I am so delighted to put the spotlight on @mrarmywife, Steve Schmitt!
Mr. Army Wife, Steve Schmitt has been a military spouse for 19 years. He met his wife in college, they married in 2000 before joining the military in May 2001. After 4 years, she reenlisted, attended Officer Candidate School and Steve became solely a military spouse. It took him a few years to find his footing, but since taking up the mantle of Mr. Army Wife, he’s been an FRG leader, volunteer for on and off post community theatres, various Army museums and spouses’ clubs. He loves being a military spouse, loves hanging out with other military spouses, and can’t imagine a life other than this.
What was the main goal when starting the Mr. Army Wife platform?
“I’m not sure I had any goals when I started calling myself Mr. Army Wife except that I thought it was funny and would make me stand out. I like to be on stage and make people laugh so I guess I was using my creative nature to come up with a way to do that. Over the years that has evolved however, and now Mr. Army Wife is more of a way I can help other spouses navigate their life in this crazy community. I love interviewing other spouses because between myself and all the people I have met there aren’t many situations we haven’t encountered and can help others navigate. When it comes to military spouse life there is no reason to reinvent the wheel, just let those who have come before you, help you. “
What are you most proud of as a military influencer?
“I think the things I am most proud of as a military influencer (totally feels weird to be called that) is the opportunities I’ve had to connect other spouses with one another. As I look back at the dozens and dozens of people I’ve met, I’m amazed by how many of them met one another through me and then became close friends. I kind of see that as an important role in our life. I can’t be best friends with every person at every duty station, but there are so many military spouses looking for friends of like minds, and values, or looking for other moms with children of similar ages, that I am happy to link them together. This has created some life-long friendships that I know will survive the crazy military life we live.”
What resources do you find valuable as a military spouse?
“For me, this is a loaded question because there are simply too many resources to list here. The military has amazing opportunities, and aides if you know where to look. With that said I think there is one thing that can help you find those opportunities and aides when necessary. Look to your local Spouses’ Clubs and Unit Family Readiness Groups. I know many spouses have not had the best experiences with these groups to include myself, (I’ve got stories) however, the knowledge of other spouses can’t be overlooked. The Army likes to say that if you don’t know the answer you better know where to find it, and I have always been able to find an answer through the women and men I’ve met at the Spouses’ Clubs and FRGs.”
What should we do as a community to build bridges with other spouses?
“Be kind. Be intentional. Be radically inclusive. Military spouses come from all corners of the globe and represent any and every diverse category we can think of. I have found that when I take the time to introduce myself to new spouses, or do what I can to make them feel welcome, it can change the entire complexion of how they see their new assignment. I have seen with my own eyes how just sitting with a spouse who is going through any type of tragedy can help him or her navigate the difficult road they have to travel. But thanks to other military spouses, we never have to travel that alone. Finally, I have witnessed some in our communities exclude spouses based on stupid things like Soldiers rank or units, and miss out on friendships with amazing people who have more to offer our military communities, but don’t because of how they were treated. Be kind. Be intentional. Be radically inclusive. Be the change you wish to see in the world, especially our military world.”
Note: Thanks again to @misterarmywife, Steve Schmitt, for taking the time to be interviewed for our first official #spotlightsunday. Follow him on Instagram @mrarmywife and visit misterarmywife.com for more interesting stories about his military life experience!
Interview By: Christina Etchberger