4 ways veterans change within 5 years of leaving the military - We Are The Mighty
Humor

4 ways veterans change within 5 years of leaving the military

Everyone joins the military for different reasons. Some to pursue a better life for themselves and their families — as others just want to blow sh*t up. That said, serving can take a toll, on not only the body but the mind.


The life you thought you wanted when you signed your DD-214 isn’t what you want anymore, and now you’re ready to make a change.

So here’s how the majority of veterans change within five years of leaving the military.

Related: 6 separation beards and what they say about your personality

1. Extra Moto! (more than before)

Many of us dream of hitting our EAOS (Expiration of Active Obligated Service) after seeing all the bullsh*t we faced on the day-to-day — sometimes even marking down the calendar. After a while, you begin to admit to yourself how much you miss it. It’s common.

Hopefully, when you salute — you render a proper one.

2. The Billy Madison effect (non-stop school)

Many of us joined the military after high school to avoid college because we didn’t know what career to take.

With many educational benefits in place, like the Post 9/11 GI bill, vocational rehabilitation and yellow ribbon for veterans, going back to school can start out feeling like a vacation. Getting paid BAH (basic allowance for housing) and book money is a pretty sweet deal.

Then after a detailed meeting with the school’s guidance counselor, it appears that the path to your bachelor’s degree is going to take a while, and you’re probably going to be the oldest guy or gal in class.

You probably aren’t the smartest, but you can buy beer.

3. Career change (at least once)

Maturity plays the biggest role in personal change. The fact is, you don’t know yourself as well as you thought you did. After a few semesters of school, your mental fatigue of tests and quizzes are piling up. The realization sets in that maybe studying to be a mechanic or nurse just isn’t right for you anymore.

Also Read: Here’s the best time and place to pull the ‘veteran card’

4. Spiritual (find it or lose it)

Typically, everyone in the military deploys at one time or another. Some experience more tragic events than others, and they may start to see life in different ways. In the end, do whatever makes you the happiest.

Can you name other ways you and your buddies changed? Comment below.

Humor

6 worst parts about leaving a deployment

All good things must come to an end — including deployments. While getting out-of-country is the only goal, troops have a checklist of tasks that must be completed before they’re finally allowed to reunite with their families back home.


No one likes doing any of these tasks, especially when they’re already checked-out mentally.

6. Training up your replacements.

Meeting the new unit that comes in-country is the first sign that your deployment is almost over.

Getting people who are busy preparing for departure to teach the newbies that are completely lost is never an easy task, but hey, that’s the military.

4 ways veterans change within 5 years of leaving the military
Yeah, some guys like us and some guys don’t. Good like finding out which is which. We were here 12 months and couldn’t figure it out either. (Official U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Dustin D. March)

5. Cleaning gear

In the Ancient Greek legend of Sisyphus, the protagonist is cursed with the never-ending task of rolling a boulder up a mountain just for it to roll down the hill when he nears the top.

This is much like the never-ending struggle of troops trying to sweep all of the dirt out of the motor pool in the desert. Sweep as you might, it’ll never end. It’ll get just good enough for inspection until it’s time to finally get out of country.

4 ways veterans change within 5 years of leaving the military

4. Sending gear back stateside

All of the troubles of selecting what you need and don’t need happens all over again — but in reverse. You’ll be putting gear away that you won’t see for a few months. It’s a fine idea for the extra parts of your sleeping system, but people who bring or buy video game consoles while deployed now have to worry about bringing it back home.

Of course, if you really wanted to make things easier (and you have the money for it), you could always use the postal service to send a tough box or two with your useful stuff.

4 ways veterans change within 5 years of leaving the military
All you have is one duffle bag, one assault bag, your weapon, and the clothes on your back. (U.S. Army Photo by Capt. William Brink, Task Force Patriot PAO)

3. Customs

Traveling through customs in the civilian world is a cinch. Flash your passport, fill out a form, and don’t bring anything that’ll set off any alarms.

Did you know that gunpowder residue trips U.S. Customs’ sensors? Damn near every combat arms troop does, too — all of our gear is covered in gunpowder residue. Even though we’re carrying our weapons with us, they’ll still look at you funny for that gunpowder residue.

4 ways veterans change within 5 years of leaving the military
And they never let you keep all of your bootleg DVDs either. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Katherine Spessa)

2. The flight

It’s like being a kid on Christmas Eve again. Just a few more hours and you get what you want. You know you should probably catch some sleep on the plane but your blood is pumping too much.

All of the “whatever amount of days and a wake-up” are now in hours. Minutes. Seconds. You watch the GPS tracker on the plane more than the actual in-flight movies. The anxiety builds; landing can’t come soon enough.

4 ways veterans change within 5 years of leaving the military
That, and sleeping on a C-130 is only possible for troops who just really don’t care. (U.S. Army Photo by Sgt. Richard Wrigley)

1. That. Last. Formation. Before. Freedom.

Quick show of hands: Out of the countless times commanders have given a passionate speech to the friends and families of returning troops, how many are remembered by the troops?

Those months kind of fly by, but the last speech — you know, the one that starts with, “these fine gentlemen before you…” — goes in one ear and out the other. The only thing troops are focusing on is if they can find their loved ones in the crowd.

4 ways veterans change within 5 years of leaving the military

Articles

11 images of what it’s like seeing your DI for the first time after boot camp

From the moment a recruit arrives at basic training they’re called some pretty inventive names — and the abuse won’t stop for at least 12-weeks.


They can be the strongest or fastest in their platoon, but their drill instructors will still find a reason to yell at them to try to break them down — it’s just the way it goes.

The DI’s evil personality will usually drive recruits to resentment.

Since the military is smaller than most people think, it’s possible to run into your former drill instructor months or even years after you graduated boot camp.

Related: 17 images that show why going to the armory sucks

Check out what many young troops go through when they see their DI for the first time outside of boot camp.

1. When you’re now an E-3, and you think you’re the sh*t walking into the PX on a Saturday afternoon.

Somebody point me to the X-box games — or else. (Image via Giphy)

2. That look you give when you spot your former DI checking out DVDs with these little kids who appear to be mini versions of them.

WTF! They don’t live at boot camp? (Image via Giphy)

3. When they look over in your direction and you pretend you didn’t see them.

You can’t see me. (Image via Giphy)

4. After a few moments of hiding, you decide to casually walk over in their direction — hoping they spot you.

You just ease your way over. (Image via Giphy)

5. Once you get close enough, you pretend you’re doing something important or in deep thought to get them to notice you.

Yup, you look real freakin’ important now. (Image via Giphy)

6. You then attempt to make eye contact with them.

I command you to look at me. (Image via Giphy)

7. Your former DI starts to take notice of your subtle eye contact.

Who the f*ck is this person looking at? (Image via Giphy)

8. They finally semi-recognized you, but you act surprised like you didn’t recognize their face the moment you saw them checking out those adorable family fun genre DVDs.

Sergeant? Wow, I barely recognized you since I’m so mature these days. (Image via Giphy)

9. You start up a meaningless conversation with them. You show off how well you’re doing with your new unit.

What a show-off. (Image via Giphy)

10. But they congratulate you and even shake your hand before walking away. You’re more confused now than ever.

What just happened here? (Image via Giphy)

Also Read: 14 images that humorously recall your first firefight

11. Then you realize, this whole time you thought they were an a**hole, but they weren’t.

Unreal. (Image via Giphy)

Did you ever see your instructor outside of boot camp? Tell us your story in the comments below.

Humor

Turns out, Osama bin Laden was a big fan of ‘Charlie Bit My Finger’

On Nov. 1, the CIA released a trove of files that former Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden had on his computer at the time of his death, and among them are children’s programs like “Tom and Jerry,” crocheting instructions, and the 2007 viral YouTube video “Charlie Bit My Finger.”


Also read: The 5 weirdest books on Osama Bin Laden’s bookshelf

Although the majority of the documents, videos, images, and audio clips released by the CIA are related to bin Laden’s terror operations, some of the files are of a more benign nature. “Charlie Bit My Finger” appears under the file name “Tootin__Bathtub_Baby_Cousins.flv,” alongside numerous clips of the cartoon “Tom and Jerry” and Jackie Chan films. There are also instructions for crocheting butterflies, socks, and baskets.

4 ways veterans change within 5 years of leaving the military
Osama (left) and his son, Hamza bin Laden. Screengrab from YouTube.

The presence of so much children’s content can be explained by the fact that bin Laden was living with his family in the secret compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, where he was killed by US Navy Seal Team 6 in May 2011. Some of the videos in the files released by the CIA — like songs designed for children learning English — raise the possibility that bin Laden was schooling his children from the compound while he was in hiding.

Notably, the CIA decided not to release bin Laden’s large pornography stash in the Nov. 1 file dump.

Articles

13 funniest memes for the week of Oct. 28

Halloween is coming up, so we hope everyone has a great costume lined up, unlike most years when everyone just trades uniforms with a member of a different service for the night. Soldiers going as airmen, sailors going as Marines. It’s all cutting edge stuff.


Before you head into the housing areas to beg your first sergeants for candy, check out these 13 funny military memes:

1. Wait. Do airmen get only three shots?

(via Air Force Memes Humor)

4 ways veterans change within 5 years of leaving the military
Didn’t everyone have to do the walk of needles?

2. Well, at least you can apply that penny to the repair bill (via Military Memes).

4 ways veterans change within 5 years of leaving the military
Only a couple billion more pennies to go.

3.  Back to basics, Marines (via Marine Corps Memes).

4 ways veterans change within 5 years of leaving the military
Grab your powder horns.

ALSO READ: That time US soldiers pretended to be vampires and ghosts to scare the hell out of the enemy

4. “Meh. This is the next watch’s problem.” (via Coast Guard Memes)

4 ways veterans change within 5 years of leaving the military
Better write it up in the log, though.

5. Uh, Germany did this and got to stay Airborne (via Do You Even Airborne, Bro?).

4 ways veterans change within 5 years of leaving the military
They did it a couple of times in one day.

6. Make your life decisions carefully, folks (via Military Memes).

4 ways veterans change within 5 years of leaving the military
Going to college starts to look a lot better after you’ve already enlisted.

7. When your tie-down job lasts longer than the trailer, truck, or load:

(via Team Non-Rec)

4 ways veterans change within 5 years of leaving the military
Good job, whoever did the loading. Driver, not so much.

8. Russia fields its new, rapidly deployable force:

(via Military Memes).

4 ways veterans change within 5 years of leaving the military

9. Combat rock painter:

(via The Salty Soldier)

4 ways veterans change within 5 years of leaving the military
There are some Army details that almost no one writes home about.

10. “A-10 a song” is the best (via Air Force Nation).

4 ways veterans change within 5 years of leaving the military

11. Someone doesn’t appreciate the Air Force (via Coast Guard Memes).

4 ways veterans change within 5 years of leaving the military
And some meme writer doesn’ love the Coast Guard much.

12. In his defense, there’s a solid chance that he’s faking it (via Military Memes).

4 ways veterans change within 5 years of leaving the military
I know some people who might fake it in this situation.

13. When your vehicle recovery plan leaves something to be desired:

(via Military Memes).

4 ways veterans change within 5 years of leaving the military
Maybe bring a wrecker with you next time.

Humor

7 of the top superpowers every Airman possesses

Look! It’s a bird! It’s a plane!


No, it’s just your local veteran Airman. Undoubtedly, this Airman can pull off some amazing feats, like going days and days without sleep, surviving endless attempts at Enlisted Performance Report sabotage, and pulling a reflective belt out of seemingly nowhere.

It’s true, every Airman leaves service with a certain set of special abilities. Below are 7 of the top superpowers that every Airman possesses.

Related: 7 of the top surprises veterans face going to school

7. Sleep? What is that?

Careers across all the branches require us to stretch our body’s limitations. Depending on the circumstance and specific requirements, different aspects of our selves are tested. One of the most common sacrifices, though, is sleep. Airmen quickly learn to operate on minimal sleep.

8 hours per night? Right.

In some cases, you’ll be lucky to get 4.

4 ways veterans change within 5 years of leaving the military
12 hour shift, followed by PT… then an appointment… and another… then another 12 hour shift. (Image from How Stuff Works)

6. Turbo dieting

Physical fitness is definitely a part of military culture. In this regard, the Air Force is a bit later to the party than some of our older, more steeled brethren.

On any given morning on the posts of our older brothers, you’ll likely find a squad or two doing some type of PT. This is true on Air Force bases, too. Well, kinda.

You’re just as likely to see a squadron doing regular PT as you are to see a cardio room full of crash-dieting Airmen trying to prepare for their Air Force Physical Training test… which is next week.

4 ways veterans change within 5 years of leaving the military
Fat boy, fat boy, where you been? (Image from Warner Bros.’ Full Metal Jacket).

5. Built Ford tough

We are good and strong, for the most part. At least for a while.

4 ways veterans change within 5 years of leaving the military
Right? Right. (Image from New Line Cinema’s Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery)

4. “Grin and bear it” champions

There is a common misconception that Airmen are akin to teenagers: quick to talk back and rebel. There are kernels of truth in this, as there are in most myths.

In today’s Air Force, it is much easier to have your career cut off by a simple mistake. It really is a one-mistake Air Force.

You are constantly on edge, so if you value your time in uniform and want it to continue, you might have to eat a bit of humble pie.

Well, actually, a lot of humble pie.

Like, the whole pie.

4 ways veterans change within 5 years of leaving the military
Wanna stick around? Eat up, Airman!

3. Acronym deciphering specialty

The U.S. Air Force, like the rest of the military, has fallen in unabashed love with acronyms.

Living in this environment turns your mind into an acronym making and breaking beast.

It is totally possible to get an email with the title, “USAF USN TRNG CQB SF Amn in AETC.”

4 ways veterans change within 5 years of leaving the military
Actual footage of higher up thinking up more acronyms. (Image from Warner Bros. Pictures’ Hangover Part III)

2. Adaptability

The only constant is change.

Every Airmen, Marine, Sailor, and Soldier know this. It is embedded into us, if not through instruction, then certainly through the swift and immediate changes of course we experience without much notice.

It really is sink or swim. Adapt or die.

4 ways veterans change within 5 years of leaving the military
Pff! Who’s afraid of a little change? (Image from Bold Films’ Nightcrawler)

Also related: 5 of the top excuses MPs hear during traffic stops

1. Selflessness

One of the USAF core values is “service before self.” That mentality will stay with you if it ever got through to you. Airmen will always put others and the big picture before self.

This is sometimes a detriment, but it’s a wonderful ability nonetheless.

Humor

11 things you should send the FNG find

Telling the f*cking new guy (FNG) to go out and find things isn’t malicious. It may look like hazing to the untrained eye — but you’re teaching that kid a little bit more about the unit.


It’s a team-building activity. Everyone should be involved. Not in looking, of course, but in on the joke.

The FNG goes to get that thing from one place. Say “sorry, kid, check with Sergeant Smith over there.” Now they have a name to face on Sergeant Smith and hopefully what they do. They keep getting bounced around until the salty supply dude gets fed up and scolds the poor kid.

They learned a lesson and enjoyed some face time with the team, and you get a good laugh. That, and they’re far more entertaining than those checklists you get at reception.

#1: Headlight Fluid

Motorpool Monday again. Since most boots can’t figure out how to turn on the headlights on a Humvee, let them know that it’s probably because they’re out of fluid.

#2: Exhaust Samples

While you’re still at the Motorpool, tell them that in order for dispatch to truly know how well the vehicle is running, they need an exhaust sample.

4 ways veterans change within 5 years of leaving the military

#3: Chem-light batteries

Chances are the rookie has little understanding of chemiluminescence and probably won’t pull “but it’s a chemical reaction caused by the mixing of two solutions being exposed together.”

If they do, they should probably get a pass until lunch.

#4: Box of Grid Squares

You’re about to go to the Land Navigation field and you are in “some serious need” for some grid squares.

I mean, technically, they could just give you a paper map and they wouldn’t be wrong.

4 ways veterans change within 5 years of leaving the military

#5: Prop/Rotor Wash

Didn’t think Aviation would get a pass on the 242nd Annual F*ck-F*ck Games, did you?

For the uninformed, Prop/Rotor Wash is back draft of air that the aircraft generates to create lift. It’s also the worst part about Air Assault FRIES jumps.

4 ways veterans change within 5 years of leaving the military

#6: Flight Line

New kid not leaving you alone while you maintain a multi-million dollar piece of equipment? Tell them you have to connect some flight line to the whatever. And while they’re at it, tell them to grab the left-handed monkey wrench.

4 ways veterans change within 5 years of leaving the military

#7: Pad Eye Remover

For obvious reasons, it’s best to remove the chains from the aircraft and not the ship. But the FNG doesn’t get obvious.

4 ways veterans change within 5 years of leaving the military

 

#8: The switch to lower the mast

Oh no! The ship is about to go underneath a bridge that other ships have gone under thousands of times over! Looks like it’s time to lower the mast!

Related: This is why the military shouldn’t completely outlaw hazing

 

4 ways veterans change within 5 years of leaving the military
(Screenshot from WATM’s No Sh*t There I Was)

#9: Bulkhead Remover

It’ll be all fun and games when you tell the baby squid to clean all the bulkhead off. The moment they grab a blowtorch…run.

4 ways veterans change within 5 years of leaving the military

#10: Prickey-5

Always a fun one to pull on your guy to rib another NCO. If the private responds with, “Why do we need a Prickey-5 when we already have a Prickey 6?”

Drop their ass.

4 ways veterans change within 5 years of leaving the military
The look of every Staff Sergeant ever. (Image via Staff Sergeant Old School)

 

#11: ID 10-T Form

All the years this one has been around, it still sticks. It’s far too obvious of a joke.

And yet….

4 ways veterans change within 5 years of leaving the military

Humor

5 ways to ethically ‘bribe’ the training room clerk

The commander is the head of every unit — there’s no question about that. But sometimes, you just need the ‘neck’ of the unit to turn just slightly towards your paperwork to get it expedited. That ‘neck’ is the training room clerk.


Now, flat-out bribery is a UCMJ offense, but you don’t need to be all “Fat Leonard” to get things done the way that you want. Maybe you’ve got a school you really want to get to, an award packet that’s been sitting in the inbox for too long, or you’re kinda hoping that your leave packet gets approved. If the clerk is on your side, things will definitely be more pleasant.

These are 5 ways you can persuade that clerk. Remember, you’re not ‘buying’ your way through the training room — it’s their job, they should do it anyways — you’re just making friends.

5. Befriend them off duty

Training room staff usually are stuck in a vacuum. While most of the unit bonds over shared suffering, they’re often handling hand receipts or training calendars.

Invite them out for a drink and you’ve got yourself a friend on the inside.

4 ways veterans change within 5 years of leaving the military
This might explain why every training room clerk I’ve met is a beer pong champ. (Image via Flickr)

4. Bring them stuff from the shopette

Once again, flat-out bribery is punishable under UCMJ. But is it still bribery if you’re just saying, “hey, training room clerk, I’m making a quick trip to the gas station. Want anything?”

Technically, yes, it’s bribery if your intent is obviously to get the paperwork done. It isn’t bribery, however, if one troop is just being nice to another.

4 ways veterans change within 5 years of leaving the military
Donuts are a lot cheaper than actual bribery anyways. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kayla Newman)

3. Scratch their back first

There’s an old military saying about having four friends. You want to befriend “the cook, the medic, supply, and (insert whoever is saying the phrase).” It may sound trite, but it really does apply to everyone in every unit.

Of course, support MOS’s have more lucrative tokens with which to barter, but that doesn’t mean the combat arms guys can’t help the training room clerk be less of a POG.

4 ways veterans change within 5 years of leaving the military
Oh? You want more bacon? That’s funny, because I want to take leave… (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Jesús Rodríguez)

2. Welcome them in doing “non-training room” things

Everyone joins the military for different reasons. That’s over two million people with over two million unique goals in life. One common thread, however, is that many enlist to satisfy a sense of adventure and for a chance to do cool sh*t. They probably didn’t join the military so they can skulk around an office all day.

This is what the combat arms guys bring to the table. Bring the training room guy along to the fun exercises and let them play soldier for a few hours. That way, they can get back to processing your boring paperwork feeling a bit more accomplished.

4 ways veterans change within 5 years of leaving the military
At least let them feel like they actually joined the military. (U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Pfc. Heather Atherton)

1. Don’t be a dick

Simply put, raising your voice at them won’t work. It may feel like you’re accomplishing something when you watch a private wet themselves, but it probably won’t make them shuffle your paperwork to the top.

Yes, they should move at the military’s pace and not their own. If there’s a real problem, address it in a professional manner. If the kid is left alone with stacks of paperwork, cut them some slack and at least pretend like you empathize with them.

4 ways veterans change within 5 years of leaving the military
A little kindness goes a long way. (Photo by Sgt. Justin Naylor)

Articles

13 funniest military memes for the week of May 26

The week is over, but this memes list is just getting started. Here are 13 of the best times that words were paired with a picture on the internet this week:


1. 50 feet after they step off, the airmen are dropping like flies (via Air Force amn/nco/snco).

4 ways veterans change within 5 years of leaving the military
Apparently, staplers don’t provide proper calluses.

2. The groin protectors help a little, but you’re still boned (via Military World).

4 ways veterans change within 5 years of leaving the military
Feel all the air coming out of your lungs? That’s the suck. Embrace it.

3. To be fair, this is pretty exciting (via Team Non-Rec).

4 ways veterans change within 5 years of leaving the military
It tastes like schnozzberries!

Also see: That time CBS captured an intense firefight in Vietnam

4. If you get it, you get it (via The Salty Soldier).

4 ways veterans change within 5 years of leaving the military
If not, ask for Season 1 of Rick and Morty as your re-enlistment bonus.

5. You seem to have a leak that has covered 70 percent of the Earth’s surface (via Decelerate Your Life).

4 ways veterans change within 5 years of leaving the military
Figure it out.

6. It just can’t wait to get some more lifting in, make those gains (via Air Force Nation).

4 ways veterans change within 5 years of leaving the military
Nom nom nom, gonna eat a tank or two.

7. That’s one shiny bag of trash you got there (via Coast Guard Memes).

4 ways veterans change within 5 years of leaving the military
If only it were useful.

8. Might be wishing for too much (via Decelerate Your Life).

4 ways veterans change within 5 years of leaving the military
We got you a chain of command. Oh, a good one? Sorry, fresh out.

9. To all the people who still aren’t master chiefs, sorry (via Air Force amn/nco/snco).

4 ways veterans change within 5 years of leaving the military
Not sure if baseballs to the chest will help, but it can’t hurt much more than getting passed over yet again.

10. Ummmm… can I opt for the cash instead? (via Why I’m Not Re-enlisting)

4 ways veterans change within 5 years of leaving the military
Because I’m pretty sure I could find both food and apartments without black mold all over them.

11. They were as-holes, but jumping in with machine guns and bicycles is still pretty cool (via Military World).

4 ways veterans change within 5 years of leaving the military
Gonna have to kill them for supporting an evil, mass-murdering regime, but respect those skills.

12. You were supposed to do the survey long before the intranet existed (via Shit my LPO says).

4 ways veterans change within 5 years of leaving the military
Not sure why you dragged your feet for over 100 years.

13. Army tuition assistance didn’t make it into the new budget proposals (via Why I’m Not Re-enlisting).

4 ways veterans change within 5 years of leaving the military

But you can buy a Little Golden Book for like, three bucks.

Humor

9 memes to get you hyped for the Space Corps

Every branch of the U.S. Armed Forces has built up a solid supply of memes. Eventually, the Space Corps will become the sixth branch. So, why not help the Space Corps get started with a few memes of their own? After all, the branch itself has become one giant meme…


Related video:

4 ways veterans change within 5 years of leaving the military

…come on, “Space Force?”

4 ways veterans change within 5 years of leaving the military

You know they’ll be salty all over when the Space Corps gets in, too.

(via Claw of Knowledge)

4 ways veterans change within 5 years of leaving the military

The desire to know more intensifies…

(via Reddit)

4 ways veterans change within 5 years of leaving the military

I don’t even want to imagine the hell that will be zero-gravity latrine cleaning…

(via Ranger Up)

4 ways veterans change within 5 years of leaving the military
4 ways veterans change within 5 years of leaving the military

(via meme.cloud)

4 ways veterans change within 5 years of leaving the military

Soon, it’ll be stolen valor.

4 ways veterans change within 5 years of leaving the military

Space Corps. Space Corps. Space Corps!

(Via Decelerate Your Life)

4 ways veterans change within 5 years of leaving the military

Pro tip: You can’t.

Humor

6 ways to look squared away but you’re actually skating

Nobody wants to do work. It’s just one of those boxes that need to be checked every single day.


Maybe you’re just not feeling like dealing with a handful of mundane tasks that day. Perhaps you see an avalanche of bullsh*t barreling downhill and you’d rather not get run over. You might just be trying to earn your initiation into the E-4 Mafia / Lance Corporal Underground.

Whatever your personal motivations, be sure to try a few of these tricks for getting through the day without raising suspicions.

4 ways veterans change within 5 years of leaving the military

“Yep. That’s a thing. Better move onto that other thing over there.”

(Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Adam K Thomas)

Walk around with a clipboard

There’s no skating method more tried and true than walking around with a clipboard and randomly stopping to look at things. For maximum effect, pretend like you’re checking for and marking off serial numbers.

As much as we all love this one — and believe me, it’s a classic — people catch on after a while.

4 ways veterans change within 5 years of leaving the military

Just be sure to pick up a few things. Not a lot, though — remember, you’re still trying to be lazy.

(Photo by Cpl. Michael Dye)

Walk around with a trash bag

This one’s similar to the clipboard, but this time, you’re being “proactive” by helping clean up the place.

If you take your time and maybe even clean some things up, you can help prevent an actual police call of the company area.

4 ways veterans change within 5 years of leaving the military

Why do you think so many NCOs volunteer to do this? You think most NCOs do it to keep unit integrity? Hell no.

(U.S. Army Courtesy Photo)

Help motivate the stragglers during PT

During every morning run, there’s always that one person who just barely keeps up with everyone’s pace. Eventually, they start slowing down. That’s your opportunity to slow down with them and help “bring them back.”

They may not be able to keep up and might fall out completely. But until then, you get a chance to catch your breath and look like you’re helping push your battle buddy along in the process.

4 ways veterans change within 5 years of leaving the military

No one is immune to the lure of the gut truck!

(Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Ben K. Navratil)

Call the gut truck but DON’T go to it

Need the perfect distraction for about ten to twenty minutes? Call the gut truck. People will think you’re doing them all a favor and that you’re taking ten seconds to call up the truck out of the kindness of your heart.

Immediately, everyone from the lowest private to the senior officers will drop what they’re doing to grab a quick bite to eat. That’s your cue to enjoy the silence until they get back.

4 ways veterans change within 5 years of leaving the military

No one will notice that you’re secretly making everyone run slower.

(Photo by Sgt. Natalie Dillon)

Call cadence

No one ever questions or understands how vital the cadence caller is to morning PT.

Think about it: The entire platoon/company isn’t just running at the pace of the lead runner, it’s running at the pace of the person calling cadence. The unit moves to the rhythm of every beat. If you control that rhythm, things will move at your pace.

4 ways veterans change within 5 years of leaving the military

Fake it ’til you make it.

(U.S. Army Courtesy photo)

Just look motivated

If there’s any common thread between skaters across all branches, it’s that they all need to pretend like they’re excited and happy to be there.

A fake smile will take you everywhere. If you look good, you are good, right?

Articles

8 brutally honest depictions of vets and troops in fiction

We sometimes overlook the accurate and fantastic portrayals of veterans and troops in fiction, instead criticizing Hollywood’s typical depiction of us as hyper-macho, high-speed ass-kicking machines or broken and fragile husks of human beings.


For a good portion of the armed services, this is far from the truth. This isn’t a grunt versus POG (Person Other than Grunt) thing. It’s a symptom of the civilian-military divide.

There seems to be a perpetual cycle of fiction blowing real military service out of proportion. Civilians who never interacted with service members often believe that fictional portrayal.

Let’s be honest. Veterans are combating the stigma, but it’s an uphill battle.

Hell, most of the stories we tell at bars aren’t helping.

4 ways veterans change within 5 years of leaving the military
No judging. I will totally back up your claim as a Space Shuttle Door Gunner.

This one goes out to the creators, writers, directors, and actors that gave the world a veteran and stayed away from the stigma. Either intentionally or not, these characters either embody what it was truly like in the service or have exceptional moments that can overlook some of the more silly moments.

If you can think of any others left out, leave them in the comment section.

1. Sgt. Bill Dauterive – “King of the Hill”

Though the 022 MOS doesn’t exist anymore, Bill from “King of the Hill” was a U.S. Army Barber. There are several episodes dedicated to his military service. The 2007 episode “Bill, Bulk and the Body Buddies” even revolved around him trying to get in shape to pass his APFT.

How he manages to go on all the adventures in the show and not be considered AWOL is also a plot point.

4 ways veterans change within 5 years of leaving the military
(Character by Mike Judge and Fox Studios)

2. Capt. Frank Castle, aka “The Punisher” – Marvel Comics

Not every superhero gets their powers from a science experiment, being an alien, or just being super rich.

Frank Castle, The Punisher, learned his skills in the Marine Corps. Sure. He’s an extreme representation of a veteran. But The Punisher earns his spot on this list because of Jon Bernthal’s monologue in Season 2 of “Daredevil.” His performance and his story about his return from a deployment hits close to home for many people.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EdMQk2fL_qA

(YouTube, Rastifan)

3. King Robert Baratheon – A Song of Fire and Ice, “Game of Thrones”

Let’s take away medieval fantasy elements of “Game of Thrones” and recognize that Robert Baratheon used to be a proud, respected, and feared soldier on the front lines.

Ever since putting his service behind him, he got fat, grew a glorious beard, spent his time drinking, hunting, and talking about his glory days. Sound like anyone you know from your old unit?

4 ways veterans change within 5 years of leaving the military
(Character by George RR Martin and HBO)

4. Pfc. Donny Novitski and his band — “Bandstand”

A Tony Award winning musical may seem an unlikely place to find a true to life depiction of a WWII veteran, but it’s the only Broadway musical with an official “Got Your 6” certification.

The musical is about a group of young vets returning home who form a band to try to reach stardom (the same half thought out plan we all had while we were downrange).

The lead character, Donny, spends most of the story showing his bandmates and the world their sacrifice and talents.

Veterans who’ve seen the show praise it. At the end of every show, they thank the troops around the world and dedicate each performance to a different veteran.

4 ways veterans change within 5 years of leaving the military
(Characters by Richard Oberacker)

5. Capt. Benjamin Franklin “Hawkeye” Pierce – “M*A*S*H”

The Capt. Hawkeye character is beloved by many for its accuracy. He was drafted right after his medical residency to deploy to the Korean War. Everything about his character was a fresh change to the ordinary war hero cliche.

He resented the Army for drafting him. Each loss of life affected him as the series progressed. He used humor to help cope with the daily stress of combat.

In the 1978 episode “Commander Pierce,” Hawkeye is temporarily in charge of the 4077th. For one episode, he drastically made the very real change to become the leader that his soldiers needed before reverting back to fit the semi-episodic formula.

4 ways veterans change within 5 years of leaving the military
(Character by Richard Hooker and CBS)

6. Capt. Kathryn Janeway – “Star Trek: Voyager”

While on the topic of the burdens of leadership, the character that best exemplifies this is the commander of the USS Voyager. Many of the ongoing struggles in the series revolve around how Capt. Kathryn Janeway deals with the safety of the crew, the dream of returning home, and hiding her internal doubt.

Oh, and she always drinks coffee, and she always drinks it black.

via GIPHY

 7. Master Sgt. Abraham Simpson – “The Simpsons”

The senile grandpa of the Simpson family is often the butt of many jokes. His long term memory is hazy and his short term memory isn’t any better.

But then there’s the 1996 “Flying Hellfish” episode. Art and story-wise, this episode is vastly different from most, and is regarded as one of the best in the series.

Grandpa Abe and Bart go on an adventure to reclaim the treasure Abe found back in World War II. Back in the day, Grandpa was a very competent and tactful leader.

When his unit, which also included series antagonist Mr. Burns, discover a fortune in stolen Nazi paintings, they place a life bet on who keeps them.

While Mr. Burns is willing to kill for the prize, Abe still holds onto his honor and loyalty to his unit after all those years. At the end, when the paintings are confiscated by police, Abe tells his grandson why he went after the paintings. “It was to show you that I wasn’t always a pathetic old kook,” he said.

4 ways veterans change within 5 years of leaving the military
(Character by Matt Groening and Fox Studios)

8. Sgt. Donald Duck – Disney

The sailor suit he always wears isn’t just for show or stolen valor, Donald Duck legitimately was in the Navy and Army Air Force (hence why, in 1984, he was officially given the rank of sergeant and discharge by the real world Army on his 50th anniversary).

Hear me out on this.

In World War I, Walt Disney attempted to join the U.S. Army but was rejected for being too young. He then forged documents to join the Red Cross.

In France, the cartoons he sketched grabbed the attention of Stars and Stripes, later becoming the icon we all know today. In WWII, his love of country and understanding of how propaganda worked lead Disney to use Donald Duck to help the troops.

The “Buck Sergeant Duck” was used in counter-propoganda cartoons and recruitment shorts, even winning an Oscar for “Der Feuhrer’s Face.”

His time in both the Army and Navy is well depicted in many forms — from cartoons to comics. In “DuckTales,” Donald leaves his nephews because he’s being shipped out, which starts the series. The cartoon “Donald Gets Drafted” shows Donald learning (in an exaggerated manner) that recruiters sometimes tell fibs to get bodies in the door.

Even his short temper, aggression, loud voice, cynical attitude, and unprovoked tantrums aren’t a concept lost on veterans.

4 ways veterans change within 5 years of leaving the military
(Character by Walt Disney and Disney)

Humor

9 entertaining ways to discipline your troops

Whenever a military film comes on and the fictional non-commissioned officer gets heated, it’s always the same routine. “Drop and give me twenty.”


The truth is, that exact phrase isn’t actually used much in the military. Not because push-ups aren’t a thing in the military — they are — but NCOs tend to have more unique and clever punishments in mind — especially if you’ve really pissed them off.

Here are a few examples of “character development” that have been used on us:

#1. Flip the rocks ‘so they can get a sun tan.’

The pain of one Joe who messed up royally can sting far after they ETS.

In front of some company, battalion, or brigade headquarters are a bunch of rocks. Each is painted with a color on one side, and another color on the other. Whoever gets the unfortunate task of painting the rocks gives future disobedient soldiers a lighter punishment: to flip the rocks from one color to the other. The next guy who acts up flips ’em back.

Sound boring and tedious? That’s because it is.

 

4 ways veterans change within 5 years of leaving the military
We don’t have all day! Flip that rock!

#2. Mop the rain off the motorpool.

The idea behind creative corrective actions is to be give them a nearly impossible task to emphasize how badly they screwed up with a dash of hilarity to maximize the point.

Both can be achieved by making their dumb ass mop up the rain or sweep the grass.

4 ways veterans change within 5 years of leaving the military
(Image via Imgur)

#3. Carry around an oversized version of what they lost.

Whenever you see some poor schmuck toting a giant pice of cardboard drawn to look like a CAC, you know they left their ID card one day.

Why stop there?

If they lose their weapon, make them carry a stupidly large cardboard “rifle” that they must refer to as their “wife-le”. They lost track of time? Give them one of Flava Flav’s old clocks. The sky is the limit!

4 ways veterans change within 5 years of leaving the military
(Image via Rallypoint)

#4. Carry around a potted plant ‘to replace the oxygen they’re wasting.’

Do you have one of those “just can’t get anything right” soldiers? Are they a waste of space and oxygen?

Make them replace all of that beautiful oxygen they’re hogging with their very own plant to put something back in the air.

4 ways veterans change within 5 years of leaving the military
Your soldier’s newest battle buddy! (Image via Amazon)

#5. Making the troop on a ‘dead-man’s profile’ blink in cadence.

There’s always that one cocky junior guy that is quick to pull out the “Nuh-uh Sergent! You can’t make me do sh*t!”

Get ’em. Anything done a thousand times in cadence can become a living hell.

4 ways veterans change within 5 years of leaving the military
Blink faster Private Colbert!(Image via Comedy Central)

#6. Fill sandbags with nothing but a white towel that you expect to come back clean.

This one always catches the smart asses if you leave them unsupervised. Take the typical deployment punishment to the next level by giving them only a white towel to clean off the sandbags when they finish. The bags must stay at one point and the dirt is a yard or so away.

A good Joe will fill the sandbags by hand and save the towel for the end and leave just trace amount of dirt on them. The smart ass will get lazy and use the towel to carry more sand into the bag and try to finish earlier. If they towel is dirty or if the task is done too soon. You caught them.

4 ways veterans change within 5 years of leaving the military
Filling sandbags has been a time honored tradition going back since Joes started screwing up. (Image via FirstWorldWar)

#7. Cutting Sgt. Major’s grass with sewing-kit scissors.

An oldie, but a goodie.

There’s a perfectly good sidewalk to use. There’s no need to step on the Sgt. Major’s grass. Give them the most useless tool at AAFES to do the most tedious task for the most amount of time.

The grass will grow back to what it was by the time they finish the field.

4 ways veterans change within 5 years of leaving the military
This guy got his grass sent in mail to have it on deployment. Step on his and you’re screwed. (Image via Rallypoint)

#8. Greeting of the day is repeating whatever they screwed up on to everyone.

Make them the example to remind others not to follow.

“Good morning, Sergeant. Be sure not to leave your helmet at the range!” over and over again should hopefully embarrass them enough to never do that again.

Extra points if it’s for a dirty barracks room and you have them use their dirty socks as sock puppets. “Good afternoon, specialist… Be sure to clean your barracks room…”

4 ways veterans change within 5 years of leaving the military
Extra Extra points if they do it to a General officer. (Image via Defense.gov)

#9. Take away their birthday.

Hands down the most diabolical disciplinary action comes from Redditor Forewarned-Forearmed in a post back in 2014.

“What are they going to do? Bend my dog tags? Take my birthday away? chuckle chuckle”

Yep — apparently a Navy Captain did just that once by deliberately sailing parallel to the International Dateline then slipping across it right at midnight.

Tomorrow suddenly becomes yesterday and no birthday for you this year ya chuckle head.

4 ways veterans change within 5 years of leaving the military
No one ever said the Navy wasn’t salty as hell.

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