Everyone wants recognition for their hard work and dedication. In the civilian world, promotions and cash raises are a solid ways to let employees know that the company respects their work production and technical skills.
Holy sh*t we wish the military was structured in that same way.
Although service members do get promoted, that only happens once every few years — if you're lucky. It's only a 17 percent chance that an active duty troop will stay in the military for 20 years before retiring. That's much lower than most people think. Now, we can't accurately pinpoint why all troops decide to get out before hitting their 20, but we know why most of our veterans friends did: they didn't felt appreciated.
So how does the military show their brave men and women that they give a sh*t about them? Well, keep reading.
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Yes. It kind of does.
"Mandatory fun" days
If this term sounds confusing to the civilian ear, it sounds just as weird to a newbie boot's as well. Mandatory fun isn't just the name of the We Are The Mighty podcast, it's also the event all service members have to attend when their units throw appreciation parties for troops.
Every active duty member has to show up, be accounted for, and must look like they're having fun (good commands will also design a fun event, but...that's rare). Sure there are free hot dogs, cheeseburgers, and soda, but, unfortunately, these events usually take place on a Saturday afternoon. Although you'd much rather be doing anything else, you're stuck at work because you did your job too well.
What's interesting about the military is we have to take part in formations on a regular basis. This is a standard tool the military uses to pass information to everybody in the unit at the same time.
Sometimes, the officer-in-charge will give their command the day off as a way of acknowledging everyone's handiwork.
Unfortunately, they use the formation tool to relay this news to everyone. So...they call everyone to formation...to let them know they have the afternoon off.
But hey, a free afternoon is a free afternoon.
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When most civilians hear the word "coin" they think that involves money. In this case, it really doesn't. Although it costs money to purchase a command coin, the collector item has zero value anywhere on earth except in a veteran-themed bar. Sure the practice of handing out a command coin is a cool way of praising a troop, but, at the end of the day, it's just something that collects dust on the owner's desk or shelf in their office.
How about shelling out some real coin once in a while? That will really show the troops their command cares.
Certificate of appreciation
Nothing feels better than to be recognized for your hard work in front of your peers and be handed a piece of pre-formatted paper praising you. We're totally kidding! Receiving a letter or certificate of appreciation means close to nothing when other troops next to you get the exact thing — word for word.
The only thing that makes the certificate different, it has your name and rank is on it.
Whoopty freakin' do!
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Getting a shout out in formation
Remember earlier when we talk about standing in formation? Well, Staff NCOs and the command's officer also like to give shout-outs to their troops there as well. At least you get some notoriety for your excellent work, but unless it reflects somehow on your bi-annual evaluation — nobody gives a f*ck afterward.
Unless you earn your unit a day or half day off, being told "good job for killing the enemy yesterday" only goes so far if it doesn't get you anywhere afterward.
Welcome to the suck, boot.