Let's face it: the military is not for everyone. Even for many of us that did raise our right hands and put on a uniform, one term of service is more than plenty. But for some, the military is not just a job for a few years. It's a lifestyle, a career, a calling. When you're in it for the full twenty and beyond, there's just a certain difference in how you carry yourself compared to your peers who are in it for a short term.
Here are some signs that you just might be a lifer who is in it for the long haul:
1. You secretly hope Field Problems and Deployments are long so you can catch up on your finances.
“If we're in the field for 30 days, I'll get separation pay and then I can pay my credit card bill.”
2. You plan your life around military schools and training events.
3. You always use your knife hand, even when talking to civilians
4. You wistfully remember the “old” Army/Navy/Marines/Air Force and can count how many uniform changes you’ve had.
5. You never unpack your tough boxes. You just put more gear in them and wait to ship them to the next duty station.
6. No matter how old you get, the “high and tight” always seems like a fashionable style.
7. You’ve been married at least twice.
8. You just ETS’ed, but you had no plan and now you’re living with your parents again.
Don’t worry, the recruiter will have a chair waiting for you.
9. Your civilian spouse considers being married to you as their career and uses your rank as if it’s their own.
10. You always swear you’re getting out…after your next re-enlistment.
Edgar Pabon is the Founder of Generation POG. Having been both a POG and a Combat Arms Soldier, he appreciates both the art of the sham and the art of making do with nothing. Follow @edgarpabon