37 Things That Might Be Unique to Military People Image
by Mike_Wr | Last updated Jan 9, 2018.

37 Things Unique to Military People

To celebrate my 37th and last birthday in the Air Force here’s a list of 37 things that may be unique to military people. Enjoy!

Military Speak Used Here:
Career Field (also Military Occupation Specialty) – Shortened versions of terms that mean Job title; Intramurals – various seasonal sports played among military organizations on an installation; Overseas – place at least an ocean away from the USA; PCS – Permanent Change of Station (also Get Orders) military people make the acronym a verb as in PCSed or PCSing; PT – Physical Training; Shop – work center
These statements have been cleared for public release by the Originator.
  1. You don’t change your cell phone number unless you are PCSing to/from overseas.
  2. You have to explain to civilians how you’re taking a “pay cut” after PCSing from overseas or Hawaii.
  3. You and another person recognize each other, and you have to play the Where Were We Deployed, Stationed or In Training Together game. NOTE: You probably won’t play the game if you remember that the person sucked back then.
  4. You know that the Marines are the most bad ass of the branches.
  5. You see a completely new last name at least 3 times a week.
  6. You’re an expert at abbreviating hard-to-say names.

    • Sergeant “Ends in -kovic”
    • Sergeant “Starts with S-Z-T”
    • Captain “Has two Z’s in it”
    • Airman “P-something, Has Like 14 Letters”
    • Lieutenant "Super German Name”
  7. You know what a camel spider is and have hoped you’d never see one alive in person. If you’ve killed one, you talk about it every time they come up in a conversation.
  8. Reasons you hate a meeting:
    • E1-E4: You forgot your phone; you’re sitting somewhere where people will totally see your phone if you pulled it out; someone is going to tell you to do something.
    • E5-E7/O1-O3: You have to lead the meeting, you have to brief something or you have already been told to sidebar with someone after it’s over; you know you could be getting actual work done right now.
    • E8-E9/O4-higher: You had to call the meeting; you actually don’t hate it because you get to ask hard questions or just wait for someone to slip up so you can inject rhetorical questions; you know you could be getting actual work done right now.
  9. Microwave oatmeal, Hot Pockets, Pop-Tarts, Cup Noodles are life, but you don’t want to look at them outside of work.
  10. You can’t articulate why it’s not OK, but you make sure to correct anyone calling you a nick name/slang term used for another branch of service i.e. calling Air Force people “soldier”. You correct kids too — even ones that can’t yet read the words over your left breast pocket. No one gets a pass. (Air Force people are “Airmen” BTW)
  11. You tried CrossFit and
    • It wasn’t for you
    • OR

    • “You should come out to my box! You’d love it!!!”
  12. You know that any person super attractive enough to not need to be in the military is already taken. You likely shoot your shot anyway to be sure. #cantbetoosure
  13. If you ever gave a damn about flossing (also flaunting), it was within the first 3 years of your career or within the first year following a divorce. Outside of these conditions, people think you’re f*cking weird and wonder how much of your money/time goes to bullsh*t.
  14. You married a civilian and have divorced. You married another military person and have divorced. You got married in the military, so you’ll probably get a divorce. You’re Army, so you’ll definitely get a divorce.
  15. You haven’t been married but somehow get the weird feeling you might eventually get divorced.
  16. You reprimand your troops then laugh with your peers about when you pulled something similar.
  17. You remember a time when we could *insert any activity that has had a policy or regulation created, because someone did something stupid or died or both*.
  18. You NEVER miss a chance to point out someone’s uniform being too tight. No matter where. No matter when.
  19. If you still have your first military ID card, you avoid letting people see it because it will be taken and shown to everyone in the room and because “HOLY CRAP! THAT FACE! They got you good! DAMN — Didn’t you know your picture was being taken?!”
  20. You can’t remember so-and-so’s name, but you had a great time deployed together. You’re not even sure you ever knew their name.
  21. When you run into THAT someone you were sweet on once after hearing they got a divorce, a 30-60 minute conversation will ensue most likely accompanied with cheesy grins and chuckles at any attempts at humor. People walking by are probably uncomfortable, and if they’re military, they know what’s going down here.
  22. The whole work center atmosphere goes Twilight Zone when you’re told you have to stop using profanity.
  23. No matter how many times it happens, you’re surprised when you discover a military friend knows another one of your military friends. “Wow, small world!” and “That’s crazy!”
  24. If you were in the military before smart phones, you always find a way to remind someone.
  25. You always remember when you hung out in a nicer USO than this one.
  26. You know Mental Health isn’t ONLY for crazies anymore (was it ever?), but you still blink hard at someone that mentions having a therapy appointment.
  27. You expect the medicine should be working by now because you’ve taken half of it already. Since you’re more medically qualified than any doctor on the base/post and you asked someone at work who is equally as qualified, you stop taking the medication.
    BONUS: You tell someone the medication never worked for you.
  28. You were so in shape when you got back from deployment, and that 15 lbs you gained back over the 6 months following seemed to have come out of nowhere is the story you tell getting off the scale in the locker room.
  29. You didn’t need anything from your parents except if they were kind enough to put you on their car insurance until you hit that magic age in your 20s or cosign on your car…You also hate them a little bit for giving your room to your nephew, because there’s no other reason he would’ve started thinking it was his room.
  30. On a phone call, you’ve called a Ma’am a Sir or a Sir a Ma’am then dragged the sh*t out of said caller to someone in the shop after you hung up — probably made some reference to a cartoon character too…Similarly, you’re cynical about Politically Correct Culture and hope you won’t be in the military long enough to see gender-associated pronouns and terms of address eliminated altogether.
  31. You can’t wait to shine during Intramurals especially if you had or almost had or lied about almost having had a scholarship for that particular sport.
  32. You know you’re going to lose to the Army teams during Intramurals unless you’re Army playing Army, then I guess the Security Police or Special Ops teams win.
  33. You’ve always wondered how a particular career field seems to have the most attractive people.
  34. You know that no one is at work after 1530 on Friday, so you might as well wait and finish this work Monday unless you have a chiropractor appointment that morning then you should probably pop into the shop for an hour on Sunday evening in pajamas.
  35. You don’t say someone is “in the branch of service.” A military person IS their particular branch of Service as if they represent the whole.

    • “He’s Army, so he’s got PT 9 days a week.”
    • “She’s Air Force, so she’ll probably get her own rental car when she gets there.”
  36. You don’t care about most of the sh*t civilians expect that you might i.e. politics, weather, prototype aircraft, new guns, protests, TSA procedures, recruiting commercials, E4’s or below getting busted, etc. (Oh, but shutdown a gate for more than a day that I use to get on base/post in the morning, and somebody’s gotta pay! That sh*t is a problem. And where’s the email about it with the shutdown dates?…Oh, it was sent at the beginning of the month? What was the Subject Line?? Oh ok…Here it is. Awe WTF — it was sent by the damn Volunteer Rep! I got an Outlook rule setup for emails from her. Dammit!)
  37. The words clean, coffee and mug don’t go together — *does not compute* *database error: no matches found*




37 Things That Might Be Unique to Military People