In the military, you deal with a lot of rank changes. Your spouse, or even you, will get promoted as their military career progresses. One rank follows another, a natural progression.
We experienced something a little different, that only a handful of people in the Army experiences. My husband went down in rank, by his own choice.
I’ve been there for every single one of his promotions. He first got commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Army a week before we got married. I was able to pin his rank; it was a very happy moment for us. A year and a half later, I was there again, slapping his 1st Lieutenant rank on his chest. Again, another proud moment. And another year and a half, with a deployment wedged in between, we were there again. He was getting promoted to Captain.
My husband was happy with the progression of his career, sure, but his heart wasn’t in it. He had his eyes set on flying helicopters. So while he was deployed he began the research to become a pilot. After some soul searching, all signs were pointing to him dropping his commission and becoming a Warrant Officer. He knew if he switched to Aviation as a Captain, he would be flying the minimum hours and working behind a desk, a job he was doing now and hated. The decision was made, he would apply to become an Aviation Warrant Officer.
His application was accepted at the end of July, 2011, and by February, 2012, his rank was changed. He was officially a WO1 (Warrant Officer 1) and we were on our way to flight school! And as luck would have it, because he was a Captain beforehand, he automatically was promoted to CW2 (Chief Warrant Officer 2).
While the rank change wasn’t too big of a deal for us, we’ve encountered some shock from the general military population. If we mention that in fact he was a Captain before and decided to switch, many will ask us why? What’s the point? Or the most common question, what about the money?
In the end, the money doesn’t matter. He’s still getting a paycheck and yes, while it’s less than before, it is still something. We had to ask ourselves what was more important, a little bit more money or more happiness? I think you can agree with us on this one, happiness will get you further in life than money.
I’m proud to say that we are now a Warrant Officer family and I’m proud of my husband for choosing a career that is making him happy. He is so lucky to have found his dream job and I’ll support him in whatever way I can!