Right Out Of Basic: Tips to Help You Not Be Hated By Your New Unit

You’ve graduated Basic Training and are MOSQ’d. You’ve been assigned to your unit and you’re ready to be a lean mean killing machine. You hair is squared away. Your uniform is crisp and your upper lip is freshly shaven. You can’t wait to start doing the job you signed on the dotted line to do. But maybe you need to slow down there high-speed. I’ve already told you how to survive Basic Training, and now you need some guidelines for things you might not know that will definitely help you to not be hated by your new unit.

Don’t Talk About Basic Training

Look, we just went through two decade-long wars, so the likelihood that your stories from Basic Training are going to interest anyone else except other E-1s is sitting safely at around zero percent. No one cares if you were the PL or if everyone voted you most likely to be awarded the Medal of Honor because you’re so damn hoo-ah. To quote a friend of mine that’s former Infantry, “Oh, the Drill Sgt said you’ll be a great soldier? Great, here’s the 249.”

Your Brag Badges Don’t Mean Shit

You should be proud of going above and beyond and earning something not everyone has. Yes, it’s cool to have an Air Assault/Airborne/Pathfinder/Knot tying badge, but there’s two reasons why no one in your unit will care: either everyone in your unit has those badges and you’re nothing special or no one in the unit has them and people will be in awe for a second and then remember you’re new and promptly ignore you. In either case, you’ll still be cleaning bathrooms with the rest of the lower enlisted scum in no time.

Army UnitStealing Is a Real Thing

This should go without saying, but things go missing from time to time and it’s because everyone is constantly losing things. Remember, “There’s only one thief in the Army. Everyone else is just trying to get their shit back.”

Don’t Be Gross

Hopefully training got the whole “being scared of being naked around people” thing that some people suffer from out of your system. I’ve never had that problem; I’ll wash myself and then take a poop while maintaining eye contact with the same person the whole time. But for some, this is a problem. Basically, don’t be slob. Wash yourself, wash your clothes and only leave half eaten sandwiches out for 3 days, max.

Your Job Is Probably Going To Suck

Just because you played with guns that went pew pew or trained to give IVs in the dark while you filled out DD FORM 666 doesn’t mean you’ll actually do a whole lot of that. It all depends what the Army needs. You might be an 88M, but you could end up as a gunner during a combat operation. Just be prepared to not be whatever it is that your recruiter said you’d be doing.

Be Friendly and Listen

Being friendly and listening to the advice of an E-6 can do wonders for transitioning from training to being in the actual Army. If you’re not a dick, people are going to help you out when you realize you forgot your PT belt and SGM is on the prowl for soldiers out of uniform. Soaking up the wisdom from those who have gone before you won’t necessarily make you smarter, but it will make you less dumb. And that’s all the lower enlisted can really hope for.

Share your advice in the comments. Correct me if I’m wrong about something. Got a great story about getting right out of training? Share that too.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.

Mark Wasson

Mark Wasson

Mark spent 7 years in the Minnesota National Guard as a combat medic. When's he's not busy losing friends, he's drinking with his dog. Befriend him on Facebook or follow him on a Twitter that he doesn't use.
Mark Wasson
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