“My biggest piece of advise would be, BE SUPPORTIVE! You do not need to understand it all – they do not, but your support makes it much easier for them, as an individual and a team player. Talk to the Seasoned spouses, they know what you are going through and likely have been through the old “initiation” They SHOULD be there to support you as well. Go to the meet and greet. You are just as much a part of HIS/HER transition as he/she is – without your support his/her morale is not in the process. Additionally, understand the there are things he/she CAN NOT talk about (due to the process, or tiredness, or just lack of knowing yet) be supportive!!!! Talk to your mentors/seasoned spouses, don’t take it out on your selectee or bad mouth the mess! OH YEAH, TRY TO HAVE FUN- this is a once in a life time achievement!!!”
“If you stress and complain, it will be the longest 6 weeks of your life, lol! We can all say that now, right?!? Become self reliant and do things! It will be a lot easier, It’ll be quality time for yourself and kids should you have any. STAY BUSY!
pretend they are deployed… and if they are deployed then just look up whatever he asks you to! LOL! Get involved if you want, but remember he will be stressed and tired. It’s quick and not so painless, but it’s important to remember that the things they are doing, however strange they seem, are for the betterment of the mess and each chief.”
“Take it one day at a time. Be patient with the busy hours he will have. Be supportive. Have dinner waiting, no matter what time he gets in (even if you have to put it in the refrigerator to be reheated later). Try not to get really upset because he’s hardly ever home. If there’s something you don’t understand, ask him, but don’t barrage him with questions. If you have a bunch of questions, ask your husbands’ sponsor wife, or the COB’s wife or any seasoned wives that you know or want to get to know. Get involve with the things that you can, but remember that this is his journey to take. You’re pretty much along for the ride (sorry if that doesn’t sound nice). They are “learning” how the brotherhood of Chiefs work, how to be an individual and yet be a team member. And some things may might make you to say “Huh???”, just go with the flow. Always, always, always…Be patient, be kind, be supportive, love him with all your heart, and know it won’t last forever. Heck, it’s better than deployment!”
“He would call me at random times and just talk to for awhile. I learned not to say anything, or try to give him advice. Just let him vent his frustration. Oh and Remind him to Eat. Mine went almost 2 days without eating because they get so busy, and are so tired by the time they get home they crash. My biggest savior was the other selectee wife. I was really good with all the logistical planning and she was good at gathering the random supplies from the 30 sec phone call “Hunny I need this”. While pairing up with a chief wife is great, grouping together as selectee spouses allows you to tag team the randomness”
“just be sportive. and not the.. I’m going to go to bat for you. but the understanding kind. my husband was deployed, e-mail quickly turned to information that he needed there was no time to talk about him or how he was doing. hardest part was i didn’t get to see him to see that he was physically doing okay. when he was getting pinned in japan, i was sitting at home crying in Hawaii. 24 hours isn’t enough notice for a wife to see her husbands biggest career moment in 17 years LOL! these are things that some of them will go through.. it took me a year to let go of the sadness that we had no pictures, and not even a memory to go with it his achievement,. but you have to let it go and move on. for those that will see everything. remember, no matter how tired he is, no matter how horrible he looks. when its all over.. it will be a time they talk about with a pride that is unimaginable! i would also like to add. for current CPO spouses. if you have a command that is deployed. please don’t ignore the season, please don’t ignore that you have new wives coming into the mess.!”
“This is the time you have to be really strong and self sufficient. He/she will be gone long hours, including weekends. They will be under a lot of stress. Truly, the last thing they need is additional responsibilities during this time. Remember that it is 6 of the most important weeks of their career, so please be patient and supportive.”
“CPO 365 is what occurs year round for First Classes to prepare them for Chief and the transition season. Transition is a process that should be celebrated and embraced. Enjoy the process for what it is. What is represents. And the history behind it.”
“ Ok. Now my soap box item. Lol. Your spouses selection should not change who you are or how you treat others. And when at command functions remember just by virtue of being the Chief’s spouse, JR spouses may look to you for guidance or just how to conduct themselves. Embrace it. Carry yourself accordingly. Don’t forget where you came from or the sacrifices made to get there. (I’m sure we have all met that spouse that felt her new name was Chief’s wife…..hehe). ”
“Be careful who you choose to vent to about frustrations. It can be awkward and some wives may not feel the same way and you may find yourself being labeled. Also help when you can. I volunteered when I could and also helped at the carwash when I could. If you have the personality to sell and raise money HELP HIM. You don’t have to do it for them but be supportive and participate. I also helped one of the single selects with running some of the errands. When they had to scavenger hunt I had my resources to get the things so I helped. It may have been wrong in some eyes because they are supposed to do it, but it also encourages family support. That’s just me. If you are a sponsors wife use the motto. “Don’t ask the Chief, ask the Chief’s Wife”. And make sure you have money set aside for him. It may not seem like it, but season can be very expensive and you find yourself spending left and right.”
“It was emotional for my hubby because it was something he had been hoping for since be became eligible. He went through a wide range of emotions. One day he was super sweet, next day he was am angry asshole. All I can say is keep a cool head. Chalk it up to the late night phone calls and all the stress the others are putting him through.. It will be worth it. Just be there to support him, and be a shoulder to lean on, he will be grateful for you in the end.”
“Along with making friends with Chief spouses, band together with the other selectee spouses. We got together with Chief spouses and selectee spouses the night before pinning, the selectees had an overnight thing – not sure if they still do that, but it was fun for us ladies to finally have that sigh of relief that it was almost over. I’m closer friends with the ladies that went through indoc with me than I am with almost any other spouses I’ve met over the years.”
“Patience, support, organization (for u not him because anything they ask of him probably will change ten times with a purpose.)”
“Be Understanding! You may look at him half way through and think do I even know this person? They will return I promise!!
Be Supportive! They may send you all over town looking for a Goose egg!! But help them find it!! It may mean letting them sleep an extra 30mins while you run into town to pick up fresh donuts, do it! Get yourself a half dozen of chocolate ones too!!
Be Kind! Help the others in the group, and when you really want to flip out on those chiefs that are bullying your spouse, don’t! You will only feel silly about it next year when you better understand the process!
Be Patient! It will seem hectic! It is! But make sure your spouse isn’t dropping the ball at home all the time! They have to learn to handle work demands and family demands! Make sure they know your there to help and you love them, but need them too!! Most importantly remember…..This to shall pass!! Have fun!! It’s so much better being a chief spouse!!”
“My hubby went thru it before this whole 365, so I treated it as a 6 wk underway. If I see ya, I see ya. I did a lot of cooking and baking for food sales. I would also make and take them food for their late night sessions. We weren’t allow to wash cars or even carry the signs on the corner to advertise, so I made sure to watch my car once a week with them. Also brought them food and water for them to snack on. You have to be very understanding, self-sufficient, and tentative. For 6 wks, it was all about him. Greet your selectee spouses. Make them feel welcomed. It wasn’t like that at all when he made it.”
“ Let them do their thing. If they can not answer direct questions, there is a reason.”
“Keep your sense of humor! Singing the YMCA is still prohibited at my house 15 years later!”
Top 10 Tips for Chief Selectee Spouses
1. Be Patient with lots of love and understanding
2. Treat as an underway/workup/deployment
3. Have food ready
4. Talk to your kids (if any) and explain the situation
5. Be a good listener when he vents
6. Save up some money for those new uniforms but don’t buy them all at once
7. Get touch with other spouses who have gone through or are going through the same thing
8. Stay supportive: go to the fundraisers, the meet-and-greets, run the errands at home, help him with the tasks and memorization
9. Remember it’s only temporary
10. Don’t let HIS promotion change who YOU are
Also check out U.S. Navy Chief Spouses Group on Facebook once the pinning ceremony is over. These ladies are a great help to any resource or support you might need.
Did your spouse just make Navy Chief Petty Officer? Or have they been Chief a while? What advice would you give?
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