Wednesday, May 5, 2010

I heart LINKS and MCCS!

This blog is pretty specific to the Marine Corps services (and more specifically to Camp Lejeune).  I'm not familiar with the other branches but I'm sure that there are similar things available!

I know, I've yet to become a MilSpouse (Sept 2011 here I come!), but I am not one to sit at home and wait until my Marine comes home.  I am fearless when it comes to going out and getting the information I need.  And I NEED this information to survive the Military life!!

I moved to Jacksonville, NC in December 2009 after a long year of battling unemployment/underemployment in my beloved Washington DC.  I felt sad and mopey that I would be facing the same thing here in the Jax/Camp Lejeune (CL) area.  My options for staying busy were working (at Target, which I would have loved) or volunteering.  I ended up getting a job I really love and am passionate about (that's a different story entirely)...  Suffice it to say, unless you have a network, it's hard to know how to adjust to the military lifestyle.

My Marine came home late, left at the butt-crack of dawn, and over again.  I had my house, my car, and my puppy to fill my time in the first few days.

One day, I was sick of feeling sad for myself so I made some calls and tried to get on base to get some information.  I was SO excited about what I learned that day.  I met the Family Readiness Officer (FRO), learned about Marine Corps Community Services (MCCS) and the Lifestyle, Insight, Knowledge and Skills (LINKS) classes!

There is a LOT to talk about when I say MCCS but basically, from what I know, it houses a majority of the services offered on a MC base.  Think... Fitness centers, the Exchange, MC Family Team Building, and much much more!!

I want to focus on LINKS, however, because this is where I felt most welcomed.  A lot of services on base are targeted toward military family and spouses.  So as a non-spouse, it's hard to feel like you fit in anywhere... but you still want the information.  Here's where LINKS saved me!

LINKS offers workshops for:
  • Spouses, fiancees AND girlfriends/boyfriends
  • Parents
  • Teens, tweens and kids
  • Navy
I got to learn about the structure of the Corps, a little bit about what the heck all those crazy acronyms mean (they give you a Marine to English dictionary!!), learned out to read an LES (Leave and Earning Statement, essentially his pay stub), and how to navigate the base for resources that are available, and more... I ate this information up!!!

The best part about LINKS is the "N" of their name.  It stands for Networking.  You get to meet other people who live the same sort of lifestyle.  I have learned so much from these women.  These are the women who live by these things which I absolutely adore... I shall adopt them henceforth on my blog!!

"Semper Gumby (always flexible)"
There is no rank between non-service members.
You might disagree with me on this but I didn't earn my FH's rank, so I won't wear it.
It makes no difference to me if I am friends with a LCpl's wife or a Captain's wife...
*obviously, use discretion... this is real life not "Army Wives"
I know this is a HEATED topic but I feel strongly about this.  I don't need to find out your husband's rank or last name to decide if we can be friends!
and this is my blog so I can do what I want!

I know they have LINKS at each of the major MC installations. I hope that if you are intimately involved (hehe) with the Marine Corps, you'll take the time to learn about it!



  1. The only problem with the "no rank between non-service members" is we can still get our significant others in trouble... I have been helping my husband's MGySgt's (master gunnery sergeant, E-9) wife prepare her household for PCSing... but outside of that time I generally do not hang out with her, simply because her husband is my husbands boss. A sad but true fact with any group of women (not just military) is rumors can be started about anything and they will be passed around.

    It's complicated but basically works the same as if I were to get a speeding ticket while driving on base. My husband's CO will know about it. Everything we do affects their military career. So even though we aren't wearing the rank, we still hold responsibility for it.

  2. Totally agree with Skinnie Piggie. I've been a USMC Wife for 6 years and it follows you around. There are big problems with fraternization and it can get our Marines in pretty big trouble. It's fine being chatty and nice with other wives....but as far as a real friendship's best to stick with enlisted/enlisted or officer/officer and of course within rank. It totally stinks....but it's a tough fact of the corps. : / You hold your husbands rank as much as he does. You will learn about that in LINKS. :D


Your comments bring me sunshine! Thank you. :D

Site Design By Designer Blogs