13 Steps to Recovery/Integration for Soldiers Becoming Civilians

August 27, 2007

Many of us know that there’s sometimes a world of difference between life in the military and life in the civilian world. Imagine spending 20 + years of your life in the military and when you finally retire, you find that things are much different as a civilian. When I ran across this little tidbit of information on MySpace, I thought it was pretty funny and in many cases, so very true. So, I figured that I’d share it here for everyone to enjoy. (I also thought maybe those who are in the military and looking towards retiring or getting out of the military might be able to use the pointers! LOL!)

1. Admit:
“I was in the Army; I have a problem.” This is the first step to recovery…

2. Speech:
Time should never begin with a zero or end in a hundred, it is not 0430 or 1400; it is 4:30 in the morning (AKA God-awful early).

Words like latrine, overhead, fourth point of contact, bunk, and “PT” will get you weird looks; bathroom, ceiling, and workout… get used to it.

“Fuck” cannot be used to -replace whatever word you can’t think of right now, try “um”.

Grunting is not talking.

It’s a phone, not a radio; do not use words like “roger,” “say again,” “send it” and conversations on a phone do not end in “out or outta here.”

People will not know what you are talking about if you tell them you are coming from Fort Huachuca with the platoon or that you spent a deployment in the OCAC.

Likewise people will not understand you when you use expressions like “watch your six.”

3. Style:
Do not put creases in your jeans.
Do not put creases on the front of your dress shirts.
A horseshoe cut looks dumb, not motivating.
A high and tight looks really dumb as well.
A hat indoors does not make you a bad person; it makes you like the rest of the world; what’s more it’s a hat and not a cover.
You do not have to wear a belt ALL the time.

4. Women:
Army girls are easy, very easy, not all women are this easy and will probably punch you in the nuts if you treat them like Air Force girls.

Being divorced twice by the time you are 23 is not normal, neither are 6 month marriages, even if it is your first.

Marrying a girl so that you can move out of the barracks does not make “financial sense”, it makes you a retard.

5. Personal accomplishments:
In the real world, being able to do pushups will not make you good at your job.

Most people will be slightly disturbed by you if you tell them about people you have killed or seen die.

How much pain you can take is not a personal accomplishment.

The time you got really drunk and passed the sobriety test anyway is also not a personal accomplishment.

6. Drinking:
In the real world, being drunk before 5pm will get you an intervention, not a “good for you”

That time you drank a 5th of Jaeger and pissed in your closet is not a conversation starter.

That time you went to the combat life saver school and practiced giving vodka IV’s, will also not be a good conversation starter.

7. Bodily functions:
Farting on your co-workers and then giggling while you run away may be viewed as “unprofessional”.

The size of the dump you took yesterday will not be funny no matter how big it was, how much it burned, or how much it smelled.

You can’t make fun of someone for being sick, no matter how funny it is.
VD will also not be funny

8. The human body:
Most people will not want to hear about your balls. Odd as that may seem, it’s true.

9. Spending habits:
One day, you will have to pay bills
Buying a $30,000 car on a $16,000 a year salary is a really bad idea.
Spending money on video games instead of on diapers makes you a fool.
One day you will need health insurance .

10. Interacting with civilians (AKA YOU):
Making fun of your neighbor to his face for being fat will not be normal.

11. Real jobs:
They really can fire you.

On the flip side you really can quit.

Screaming at the people that work for you will not be normal, remember they really can quit too.

Taking naps at work will not be acceptable.

Remember 9-5 not 0430 to 1700

12. The Law:
UCMJ does not exist and will not save you from prison.

Your workplace unlike your command can’t save you and probably won’t, in fact most likely you will fired about 5 minutes after they find out you’ve been arrested

Even McDonalds does background checks, and “conviction” isn’t going to help you get the job

Fighting is not a normal thing and will get you really arrested, not yelled at Monday morning before they ask you if you won.

13. General knowledge:
You can in fact really say what you think about the President in public.

Pain is not weakness leaving the body, it’s just pain.

They won’t wear anything shiny that tells you they are more important than you are, be polite.

Read the contracts before you sign them; remember what happened last time.


6 Responses to “13 Steps to Recovery/Integration for Soldiers Becoming Civilians”

  1. University Update - Video Games - 13 Steps to Recovery/Integration for Soldiers Becoming Civilians on August 27th, 2007 9:24 pm

    [...] 13 Steps to Recovery/Integration for Soldiers Becoming Civilians » This Summary is from an article posted at A Soldier’s Mind on Monday, August 27, 2007 This [...]

  2. kbug on August 28th, 2007 11:49 am

    What a hoot!!! But also true….. :)

  3. CavMom on August 28th, 2007 1:24 pm

    hehehe… I have to pass this on to my son when he steps off the plane!

  4. Terri on August 28th, 2007 1:32 pm

    Oh I’m sure he’ll get a kick out of it. I sent it to Marty, since he’s retiring shortly after coming home. When he called last night, his big complaint was that he wouldn’t be able to use 0400 or 1600 and would have to use 4:00am or pm instead.

  5. LMT on August 28th, 2007 5:43 pm

    This post had me rolling on the floor and my husband too. Thanks for the warnings and heads up about life after the military! Out here! :)

  6. Terri on August 28th, 2007 5:49 pm

    Glad you two got a laugh. Marty will be finding out soon enough, since he’s retiring after he gets home from Iraq. He’s already called me and complained about the differences in the time. LMAO!

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