A Few Good Men

  • Category: Miscellaneous
  • Words: 837
  • Grade: 90
A Few Good Men

As a civilian, many take for granted a lot of choices and decisions that

they have the opportunity to make everyday. They usually look down upon

them as inconveniences and everyday annoyances. I used to do the same

thing, but then I went to boot camp. There are many differences between

being a civilian and being in the military. However there are some surprising

similarities. Most civilians have a warped concept of the changes incurred

by enlisting. Many of these discrepancies are from movies and the media.

Most of the changes that occur are in one's attitude, respect, self-discipline,

and responsibility. Although these are major changes, the core of the person

remains the same.

Most of the differences between civilian and military lifestyle are in the

opportunity of personal choice and freedom. As a civilian, the luxury of

choosing what to wear everyday is often taken for granted. Most people

wake up and sit in front of the closet complaining they don't have enough

clothes or that they don't like what they do have. In the military, personnel

have to wear the same thing everyday, unless told otherwise by a

Commanding Officer. He or she doesn't care if this uniform goes with

someone's eyes or hair color. All he knows is that it's winter and so

everyone should be in his or her "winter blues". When a civilian is hungry,

the only thing limiting their options is their budget. They could eat at home,

McDonalds, McCormick & Kuleto's, or where ever their heart desires. Most

don't appreciate this option. While in the military one's options are usually

up to what the head chef wants to make. If enlisted in the Army or Air force,

eating off base depends on the Commanding Officer, not what everyone else

wants to do. Many other little choices that civilians make are privileges and

luxuries in the military. Being able to drive a car depends on where you're

stationed and rank. Vacations and days off don't revolve around when

people want them, like in the civilian world. In the military it all depends on

where you're stationed, rank, your Commanding Officer and what the

current "diplomatic" situation is. The differences are obvious, but small

enough that most wouldn't miss them, or so they think. Moreover, some

might even enjoy the fact that everyone else thinks and decides for you.

However, while the differences maybe small, they add up to being a totally

different life style. So much so that when people enlist, it's a culture shock

the likes no civilian has ever seen.

What is similar about the two lifestyles is what most people think it does

change. Many civilians think the military changes people to be totally work

oriented. Furthermore, most non-military citizens think that the military

removes every single fun bone from a person's body. Both these

misconceptions are not true at all. While there maybe a few people like this,

it wasn't the military that did this. What the military does do is makes a

person better with time management. This enables personnel to work when

their suppose to, at top efficiency. Like wise, when people in the military

have fun, they have a lot of it. Members of the military can have just as

much fun as any civilian. They also know when it's time to work and time to

play. Civilians also tend to think that the military drains the personality out

of a person. While in the Navy, I met some of the most personable people

ever with very distinct characteristics and personalities. Overall, civilians

have this conception that the military removes peoples emotions and

personality, changing them into some sort of warped robot. The reality of the

situation is that there is no difference between civilians and military

personnel. Both are totally similar in feelings and distinctiveness in

personalities. The only difference might be in the fact that the military

teaches you when both are appropriate to use.

I only had the opportunity to go to boot camp before I was medically

discharged for asthma. When I went in, I had every misconception that was

referred to in the above essay. My greatest fear was turning into that warped

robot I spoke of. I can safely say that I am just as personable and fun as

before I went in to the military. Even when I was in boot camp, I was still

totally similar to a civilian in feelings and emotions. Consequently, I am a

different person then when I went in. I appreciate things and opportunities a

lot more. I don't take for granted what so many others do. Everyday when I

wake up, I love the fact I can choose my clothing and eat what I want. I

know, these choices may seem insignificant, but you don't know what you

have until it's gone.
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