How To Get Married In The Army

How To Get Married In The Army


What Are The Rules For Wearing A Military Uniform

Getting Married in Military – How We Got Approved?

Keep only one uniform when you are honorably discharged. You are allowed to wear one uniform home. You may continue wearing your uniform for up to three months after your honorable discharge. Many recently discharged servicemen and women like to wear their uniform for coming home parties or other special occasions.

Can I Become A Us Citizen

If you are serving or have served in the U.S. armed forces and are interested in becoming a U.S. citizen, you may be eligible to apply for naturalization under special provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act . Read more on the Naturalization Through Military Service website. Make an appointment with a Legal Assistance attorney for additional assistance.

Why Do Military Service Members Marry So Much Younger Than Average Americans

University of Massachusetts Amherst
While numerous studies have shown that the marriage rate among military service members is much higher than civilians of the same age, new research has found specific reasons that lead these young men and women to make this important decision.

While numerous studies have shown that the marriage rate among military service members is much higher than civilians of the same age, new research from a sociologist at the University of Massachusetts Amherst has found specific reasons that lead these young men and women to make this important decision.

In a study published in the latest issue of the Journal of Marriage and Family, Vol. 76, Issue 5, Jennifer Lundquist argues that financial considerations and structural conditions of modern military service such as deployment to war and the military’s demand for frequent geographic relocation leads to personnel policies that rely on families to make these conditions more bearable for service members. These policies are part of a larger institutional culture that directly and indirectly encourages marriage among its recruits.

Lundquist, along with Zhun Xu from Renmin University of China, reported the findings of nearly 80 interviews conducted over a period of 11 months with individuals associated with two American Army installations in Germany as part of a research project sponsored by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.

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Learn Rules And Etiquette Plus What To Expect

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If you thought other weddings youve been to had a lot of traditions, just wait until you attend your first military wedding. With a slew of unique customs, specific dress codes, and even requirements for invitation wording, theres etiquette to navigate that you may not have seen before. Plus, different branches of the military have different variations of these traditions.

Like all nuptial ceremonies, military weddings are celebratory and meaningful events but with an added air of patriotism. They’re meant to honor anyone who has served or is currently serving in any branch of the U.S. military, including those enlisted, active and retired officers, and cadets at an academy. Incorporating long-standing traditions makes military weddings that much more special, and there’s a lot more guidance when it comes to making decisions about the venue, decorations, recessional song, and more.

Wondering what to expect at a military wedding? We called upon Amber Chaib, a U.S. Navy veteran, to break it down and offer insight that will make both planning and attending a military wedding a breeze.

Meet the Expert

Amber Chaib is a U.S. Navy veteran and the brand director for Military Spouse and G.I. Jobs magazine.

Below, learn all about the traditions, plus what to plan for and expect at a military wedding ceremony.

Double Retirement Pay For Dual Military Couples

A Traditional Military Wedding at Panache in Jacksonville ...

This does NOT refer to a special program offering to double military retirement pay for mil-to-mil couples at the time of this writing, such a program does not exist.

However, assuming both military members choose to remain in uniform until retirement-eligible, its easy to see that when both spouses draw military retirement pay, that effectively doubles the amount assuming the time-in-service, time-in-grade, and other variables match up.

Mil-to-mil couples who do not retire at the same rank and time-in-service may not draw the exact same amount of retirement pay.

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How To Get A Proxy Marriage

If you’re looking to get a proxy marriage in California, Texas or Colorado, the best thing to do is head down to your local county clerk’s office for exact information about fees and rules for proxy marriages. That’s because while proxy marriage is legal in those states, each county may have its own specific processes and rules for securing one.

If you plan to have a double proxy marriage in Montana, you’ll likely want to hire a service to help since you don’t ever need to physically be in the state.

Adhere To Appropriate Grooming Rules

If you or your partner are planning to wear your military uniform to your wedding, you must follow appropriate military grooming standards. For men, this means clean-cut. For example, a groom wearing his uniform to his Army wedding is expected to shave his face, cut his hair above his ears and remove any visible earrings.

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Your Spouse’s Job Affects Your Social Life

Ah, the mother of all military spouse debates: does your husband’s rank determine your social life?!

Unpopular opinion: yes. Yes, it does. A military spouse’s life is at least somewhat affected by their significant other’s job. And yes, it’s as asinine and frustrating as it sounds.

By this, I do not, by any stretch of the imagination, mean that there are ranks among spouses even my quaint 1950s wife manual states as much, for goodness’ sake and the dichotomy between officers’ spouses and enlisted spouses only exists if one allows it to.

Lore of spouse’s “wearing” rank is, more often than not, just that: a social myth. That’s not to say that wives who refer to “our” promotion or bluster when they aren’t saluted don’t exist, but these rare prima donnas are best left to stew in their own little worlds.

We military spouses do, however, have to accept that our significant other’s job will have some degree of influence over our social life. Fraternization rules dictate who service-members can and cannot be friends with, and therefore, socializing as a couple can get a little thorny. We learn to accept that it’s at least expected that we’ll make an effort with the spouses of our husband’s chain of command .

We also become accustomed to pasting on a smile and being ultra-nice to the people our partner tells us to be pleasant to, even when we’re cranky and would rather not be a circus monkey, thank you very much.

Do You Need Permission Or Extra Paperwork


If you are getting married in the States to another citizen, the answer is no. You don’t need advanced permission, and there is no military paperwork to complete. You get married according the laws of the state.

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If you are deployed overseas and marrying a foreign national there are plenty of forms and regulations. Youll need to go for counseling. Youll also need your commander’s permission, but this is rarely withheld, unless there is a very good reason to do so. Your intended will need to pass a security background check and medical examination.The marriage has to be recognized by the United States embassy. Bear in mind that the whole process can take several months.

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First Make Sure You Can Access Your Benefits

To receive any military benefits, military family members must be registered in the military’s personnel system, the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System , and receive a military ID card. To do that you need to be the service member’s spouse or child.

Certain other family members can also receive ID cards in some circumstances.

Need to get an ID card? This tutorial will help you learn how.

Spouse And Family Health Care Options

Your spouses TRICARE plan depends on where you live and your military status.

When two active duty service members get married, they’ll each have their own DEERS record. If they have children, only one parent is the sponsor in DEERS. For more information, call 1-800-538-9552 or log in to milConnect.

*You must enroll. If overseas, family members must be command-sponsored.

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Im A New Military Spouse Now What

    Congratulations and welcome to the military family!

    We understand how intimidating it can be to be thrown into the military lifestyle, especially if you have no previous experience with the military. You will soon find out that the military life comes with a lot, and I mean a lot, of paperwork!

    So how can you get started now that you are officially a military spouse? To keep track of it all, we put together a list of the most urgent items to tackle immediately after you are married or your spouse joins the military!

    Can Army Wives Live On Base

    Soldiers Drew Fidler and Michelle Williams found a ...

    If you are married and living with your spouse or minor dependents, you will either live in on-base housing or be given a monetary allowance called Basic Allowance for Housing to live off-base. … This is because the military makes it mandatory for you to provide adequate housing for your dependents.

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    Does My Residency Affect The Marriage License Process

    Do you live in Indiana?

    If you or your prospective spouse resides in Indiana, apply for a marriage license in either’s county of residence.

    Do you live outside of Indiana?

    If neither of you live in Indiana, you must apply for a marriage license in the county where you marriage ceremony will take place.

    Better Housing For Married Troops

    The housing situation for Airmen, Sailors, Soldiers, and Marines can be much improved over life in the barracks married couples are not subject to the same kinds of living quarters inspections and communal living considerations that single service members have to deal with.

    And the higher your rank, the better options you may have open to you depending on location and other factors.

    Consider a typical military assignment to a new base where there is plenty of on-and off-post housing to choose from. An enlisted service member in the ranks of E1 through E3 is not permitted to live in the local community. These troops are usually required to live in the barracks.

    It should be pointed out here that the better housing for couples is not an intentional effort or policy by Defense Department leaders to offer married service members a better lifestyle, but in many areas, married couples do reap the benefit of their situation and the militarys willingness to provide higher allowances, better housing, etc.

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    How Old Do I Have To Be To Marry

    Aged 18 and over?

    If you’re at least 18 years old and mentally competent, you can get married without consent from a parent or guardian.

    Aged 17?

    If you’re 17 years old, you can marry with the consent of your custodial parents, a guardian, a circuit court judge, or superior court judge.

    Aged 15 and 16?

    If you’re 15 or 16 years old, you can marry if you’re pregnant or have a child. The male must be the father of the child. A circuit or superior court judge must still approve, along with consent from your custodial parents or guardian.

    Aged 14 and under?

    If you’re below the age of 15, you’re not allowed to marry.

    What Is The Divorce Rate For Military


    The overall divorce rate is also higher for enlisted troops, at 3.5%, compared to the divorce rate for officers, at 1.7%, regardless of gender. Across the services, the highest overall rate among both males and females, officer and enlisted, is tied between the Air Force and the Marine Corps at 3.3%.

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    Why Do Military Couples Marry So Fast

    Lundquist adds: The conditions of military employment also lead naturally to marriage. Theres stable employment, comprehensive family benefits, and economic mobility in an entry-level job. With the unique conditions of military life, its easy to understand why these couples are quick to the altar.

    Double Proxy Marriage Is It Right For You

    A double proxy marriage allows for a legally binding and nationally-recognized marriage if either the bride or groom is currently serving as an active-duty, military member. Through an intermediary, or proxy, we represent you and your future spouse in court and facilitate the process from beginning to end. Neither party is required to attend a ceremony, appear in court, or come to Montana during the entire process.


    • Insurance: Medical, dental, and vision insurance benefits shared with family
    • Housing: Larger, discounted housing on base and increased BAH
    • Join your spouse: For couples who both serve in the military, possible assignment to the same base
    • Childcare: subsidized childcare for military families

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    Benefits Do Exist In A Dual Military Marriage

    So, you may be wondering, Are there any actual benefits to being in a dual military marriage? Other than being hopelessly in love and getting to experience adventures together, there are actually a few other benefits:

    • You make it count When you never know when youll be together again, you tend to make more of the time you have together since its limited.
    • You can relate like no other milspouse Your spouse understands your job demands more than anyone. Theyll send you just what you need for a care package!
    • You can support them well Since you can anticipate what theyll need before, during, and after deployments, your support system is already 100% better.

    While a dual military marriage may be a challenge, it also affords you a unique relationship that can further strengthen your love for your country and your other half.

    Want more guidance and resources for a successful dual military marriage? Check with your military installation to see if there is a couples program you can work through together.

    Are you in a dual military service marriage? How do you navigate it? Wed love to hear your advice in the comments below!

    Feature image courtesy of U.S. Air Force. Photo by Airman 1st Class Emily Farnsworth

    What Are Military Marriage Laws

    Army lets married soldiers live together on Iraq bases ...

    Created by FindLaw’s team of legal writers and editors

    It’s the basic storyline to many romantic novels: a young soldier is deployed far from home, and meets a beautiful lady who lives close to the base. They court, fall in love, get married, parade under the traditional saber arch and live happily ever after. But what really happens for military couples who seek to marry? This article contains some information to assist young couples in the military thinking about tying the knot.

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    Child Care Issues For Mil

    The military does not have a specific policy that offers childcare benefits to married couples.

    All families are required by their branch of service to provide documentation outlining a childcare plan for contingencies such as deployments, TDY, etc.

    One of the biggest advantages of being a military parent is the ability to use on-base childcare options such as Child Development Centers, Family Child Care offered in regulated private on-base homes, etc.

    Childcare expenses are huge challenges for families, and CDC costs are based on rank among other factors. Lower-ranking enlisted service members wont carry the same financial burden their more experienced and higher-ranking co-workers will.

    In this area, the dual military couple has a distinct advantage. DoD school centers may prioritize dual-military family enrollment. There may be other resources DoD might offer as well. Check with your Family Readiness Group or Work Life Program for information to support you and your childrens transition.

    How Do I Get A Us Passport

    If you will be traveling outside the United States, whether on military orders or on, you may need a U.S. passport. A passport identifies you as a United States citizen and allows you to re-enter the country upon your return. U.S. Passports are issued by the United States Department of State.

    To determine what forms you will need, use the Department of States: “What Form Should I Use?” information service.

    If you are being assigned overseas, you or your dependents may be issued an official no-fee passport for use. Special requirements apply. For answers to the most frequently asked questions about Military No-Fee Passports.

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    How To Plan A Military Wedding

    There are a lot of details involved in planning a wedding, especially military weddings taking place on an installation. Although theres no official protocol for military weddings, you might want to incorporate some military traditions into your big day. And youll want to follow the rules and regulations regarding the wearing of your uniform and using proper military titles on invitations, name cards and seating charts.

    Additional Military Rules And Situations Regarding Divorce

    Being a married soldier in the Army
    • The Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act: A federal law that provides former, un-remarried spouses of military members with certain benefits, after a certain number of years of marriage.
    • Divorce overseas: A U.S. court may not recognize a divorce filed overseas, so its best to file in the United States. Learn where military divorce laws allow service members and their spouses to file for divorce
    • Abandoned spouses: Abandonment is the act of deliberately leaving ones spouse without consent with no intent of returning. If your service member spouse has left you, you are still technically married, have rights and are entitled to support. Contact the legal assistance office at your installation to find out more.

    Whether youre dealing with the legal, emotional or other aspects of divorce, Military OneSource stands ready to help. Call 800-342-9647 or connect through live chat. OCONUS/international? Find dialing options here.

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