What I Learned from the Military

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.

31 Days...Military Life: Learn - Day 4

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

What I learned from the military changed my life. And as I continue my life after the military I am so grateful for my time of military service.

What I learned from 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. I learned so many things about the world, others and myself. #femalemilitary #civilengineer #veteran

2 comments on “What I Learned from the Military

  1. You did learn a lot in a need to know situation. Two things that popped out to me was “how to drive a back hoe…” and “… make friends quickly” I can drive a tractor but think it would be fun to drive the others. Enjoyed the post.

    • I’m glad you enjoyed it. I had fun reflecting on the different things I learned while writing it. I joined a Bible study this fall and they couldn’t believe I had just moved her. I was like I need to make friends because before you know it, it will be time to move again.

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