How I Found My Tribe As a Military Spouse


When my spouse left for an unaccompanied yearlong tour, I was clueless. I was new to Army life. I was new to being a military spouse. I was new to being a spouse in general! I was living away from an installation. And finally, I was a little scared.

Ironically enough, I wasn’t scared because of my spouse being away.

Don’t get me wrong, I worried about him a lot. I knew there wasn’t anything I could do about his situation at the time. I was scared because my life as I knew it was changing. My own life was going to experience changes that I had no idea how to prepare for.

When my spouse left for an unaccompanied yearlong tour, I was clueless. I was new to Army life. I was new to being a military spouse. I was new to being a spouse in general! I was living away from an installation. And finally, I was a little scared. #milspousefest2016

My friends were wonderful and did everything they could to be mindful of my feelings. Truly, I wouldn’t have made it through that year without them. But, I was still in search of a community, a tribe of people that understood my new journey.

One faithful weekend, I trekked to the Washington, DC area from NYC to attend my first spouses’ conference with the National Military Spouses Network. That day, I sat with some amazing spouses who showed me how I can overcome the challenges of maintaining my career with military life.

As I listened to story after story, I was hooked. I knew attending these conferences was a way for me to drum up the motivation I needed to succeed. After my inevitable PCS when my husband arrived back, I kept going.

The next spouse event in the area was from Military.com and happens to be one of my most memorable. Since I was meeting people online, I haven’t had the chance to meet them in person yet. At that event, I was able to meet some of my online connections in the flesh as well as build new friendships. What an amazing day!

Since my first two spouses’ events, I make an effort to attend as many as I can. I’ve attended wonderful events from Blue Start Families, Army Wife Network, Operation Homefront, and MOAA.

Through these events, I was able to gain valuable resources, knowledge and connections to make me a confident military spouse.

Now that I have a handful of years under my belt as a military spouse, I’m still going to continue attending military spouse events.

There is always something new to learn and people to meet. Plus, I love just sitting down with people sharing your journey to talk about life. Sometimes we need another ear to talk to or have the opportunity to listen and help another military spouse.

Want to know another wonderful thing about military spouse events? All events have their own unique twist or delivery. Whether it’s a full auditorium or small roundtable discussion, you go into each event with an expectation.

That’s why I’m pumped about a new military spouse event that promises to break the mold of traditional military spouse conferences.

MilitaryOneClick is launching the #MilspouseFest2016 tour and the theme is “You Be You.”

Sometimes, we military spouses need to hear  that and practice being ourselves. At the end of the day, that’s what’s going to get us through military life along with our strong tribe of military spouses.

When my spouse left for an unaccompanied yearlong tour, I was clueless. I was new to Army life. I was new to being a military spouse. I was new to being a spouse in general! I was living away from an installation. And finally, I was a little scared. #milspousefest2016

If you’re in the San Diego area, I encourage you to clear your calendar on Tuesday, April 19 from 10 to 2pm at Liberty Station.

That’s the very first #MilspouseFest2016 tour stop! The MilitaryOneClick team has put together an amazing event that will help you figure out YOUR strengths with a series of one-on-one activities and group interactions. There will also be opportunities to work together as a crowd.

Everything is designed to help you be the military spouse you already are…awesome! Oh, and I can’t leave out a list of amazing tour guests that have put together strategies you can use in your military life.

Jacey Eckhart, the former Director of Spouse and Family Programs of Military.com and military life ninja will be the Emcee of the event. J.J. Montanaro and Maggie Hahn from USAA will share tips on how to pave the way to your own financial success. Plus, Noreen O’Neil from Hiring Our Heroes will give you guidance on a career plan that works for you.

There’ll be food and prizes, too! And the price for everything is perfect: free!

Sign-up now for #MilspouseFest2016 because it will be amazing and because it is FREE! Share with your friends and get ready to make the most of military life!

Rachel Tringali Marston is an Army spouse and daughter to an Air Force retiree. Rachel’s family settled in Texas and that’s where she calls home. Before getting married, she lived in New York City for almost 10 years and considers that her second home. Rachel enjoys learning and exploring the area around her husband’s duty station and is embracing life in the military. In her spare time, she shares her adventures on her personal blog called The Professional Army Wife.