Local News

Military Loved Ones Get Lessons in Soldiers' Lingo

Posted August 17, 2007 7:56 p.m. EDT
Updated August 17, 2007 8:00 p.m. EDT

— Military life can seem like a whole different culture, one with its own language, traditions and customs. Some spouses of service members can quickly feel lost, especially when their loved one deploys.

Soldiers can bounce around all kinds of lingo. To catch the meaning, you might need to R.S.V.P. for a class on acronyms.

“I had a meeting with the first sergeant and the CO after the GI party to talk about the FTX,” said Instructor Araceli Smith. FTX is a field training exercise, she explained.

Some Army spouses recently tried to learn the military’s lingo by taking part in the Army Family Team Building classes at Fort Bragg. Volunteer instructors taught the free classes.

Participants learned to say "15 hundred" instead of "3 o’clock" (that's p.m.), and they learned the chain of command, among other things.

“I’m here to learn more about what I can do to support my husband as a spouse,” said Army wife Jessica Roberts, 19.

But the classes didn’t merely involve the ABCs of military acronyms. With hundreds of Fort Bragg soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, the classes also delved deeply into hard-hitting issues that Army families face

“We talk about deployments and what it does to our families,” Smith said.

There's a class on stress management, one on coping with crisis and grieving. Saying goodbye to a spouse bound for battle is tough enough, but instructors say re-uniting can be just as stressful.

“The dynamic of the family, relinquishing the control of things, it’s one of the hardest things,” Smith said.

Roberts said she knows her husband’s deployment is inevitable. He just joined the Army, and she said she has plenty to learn.

“Where you’re going to have emotional problems, where you’re going to have financial issues,” she said. “You can’t prepare for a deployment, you just have to be ready and take it one day at a time.”