A recurring trope within US military culture is that many lower enlisted will marry -be it to a civilian or one another- so that they may receive extra benefits, including but not limited to tax breaks, off-post housing opportunities and not having to pay for a dining facility meal card.
A frequent term that arises within this trend is “marriage for BAH (Basic Allowance for Housing).”
According to the Miller Law Firm , the chance of a military marriage ending in divorce is even higher for female members of the military.
The divorce rate among women in the military is 4.54%, while the divorce rate among men in the military is 2.9%.
An Army fitness instructor and TikTok creator says she is one of those who fall into that statistic.
Staff Sergeant Eric Smigielski was married in March of 2018 and separated by August of the same year, making it less than six months in marriage.
“Why does everyone get married in the military?” a follower asked her. “Just to get divorced and lose things,” they added.
“Military pushes family life on us,” Smigielski replied. “More benefits too.”
She even made another video to warn soldiers that marriage is not worth it if it’s only for the benefits.
But she says her biggest struggle is trying to explain to people she dates why her marriage was so short.
“I can’t date outside my culture cause how I supposed to explain how my marriage only lasted 90 days,” she wrote.
“BAH isn’t worth it,” a follower replied.
“Not at all,” Smigielski said in agreement.
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