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What habit did you pick up in the military that you still keep and civilians don't understand? #EZ.36989 Exp 08-16
By: Art Abshire, US Army Retired - 23 yrs

I spent 23 yrs in the Army, retiring in late 1998. So a number of habits were hard to break, but frankly some of them I had no desire to do so because they were more efficient, time saving, clearer to understand, cost saving etc. A few of those were/are…

Get up NLT 0600. My days last longer as does my leisure time.
Lay out next morning's clothing in order of dress.
Make bed immediately upon rising for the day. My wife appreciates and now expects this.
Separately wash, dry, iron if needed, fold and put away my own clothes. My wife does hers with household loads.
After a shower I'm usually fully dressed in under 45 seconds. Faster if no tying shoes/boots. I do not unbutton shirts to put them on.
I tight roll all my clothes when packing. Small items are always squeeze packed in heavy duty freezer bags.
I can pack two to three times as much as anyone else I've ever encountered into boxes, closets or any vehicle. My wife loves this.
I hit my horn twice whenever backing up a vehicle. This bothers my wife.
When riding shotgun I always call out Clear Right or Clear Left if no traffic is oncoming. If road is not clear I call out Car/Truck/Bike Right or Left.
I call people or animals walking near the road or in parking lots “Dismounts."
I pause and scan my surroundings and routes in and out before I get into a vehicle and do the same just before I pull in and after I park. This irritates my wife.
I point out things to see with clock directions e.g. “Oooh, Squirrel at 10 o'clock!”
I use cardinal directions: N, S, E, W and their subdirections (NW, SE etc.).
I use maps and always know my general location. I never put full reliance on GPS or phones.
When I give instructions or explanations I ask for a “repeat back" to ensure clarity and understanding. This irritates my wife, hired vendors and my healthcare providers. I don't care. It saves me grief, money and often pain in the long run.
I fall asleep on my back. This is my “ready” sleep position.
My firearm and a flashlight rest by my head near right shoulder when I sleep and a pair of outdoor shoes open and ready to slip into if I sit up on the edge of the bed.
My home is paced out and all pathways are clear for ease and safety while moving about in the dark.
I make an external security check of our property before dark and an internal check before bed.
Whenever I move from dark to light or face a flashlight or encounter an oncoming car in the dark, I always close my right (firing) eye till back into the dark environment to preserve my night vision.
When driving I always release my seatbelt before coming to a final stop. I only buckle up after vehicle is under way. This definitely bothers some civilians.
When speaking for first time with those in authority or acting in an official capacity or speaking with others older than I (which has become rarer and rarer), the use of Sir and Ma'am is required.
Use a 24 hr clock. Never any confusion as to am or pm time hacks. 0600 looks and sounds nothing like 1800.
Dates are always spoken and written as day, month, year. Independepence Day looks like: 4 JUL 2018, 4 JUL 18, 4-7-2018 or 4/7/18. There are no other options.
The one letter abbreviation for Thursday is H. Sunday is X.
Replies on phone or by text to (other than informal friends/relatives) are more in keeping with military radio net replies to avoid misunderstandings and include NATO phonetic alphabet to spell out words.
Answer phone — (my Name) Here.
End conversation — Out or Out Here.
I hear and/or understand what was just said or written — Copy or Copy That
I agree or will comply — Roger or Roger That
Yes or That’s Correct — Affirmative
No or That's Not Correct — Negative
Repeating something not heard or not understood the first time — I say again, …
A single word that can (and does) mean anything and everything except No or Negative — Hooah
That's all that pops to mind at the moment, though my wife probably notices more. I'm sure others do too.