10 Things That Happen When You Marry A Marine

10 Things That Happen When You Marry A Marine

You got the customary butt slap and became one of the few, the proud, the Marine Corps spouses.

Your spouse is part of the smallest fighting force in the U.S. Armed Forces, but collectively, the Marine Corps family packs a wallop.

10 Things That Happen When You Marry A Marine
U.S. Marines with Marine Rotational Force Europe 17.2 simulate combat during the October squad competition at Vaernes Garnison, Norway, Oct. 19, 2017. Competitions help build camaraderie as well as boosts unit morale. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Jesus Flores)

When you’re married to a Marine, a few things happen along the way. What have you experienced?

10 Things That Happen When You Marry A Marine

1. You know about Chesty Puller

Chesty is the Marine’s Marine. Lt. General Lewis Puller rose up the ranks from enlisted to officer, he led from the front always.

And Chesty knew how to throw down a mean quote. His witty one and two liners are evergreen and get used regularly.

Before you know it, you’ll be tossing around Chesty quotes with the best of them.

2. You’ll feel like your spouse SHOULD have been given approval to get married

“Son, when the Marine Corps wants you to have a wife, you’ll be issued one.”

Times might have changed slightly since Chesty Puller shared that bit of wisdom, but the sentiment is the same. Throughout your life as a Marine Corps spouse, you might feel like you’re playing second string.

Nothing is easier, no special privileges are given. Your life will often come second or third to the needs of the Marine Corps.

3. You get a little salty

The constant training and deployments can wear you down. Your family will always seem to be on the move, even more frequently than the average military family. It can seem like no matter where you are stationed, the USMC gets the short end of the stick.

After a while, it can wear on you.

You get a little grouchy, a little crusty.

Finally, you’ve gone full on salty.

Whenever anything happens, you frequently utter “Because Marine Corps” and throw your hands in the air.

4. Your knife hand is on point

Need to get a point across? Throw a knife hand into the conversation. Stiffen up your palm, get that thumb in-line with the rest of the fingers, and point everything toward the other person.

Fair warning though: knife hands are awfully sharp. Just ask my kids. They get a mom-style knife hand almost daily.

5. You get a thrill during drill

Seeing the silent drill platoon is something you’ll never forget. The crispness of their movements, perfectly in step. Heavy M1 Garands effortlessly tossed in the air, caught without flinching. The thump, thump, thump of heels and rifles becomes ingrained in you, mixing with your heartbeat.

Watching the silent drill team will make you feel extra proud to be a Marine spouse.

10 Things That Happen When You Marry A Marine
Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Robert B. Neller speaks to Marines and guests attending the Commandant’s Birthday Ball at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, Oxon Hill, Md., Nov. 4, 2017. Each year the Commandant hosts a ball in honor of the Marine Corps’ birthday. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Olivia G. Ortiz)

6. You love/hate the birthday ball

When they button that dress blues blouse and buckle the belt, it’s swoon city. Nothing, and I mean nothing, is as sharp as a Marine in full dress blues.

Plus, the annual birthday ball is a chance for you to don your formal finest, too. Slipping into a gorgeous gown or sharp tuxedo is special.

Except…now you have to find that glamorous outfit. And get a sitter. Then there are the years when the ball is out of town or requires a long drive through potentially heavy traffic. Factor in the endless sitting and standing for the ceremony.

Hey, at least there’s cake.

7. You look forward to sleeves-up day

On one magical day every spring, Marines everywhere roll their sleeves. Yes, it’s a super simple little adjustment, but goodness it does so much.

A nice crisp sleeve-roll is something special. A few years back, they took away rolled sleeves. It was a very sad day. Don’t ask me what makes it so wonderful, Just wait and see for yourself.

8. You enjoy the choice locations

San Diego. Hawaii. North Carolina. Okinawa. Wonder what all these places have in common? The beach, within easy almost effortless reach. You won’t be stuck in the middle of the country. Oh no, you’ll be at the beach.

As a special bonus, one of the largest Marine bases, Camp Pendleton, is within a few hours of Disneyland. If you have a long deployment, Mickey Mouse can become your new best friend.

9. There’s something about a good march

All that bright brass and punchy notes. Oh, it just makes me want to dance! With John Phillip Sousa as a former Marine Corps Band commander, there is no doubt that the Marines have some of the best marching tunes around.

And when the Marines’ Hymn starts to play, get ready to have tears spring to your eyes!

10. You’ll find a great support system

One of the best things about joining the USMC spouse community is just that: community.

In almost a decade as a Marine spouse, on both coasts and OCONUS, I have found the best friends and most unwavering support around. Whether I’ve needed a deployment pep talk or someone to babysit last minute, I’ve found the help I needed within the USMC community.



  1. Meg, you are a jack of all trades. Thanks for this!

  2. After being married my husband near 50 years I just found this sight!
    We met on a blind date !
    He had return from Vietnam before we met.
    I was 16 and he was 20. In N C
    I have not ever met another Marines wife to my knowledge!
    He served in Recon in Vietnam. He began to experience the effects of Agent orange around the age of 40 .
    I am his caregiver, now. more the last 7 years.
    I am reaching to the Marine wives !
    Thank you! Please reach out to me.

  3. I’m going to be getting married soon to a marine and I’ve kinda been nervous about the whole being a military spouse thing, but this helped me understand a lot thank you

  4. Not married yet, but here’s to wishful thinking! God bless you lovely couples <3

  5. Thanks engaged to a Marine been together for a year. I’m former Army…but the Marines are new to me and thia helped alot. Your amazing!


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