The Top 7 Lessons That All Men Can Learn From the Military

Joining the military is no joke. You are volunteering to give your life for your country and her ideals. You are giving up your freedom to maintain freedom for others. If you’re thinking of joining please do it for the right reasons. You don’t want to sign up for free medical, free travel and the G.I. Bill. Those are “perks” not reasons. While the reasons for each person may differ slightly the lessons learned are the same. Some are small lessons you hopefully learned from your parents and others are life changing, personality enhancing game changers that will form you into not only a fighting machine but a well-rounded person who is a benefit to the very society you signed up to protect. In this time when young people are whining about silly things like fairness and feelings the military is making courageous, honorable, loyal, hardworking self-sufficient heroes. The lessons learned in the military will last a lifetime no matter who you are, where you’re from and where you go.

1. Humility
Anyone who has ever been in the military will tell you that first they break you down then they build you up. It takes away all those things you think you need for security and then teach you basic survival techniques so that you can save not only yourself but others. There is no questioning fairness in the military. Life’s not fair and the military teaches you that lesson on the first day. If you’re feeling entitled to life’s little niceties the military will cure you of that little delusion before you can blink. You’ll find yourself up before dawn, crawling through the mud on your belly in 30 degree weather dodging obstacles with people who depend on you to make it. There is no being the best looking, best dressed, “coolest” guy in a platoon. You are judged on your effort and your ability to be dependable and if you can’t manage that you won’t need some loud mouthed sergeant to tell you because your bunk mates will razz you until you get your stuff together. If you have any sort of attitude when you enter the military you’d be wise to lose it quick before someone forces you to throw it away. You could however be stubborn to the notion of humility in which case I would advise you to smuggle in some extra tooth brushes because you’ll be cleaning things with your issued one that will make you cry for your momma.

2. Team Work
You’re whole life you’ve always heard the phrase “there is no I in team” and the military is the mother of all teachers when it comes to that lesson. You need your friends and you better be worthy of their help or you will suffer for it. The military will put you in many situations where you will depend on the help of others in order to complete your tasks. They will do this over and over until you get it right. If you want to survive in real life you’ll need to learn to depend on others so you might as well let the military have their way and learn that lesson A.S.A.P.

3. Dress with Respect
In the military you must always dress with respect. While it’s obvious that different situations call for different types of dress, when you’re presenting yourself for inspection you better not have your pants drooping or your shirt untucked. Everyone should dress as if they not only respect themselves but others and I can promise you that after a stint in the military you won’t be showing up to the Walmart in your pajama pants and a dirty T-shirt. You will dress as though your appearance matters. You’ll learn that showing up for a job interview in old ripped jeans and a concert T is the last thing you would ever do, unless you like peeling 1000 potatoes on KP duty.

4. Confidence
Everyone needs to have a confidence about them to be successful in life and the military offers oodles of confidence boosters. After they’ve torn you down to your baser self they teach you through repetition how to handle yourself in dangerous, traumatic and life threatening situations. Your training will get you to the point where you don’t even need to think. You react based on the situation and you’ll be prepared for just about anything that life throws at you. You’ll find yourself running into danger while others are running away. If you want to be confident in yourself and your skills then the military is where you need to go.

5. Learn to Think (Quickly)
Quick thinking can be the difference between life and death and the military will give you the skills to quick thinking like no other. It also teaches you that nothing is dependable. You may not be able to read a map when you join but you’ll know it when you leave. GPS is nice but like all technology it can fail at any time. The military is ‘old school’ and that’s a good thing. Morse code, navigation techniques, simple map reading and more can save many lives when reality hits you in an unexpected way. Everyone needs to learn to think, think quickly and react instantaneously just for basic survival in today’s world.

6. Patience
If you have a short fuse or are just impatient you’ll learn that sort of knee jerk reacting can get you and others killed. There is no lesson like the military’s version of patience. There is a lot of ‘hurry up and wait’ and complaining about that will get you punishment you don’t want. You could be sitting in a fox hole for hours to days. You could be waiting for a signal to move from your mountain hideout and it never comes. Every person could use a little patience in the civilian world and the military gets you ready to stand in long lines quietly without complaint.

7. Loyalty
Good character has many components but loyalty is at the top. Who doesn’t want a loyal friend, spouse, parent, child, employee or soldier? Without loyalty there is no trust and without trust there is no relationship. The military will teach loyalty in many ways during your stay and it’s one of the best lessons you can take away. No one hates a loyal person. Well, no one but a lying, sneaky traitor and who cares what they think?

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