Habits I Still Carry from the Army

It’s been sixteen years since I left the National Guard, and twenty-two(!) since I left active duty. I can’t figure out where the time goes. What’s hilarious is that I still have habits from my military service that stick with me to this day.

  • I still keep the hair short and neat: number two with the clippers on the sides and back, off the collar and ears. I’ve let the top grow a little long, but I still freak out when the sides/back start getting long-ish.
  • I still snap awake at 0600 every day. The urge to get my gear on and go do PT has passed, though. That happened around my sophomore year of college.
  • I carry a pen everywhere. Black ink only. Is this still a thing on active duty?
  • My boots look like shit. Seriously, Private Bailey, you just need to completely un-fuck yourself right now, because I’m getting ready to make you eat concrete.1
  • I still imitate Drill Sergeant Bryant whenever I think he’s not around. Which is always. The stutter and the body language is the easy part, getting his voice right? Dunno. Haven’t seen the guy in 24 years.

Habits I Have Now That Would Make Drill Sergeants Bryant and Hampton Lose Their Fucking Shit

  • I have a tiny bit of facial hair and will sometimes go 2-3 days without shaving.
  • I put my hands in my pockets.
  • It takes me more than 20 minutes to “shit, shower, shave, and shine.”
  • I do not shout enthusiastically in response to questions.
  • I still have not managed to completely un-fuck myself.

Image Credits: WikiImages/Creative Commons Zero (CC0).