There is a difference between being asked to do something and being commanded to do something. In the military, there is no such thing as being politely asked to do anything. Every verbal request is a direct order, to simply put it, a command. Non-military people do not understand the conditioning process that takes place while serving our country in the military.
Preparing for threats
I spent six years in the Army and three of those years were hardcore field exercises preparing us for any threat made against our country. I first heard of the word “Terrorist,” which is commonly used today while serving in Germany. I was on SD (Special Duty) for six months where I was the sergeant in charge of the Reactionary Force. I answered directly to a Lieutenant Colonel and I had only six men assigned to me to train and prepare for any terrorist attack in Germany, especially against the military installation I was assigned to during that six-month period.
Discipline & Structure
Military experience was a blessing for me because it taught me discipline and gave me structure for my life. These two specific attributes are very much needed when you are given live ammunition and sent out to defend your country. Although we never had to actually encounter these terrorists, we were issued live ammo and shipped out to defend the border against threats. It is at this time that you do not have time to ask questions or bail out and quit. You only have time to fall back on your prior training and preparedness and pray for the best outcome. You are not politely asked, as if you have a choice to whether or not you would like to leave your family. When you get a call from your superior officer early in the morning, you only have time to get dressed, kiss your spouse and children and pat your dog on the way out. If you can adjust to situations like this, knowing your life is about to be put up for auction, you can adjust almost to anything.
Oftentimes, institutions such as large and medium size corporations, government agencies and even our modern military, overlook the necessity of being militarily prepared also includes being mentally prepared. General Douglas MacArthur said,
“Training distinguishes an army from an armed mob.”
To be mentally prepared is developing a mindset that constantly adjusts to backdrops and situations. A person’s skill level basically stays the same, but the milieu changes. This frame of mind increases the soldier’s percentage for survival, while on the battlefield, the streets of Chicago, or Wall Street. Being able to mentally adjust and adapt to your surrounding will make you successful in any field you dare to engage. I believe we can win against life’s challenges, but we must all learn from the Marines and “improvise, adapt, and overcome.”