Times, they are a’changing. It’s a natural part of life for all of us and that means for the military spouse community as well.

In fact, the 1.1 million men and women who are married to members of the United States military have seen QUITE a change in military life over the past decade.

When we look back even further, some things are as different as night and day. We asked a group of our talented Military Spouse Contributors to share with us the positive (and sometimes not-so-positive) ways life has changed for the milspouse over the past few decades.

The result? A Top 35 list that tells us one thing for certain: We have come a long way, baby!

1. Deployments are no longer a rare occurrence. They have now become the norm for most military families.

2. The gloves are off, literally! Gone are the days when spouse get-togethers only involved tea parties with white gloves, thank goodness.

3. Let’s hear it for the boys: The term “Military Wife” has gone the way of the dinosaur. With more women now serving our country, that means more men are a part of our community.

4. We’ve taken the rank off. Most of us don’t know or care what rank your service member is anymore.

5. FINALLY, all military spouses are allowed to support their service member openly…no matter their sexual orientation!

6. Attire at military balls has followed fashion trends over the years and that can mean shorter skirts, more cleavage, and less fabric these days. Is that a negative, or a positive? We will let you decide!

7. Mentoring programs are the norm. Branches offer their own individual programs, but as a whole, we are much better at mentoring each other through this crazy, wonderful life!

8. Capitol Hill. The military spouse community has been a force to be recognized in Washington, DC.

9. Many military spouses have also served our country by wearing the uniform. We are proud to have many veterans in our community.

10. In addition, many military spouses are currently serving. We tip our hats to these incredible dual-military families!

11. Social media has strengthened our relationships with friends and family that we leave when we PCS, again. Now we can feel connected on a daily basis; watching children grow, keeping up with major life events, or simply sharing a good laugh even if we are no longer next-door neighbors.

12. Skype and FaceTime have afforded us the ability to actually see our service member during deployments or separation. And military members are able to witness major life events in real time, thanks to this incredible advance in technology.

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