Elusive Female Friendship in the Army

One of the reasons why I think I have been not only stressed out but also not doing that great day to day at my job is that I don’t really have a group of friends or even a friend. My unit only has myself and one other LT who is male. Then our commander is also an LT who is male.

I guess they are my friends in a sense but truly, they are my coworkers and no matter where you’re at or who you work for, you need someone who you can vent about stuff like work to. Venting to these two LTs would be inappropriate because it would be complaining and not friendship.

Does that make sense?

One thing I wasn’t really prepared for at all when becoming a member of a combat arms MOS was the lack of females.

I mean, I knew that was a fact but I didn’t realize the implications. I had great male friends in ROTC why would it be such a problem in the ‘real’ army? At the same time though, I had my three great female college roommates who weren’t even in the Army and then I had my two great female friends who I could talk to about anything who were in ROTC.

No judgements and I could complain about work and they could sympathize.

Here, I really don’t have anyone. I still have my friends from college and high school who I can text but it’s not the same. There’s something about saying oh I ran to this water tower and x, y, and z did this and your buddy instantly knowing what and where you’re talking about.

I’m hoping that when deployments come back home there will be more LTs roaming around for me to get to know.

In the meantime I’ve been creeping around different Army websites trying to find volunteer opportunities where I might be able to meet other people.

So far, I don’t see much. A lot of the opportunities are when I’m working or for spouses of soldiers but I’ll keep an open mind. Besides, one thing work does is keep me busy so after working, studying for work, and blogging, I really only have so much time anyway.

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Anne is Back

Why the hiatus?

Life got hard. Or at least, I think it did. It’s difficult claiming that when sometimes I feel like I just really need a swift kick to the butt.

It’s still January and I couldn’t hold this down. But, while I was in band with Liz I did learn that repetition makes practice and practice makes perfect. My handy theology major taught me that 40 days of consistently doing something makes something a habit and once something is a habit, it’s a lot easier to do. This is the idea behind things like Lent anyway.

So, I think I will write everyday even if that just means scheduling posts so I don’t interfere with Liz’s day.

Do you see what I just did? I told you the problem and came up with the solution.

Life did get hard though. I’m sure if my boss was reading this he would laugh out loud though and call me a baby…

I guess I’m really not used to working so much. In college I probably worked as many hours if not more, but I got to spread it out. I purposefully would schedule myself a two hour lunch to hang out with friends and nap. Some days I would even just schedule night classes so when my friends were studying I could knock out a 3 hour class and in the day time just go to the gym.

Now, that flexibility isn’t as true. The Army is interesting in the fact that I don’t get paid hourly. I get paid monthly so it doesn’t matter how many hours I work, I just need to get my taskings done. Sometimes, I could honestly get done by noon and other times I need to work ’til 10 at night. Because I’m still new and figuring out this Army thing, oftentimes these last few months, I found myself in the office until 9 at night… not horrible but way past the time my favorite burrito shop closed.

It’s also hard because being in the Army is about people and honestly, most of my soldiers don’t have to be with me that late to complete stuff. My stuff a lot of the times is admin paperwork so I need to utilize my daylight hours with them in the field and then once they go home I can type up the 30 memos I need.

My days where I get to be with my soldiers are my favorite. It does get hard to remember that though when I’m reading something called a ‘technical manual’ trying to figure out how to write a memo and what exactly I should be doing.

I learned that the hard way. Part of my job is being the arm’s room officer. NCOs and officers get additional duties on top of their normal duties to make the unit effective. Arm’s Room Officer means I have to keep the room where we store weapons secure and in compliance with state and federal law. That means any vents leading into that room needs to have security bars over it and the keys need to be inventoried and secure and the people that have access to the key to the key box don’t also have access to the arms room.

Crazy stuff that makes sense but you didn’t realize had to be in effect, or at least I didn’t.

So here we are, an Anne that wants to figure out life but an Anne that needs to manage her time better.

You know you love me,

xoxo Gossip GI Girl