5 cultural mannerisms troops brought back from fighting the enemy

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cultural mannerisms
(U.S. Army photo by Spc. Joshua Edwards/Released)

Throughout history, troops have had a tough time assimilating with the demands of transitioning to civilian life. After more than a decade, evidence shows that service members brought back cultural mannerisms after a prolonged time in theater.

In a recent Pew Research survey, over 72% of veteran correspondents claim that transitioning to civilian life is easy – but they come with a pack of cultural mannerisms. Depending on the attitudes, experiences, demographic traits and independent factors, here are the top 5 cultural mannerisms a service member will likely carry from the military.

Fixed sleeping pattern

Spending the whole night watching your favorite show is not uncommon for civilians. However, the scarcity of sleep on the battlefield demands a fixed sleeping pattern that service members find hard to change.

On average, more than 60% of servicemen sleep less than 6 hours per night. Troops previously deployed or currently in the battle sleep even less than five hours per night. Whichever the case, this range is still way below the recommended minimum.

Despite being highly likely to engage in challenging tasks, troops will always have a fixed sleeping pattern whether it is intentional or not.

sleeping cultural mannerisms
(U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ryan Callaghan)


In the corporate world, people are drawn to people they feel respected by. On the battlefield, respect is one of the core values upheld by servicemen in all branches. This culture has always been a hallmark of operations, and it’s always a good way to conduct operations. When a team member makes a mistake, the easy way out is to chew them out. However, by the time a veteran with a DD-214 in hand transitions out, they are respectful in the workplace and leave the knife-hands at home.

Keeping clean

Anyone with a deployment under their belt, even at sea, will have an immense appreciation for showers. Of course every now and then you get someone who has to be hog-tied to bathe, but they’re the exception to the rule. When service members see an opportunity to have some quality grooming, they will usually take it. That and the fact everyone got yelled at basic and learned how to clean by the numbers is a beneficial trauma.

Work while resting

Even when resting, soldiers could find themselves engrosses in daunting tasks. High-ranking officers aren’t exempted from the never-ending paperwork. For example, the hurry up and wait situation happens so regularly in the Marine Corps that anytime troops have to wait, at least one will immediately go to sleep. On the ground, no Fs given.

There are a plethora of videos on YouTube of sleeping troops pranked by their team. When I worked in health insurance there was a Desert Storm era Marine there and anytime we had to wait in the conference room he would sleep. When the person in charge of the death by PowerPoint presentation arrived, he was alert. Some things never change.

A strong body for a strong mind

It’s no surprise that the most renowned veterans attribute their endurance to their success, and it’s something insanely crucial on the battlefield. Troops of all armies would grasp any chance out of the like for recreational. When troops get out it could go one of three ways: PT increases to bodybuilder level, PT decreases to civilian level or a mix of column A and B. Regardless, even if a veteran does not PT, it is more often a choice than not considering it at all.