What exactly is it about soldiers that separates them from the rest of the population? Among other things, it has something to do with the way they walk, stand, and talk. You can tell that someone is military or ex-military from the way they carry themselves. If you are not sure what exactly these mannerisms are, read on to find out!
Floor = Bed
Basic training will prepare you to sleep on any surface available. The floor will turn into your bed and your pal’s shoulder will turn into your pillow. Without a doubt, soldiers can do remarkable things. Even more impressive is the fact that regardless of how deep their slumber is, they’ll be at attention right away when necessary. That’s the military life for you.
It is very important for soldiers to take care of the way they look. Among other things, they never fail to fold and iron their uniform. It is taboo for them to wear a creased uniform, so expect them to look good at all times.
The Way You Walk
Just by watching a person walk, you can instantly tell if they are a soldier or not. People who were in the military walk with a sense of purpose and control. Aside from this, make sure to have your game face on as you will need to walk fast to keep up with them while walking.
Everyone has known how to tell time since childhood. When you enter the military, however, you begin to use the 24-hour format. It’s better in some ways – for one thing, it’s no longer necessary to clarify whether you meant AM or PM!
Most people have the freedom to pick a new haircut whenever they need a trim. This rule does not apply to soldiers. They can only choose something aside from the buzz-cut when they are done with service. Most of them typically stick to it, however.
Have you noticed your military friend doing a quick scan of the concert venue, park, or room as soon as you get there? This is pretty common among soldiers. They have learned to assess and scan situations during training. The moment that they notice something out of the ordinary, do not be surprised to find them acting right away.
Standing At Ease
We bet you will not find standing “at ease” very comfortable – at least not right away. Soldiers will take this stance for a significant amount of time, which is why they eventually find it comfortable. Many will retain this posture even when they are done with service!
Sir And Ma’am
Soldiers know just how important it is to treat everyone with respect. The status of the person they are talking to does not matter. Be it a CEO, the milkman, a flower lady, men will be called ‘sir’ and women will be called ‘ma’am’.
Don’t be alarmed if your soldier friend finishes their meals much quicker than everyone else at the table. In the military, they were trained to do this so that they could return to their post right away. This training is essential in case they are ever deployed to a war zone, where the enemy can strike at any given second.
We are sure that you are familiar with military phrases like “roger that”, “negative”, and “affirmative”. Movies and video games actually got those phrases right! This is really how military personnel speak. Don’t be surprised to hear soldiers say stuff like this even when they are done with service. Think of it as a new language they learned there – it’s hard to unlearn something they used on a daily basis before.
Like we said earlier, it is important for soldiers to look their best. Part of looking presentable is taking good care of their boots. As part of their uniforms, they are willing to put in the effort to make sure they look shiny and new.
What do you use the fridge door for? We bet you keep photos and other reminders there. Soldiers use them in a similar but different manner. A look at their fridge and you will be able to see clues about their service. They often keep military souvenirs and war memorabilia there.
If ever someone salutes you on the street, please do not be taken aback. It is considered to be a common form of greeting in the military, so it is hard to stop doing it after service. When you get saluted by a soldier, the best course of action is to do the same thing!
Soldiers don’t have a kitchen – they have a mess. Don’t be offended if that’s what they call yours! They will refer to even the cleanest kitchen in the same manner. That’s just how it is in the military.
Call Of Duty
Call of Duty is a great game and even soldiers like to play it from time to time. What separates them from other players, however, is their ability to discern reality from fiction. They’ll be able to tell you that it is impossible for a single person to carry a grenade launcher along with 6 rifles in real life!
Black paint or ‘Boot-Topping’?
It is true that there is no significant difference between boot-topping and boot paint. If you are really curious, however, we will let you know that the former refers to the black coating lathered between the deck and the waterline. Made of lime or sulfur, the consistency tends to be thick and liquid-like. Civilians might not be sharp enough to tell which is which, but a soldier should be able to see the difference right away.
Quiet In Line
You will never find a rowdy or noisy military person when you are in a queue. Basic training has taught them to behave well when they are waiting for their turn. In the military, they knew it was important to act this way while in line for orders or the mess hall. This is the kind of behavior that everyone should be emulating!
Checking Your Car
In the military, nothing is more important than discipline. Before soldiers are sent off to a mission, it is important to survey the vehicle and ensure that it is both prepared and safe. Be it a helicopter, fighter jet, or armored personnel carrier, they need to check it thoroughly. This is a practice that continues even when they are no longer in service… with their own cars, of course.
Home Chore List
One effective way of ensuring that things get done is by using chore lists. Military personnel typically use this to ensure that everyone is aware of their assignments and that tasks are completed. When someone does not take care of their assignments, they will be punished accordingly. This is another practice that often transfers to civilian life.
Skip The Fireworks
We all know that fireworks make for a phenomenal sight to behold. However, it might not be a good idea to light them if there is a military person with you. Anyone who ever spent time in a war zone will likely remember a different kind of explosion. It will be better to err on the side of caution and find another way to celebrate!
You can also tell that a person is a soldier based on the way they stand. Soldiers often have a power stance, especially those who have a higher rank. Whenever you are in the company of military people, there is no way you would not feel the confidence they exude.
For a soldier, no one is more important than the men and women they go to the battlefield with. In situations like this, they become responsible for the safety of one another. They might trade curses and insults day in and day out, but all they have is each other at the end of the day. It will be hard to beat the bond formed during this time of their lives.
Speaking In A.C.R.O.N.Y.M.S.
The military has more than its fair share of acronyms. BOHICA, SNAFU, and WAG are just some examples. You will likely hear terms like these coming from a soldier. Do you have no clue what they mean? Clearly, you were never a soldier.
Soldiers typically honk the horn twice to let others know that they are backing up. After they spend time in the military and return to civilian life, quite a number of these soldiers continue to do this.
The American flag is the symbol of the country. Needless to say, it deserves nothing but great respect. Soldiers know this better than anyone, which is why you will find them standing upright and saluting the flag the moment it is raised.
Back To The Wall
In the military, it is hard to find a better position than one with your back towards the wall. This might be the safest spot since it ensures that there will be no threats coming from behind you. That said, the only source of threat will come from in front. Soldiers like to go for seats in the back for this very reason. This practice is something that ex-military people tend to keep.
Neatness really does play a big role in the way soldiers live. Even their beds are subjected to certain requirements and expectations. “Hospital corners” are typical in the quarters, which makes all of the bed look both clean and uniform.
War Movie Frustration
You can probably guess why a soldier will feel annoyed over a Hollywood war movie. For people who have actually lived through those experiences, these adaptations will never live up to the real thing. Of course, they can still sit back and enjoy an action flick every now and then.
Whistling In The Loo
Don’t be weirded out when you are in a public restroom and hear the person in the next cubicle whistling out loud. It is likely that they come from the military! Although no one is sure where the tradition originated, it continues to be widely practiced.
A knife hand is what you call the hand gesture soldiers make when they are explaining something. This involves locking the fingers into a flat and tight surface so that they can use it for gestures. Military men and women often find themselves using this to show directions even after service.
Getting Up Early
For a soldier, waking up at 7 am is the equivalent of sleeping in. It is hard to stop the habit of getting up early after going through basic training as well as deployment. This is the kind of thing that sticks forever.
Not unlike what you find in movie screenplays, military men and women “pop smoke” to provide a diversion or shield as they move into place. When the term is used in regular conversations, however, the speaker wants to say that they are leaving.
Military food would not pass the gourmet test. Soldiers have therefore taken it upon themselves to improve the quality of their meals with what they have. All you need is a little Tabasco sauce and it’s good to go!
The National Anthem
When Star Spangled Banner is playing, there is a possibility that your soldier friend will get a little teary-eyed. The national anthem of the country is the most appropriate soundtrack for the lives of military men, after all.
Always Early, Never Late
Are you the type of person to arrive at events “fashionably late”? Well, don’t expect your soldier friends to approve of such behavior. This is a big “no-no” in the military. Typically, soldiers show up 15 minutes early. Honestly, we are on them with this one.
When something big is happening, we often deliver explanations to relay certain information. In the military, however, they deliver briefings instead. After all, why would they bother speaking for an extended period of time with too much information and emotion? They prefer to choose only the important parts and get to the point right away.
Are you looking for a song that you can work out to? If you happen to be ex-military, there is no way that you can go wrong with “cadence”. Motivation will definitely come in no time the minute this tune begins to blare out of your speakers.
If you were ever assigned a firearm while serving in the military, you will know it as well as any body part. Wherever the soldier goes, so does the gun. Often, this is not only limited to their time in service. Sometimes, it continues to feel like a phantom limb even then.
Losing Your Gun
Now that we are on the topic of their gun, did you know that ex-soldiers sometimes experience nightmares in which they lose their gun? It is only when they wake up that they realize they no longer carry one.
Many military personnel prefer to spell things out with the use of the phonetic alphabet. When they say “Juliet”, they mean the letter “j”. In the same vein, they mean “d” when they say “Delta”. Try to keep up when they are talking like this or else you will be completely lost!
When you are in active service, do not expect to enjoy long showers. Why? Well, there is basically no time for them. They keep showers brief and only do it out of necessity. This is yet another habit many soldiers keep even after returning to civilian life.
Anyone who has ever spent time in the military will likely feel right at home wearing sunglasses. It almost does not matter if it is sunny outside or not. They’ll still be donning a pair, rain or shine.
Talking During The Anthem
Make sure to keep quiet when the national anthem is being sung. People who talk while it is playing will get on their nerves. Who does that, anyway? It is certainly rude behavior that no one should ever emulate. Luckily for them, soldiers are better behaved. Otherwise, they will be in big trouble.
It doesn’t matter what threat might be there, a soldier will never run away from danger and always head towards its direction. Of course, the same rings true for the simple act of helping out. When something needs to be done, they will be the first ones to volunteer.
Up next, we have another verbal tic that soldiers tend to have. Instead of saying “excuse me” and “pardon me”, they are more likely to tell you, “say again”. They picked it up while in service and now it’s difficult to let go.
Finding The Exits
When soldiers first enter a room, they will immediately look around for possible points of exit. This is a habit that they will continue to do, even when they are no longer in the military. You can trust them to figure out how to get out of tricky situations.
Right Hand Free
Military men and women prefer to keep their right hand, or left hand for lefties, free at any given time. They like to keep their dominant hand always available in case anything comes up. Do not be too disappointed when your soldier partner does not initiate handholding!
Hands In Pockets
You can also tell if a person has been in the military by what they choose to do with their hands while standing. If they tuck it inside their pockets, they are almost definitely not soldiers. After all, military personnel do not like to restrain their hands in any way, so they will usually have it on their hips instead.
Quiet During Announcements
Soldiers know how important respect is. This is the reason why they will remain silent when listening to orders. This is also true when an announcement is being made, regardless of whether they are attending a baseball game or shopping at the supermarket.
You must have noticed the way your soldier friend likes to have numerous routes planned out no matter where you are going. Soldiers never fail to have backup plans to avoid inconvenience when disaster strikes.
Brass To The Grass
What on earth could “brass to the grass” mean? If that was what you were thinking, it is clear that you never spent any time in the military. Even though you don’t know it means, soldiers will be using this slogan for the rest of their lives.
Soldiers have been taught to aim for perfection, so you can see how the “gig line” has come to be. This is what they call the alignment of the belt buckle, uniform trouser fly-seam, and the uniform shirt seam. All of these things should form a straight line!
No Word Is Gold
If you have ever served in the military, you know that no word is ever the “end all be all”. Keep expectations low until the moment is actually happening. Soldiers know better than most that anything can change without warning.
In the military, you will almost never be called by your given name. Most people will refer to you only by your last name. Did you say your name is John Cooper? Well, get ready to be called only Cooper from now on.
Soldier Or Not
The men and women who have spent time in the military will have a hard time letting go of habits and behaviors they earned there. It will be a long road before they can forget the things that granted them soldier status.
When they sign up for the army, soldiers undergo rigorous training that will put them at the top of their physical game. Unfortunately, things are different later in life. These people will forever curse the military when the joint pain begins and never fully disappears.
You’ve Got An Ex
Can you imagine lying around and waiting day in and day out for your partner to return home? It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that this will be difficult for the lovebirds. How unfortunate is it to hear that many military men and women get divorced when the stress becomes too much?
There is no way to foretell when the enemy will strike. It is always possible that they will strike in the middle of the night. When this happens, they will not give you a moment to prepare. Therefore, soldiers must be able to dress themselves as quickly as possible. If anything, at least they won’t have to spend more time on their wardrobe since they only have one outfit.
Some Vitamin M
Not a lot of civilians know about Vitamin M. This pill is rather exclusive to the military. When a soldier is not feeling very well, it is not standard procedure to take a sick day. No, they instead take a Motrin and keep fighting. Vitamin M is going to be a serviceman’s best friend when they are feeling blue.
Water, like Vitamin M, is amazing stuff. They are both considered miracle workers. Do you have strep throat, a headache, a hernia, a stomachache, a missing leg? Well, water will at least make things better. If Vitamin M doesn’t work, water might.
Non-military children will call just about any flying thing a helicopter. Meanwhile, children of military personnel will be able to distinguish among an Apache, a Blackhawk, and a Chinook. You can trust them to give you the right answer.
The length of deployment varies a lot, ranging from weeks to years at a time! Soldiers have already gotten used to spending such a long time away from home that it passes in the blink of an eye. There is no need to worry when your military partner claims it feels like it has only been hours!
Worst Case Scenario
The military trains soldiers to always consider the worst possible outcome. With this guideline in mind, troops will always go the extra length with preparation. They will try to come up with the worst-case scenario even when doing mundane things like checking out at the grocery or paying the bills.
Skype Is Reality
We are huge fans of Skype, and many soldiers are as well. Video chatting has taken virtual communication to a whole new level. Phone calls might be good enough for basic communication, but there is something different about seeing your loved ones while talking to them. It allows people to share special moments together even when they are miles apart.
When you separate your laundry, you will probably be making a pile for the dark-colored pieces and then another for the light-colored ones. For soldiers, it is only camouflage or not! Now, if only we can find out the exact settings they used…
When you are in the military, you need to learn how to sleep through a ruckus to survive. Military personnel might even find it hard to go to sleep when there is no noise at all. Hey, that’s what televisions and their sleep timers are for.
AC Or No AC?
Air conditioning is only but a dream when you are in the military. The reality is that you will be subjected to very hot temperatures more often than not. After spending time in the military, most people will be able to handle the blaring temperatures even without the help of the AC.
Medal Of Dishonor
Now, who on earth likes a liar? Although human beings generally dislike being lied to, soldiers particularly hate people who pretend to be something they are not. Trust us when say that this is a battle that will be hard to win.
Hats For The National Anthem
If you were ever in the military, you probably know how disrespectful it is when someone keeps their hat on during the national anthem. Even worse than this, however, is that there are people who remain in their seats!