1. Doing Double Duty
Justin ’01 and Catherine Rasch Miller ’01 met at ROTC orientation camp in August 1997. Called to service and to each other, they went on to become active-duty Army officers. They legally married in 2003 but waited to throw a wedding until 2005, after both had returned safely from tours of duty in Iraq.

Now Justin and Catherine are raising three young kids while Justin serves on staff at The United States Military Academy at West Point, in upstate New York, and Catherine pursues a Ph.D. at the University of Maryland. After completing her degree, Catherine will teach at the National Intelligence University in Bethesda.

“Some things are out of our control,” Catherine says. “The military has final say on our assignments and does not have to keep the two of us assigned to the same location at the same time. We do our best to select assignments that will keep us together while also meeting the needs and requirements of the Army.”

The pair were separated frequently early in their careers. Even now, Catherine travels a few days a week to attend classes, leaving Justin in charge of the kids. It’s a difficult arrangement, but, according to Catherine, the upside is that, unlike in some marriages she has seen, both partners fully understand the value of domestic labor.

“Many women in dual-career couples continue to bear the majority of the domestic labor burden, known as ‘the second shift,’ after returning home from their work outside the home,” Catherine says. But that’s less true in the Millers’ relationship, where sacrifice and teamwork are values that have been drilled into them since their earliest days together.