Let's End the Discrimination Against
Single People in the Military

USCG seal01.jpg (31929 bytes)

usmc-seal.gif (5612 bytes)


What is the Problem?

I am a single person in the US ARMY. If you want to see a job where single people are discriminated against you should really check out the army.

If you are married you get money for separate rations about $220.00 a month, but if you are single you don't. You are given a meal card and if you are single and would rather buy food and cook for yourself, then it comes out of your pocket. If it was money to feed married soldiers families it might be different but the army tells married soldiers that separate rations isn't for their families that the money is for the married soldier himself. They figure out how much they get by adding up how much it would cost for one person to eat at the chow hall all month.  As a single soldier I would like the right to be able to choose whether or not I want to eat in the chow hall or go shopping and cook for myself!!!!

Another thing I have a problem is the housing situation. If you are married then you can either get on post housing or if none is available then you can move off post and you are given a housing allowance. As a single soldier we live in the barracks, and these barracks are really crappy. They have 2 people living in one small room, and we have community showers. If a single person wants to move out he has to get it approved by his chain of command. He cannot get on post housing so he must live off post, and he does
not qualify for a housing allowance or separate rations because he is single.

Every year they give us a break down of how much we "really" make if we had to pay for the benefits that we get. They say that by living in the barracks we save $300.00 a month. That is a joke because I have a roommate and I know for a fact that if we took our $600.00 we could find a really nice bachelor pad to share. I bet I could find a lot nicer place with the $300.00 a month in housing allowance they say they are saving us. I would like the opportunity to live in a nice apartment or house like the married soldiers have.

Thank you for you time.

PS I would like to hear your position on this and what you plan on doing about it. If I agree with your position and believe you truly have a plan that will actually accomplish something I will join your organization and try and get as many other single soldiers as I can to join as well. I look forward to hearing from you.

Letter received by Unmarried America on October 27, 2000

What is the Solution

This type of discriminatory treatment is WRONG!

What could Unmarried America do to help single members of the military ?

First, we would need to verify the facts to make sure that we are on solid ground when we take action. Letters from other soldiers, regulation books, or anything else that has been written about this would be helpful.

One of our current members has already started to expose this problem by writing an essay for us which we have published on our website. But we need a team of single soldiers -- working together -- to take on the brass and to get some relief.

Then, when the facts have been fully verified, we can help our military members to publicize this injustice. Op-ed articles in newspapers near military bases would be one avenue. Letters to members of Congress (by us, by our military members, by our nonmilitary members who would show support, and by our civilian friends) would be another action.

We can devote an entire section of our website to THE SINGLE SOLDIER, with a military member or members keeping it up to date.

We could ask people who visit our website to take a short survey about their feelings on marital status discrimination. One of the questions could involve the unfair treatment of single military personnel.

The issue could also be raised on the air with radio talk shows in areas close to military bases. Some of these talk show hosts are always looking for new material.

As you can see, there are many possibilities.  We have the numbers -- 86 million unmarried civilians and military members -- but nothing will change unless we speak with a collective voice.  Let Unmarried America be that voice.

Be all that you can be -- join Unmarried America -- and get your comrades to do so too.  Just make a tax deductible donation of $10 or more and become a member.

Thomas F. Coleman
Executive Director

Related Links:

Essay on Discrimination Against Single Soldiers
by Unmarried America member Vernon Gutenkunst

Another Article Mentioning Pay Disparity Between Single and Married Service Members
by Andrew Webb, former Coast Guard Officer, and freelance writer in San Diego