Work/Life Balance in the Military

  • Published
  • By MSgt. Rhoneiula Johnson
  • 422nd Air Base Squadron

Having served 6 deployments within my first 12 years of service, I believed there was no such thing as work/life balance in the military.  Being a mother and a wife to a civilian spouse who often had to sacrifice his career in order to support mine, seemingly, there was always going to be a significant deficit on my end of the ‘balance’ spectrum.  Fast forward 6 years, I am now raising three daughters overseas and have a new outlook on what it means to serve our nation while being a mother, without failing at either one of those responsibilities. 


Being a military member poses its own set of unique challenges and sometimes calls for a lot of give and take. On occasions, we work extra hours or take work home in order to take care of Airmen and accomplish the mission or deploy for extended periods, leaving our loved ones to carry the torch in our absence.  Although deployments are inherent with military service, it can be quite difficult to create work/life balance during contingency operations hence the reason the reintegration phase of deployment is so critical.  Upon returning to home station, we must deliberately invest in ourselves and our families, whether it be leaving an hour early to attend a recital, taking a much needed vacation, or having planned lunches with our significant other.  There is no one-size-fit-all approach to the work/life equation.  What worked last year (or deployment/assignment) may not necessarily be the answer this year. Therefore a constant reevaluation of one's life circumstances is imperative in order to be the best version of yourself for your family and your unit. 


Establishing daily, weekly, and monthly priorities will enable us to devote time to our loved ones and cultivate personal relationships.  On the other end of the spectrum, dedication to the mission will forge cohesiveness and align you with the core values of service before self and excellence in all we do. Our country and families depend on us to generate a balance that will energize efforts to become a prototypical Airman, spouse, friend, parent, son, daughter, and/or sibling.  Bottom line, find the time to properly reintegrate. It’s worth every minute.