What I learned from the military changed my life. I learned so much. Being in the military for six years changed my life and if you add the four years of my college officer training you could say a decade of my life was dedicated to the military. What I learned from the military could be written in so many ways. I learned so many things about the world, others, and myself. Some things you would expect and others maybe not. I traveled across the United States and a foreign country. All the while learning about the different cultures and climates.
What I learned from the military…
- About myself and others.
- How to march and salute.
- How to take orders.
- When to give orders.
- Where to go in a base attack.
- How to shoot and maneuver.
- The proper way to say hello in Dari one of the languages of Afghanistan (As-salamu alaykum). And if you visit most of the Muslim world you would say the same thing.
- How to break apart a 9mm, clean it, put it back together, and shoot it, same goes for an M16 and an M4.
- Acronyms, some acronyms are even hidden inside of acronyms. For example MATV, the M stands for MRAP.
- How to drive a backhoe, dump truck, and front in loader. I learned that at my Civil Engineer training at an exercise in Florida.
- What AM2 matting is and what its purpose is. It is used for expeditionary airfields and allows airplanes to land on damaged runways.
- The history of flight and other founding leaders. And after living in Dayton and learning about the history of the Wright Brothers I am still amazed that they were able to build an airplane and to see how far we have come.
- How to make an effective PowerPoint presentation. The Air Force loves their PowerPoint presentations.
- The words to the Air Force song. My grandma knows the words to all the military songs, but I don’t think I had ever heard a military song until joining the military.
The Airman’s Creed.
- How to lead.
- When to follow.
- How to drive in the snow.
- Where and how to build a runway anywhere.
- How to set up a tent (most common Triple S or Alaskan).
- The ability to sleep anywhere (lights on or off, quiet or helicopters screaming, on a bed or in the dirt). Thank you military deployment to Afghanistan.
- How to hover when using the latrine. Another gross experience in Afghanistan taught me this skill. I had lots of opportunities to practice.
- When to speak up.
- When to listen.
- How to operate in difficult situations.
- Which Meal Ready to Eat (MRE) tastes the best.
- How to save energy (or is it NRG, the Air Force acronym for energy).
- About Crossfit and P90X.
- How to make get plugged in and make friends quickly.
What the military gave me
- The military is how I met my husband.
- My family (my two boys).
- A sense of adventure and a love of travel.
- The veteran community.
- The ability to jump even when it doesn’t feel safe.
- A platform to share the stories of military women, through my podcast, Women of the Military.
- A desire to help women join the military.
The military taught me so many things and made me who I am today.
I’m so glad I was able to learn so much from my military experience. I feel blessed for the things that I learned from the military and I hope that I can continue to learn I am no longer serving my country. I realize that i can still serve the military by sharing the stories of military women and helping other women who feel as lost as I once did.
See all my 31 Days…Military Life