Photo via Jeff Chiu/AP
U.S. Army chaplains are trying to teach troops how to pick the right spouse through a program called "How to Avoid Marrying a Jerk." The program is also called "P.I.C.K. a Partner" for Premarital Interpersonal Choices and Knowledge. (It is the military, after all. You knew they'd have to throw an acronym in there somehow.)
It advises the marriage-bound to study a partner's F.A.C.E.S. - family background, attitudes, compatibility, experiences in previous relationships and skills they'd bring to the union. It also uses a R.A.M. chart - the Relationship Attachment Model - to show that it's best not to let your sexual involvement exceed your level of commitment or knowledge of another person. In the program, participants also practice the "no-jerk salute" - one hand at the heart, two fingers at the brow - meaning they will use both their heart and their head when choosing.
The program was created by former minister Dr. John Van Epp of Ohio, who has a doctorate in psychology and a private counseling practice. He teaches it to Army chaplains and they teach it to the troops. It is also used by social service agencies, prisons, churches and other civilian groups.