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20 Telltale Signs You’ve Served Time In The Military


When a person is in the military, they go through a great deal of training. During this time, the develop mannerisms and other tell-tale signs. These are very noticeable by other veterans, and also to the people close to you. Here are 20 telltale signs you’ve served time in the military.

Any Floor Can Be a Bed

Soldiers don’t always have a bed to sleep on. During training or a tour of duty, is is not uncommon for them to sleep on the ground for several nights. If you notice someone lying comfortably on the floor or the ground, there is a chance that they have experience doing this in the military.

A Master At Ironing

Military personnel are required to wear wrinkle free clothing. This means that soldiers need to iron their uniforms. If you see someone who can put creases in their clothes with ease, they were likely in the military.

Distinctive Gait

If you know someone who always walks swiftly, with a purpose, there is a good chance that they have a military background, because there is no room for slackers in the military. If you are going to get though battle, you need to keep up.

Using Military Time

If you ask a civilian what time it is, they will tell you 11 o’clock. If you ask someone what time it is and they tell you that it is eleven hundred hours, there is a good chance that they have served in the military. Using military time can be a hard habit to break.

At Ease

In the military, you are told thousands of times to stand, “at ease.” Former members of the military find themselves standing at ease long after their service is complete. This isn’t because they don’t know how to relax, its because that this is how they are used to relaxing.

Sir Or Ma’am

Soldiers are referred to refer to people as Sir or Ma’am. This is a hard habit to break after being released from the army.

Always the First To Finish Eating

In the military, you aren’t allowed to have a long, leisurely meal. When soldiers eat, they are expected to eat as quickly as possible, and then return to duty. Even after leaving the military, former soldiers still eat quickly.

Using Military Jargon

Most people don’t use terms such as “copy that” or “negative” in everyday conversation. Former military members get so used to speaking that way that they don’t drop it when their service has ended.

Foul Language

Solider swear a lot. When a soldier’s time in the service has ended, they often take this habit of using foul language often with them.

Salute To Say Hello

Solider salute thousands of times throughout their military career. When they have completed their service, they often continue this in civilian life. After years of saluting all the time, it isn’t uncommon to continue the practice when their service has ended.

They Don’t Enjoy War Movies

Saving Private Ryan, Black Hawk Down, and Pearl Harbor are among the greatest war movies of all time. Many former soldiers would rather not watch these films, because they have already lived it. Most soldiers don’t want to be reminded of their time on the front lines.

There Is No Such Thing As An Explanation

In the military, you never explain anything. Instead, you offer up a briefing. When many soldier complete their service and come home, they continue to use the world briefing rather than explaining.

Quick Showers

You often won’t see former soldiers taking 15 or 20 minutes showers. Soldiers didn’t have much time to shower, especially in the field. After returning home, many soldiers continue to shower as quickly as possible.

Using the Phonetic Alphabet

Soldiers use the phonetic alphabet to avoid any confusion. Confusion results in disaster during war. When soldiers come home, they often continue doing this out of habit. If you ask a former soldier to spell army, they will tell you, Alpha Romeo Mike Yankee.

Buzz Cuts

Male soldiers are required to have a military buzz cut at all times. When they return home, they often keep up with this hairstyle.

The Kitchen Is a Mess

This doesn’t mean that former soldiers leave their kitchens a mess. It means that they call the kitchen a mess, because this is military jargon.

Using Knife Hands

Knife hands is the name of a gesture. It is a movement that is made with a flat palm, and pointing all of your fingers and your thumb located to the side. It is a classic military signal, and it is something that former soldiers continue doing even after their service has ended.

Standing In Line

Standing in line is common in the military. It shows respect and discipline. Former soldiers often stand in line silently, even in places like the bank and the grocery store. It is a behavior that has been embedded for so long that it sticks with them after returning home.

Putting Tabasco On Everything

The food served to soldiers often doesn’t have much flavor, and it is dried out. Fortunately, they have access to Tabasco. Many soldiers use it on their food while serving, and it has become such regular part of meals that they continue using it when their service has ended.

Clean Shoes

Soldiers are taught to shine their boots regularly so that they always have a shine. Former soldiers often continue with this habit, and they rarely ever wear a dirty pair of shoes.

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