Welcome to the Military Spouse Games of Strength, Skills and Endurance. This international sporting event brings military dependents from all branches of service head to head in 10 unique competitions tailored to military life.
The Military Spouse Games (which are held every 3 years in line with PCS orders) are considered to be the world’s foremost sports competition with more than 1.1 million military spouses participating at duty stations around the world.
10 Sporting Events Military Spouses Would Crush
Military Spouse Sporting Event #1: Please Hold Trifecta
This endurance event tests a spouse’s ability to wait on hold with one of several government agencies. Athletes will be judged on ability to handle transfers, hit the appropriate number options as directed and patience as they repeatedly recite their service member’s Social Security number.
Winners will be determined based on total wait time. Athletes who hang up when placed on hold will be disqualified.
Bonus points will be awarded to contestants for staying on the line until a real-life human picks up. Additional bonus points for negotiating with or entertaining a child, cooking a meal, cleaning or doing other routine household work during the call.
The current world record in this event is 4 hours, 14 minutes and 44 seconds.
Military Spouse Sporting Event #2: Rapid Unpack Race
This event combines the 3 pillars of the Military Spouse Games: physical strength, problem-solving skills and focused endurance.
For this competition, each athlete is given 24 full boxes of mixed household goods and a 900-square-foot living space. Which military spouse can unpack and decorate their “home” the fastest?
Competitors will be judged on style, organization, disposal of packing materials and unpacking speed.
No help from the “sponsor” will be provided. All basic tools are packed in the boxes. Athletes may choose to go for bonus points by adding a demanding toddler or a sick dog into this sporting event.
The current world record is held by Marine Corps spouse Tiffany Spears. Her Rapid Unpack time is 6 hours, 54 minutes and 17 seconds. She hosted 3 new neighbors for coffee after she finished unpacking her boxes.
Military Spouse Sporting Event #3: Commissary Coupon Dash
In this event, military spouses must purchase enough food to create a week’s worth of nutritious meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) for a family of 4 from their commissary using only military store coupons. They must shop on payday.
Medals will be awarded to the first 3 spouses through the checkout line with the most complete menu plan.
Obstacles in the Commissary Coupon Dash include super slow deli counter employees, randomly out of stock items, retiree roadblocks and whining children. Penalties will be given to athletes who forget to bring their resuable grocery bags or neglect to tip their bagger.
The current world record is held by Air Force spouse Charlie McBee. This stay-at-home dad amazed the judges with his ability to keep his twin 2 year olds quiet while requesting gluten-free food items.
Military Spouse Sporting Event #4: Health Care Slalom
Each athlete will draw one medical condition. Possible conditions include: dietary allergies, pregnancy, back pain, chronic knee pain, migraines and a skin rash.
Competitors will need to navigate the Tricare Prime system to be seen by a specialist and resolve their health care concerns. Points will be awarded for speed and actual answers from a qualified medical professional at a military treatment facility.
Obstacles may include but are not limited to an overseas PCS while waiting for test results or a referral for a specialist.
Military spouses who switch to Tricare Standard will be disqualified.
Military Spouse Sporting Event #5: Synchronized Super Shuttle
In this event military spouses must shuttle 4 children, between the ages 4 and 18, to a full day’s worth of activities.
Athletes should prepare for the following possible scenarios: sports practices, doctor’s visits, school drop-offs/pick-ups, playdates, fast food drive-in lunch, FRG meeting and emergency medical treatment. The minimum Super Shuttle route is 100 miles.
Obstacles may include missing military dependent ID, hungry children, delays at the military installation gate (did someone say random security check?) and an gas tank light blinking “empty.”
The winner will be determined based on mental sanity and pleasantness at the end of the 16-hour event.
Military Spouse Sporting Event #6: Hurry Up and Wait Chess
Which military spouse can adjust most gracefully to the inevitable changes to a plan in military life? In this mental and emotional game, competitors are required to bounce back with a Plan B (or C) from the following changes:
- homecoming dates delayed
- earlier than expected deployment departure dates
- PCS orders changed repeatedly
Successful athletes in Hurry Up and Wait Chess have zero expectations. They write all future plans in pencil. They repeat to themselves “hurry up and wait” while savoring a glass of red wine.
Military Spouse Sporting Event #7: Welcome Aboard Relay
Athletes work to greet as many new neighbors in their on-base community as possible in an 12-hour window. Military spouses must bring a homemade food item to each meet-and-greet and engage in pleasant conversation with each new neighbor. All food must be baked or cooked within the competition window and not include major allergens (dairy or nuts).
Common obstacles in the Welcome Aboard Relay are a closed commissary when you need eggs on a Monday morning and a drama-filled neighbor who wants to loop you into all the neighborhood gossip.
Bonus points will be awarded to military spouses who take the time to share their favorite food delivery phone numbers and invite the new neighbor over for dinner.
Coast Guard spouse Sera Shepard is the current record holder in this event. The judges awarded her a perfect score for her handwritten welcome notes, homemade dairy-free Snickerdoodles and patriotic packaging.
Military Spouse Sporting Event #8: New Duty Station Navigation
Blindfolded competitors will be air-dropped into a new location. Armed only with a detailed road map, a car and a compass, military spouses will need to find specific locations within the competition window. Locations include: doctor, dentist, grocery store, specialty grocery store, hairdresser, playground, dog park, Hobby Lobby, veterinary office, Home Depot, yoga studio, Starbucks, Target, Sam’s Club, post office, spa and K-12 schools.
Military spouses who use smartphone apps such as Waze and Google Maps will be disqualified.
Bonus points will be awarded to military spouses who are air-dropped into foreign countries and must first learn to drive on the left side of the road.
Military Spouse Sporting Event #9: Magic Squares Networking Marathon
When at a unit event, military spouses will need to “find someone who” fits into each of the 20 to 30 categories. Athletes may not double dip or put one person in 2 categories. Categories will be varied, and not revealed prior to the event.
Bonus points for networking the competitor’s own home business or blog will be awarded.
Military Spouse Sporting Event #10: Memory Medley
Athletes will need to reproduce, from memory without any assistance, their entire life history. Spouses must include all addresses from the last 10 years, at least one non-familial reference for each address/location, a detailed resume with professional references, and a complete medical history with names of clinics or doctors.
Obstacles may include, but are not limited to computer fields that refuse to recognize FPO addresses and past employers who are no longer at that position.