! What is the percentage rate of married couples/families getting sent over seas to live on a base there?

    Rats only live 2-3 years, most pass on around 2 years. All of my rats are 3 years, 1 year, and 7 months. I plan to take a long break from rats after they pass. So, we would have less to move around then.

    I am content with moving every 2-4 years...I am unsure of every year. I think that would be really hard on the pets, especially kitties.

    I figured that we could get a place off base that meets our needs. I think it would be tricky trying to find a place that is ready when we need to be there. Also, we wouldn't be able to look at the house before we went...but I guess there is nothing we can do about that.

    So, basically buying a house when in the military isn't ideal? My husband is going to see how much we like the life before deciding if he wants to go on longer then 4 years.

  • image kb108:

    2) I do not know why only having a GED would bar you from the Navy, or any other branch for that matter.  There has to be more to the story.  What was your husbandnd's ASVAB score?  Was he trying to go into the officer track?  Will get over this bridge after you provide more information.

    He took a practice test at the recruiters office and he scored a 72, I believe. The guys were all shocked at his score. His recruiter said that he would have to wait for an "open window" for GED/no college people. He didn't contact us for a year....my husband just emailed him yesterday and he sent an email back saying that due to the economy....people with no college or a HS diploma are not being accepted.

    3) Your pets should be able to move with you at some point, but probably not until after YH (your husband) is done with all of his initial training.  During that time you will probably not have orders to go with him, and therefore your pets will not be able to go with him.  Once he gets stationed at his permanent duty station, pets would probably be allowed.  It depends on the rules on base if that is where you are living.  Some bases do not allow certain breeds of dogs, exotic animals, hight number of animals, etc.  If you live off base, it would depend on if you rent or own your house as to whether there will be rules there.  Lot of military people have pets (just like everyone else), so it isn't like there is a "no pets allowed" rule.

    I should say the pets are more "my thing". He loves the kitties and especially the dog, but I am a slave to them...lol. I do the main care taking. So, the husband will be okay with out them for a while. I don't think I want to live on a base, anyway....I was sure we had too many pets to live on one.

    4) Moving - You will move around often.  YH will probably move around a few times during the first year as he does all his training, which may be located at different bases or posts.  Permanent duty assignments range from 6 months to years, but again, it depends on his job, his unit, and the demands of the military.  There is no easy answer except to say that yes - you will move.  A lot.  And sometimes without much warning.  You just have to accept it and get used to it.

    So, we would get placed somewhere...then HE (not us) will move around a lot within the first year? I know that he will be sent off on duties, but I was just curious as to how often we would have to pack up the house/animals and move. Like I said in the last post...I am okay with 2-4 years...but every year is intimidating. I do know that there are worse things to get use to then moving....I suppose I would just have to get used to it. If we only had 1 dog, 2 cats, and a rabbit...I wouldn't stress so much, but my pets are major "stressers" in my life. My worst fear for them is having to give them up.

  • NSLNSL member
    Ninth Anniversary

    1) Many military families have pets.  We have two cats and a dog, and have planned (though it fell through in the end) a move to Korea.  All our pets were allowed to come with us as long as we got the right health certificates prior to our move.  Don't assume that international = abandoning your animals.

    2) How often you'll move is very unpredictable.  You might move once a year for several years, you might stay in the same place for 4-5 years.  Flexibility is the name of the game (Semper Gumby as my DH told me when we started dating) in the military.  

    3) We've owned two houses in the 6 years we've been married, and the only complicating factor for us has been the fact that when the Army tells us to move, we HAVE to sell the house or find a renter.  There's no such thing as waiting until the market improves or staying in a home because you love it.  You always take a risk when you buy, and ini the military that risk is compounded by the fact that you could be suddenly reassigned and lose a lot of money because you have to sell quickly. 

    4) You'll create a "dream sheet" and if the needs of the Army match up to your wishes, everyone wins.  If the Army needs you somewhere you don't want to go, you still have to go there.  

    I'd recommend that both of you do a LOT of research before making this decision.  Don't rush into anything, just take your time and make sure you're both willing to take on the challenges (and joys) of military life before he signs anything.  I was reluctant to sign on to the lifestyle in the beginning, but that doesn't mean that I've hated my life as a military spouse or that I'd change things if I could.  

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  • image undergunfire:
    image kb108:

    2) I do not know why only having a GED would bar you from the Navy, or any other branch for that matter.  There has to be more to the story.  What was your husbandnd's ASVAB score?  Was he trying to go into the officer track?  Will get over this bridge after you provide more information.

    He took a practice test at the recruiters office and he scored a 72, I believe. The guys were all shocked at his score. His recruiter said that he would have to wait for an "open window" for GED/no college people. He didn't contact us for a year....my husband just emailed him yesterday and he sent an email back saying that due to the economy....people with no college or a HS diploma are not being accepted.

    3) Your pets should be able to move with you at some point, but probably not until after YH (your husband) is done with all of his initial training.  During that time you will probably not have orders to go with him, and therefore your pets will not be able to go with him.  Once he gets stationed at his permanent duty station, pets would probably be allowed.  It depends on the rules on base if that is where you are living.  Some bases do not allow certain breeds of dogs, exotic animals, hight number of animals, etc.  If you live off base, it would depend on if you rent or own your house as to whether there will be rules there.  Lot of military people have pets (just like everyone else), so it isn't like there is a "no pets allowed" rule.

    I should say the pets are more "my thing". He loves the kitties and especially the dog, but I am a slave to them...lol. I do the main care taking. So, the husband will be okay with out them for a while. I don't think I want to live on a base, anyway....I was sure we had too many pets to live on one.

    4) Moving - You will move around often.  YH will probably move around a few times during the first year as he does all his training, which may be located at different bases or posts.  Permanent duty assignments range from 6 months to years, but again, it depends on his job, his unit, and the demands of the military.  There is no easy answer except to say that yes - you will move.  A lot.  And sometimes without much warning.  You just have to accept it and get used to it.

    So, we would get placed somewhere...then HE (not us) will move around a lot within the first year? I know that he will be sent off on duties, but I was just curious as to how often we would have to pack up the house/animals and move. Like I said in the last post...I am okay with 2-4 years...but every year is intimidating. I do know that there are worse things to get use to then moving....I suppose I would just have to get used to it. If we only had 1 dog, 2 cats, and a rabbit...I wouldn't stress so much, but my pets are major "stressers" in my life. My worst fear for them is having to give them up.

    If he is looking at Army, you will not be able to live with him until after his training like KB said. 

    When he gets his first duty station, you can join him, along with your pets, they will limit how many you have on post. You WILL NOT move every year. For Army most PCS's are every 2-4 years.  He will not go anywhere the first year unless he is gearing up for deployment. He may go to a school every now and then for a couple weeks but rest assured he isn't going to just disappear. Living off post is very possible, given the market is in a decent state. 

  • I'm too tired to really respond fully, but until your husband has picked an MOS, the answers to your questions are almost all, "it depends." Some MOS's require you to go overseas. Some don't. Some have you moving every year or so. Some don't. In MH's field, there are E guys who've been at this base for 15 years.

    Also, just pointing this out: some base housing will limit how many pets you can have. Additionally, many bases have rules against allowing certain breeds of dogs on base, so if you have a pit bull, for instance, you might not have the option of living on base.

    As for purchasing a home, MH and I have chosen to do this at our last two bases. It's been a good experience for us so far.

  • image undergunfire:
    So, we would get placed somewhere...then HE (not us) will move around a lot within the first year? I know that he will be sent off on duties, but I was just curious as to how often we would have to pack up the house/animals and move. Like I said in the last post...I am okay with 2-4 years...but every year is intimidating. I do know that there are worse things to get use to then moving....I suppose I would just have to get used to it. If we only had 1 dog, 2 cats, and a rabbit...I wouldn't stress so much, but my pets are major "stressers" in my life. My worst fear for them is having to give them up.

    If he is still in training, you will not be "placed" anywhere yet.  So you will be wherever you want.  He will be stationed at a school at a base to be determined depending on his training path.  You will be "placed" somewhere only after he gets accompanied orders, allowing you to be stationed with him.

    Again, I cannot really estimate how often you will move.  No one here on the board can really tell you that.  It depends on way too many factors.  It may be every six months for a bit.  It may be every year.  It may be every three years.  There is no easy answer.  Saying you are "okay with 2-4 years" frankly doesn't matter.  It isn't up to you, so you need to just let go of this mentality right now.  It will only make military life more difficult.

    And yes, there is plenty that is worse than moving.  The stress of military life involves a lot of unknowns.  The idea of not being able to plan things or make solid decisions because you don't know what is going to happen in six months is a tough mentality to get used to.  Picking up and moving your career at a whim is difficult to cope with sometimes as well.

    The biggest stresser is hands down - Deployments.  Period.  They are extremely difficult on so many levels.  Are you ready to live on your own for up to a year and a half?  Not have constant or reliable communication with YH?  Go through a pregnancy by yourself?  Raise your children on your own?  Pack up and move across country without YH?  Deal with the possibility of YH being injured or worse?  These are all things you have to be ready to deal with in the future if you and YH decide the military is what you want to do.

  • Base housing availability depends on a few factors.  At some bases, you can only live on base, like Korea or Turkey.  There might be a waiting list to get on base and if you don't have kids, you're at the bottom of the list.  I'm not sure about the other services, but I know for sure the AF has a two dog limit unless you get a waiver (I've seen one waiver approved, it was an E-8 with three pomeranians).  I don't know anything about rules for cats and other critters though. 

    I have a dog (and just took in a stray over the weekend).  We got Rudi last June, the my husband got a last minute tasking to deploy.  It was tough on Rudi, but he adapted well.  When DH got to call home I'd put him on speaker phone so the dog could hear his voice and DH mailed home dirty tshirts every once in a while for Rudi to smell.  (Rudi LOVED that.  He'd pick the shirts up out of the box one at a time and carry them to his crate and sleep with them.)  Well, then while DH was still deployed, I got tasked to deeploy and had to leave right away for training.  One of my friends came to stay with Rudi and that really stressed him out.  Then DH got back and I deployed, so he doesn't have a ton of consistency in his poor puppy life, but he's still doing well in training and he's not acting out.  He gets up in the middle of the night to look for me, then falls asleep under my side of the bed.  He did the exact same thing when DH was gone.  So, yeah, it can be done.  Your family will be better off because you won't be at risk for deploying, so that will ensure they have some continuity, even if you're changing houses.

    I enlisted in Jan 04, got to my first base in May 04.  I moved overseas in Aug 06, then moved back to the States in Dec 07.  Stayed there for almost a year, went to training for a month, now I'm deployed for six months and away at training for another 4 months when I get back.  Busy busy busy, but I like it that way.  It keeps everything new and I get to work with lots of different people.  On the down side, DH and I are living on opposite sides of the globe for 22 months because of all the training and deployments.  We make it work though.  We knew what we were getting in to.

    Keep in mind the Army and USMC (generally) have longer deployments than AF & Navy.  That's not the only thing he should base his enlistment on, but deployments WILL happen and they will affect your marriage.  There will be years when you only see your husband for two weeks.  There will be years when your husband's mission means he can't  take leave to go 'home' to wherever your families are.  No sick days, no spur of the moment vacations, no time and a half for working  90 hours a week.  It's a big commitment, so make sure you both do your homework before signing up.

    Good luck! 

    Twin boys due 7/25/12
  • You ladies have definitely helped the husband and I out. We decided maybe the military life isn't for us. I think Ryan was feeling "out of place" for a few days...just like he was when we were seriously looking into the Navy. He wants to be able to provide for myself and a family....so I think he really thought the Army would be good for us because of all the benefits. I just don't think I could handle living alone for long periods of time and raising a child by myself. We don't have much family....so I literally would be alone.

     

    On a good note....he found a job posting online for warehouse work (what he does now) about 1 hour away that is paying really really well...so we are crossing our fingers. He is 20 and I am turning 21 shortly...so we do have time left to search for good jobs. He would like to stay in warehouse/forklift operation work and I would like to go to dog grooming school or train to be a vet tech.

     

    So, thanks again! Smile

  • It you aren't willing to move when necessary whenever necessary, this might not be for you. Now, you probably won't move but every couple of years and you might not move overseas but you have to be prepared because it probably will happen.

    Your post is just too chock full of I don't want tos for this to work well.

    However, if you save the money and keep it in a separate account, you'll be able to afford to take your pets with you. Most on post housing has a pet limit. But off post, it's up to your landlord. If you can find someone who will take them easily enough now, you can find someone where ever. I doubt the rats and buns will count as traditional pets I guess.



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