Did You Really Just Call "The Chain of Command" For That?

Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with the Army nor should you take my post as anyone with the authority or power of a commander in the Army. These are my thoughts and those of people I have talked and chatted with. Use your own judgement and if you feel you really need to call the COC then by all means go ahead.

Today a spouse posted on my Facebook Fan Page a situation with her and her husband and that she needed advice. Many spouses recommended the common suggestion of calling the soldier’s COC.

Read About It Here

My co-moderator posted that spouses need to be careful calling COC’s because they are not there to deal with marriage issues (minus suicide, abuse, or PROOF of infidelity).

Read That Here

I have thought about this question because I too have been guilty of telling a spouse to call the COC. The part that the spouses usually fail to hear me on is when I say “the COC can only help in certain situations and nothing is guaranteed”. They are not their to fix your marriage.

Because of what I do I have had the opportunity to talk with quite a few SNCO’s and higher ups just in passing. Calling in for the below types of situations is what has caused the option of calling the chain of command to be at times abused.

Top Five Reasons

*Spouses have not paid child support at the beginning of the month , but the soldier has until the end of the month to make the payment.

*When soldiers have to work late, spouses calling the COC to verify that their soldier’s are actually working late and why they have to work late? I have had spouses call my husband at 3AM to ask my husband is their husband really on duty.

* Spouses calling in questioning why their spouse is being put on a specific detail outside of their MOS.

* Spouses calling in because they haven’t heard from their spouse in 2 days and demanding that the COC make their soldier call them.

*Spouses calling in wanting a Red Cross message initiated on NON-life threatening or Non emergency situations.

Now by all means please do not take this post as me telling you how to handle your situation because ultimately you have to do what’s best for you . All I am suggesting is to take into consideration that the Chain of Command (in most units) are extremely busy and it is the wives who call for really minor and impractical things that make it bad for the ones who do have a serious situation and really could use the help.

Do you think spouses should be able to call for any reason they want …share your thoughts below in the comments section.

See what others had to say about this blog post on FB.

 

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16 comments

  1. Jill Legnosky

    I think the key thing with calling the CoC is to really wait until you calm down, assess the situation and ask yourself if this is something the CoC can actually help with? Calling the CoC for GUIDANCE is totally okay but they are not there to solve all our problems.

  2. Stephanie

    Well said! My husband is about to take command and that’s the one thing we always talk about (as to how HE is going to deal with all of that drama). They have enough on their plates with training, deployments, training meetings, briefings, what not… Unless it is a life threatening situation it should be handled by the spouse. In the civilian world we can’t call their bosses to get them to do something, and he certainly can not try calling MINE to get me to do something.
    Great post!

  3. Jennifer Wheaton

    Going to the COC should be YOUR LAST RESORT in fixing issues…we all have the internet and can research what our options are in certain situations. Also, when you do choose to go to the COC, be completely prepared with whatever you may need to resolve the situation (pay issue for example while spouse is deployed, bring his three most recent LES’s as well as a power of attorney). Also, as to some things you listed like checking to see if their husband is on duty, etc…if you don’t trust your husband, then you have a problem much bigger than the COC can solve…

  4. jenny

    i dont think they should be able to call for any reason, all of the reasons above to me cry out that i cant handle anything on my own nor do i trust my soldier. i rarely call the coc myself and thats even when there r legitimate reasons for me to simply because i do not wish for my s/o to suffer the consequences of my calling to bitch about something that should be address cause even tho they are not allowed to punish them for it we all know they will and noone will say anything about it, they will all stand around and let it happen like its perfectly ok! i cannot stand my husbands coc personally! i have so much dirt on them its unreal and i keep my lip zipped cause i dont want to suffer the consequences i know will come

  5. Georgia

    I always wondered why calling the COC seemed like a real option for lots of women. If your husband wasn’t in the Army would you call his manager at work and whine at him? If you are having issues with your ex paying you and he/she is military I could perhaps understand talking to his/her unit and working your way up if need be. There are many agencies that can assist you through the military if you have other needs, and the Command does not have time for some of the amazingly ridiculous things they get called for. End of story. I never realized how much they are contacted for trivial personal matters until my husband was on Rear Detachment at his last unit. He got phone calls at all hours of the night having to deal with things you would not believe. Then again, I also don’t understand why people assume its safe to put your business all over Facebook and the internet…..

  6. diane

    some people need to learn how to handle their own bus,your marriage isnt any bus of the coc,and them working late,well its the army and thats alot of what thay do,when they are training ,or haveing night mission or its just their turn to pull duty,its part of the job and we just have to deal with it

  7. Spouses need to go to a couple FRG meetings first and find out what the CoC actually considers call worthy. Each CoC has different thoughts on this, some are bigger busy bodies than any busy body spouse I’ve ever met and actually seem to THRIVE on it and seem to be in a bad mood, when he doesn’t have someone to “fix”, some don’t want or care about anything, and I mean ANYTHING. I have only called CoC ONCE in our almost 15 years of marriage (all in the Army), and it was after a fellow/equal NCO called who’d called my home and was so insanely RUDE (was cussing,yelling,etc) to me that if he’d been in front of my face I’d have ripped his head off, literally. I called my husband and asked him how he wanted me to handle the situation and he said call the 1st Sgt. I waited until I was calm and then called. I was very honest in that I was rude as well (although I did not get rude until after 5 full minutes of the guy being a total A** to me, thinking he could order me around. The 1st Sgt was LIVID, as he knew I was not one who ever called and complained, was very active in the FRG, did not cause any drama, etc. The soldier was put on Extra duty and was made to apologize to me. (It later came out that this was something he did on a regular basis to fellow NCO wives and lower enlisted spouses, definitely had a power trip). It was for me very extreme, and I’ve never called since, no reason. I’m a big girl and if I have a problem can handle things myself, or find alternative routes. I do think though that people need to be very careful in telling spouses don’t call unless it falls under these certain area’s, because there are always things that will fall out of those realms, but that the CoC needs to be involved.

  8. I think the big this is to treat the CoC just like any other boss. Would you call a civilian boss about said issue? Well then don’t call the CoC about it. Now, yes I know there are certain things that are different between a civilian boss and a CoC. However, for the majority of issues it will work.

    • Christy Martin

      I absolutely agree. The example you provided is the same one I provide when people say call the COC. We should treat this job just like any other.
      I married my husband pre-Army. So from a civilian vs. military perspective I don’t see the difference. Pre-Army, I never even thought of calling his manager, store/company directors, or other boss-like titled people. I don’t care if he or I didn’t like his hours, jobs descriptions, daily tasks, or whatever else; we simply NEVER contacted his bosses; it just isn’t done. Why should that be any different now that we are military? The Army is his job and althought it may be a bit more demanding at times I am still in no position to call his “boss”. Just my perspective.

  9. Monique Bakken

    Spouses may be a problem, but parents are ridiculous! Why do you think as a parent you can call a complete stranger who happens to be your kids boss and demand a phone call or demand money? They become irate, it is so ridiculous. Think about the consequences to the Soldier. Now the Soldier is seen as a trouble maker or not squared away just because momma, daddy or wifey can’t take care of their personal business. I have a word for these people it’s called trifling. I have encountered all excuses and few have been legitimate reasons for involving the Soldier’s workplace.

  10. Hmm, this is all new to me, the Canadian Military doesn’t work that way. There is never a reason to call up the Chain of Command as a spouse. There is a ‘family support’ or ‘rear party’ that you can contact in an emergency or with pay or other questions during deployment. Most wives wouldn’t even know who their husbands chain of command is, or their phone number to contact them.
    3am calls to check up on a duty? I am pretty sure I would be livid if that was my phone ringing.

    • cassadeena

      The army has family readiness groups (FRG) for all these same questions as well as acting as a support system to help w odd jobs, emergencies, childcare during illness, and pretty much anything you would ask your family for help w if they lived near.

  11. Sarah H

    If your spouse was not a Soldier would you call his employer? His boss? Probably not. Why would you call his chain of command for issues outside a Soldier’s job (i.e., family issues, infidelity, $$)? Why is it any different in the military than out of the military?

    I get the whole “it’s different” thing, but seriously, is it? It’s their J-O-B. Yes, it is a way of life, but think about how you would handle a situation without the CoC – court system, police, counseling? Maybe one should think about those alternatives before dragging an already over burdened CoC into your personal life. Believe me, they don’t want to be there and in the end, you don’t want them there either.

    Some spouses need to grow up. Last time I checked, if you are 18 you are an ADULT. Start taking responsibility for yourself.

  12. cassadeena

    Your first point of contact should be your FRG leader or key caller depending on the size of the unit. If the situation warrants it they can make the call to COC or whom ever can produce results.

  13. Christine Hood

    If your husband had a regular job, would you call his boss because he went out with friends after work and didnt come home until 3am? If your husband had a regular job, would you call his boss if he didn’t pay child support? If your husband had a regular job, would you call his boss if the asked him for a report that was really someone else’s job? NO! So dont call the COC!! My husband is a Pltn Sgt and guess what…when you call the COC because your husband is doing things that you think are not his job/business, you make my husband leave his family to do things that I think are not his job/business! Handle your business so my husband can handle his. When he spends his day answering calls from spouses who are out of their lane, he ends up stuck at work late and on weekends to do the work that he has to do, instead of spending time with his family.

  14. Pingback: The 9 Types of Military Wives…See If You Know One! | Army Wife 101

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