This institutional ethnography interrogates my experiences as a woman and mother in the Canadian military, exploring how ruling relations perpetuate prevailing norms of military membership, gender, and family. It problematizes the normalization of family in the military, military cultural practices, and gender practices in a critique of official military policies, unofficial military texts, and news media representations. The dominant narrative of the military as a way of life is promoted through the ideological codes of duty, honour, and service before self. Dominant cultural practices and boss texts serve to validate the ideal of an unencumbered dedicated male soldier while excluding alternative understandings and realities. Although the everyday lives of military members are complex and varied, military ruling relations and representations work to eclipse diversity, valuing conformity and adherence to gendered hypermasculine norms.