In a marriage between two servicemembers, life can be challenging. Balancing life, careers, marriage, and often children while both of you are in the military can present some unique obstacles. The Married Army Couples Program (MACP) is designed to help spouses in situations like these.
If you and your spouse are both serving in the United States Army, make sure you qualify for all the Married Army Couples Program regulations and then enroll in the program to reap the helpful benefits. Below, we’ve compiled everything you need to know about MACP.
What Is the Married Army Couples Program?
Sometimes referenced as “the Army married couples program,” the Married Army Couples Program is designed to keep families together without hindering their ability to accomplish missions determined by their military commanders.
The MACP was first established in 1983 to help ensure that married soldiers can remain close to one another and not end up deployed or stationed on opposite ends of the globe for months and years at a time. The program helps married soldiers get on “joint domicile assignments,” allowing them to navigate the challenges of being married and serving in the military with a little more ease.
According to the Army’s official website, once enrolled, married Army couples can request a joint assignment to establish a common household or joint domicile. The guideline for a joint domicile assignment is close enough together for soldiers to establish a common household in a 50-mile radius or one-hour driving time of each other.
Married Army Couples Program Enrollment Regulations
If you’re considering enrolling, there are some unique MACP regulations you should be aware of. The Army states that soldiers from any of the following categories are welcome to apply to enroll in the MACP:
- Regular Army.
- USAR Active Guard Reserve.
- Any Title 10 ANGUS AGR Soldiers who are married to active-duty members of the RA, RCs, or other active-duty U.S. military services such as the USAR Active Guard Reserve or Title 10 ANGUS.
This means that soldiers who are married to someone in another branch of the United States Military are not eligible to enroll in this program for automatic joint domicile consideration. However, you are welcome to request a reassignment, specifically to join your spouse, by submitting a DA Form 4187 to your career branch.
Challenges of the MACP Program
While this program offers a lot of benefits to military members and their military spouses, it’s far from perfect and there are some difficulties to be aware of.
- First, the program cannot guarantee that you and your spouse will be assigned in the same place. A lot of different factors can make this process difficult or impossible, forcing you and your spouse to relocate to different places. For example, if you both have the same low-density military occupation or job, it’s unlikely that you’ll be needed in the exact same location.
- The second difficulty with the MACP program is that while it is available to members of other military services, it is far more difficult for assignment managers in other military services to station couples together since they operate at different bases.
- Third, if you or your partner volunteer for special duty, it’s entirely possible to be called away to fulfill the responsibilities of that special service.
- The last difficulty with this challenge is that it can be challenging to be proactive about your career in the military if you’re constantly trying to be stationed together as a couple.
One member of the marriage should expect to make sacrifices for the other so both can be stationed together, which may be a complication that some soldiers are unwilling to handle. For example, one person may have to decline an exciting opportunity so they’re able to stay close to the other who is unable to relocate.
The Best Things About Being a Dual Military Couple
While there are a lot of challenges and difficulties to being a dual military couple, there are a few benefits that you should be sure to keep centered in your mind. Here are a few to consider:
- Dual military couples can easily understand each other. The stresses they each face in their jobs helps them communicate clearly and enjoy the extra closeness.
- You can pack each other’s gear because you both know what’s needed for the job. You’re a team, so when it comes to getting everyone out of the house in the mornings, for example, it’s helpful to know you can trust your partner to correctly pack your gear for you.
- You can act as a sounding board for one another during difficult deployments and easily understand duties and responsibilities. Even if your jobs aren’t the same, you’re both pursuing a military career path and can help each other each step along the way.If you and your spouse are members of the United States Army, check out the enrollment regulations of the MACP. It’s available to reduce stress and enhance the quality of your life.
More on Military Marriages:
Solutions for Your Military Family:
Life Insurance, Wealth Management, Home Mortgages, Survivor Services, and more. Learn more about AAFMAA.