Case Study #2: The Loyal Wife


Intel Enabler
Verified SOF
Sep 9, 2006
Since the last case study proved so popular, I'm going to post another. We'll keep going with these as long as there's interest. If you have an interesting case study, please feel free to post it.

DISCLAIMER: Part of this case study is fact, and part is fiction based on responses to this thread and ideas that popped into my head that I included to make it a better story. This is NOT to be misconstrued as a factual "war story."


Case Study #2: The Loyal Wife

This one's kind of long, and part of it really happened in my unit. Names and details changed in the interests of privacy. For those of you already familiar with this story and know how it ends, please don't be a spoiler.

Here's part one:

You are a company commander in a company that supports a Special Forces Group. The Group is gearing up for another deployment to Iraq. Most of the people in your company, including you and your first sergeant, have never deployed before.

Shortly before the deployment, your first sergeant asks to see you in the office you two share. You walk in and see one of your Soldiers sitting in a chair in front of the first sergeant's desk. Since he's sitting down and isn't either 1) in the front lean and rest with his boots up on the first sergeant's desk or 2) standing at a rigid position of parade rest, you know he's not in trouble.

The guy's a good troop, brand-new E5, never had any problems in your unit. First Sergeant explains that SGT Bradley's wife has a benign brain tumor- not operable, not fatal, but it's there. SGT Bradley wants to deploy, and claims his wife wants him to go, too. The Bradleys have been married three years and have two sons, ages four and one. First Sergeant explains that we really need SGT Bradley on this deployment, as we're already critically short in Bradley's MOS. But he also says that SGT Bradley's squad leader, SSG Rico, suggested that it might be better if Bradley stayed home.

As the commander it's your decision whether SGT Bradley deploys or stays back on rear-detachment. You have three days to make the decision. What do you do?
My question to him is, who is around to help support and help his wife if the tumor desides to grow?
My question to him is, who is around to help support and help his wife if the tumor desides to grow?


I deploy him and pull him back if things get out of hand. If anyone has a reason to go to rear-d this guy is it.
Call the hospital and confirm the wife's condition and then contact the wife to get her side of the story direct.

All things being equal, if the tumor's benign and both the SM and his spouse want to deploy, let him.

If he's got a squad or section under him, just make sure his 2 is trained and ready to step up if the need arises.

Your other option with rear-D is putting in a request for another MOS X with G1 and putting the new guy on rear-D and deploying SGT Bradley.

The new guy gets to acclimate to the unit/post and you get to take your best asset with. If something goes wrong, swap the two and drive on.
I'm not sure I understand what the issue is here...

SGT Bradley wants to deploy, and claims his wife wants him to go, too...

How did the first sergeant hear about this? I'm guessing the info came from the newly minted E-5, and considering that Sgt. Bradley wants to deploy, and claims his wife supports him in this, then why is he even bringing this up?

The tumor is benign and non-fatal? According to who, and when was this diagnosis made?

Medical records are confidential, but visits to the post clinics and the hospital are not. I'd look into it, it seems like there is something more going on, and if the Sgt. is BS'ing about this, it would seem he was trying to passively get out of the deployment, without looking like he's trying to skate.

Smells a little fishy.
Smells a little fishy.

It does, but then again my 1SG took me aside to talk about the W-5's daughter I was dating before I had even told my roommate. There are no secrets in a Company.

Like I said, I'd try to talk to a Doc and his wife before taking any action. If I busted him lying though he'd be working railhead before riding the boat over and back.
Find out more about her condition, how serious, any meds that would cause impairment, seizures, mood changes, things like that, although the hospital may not give out any info about a civilian. Find out about a personal family support group, who would be taking care of the kids if anything happened before he could get home. Start looking for someone to replace him, but if everything else is GTG, deploy him, call him home if need be.
Deploy him as per his and his wife's wishes, if something changes replace him and send him back home.
Wow, good responses already.

First Sergeant found out about the condition through SSG Rico, Bradley's squad leader. The condition is newly-diagnosed; Bradley told Rico about it the day after the diagnosis.

The unit has a surprisingly good FRG, SSG Bradley's wife is one of the FRG officers. The general consensus amongst the wives is that Mrs. Bradley is a bit eccentric, but most of the other wives like and trust her. The Bradleys are active in their church.
My question to him is, who is around to help support and help his wife if the tumor desides to grow?

That was my first thought. If there is enough of a support structure hopefully his head would be in the game if deployed, though no guarantees, so wouldn't 1SGT need to determine as best as possible that it would be?

Reading and learning...but I have a question. Why did you title this case study "The Loyal Wife"? Underlying subject on this case study?
I would talk with the squad leader. If he does not want SGT Bradley with him, then Bradley stays in Rear-D.
OK. Here's some additional details.

Your first sergeant points out that we really, really need SGT Bradley on this deployment. The Group is standing up an entirely new CJSOTF, and there is no backfill available for Bradley's MOS. SGT Bradley is very skilled technician, and is developing nicely as a junior leader. SSG Rico, Bradley's squad leader, definitely wants Bradley on this deployment, but not at the expense of Bradley's family.

You call up the Group Surgeon, MAJ Chang, and make an appointment to see him that afternoon. He's very familiar with Mrs. Bradley's situation, and after securing her permission to do so, he explains to you that while she does in fact have a brain tumor, it's benign and unlikely to affect her during the six months that her husband is gone. That night after the FRG meeting, you, First Sergeant, and the Bradleys have a brief discussion in which it is made clear to you that both Bradleys want SGT Bradley to go on this deployment. SGT Bradley thinks it would be in the long-term interests of his career to have a combat deployment with an SF Group on his record, and Mrs. Bradley implies they could use the extra income. She says she feels fine, and that she has a fallback system in place to help out while her husband is gone.

You talk it over with the first sergeant, and the two of you agree that it's in the best interests of both the Bradleys and the unit for SGT Bradley to deploy, which he does

More to follow.
A "loyal wife" would never want he husband to deploy.

I think she's trying to get rid of him so she and Jody can do the nasty.
With a braintumor, 2 little kids and she still wants her husband to deploy ? Who is the fuckbuddy ? First Sergeant ?
A "loyal wife" would never want he husband to deploy.

I think she's trying to get rid of him so she and Jody can do the nasty.

Well, I can see a loyal wife being supportive of her husband's wishes and his career, to include supporting his decision to deploy.

That is a definite, but I think there's more to it...what, I'm not sure just yet. But my spidey senses are tingling.