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Elaine Dumler - - 866.780.0460

Reproducible Articles

Part 2 of series  

Barely  Married 

"What you need to Learn. Plus military alphabet and time tables, and OPSEC."


Article Series 
I'm Already Home... Again
I'm Already Home... Again
The Road Home
The Road Home
Pocket Flip Tips
Pocket Flip Tips
Quick Links...
Elaine Dumler
6460 W. 98th Court
Westminster, CO 80021
866-780-0460 - phone
303-430-7679 - fax

GREAT NEWS! Bonnie Amos, spouse of the Commandant of Marine Corps, Gen. James Amos has established "The First Lady of the Marine Corps Recommended Reading List." I'm proud that my third book, The Road Home - Smoothing the transition back from deployment, has been chosen to be on this select list of 17 books for military spouses! These books are now available in the Marine exchange system, and we hope this list widens to be a part of other branch exchanges. If you are an FRG leader, call me toll free (866-780-0460) for a complimentary review copy of The Road Home so you can see what they have recognized as a vital resource. Click here for a copy of the complete book list.


Being newly married, you can imagine there are some aspects of military life you'll want to become familiar with. Below you'll see areas you need to be "up" on.  I've also included two tables of reference information (military time and alphabet) that you can cut out to keep at your fingertips as you acclimate to how things are done differently in the military.


General Knowledge to Make Life Easier

Learn Military Acronyms - Sometimes it seems like the military has a language all their own, and in some respects that's true. Learning acronyms is a way for you to speak "military" back to your service member or at least understand some of what he/she's saying to you! Find a fairly complete list of common acronyms in the book Married to the Military by Meredith Leyva.


Learn Military Time

If you didn't grow up in the military, this can take some getting used to. This chart will shorten the length of time between hearing a time, and actually figuring out when you have to be somewhere.


1:00am = 0100
2:00am = 0200
3:00am = 0300
4:00am = 0400
5:00am = 0500
6:00am = 0600
7:00am = 0700
8:00am = 0800
9:00am = 0900
10:00am = 1000
11:00am = 1100
12:00pm = 1200
1:00pm = 1300
2:00pm = 1400
3:00pm = 1500
4:00pm = 1600
5:00pm = 1700
6:00pm = 1800
7:00pm = 1900
8:00pm = 2000
9:00pm = 2100
10:00pm = 2200
11:00pm = 2300
12:00am = 2400


Learn the Military Alphabet

Each letter of the alphabet has its own "word" to identify it so that there are no misunderstandings when spelling out a word. Keep this guide in your pocket for quick reference. You'll sound like a pro in no time!


A = Alpha
B = Bravo
C = Charlie
D = Delta
E = Echo
F = Foxtrot
G = Golf
H = Hotel
I = India
J = Juliet
K = Kilo (Kee'-lo)
L = Lima (Lee'-ma)
M = Mike
N = November
O = Oscar
P = Papa
Q = Queen
R = Romeo
S = Sierra
T = Tango
U = Uniform
V = Victor
W = Whiskey
X = X-ray
Y = Yankee
Z = Zulu


Learn Appropriate Dress

You're sure to receive invitations to various military social events and these can be quite enjoyable. Your service member's dress for the occasion will be mandated, but what do you wear? Extensive tables are available that cover what's appropriate for each event, and a good reference for this is the book "Service Etiquette" by Cherlyn Conetsco and Anna Hart.


Learn Rank, Insignia and Grade

An amazing amount of information about your service member - and others - is displayed on a uniform and it's not consistent through all branches of service. Knowing how to interpret what you see will help you navigate the hierarchy and can prevent future embarrassment. A complete chart of rank, insignia and abbreviations can be found at:


Learn about OPSEC

OPSEC (Operations Security) is designed to protect the service member and their family. If you keep that basic thought in mind, you should be able to use common sense regarding the information you give to others - either on purpose or inadvertently.


Regarding your service member, don't talk about:

  • Where he/she is - their location
  • What he/she is doing there - their job
  • When he/she is coming home - their schedule


Social Networks give out a false sense of security because they make you feel "anonymous" when instead everything you post is open to the public.

  • Understand that everyone has access to what you post
  • Go back and reread what you wrote before you hit the post button.
  • Remember not to post any information regarding your serviceperson
  • Don't get "angry" online and post all your frustrations. If you are having bad experiences, find a trusted person to confide in.
  • Be careful of getting drawn into chat rooms where you might find yourself posting things spontaneously instead of having time to think them out.


When conversing in public places:

  • You never know who's listening! Keep that in mind before talking about your serviceperson.


NOTE: Everyone's safety relies on OPSEC, so always err on the side of caution.


In the final part of our series, on November 8th, you'll find advice from "those who know" about finding and using your support system, communication, deployments and reunions. We'll conclude with 4 pieces of advice directly from service members! Don't miss it. 


I invite you to reprint this and share it wherever you think it will be useful. Please follow these guidelines for reprinting this article: 
  • The article must not be rewritten. You may edit for length only.
  • The article must include this permission/bio at the end: Article written by Elaine Dumler and reprinted from her newsletter with permission.
  • For military family books and information on briefings, visit or email