Training in the military will change a lot about how you live your life. It is not just about training you to survive while you are deployed. The military will also teach you how to be organized and disciplined with the little things in your life. From the way you eat to the way you make your bed, the military will teach you how to do it.
The habits you form during training and deployment will most likely stay with you for life. Your family and friends will probably think it is weird. Or they will probably opt to adopt the same discipline. Whatever it is, these habits are proof that your stint with the military will change your life forever.
Military habits that stay with you forever
One thing that will really stay with you is your passion and love for your country and what it stands for.
The military will teach you how to be punctual in everything. In fact, you will find yourself arriving earlier than the call time. For some, they arrive early so they can survey the area and choose a position where their backs are to a wall. This helps them see the whole place and observe those around them.
Men in the military have to wear high and tight haircuts. For most retired military men, they continue to do it even when they are already civilians.
Some military men develop the fear of crowded areas. This has probably got something to do with the fact that it’s harder to find your exit.
One of the things they will inspect while you are a recruit is how you make your bed. It has to be neat and tidy. Sometimes, your life in the military will include a bedtime routine that involves fixing your stuff (e.g. tucking laces into shoes and lining them under the bed). This allows you to dress quickly when the need arises.
In the military, this is the “At Ease” position where a member will stand with their feet apart and their hands clasped behind their back. Sometimes, those coming out of the military find themselves automatically taking this position while waiting in line.
Everything that you wear is expected to be neat and tidy. This is why most military personnel learn how to keep their clothes neat and ironed until they are crisp.
Falling into step
When you were in the military, you always had to walk with your platoon and it has to be in step. Sometimes, that can become a hard habit to break. You might find yourself falling into step with the crowd.
Even years after, you might still feel the need to pop a salute when you see higher ranking officials going your way.
If you used military slang while on active duty, it could be tough to get rid of the habit. Of course, not everyone will understand what you are saying so be prepared to get strange looks.
There are little habits that stick with you like making sure everything is lined up and neat. You also want things to be organized so you can grab them easily. The 24-hour clock is also something that you will never change.
You will find yourself always walking fast – like you were always on a purpose. It is a bit hard to slow things down when you just got discharged from the military.
Life in the military will teach you to do things fast – and that includes eating. The fork and swallow mean you do not even have time to chew your food properly. That means you don’t really get to enjoy your food. This is one habit that you should work on when you get out of the military – but some people might find the habit hard to break.
You can spot someone from the military easily – you just have to observe how they stand. The power stance is easy to spot. It is either the “thumbs through the belt” or the “arms crossed” stance.
Not really sure why sunglasses are a military thing. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that you observe what goes on around you without people really knowing what you are trying to do.
The “sir” and “ma’am” are drilled into you. That is just how things are in the military. They teach discipline and that includes politeness. It is natural for you to address people politely – regardless of who they are.
Scanning the crowd
Everywhere you go, you will always scan the crowd. In fact, the first thing you will do when you go somewhere is to look for the exit. Then you will observe each and everyone in the room for possible signs of danger. This is an important routine while you were in the military because it can save you life when things get a bit chaotic.
Because of the conditions of the job, you will be trained to sleep anywhere. This oftentimes makes deep sleep a rare occurrence for military personnel. This will help you rest without compromising your safety – especially if you are in the middle of a battlefield. Unfortunately, it is hard to break out of this habit even after you leave the military.
Staying off the grass
It is strictly forbidden to step on the grass – especially when it is near the office of a military official. You can only step on the grass if you are mowing. Otherwise, you will be punished for it. Years after, veterans still keep off the grass – or are wary when they do so.
Military hat etiquette
As a general rule, it is rude if you do not remove your hat when you are indoors. But with the military, this rule is strictly implemented. Most of the time, people do not bother changing this habit.
You pick up a couple of bad habits when you serve in the military – one of them is having a vulgar mouth. It is considered to be a “filler” for some – just like “um” or “er.” This is one habit that you should really try to get rid of – especially now that you are with your kids 24/7.
You will learn how to pack your clothes during your time in the military. This is something that will not go away and will actually prove to be useful even when you are already a civilian. You will still pack your socks in balls and fold your clothes the same way.
Packing in plastic
Apart from the neat way that clothes are packed, you will also get into the habit of packing your things in plastic. This was necessary for the military because you never know when you have to go through wet conditions. For civilians, this can be a funny and unusual habit – but it is really up to you if you want to kick the habit or not.