Officer’s Spouse’s Club is more than a club

  • Published
  • By Angela O'Connell
  • 92nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
Officer's Spouse's Club. Just the utter of these three words will probably cause about 75 percent of you to immediately stop reading this article. I would urge you not to because the OSC is probably one of the most misunderstood and talked about private organizations.

When I was prior active duty, I thought the OSC was nothing more than officer wives who were bored sitting around having teas, wearing white gloves - only concerned about the proper protocols owed to them. I'm here to tell you, I was dead wrong.

Two years into the military, I married an officer making me eligible to join the OSC. I sat under the radar but not for long. Twelve years ago, I attended my first OSC function under duress. Our squadron commander's wife pulled into my driveway one afternoon and said she was taking me out to lunch. She conveniently left out that it was an OSC luncheon. I have been going to events and serving on boards ever since, incidentally, without white gloves, no hat and little to no tea.

What I didn't know about the OSC is that they exist to provide an outlet for wives to get to know each other. Basically, it was real-life Facebook before that was cool. It was great to be around women that had been there, done that, and could provide guidance, assistance and sometimes a shoulder to cry on. But beyond that, they do so much behind the scenes that you would never know.

Most OSC's have their social functions that give them a bad rap, but at the core of what they do is an incredible body of women that raise funds to give to various organizations. The most well known are the college scholarships for military children and spouses. I am proud to say that in my twelve years, I have been a part of several clubs that have given a total of over $120,000 in money for college. Think about it, that is only one club at one base. Imagine how much was given Air Force wide.

Beyond the scholarships, the OSCs I have been privileged to be a part of have donated playground equipment, helped Eagle Scouts, given to Babies for Bundles, money for books for the Pediatric wards, Operation Warm Heart, holiday baskets...the list could go on. Not to mention, the thrift stores that can be found on most installations offering great products to our young families for a reasonable price. All of this with no want or need for notoriety. They have touched several people's lives that probably don't even know where the donated funds came from.

Recently, the women of the OSC at Fairchild spent a rainy Thursday in March handing out gift cards to young Airmen and baked goods to offices as a way to say "thank you" for their service and dedication. That was $400 of hard-earned money that was shared simply to brighten someone's day with nothing asked for or needed in return but a smile.
Sadly, I have watched membership dwindle and OSCs continue to receive an ill-deserved bad rap. Some say, they're a dying breed and it will be a sad time if that does happen. It will mean that I haven't done a good enough job letting the young officer's wives behind me know of the power OSC has to help Air Force families and the local community.

If you've thought about joining and been on the fence, do it! I promise you, you won't look back. When I think of the children, spouses and Airmen that have been touched by all of my fellow OSC members through the years and it makes me proud to say that I am an OSC member (jeans, baseball hat, and all).