Trying to make new friends at your duty station? An on-base military spouse club might be just what you're looking for.
Spouse clubs are a long-running tradition in the military, but the clubs of today are almost nothing like the stuffy, white-glove-wearing, Bridge-playing groups of military spouses past. Clubs today are easy to break into and fun to be a part of.
What is a military spouse club?
While every club is a little different, military spouse clubs are typically a large group of spouses who meet regularly for lunches or dinners, collect funds for on-base charities and scholarships and, in some cases, run the on-base thrift store.
They are a way for spouses to meet and get to know each other while participating in fun group activities. Many clubs also have sub-groups focused on specific interests such as books, fitness, crafts or wine.
Military spouse clubs are usually organized by a board of spouses and operate under a set of bylaws that the group votes on and approves. The groups are hosted on base with the permission of military officials, but that's where military oversight stops. Everything else done by the club is governed by the rules that they make for themselves.
Clubs typically collect yearly membership dues as well as fees for tickets to some of their events. Those dues and fees, which vary by location, help the club operate and fund whatever charitable work they do.
In years past, many bases had two clubs: one for officer spouses and one for enlisted spouses. Male spouses also often did not feel welcome.
But all of that is changing. Most bases now have combined clubs for male and female spouses of all ranks, and many are also making a major effort to make male spouses feel more welcome by hosting events that are not aimed only at women.
Why you should join one
If you're new to your duty station, you know that meeting people can feel impossible. And if you've been there for a long time but just watched everyone you know PCS, you're probably feeling lonely.
A spouse club could be the perfect solution to your friendship woes. The clubs are easy to get plugged into, have frequent meetings where you can meet new people and likely have a sub-club that focuses on something that interests you.
How to join your local military spouse club
Don't know if your base even has a military spouse club? Start with the family resources office. They'll have information on where the spouse club meets and how to find out more information. From there, you'll be able to find a registration form or visit the club's website or Facebook page for more information.