With more than 90,000 active duty military members in dual-military marriages, their situation is hardly unheard of. However, for Colonels Amy Ebitz and Curtis Ebitz, their situation will take a unique turn in the coming days.
Col. Amy Ebitz will take command of Headquarters and Support Battalion, Marine Corps Installations East-Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, and Col. Curtis Ebitz will take command of Marine Corps Air Station New River, thus giving them the rare experience of commanding units, both under MCI-East, at the same time, while married.
The couple wed in 2003, after meeting at Amphibious Warfare School in 2001. In the early years of their marriage they had to balance a number of commitments.
“During the first four and a half years in the Camp Lejeune and (MCAS) New River area, we spent about two and a half years either away from home or deployed,” Curtis said. “We deployed at separate times and for a brief time were even deployed in Iraq together.”
Through the years, the Ebitzs’ have managed to find the balance that works for them as a family.
“You really have to be able to know how to separate your personal and professional life and sometimes you have to make sure that you check it at the door when you come home,” Curtis said. “It’s also very important to have that sounding board too. I can’t begin to tell you have many times I’ve come home and said to my wife ‘what do you think about this?’ or ‘what do you think about that?’”
In addition to the challenges the colonels themselves have overcome, there are two other Ebitzs’ who have had to adapt to the military life.
“It has been a journey for us, but it has also been a family journey. We have two children along for the ride,” said Amy. “Our children know very well the benefits and costs of being in a dual-military family. When they move to a new location, they know how they need to adjust, whether that be making new friends or using technology to keep in contact with old friends overseas.”
Being a dual-military family undoubtedly presents challenges and ups-and-downs for all who are involved, and the Ebitzs’ have made it a point to tell their story and share their experiences with other Marines in similar positions.
“We often speak with Marines who are in the same situation that we once were, and we’re happy to discuss with them what did and what did not work for us,” Col. Curtis Ebitz said.
As for their Marine Corps and family future, the Ebitz family plans to continue on, as they have been doing for the last 16 years.
“I love being a Marine, and I will stick around for as long it is mutually beneficial for myself, the Marine Corps and my family,” Amy said. “I can’t think of anywhere else I would want to be or anything else I would want to do.”
Colonels Amy and Curtis Ebitz will take command of their respective units on Friday, July 19.