HOW TO BE MARRIED TO A MARINE FIGHTER PILOT--A Marine Corps pilot's wife: F-4s, F/A-18s and aviators from my perspective.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Aviator Brief III: Squadron Jobs

The CO--the Commanding Officer--was the boss. He made command decisions, ruled the roost, and if he thought it important--it was important. Number one mantra for a squadron aviator: Don’t make your CO look bad.

The XO--the Executive Officer--was the paper-pushing, attention-to-details, pain-in-the-ass who made sure the big vision of the CO was turned into reality. He did a lot of the admin work and in any court-martial, he was in charge of the details.

Snatch and his wife had a running discussion for years on who was the CO and who was the XO of their family. She maintained he was the XO since he paid the bills and did the worry-work over the administration details; and she was the CO, making command decisions on the big picture like how many children they would have, what the rules were for the children, and where they would retire. He always snorted and shook his head after she reminded him of the qualifications, but he didn’t really argue because he knew she was always right. Proof she was the CO.

A Musing:

I like making important decisions, but I discuss them with my husband first. Sometimes, Andy makes a major decision without me--like taking the car in for an oil change and coming back with a new car. A new car that we never talked about getting! What part of getting a stick-shift transmission didn’t make sense? Let me see, maybe that we had three teenaged girl drivers, none of whom knew how to drive a stick?

Aha! I hear the husbands out there saying, "Clever man to get a car he doesn’t have to share." I recognize the sneakiness of that, but my car became the designated share car. Not fair.

In my head I hear my daughters whining about something--anything--many things--not being fair. I hear my own voice saying, “Life’s not fair. Who ever promised you fair?”
As CO, Commanding Officer-in-Charge-of-the-Family (and--I wish--the world) I want the world to be fair for me.

Huh. Good luck with that.

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