From movies, literature, and all other manners of pop culture, we know the tropes of the angry drill sergeant calling his recruits “maggots,” the soldier who loves his guns, or the grunt who’s always working out. The media often portrays service members as rigid, mindless cronies following the orders of their superiors — none of which is accurate. While there are a number of unrealistic military stereotypes, some of them happen to be true.
Here are six military stereotypes that are actually true.
1. They can sleep wherever, whenever.
Service members can sleep anywhere, and I mean anywhere. Dunes, bunks, snow — you name it, soldiers can sleep in it. They can also wake up at a moment’s notice and be combat-ready.
2. One short phrase is worth a thousand words.
Service members learn to do more with less, language included. “Yes sir” can mean anything from “I agree,” to “Yeah, I'll get on that,” to “Screw off.” In fact, soldier-invented slang has been used to shorten words for centuries, and some have even found their way into the general public’s vernacular.
Order is important in the military. Service members will likely bring that level of minimalism and tidiness home with them. That usually translates into a well-kept, organized household. Think folded socks all perfectly arranged in their drawer.
4. Even if they separate or retire, jargon remains.
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot. The use of military-only phrases and acronyms are a hard thing to shake. Even veterans who have been retired for years still use military rhetoric in their everyday lives. Whether they use the word “Roger” to confirm they’ll be at your family barbecue or “Negative” if they won’t, jargon will always give them away as service members or veterans.
5. They swear … a lot.
Have you ever heard the phrase “Swears like a sailor”? Except, it doesn’t just happen in the Navy. Service members love their curse words. Each branch has its own favorites, and they’ve even created curse word acronyms like FUBAR.
6. Branch competition is a very real thing.
Within the military, the rivalries extend well past the West Point–Naval Academy football game. Every person thinks members of the other services are fat, dumb, and lazy … except the Air Force. Everyone else thinks the Air Force is made up of entitled flyboys.
Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.
Staff Sgt. Daniel Christopher Evans was arrested on Jan. 29, 2018. (Photo courtesy of Wilmington Police Department, North Carolina.)
A special operations Marine is due in court on March 7 after being arrested last year for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend, Task & Purpose has learned.
Staff Sgt. Daniel Christopher Evans was arrested and charged with assault inflicting serious injury on July 29, 2018, according to Jennifer Dandron, a spokeswoman for police in Wilmington, North Carolina. Evans is currently assigned as a Critical Skills Operator with the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, according to the Marine Corps Personnel Locator.
R. Lee Ermey was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery on Friday.
Best known for his iconic role as the Marine Corps drill instructor Gunnery Sgt. Hartman in the war drama Full Metal Jacket, Ermey died April 15, 2018 at age 74 due to complications from pneumonia, Task & Purpose previously reported.
A B-2 Spirit bomber deployed from Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, and F-22 Raptors from the Hawaii Air National Guard's 154th Wing fly near Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, during a interoperability training mission Jan. 15, 2019. (U.S. Air Force/Master Sgt. Russ Scalf)
The U.S. Air Force has two of its most elite aircraft — the B-2 Spirit bomber and the F-22 Raptor — training together in the Pacific, reassuring America's allies and sending a warning to strategic competitors and adversaries about the sheer power the U.S. brings to the table.
These stunning photos show the powerful aircraft tearing across the Pacific, where the U.S. has increasingly found itself facing challenges from a rising China.