Army Wife Demands To Be Saluted, Has No Idea What She's Signing Up For


As time passed, the tension only seemed to build. She sat behind the wheel as they all stood before her. They stood with frozen salutes, their faces not showing an ounce of emotion. 

Their hands didn't so much as move while they stood there. At first, she was surprised by their actions, but now, she was becoming extremely uncomfortable. She regretted it all now, but it was too late. 

It Was Her Right

At 52 years old, Margaret Willis was accustomed to the perks of being a military wife. No ordinary spouse, as the wife of a commissioned officer, her place in his world commanded even more respect. 

Margaret always sought to carry herself with the grace and dignity of an officer’s wife. Unfortunately for her, she didn’t always know where this line ended. 

Life On The Other End

Being a commissioned officer had certain advantages. One such benefit was enjoying priority for their family members to live on base. 

As a non-commissioned member, Corporal Thomas West made up for this with discipline and ambition—but meeting Margaret Willis showed just how far he was willing to go to execute orders. 

They Lived By A Code

Life at the Joint-Base Elmendorf-Richardson (JBER) situated in Anchorage was intense. With frigid winters that lasted up to 6 months, it was not an environment where showing weakness went down well.  

Being posted on gate duty in freezing temperatures came with added responsibilities. This assignment brought new obstacles for Corporal West when he first encountered Margaret Willis.

They Were Family

The soldiers of JBER were a band of brothers and sisters bound by service. Margaret Willis never thought of herself as an outsider. Married to a distinguished Colonel—she demanded respect. 

After all, she had been bound to the army while most of her husband’s subordinates were still in diapers. Corporal West thought differently, though—his respect had to be earned.  

He Did Nothing Wrong

Having first been posted on gate duty in the winter of 2019, Corporal West stood sentinel with pride and discipline. 6 foot tall and built like a tank, West was an imposing figure.

However, when Margaret pulled up to the gate on his first day, he was left bewildered by her attitude and demands. 

She Picked The Wrong Day

Noticing the officer sticker on her pretentious SUV, West waved Margaret through, figuring that she was an officer’s family member. The harsh winter was biting that day, and West had been at the gate all morning—in no mood for antics.

Instead of driving through, Margaret stopped, let down her window, and fixed West with a murderous expression. 

They Were Trained To Follow Orders

Dressed in black, with dark glasses, and an entitled tone, Margaret demanded to know why she wasn’t being saluted as an officer’s wife?

West explained that the officer sticker represented one’s rank, not their car. Without an officer there, he could not salute. Margaret’s face livid now, she headed straight to the administration offices with clear intent.  

It Was Worth The Risk

Sure enough, the next day, West and his unit were called in by the brass and told it was now mandatory to salute cars with an officer’s sticker, whether the officer was present or not. 

Humiliated by this injustice, West vowed to get even with Margaret. Knowing the risks, he didn’t care—this was a matter of honor now. 

Executing The Mission

Calling an unofficial meeting with his unit, West devised a plan to show Margaret why ranks meant so much to them.

It started with minor disruptions—men routinely leaving their posts and milling around the parking lots, saluting for seemingly random reasons. Now that they had everyone’s attention, it was time to turn their focus to Margert herself.  

It Was Time For The Next Step

As Margaret got into her car the following week, she found herself suddenly surrounded by West and his men. 

The men all wore icy expressions on their faces and refused to move an inch. With his crew cut, hardened jawline, and intense expression, West looked the most menacing. 

Orders Were Orders

Margaret’s entitlement soon abandoned her, an expression of fear as she jumped out and ran off towards the barracks. 

Returning with an officer who demanded answers. They explained—discipline codes stated an officer’s salute must be returned before being dropped. They were, therefore, duty-bound to wait for the car sticker to salute them back before they could leave. 

She Wasn’t Letting It Go

The look on Margaret Willis’s face as the officer at her side struggled to suppress a grin at the mens’ explanation was priceless. They felt that their interpretation of the rules was logical. 

Margaret obviously did not. Once again, she marched off towards the administration office—only this time she returned with her husband. 

Thought They’d Won

After pulling their prank and trying to get back at the privileged wife. The men in the unit were feeling pretty good about themselves. They high-fived each other and started to celebrate.

But just as the soldiers thought they’d won the psychological warfare with the military wife, they saw someone they didn’t expect walking up the runway. He had a mean look in his eye that spelled danger for the men.

Their Superior

Even though he was far away and they wouldn’t normally be able to recognize his face from that distance, they could see who it was by the way he walked. It was an intimidating march that they had seen before.

The grins that they shared now dropped from their faces. They recognized the man walking on the tarmac as none other than their superior. But that wasn’t all he was.

Going Straight To The Top

This time when the disgruntled woman marched to the administrator’s office, she decided she’d get the big guns. She wouldn’t just complain to the front desk and have it feed up the ranks.

She would go to the source of all the power in the military base. In fact, she could have gone there from the start.

Highest Ranking Officer

Normally, a civilian wouldn’t be able to just waltz into the highest ranking man’s office. But she had a trick up her sleeve that none of the men could have anticipated. Once they realized what was going on, there was no going back.

They’d already had their fun with their prank by the time the most important man at the military base caught wind of it.

Walking Straight In

Margaret walked straight passed the reception and all the way to the colonel’s office. She didn’t even knock on his door before entering. Most civilians would get kicked out of the base for just that alone.

The colonel looked up from his computer and saw Margaret fuming in front of him. But after she told him what had happened, he saw red.

Walking Up The Lot

The colonel got up out of his chair and disregarded his important work to figure out what was going on. He stomped past Margaret and started the long walk all the way down to the lot.

But there was a very good reason why he gave Margaret the time of day. Something he wouldn’t do for just any normal civilian in his base.

Her Husband

The colonel was, in fact, Colonel Willis, Margaret’s husband. She lived on the base with him and had a chip on her shoulder because of it. Now that she had been scorned by the other soldiers, she ran straight to him.

He couldn’t believe what she had told him. How could his own men do this to his wife? But that was before he had the whole picture.

A Harsh Lesson

As Colonel Willis approached the lot, his expression was imposing. In full regalia, the men immediately saluted him and he duly returned it—a little stiffly. 

Margaret wore a look of bemusement as her husband demanded answers. Explaining again, Colonel Willis turned to his wife after. The look on his face wiped the smug grin off her face. 


Colonel Willis’ face flushed red with embarrassment now that he had the full story laid out in front of him. It appeared to the men that she had embarrassed him greatly and wouldn’t side with her this time.

Margaret’s smug grin turned to a look of surprise when she saw how red her husband was. He was not happy about the situation and she knew it.

No Exceptions

Colonel Willis wouldn’t make any exceptions, even if it was his own wife. He told her to go back and wait in his office while he spoke to his men. 

Margaret couldn’t even look at him and kept her gaze on the ground. Corporal West could tell that she knew she wouldn’t get away with her treatment of he and his men. But what would happen to them?

Addressing The Situation

She shamefully headed back towards his office while he let out a sigh. He then turned to his men to address the situation. He looked tired and drained, he hadn’t probably gotten any sleep just like his men.

He looked at all of them and back at his wife who was walkign away. It was like there was an internal struggle on who to side with.


The men had no idea what to expect from their commander in chief. Would they still face repercussions for their actions? Dozens of thoughts raced through their minds.

None of what they were thinking was positive. Would they get latrine duty for a month? Or even worse, a dishonorable discharge.

Couldn’t Get A Read On Him

He rested his gaze on each of the men slowly, as if to unsettle them. He was testing their mettle to see if any of them would show weakness. But none of them budged an inch, they were the strong men he had trained and gotten to know.

They couldn’t get a read on what their superior was thinking. Not one of them could have expected what happened next.

An Apology

The colonel did something that none of his men could have anticipated. He looked at them and opened his mouth. But what they heard was something they never had before. It was an apology.

He told them that he would have a talk with his wife and she would never disrespect a military rank again.

A New Arrangement

After apologizing to his men, Colonel Willis dismissed the men and turned on his heel. He walked back to the administrators office to have a word with his wife about the importance of rank.

When he got there, he told her exactly how things would work on the base from now on. Hopefully, it would spell the end of the recent mishaps.

Rules Were Rules

The entire saga caused quite a stir around the base. Now, the top brass saw sense and sided with Corporal West and his unit. They reverted their views on saluting the rank of a car and left it exclusively for officers.

Thankfully, Corporal West could know enjoy things just as they were before the incident. But what about Margaret?

She Understood

Margaret Willis still resided on the base with her husband. But after their chat, she understood that she couldn’t use his rank as a way of forcing military personnel to salute her.

These days, she can be spotted driving her own car. It’s a little hatchback as humble as her attitude is now.

In order to protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author's imagination. Any resemblances to actual events, places, or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.