17 Unmistakable Habits of Someone Who’s Served in the Military

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By Jonathan Trent

Civilian life after serving in the military can be a huge transition for many veterans. However, their time in the military has given them a unique set of characteristics that can be useful in work and daily life. Here are 17 unmistakable habits of someone who’s served in the military. 

Attention to Detail

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Because military service requires precision and meticulous attention to detail, veterans often carry this into personal and professional habits in their daily lives. They are more likely than others to notice small inconsistencies or deviations from the norm.

Structured Routines

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Military training gives people a sense of discipline and routine, with consistent daily schedules, early mornings, and task management taught to new recruits immediately and then maintained throughout their careers. The New York Times says that maintaining routines is essential to well-being and success.

Respect for Authority

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Having a strong sense of hierarchy is a hallmark of military culture, and because of this, veterans typically show respect for authority and chains of command. They are comfortable following protocols and procedures, so they would be useful to have in many workplaces.

Strong Work Ethic

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According to the Telegraph, more and more employers are realizing the benefits of employing military veterans due to their reliability, teamwork, and strong work ethic. Military work often extends beyond the typical 9–5 work day, so veterans are used to showing dedication and resilience.

Team-Oriented Mindset

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Teamwork and camaraderie are instilled in military servicemen and women from the beginning of their careers. This means they are comfortable working with others in various settings and are likely to prioritize the success of the whole team rather than just their own. 

Crisis Management Skills

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Because military personnel are trained to keep calm under pressure, they are adept at making quick decisions and managing difficult situations. They are effective leaders during crises, and this makes them valuable for many careers, such as police and EMT work.


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According to CBS News, high-achievers are punctual. Timeliness is one of the core values of the military, which means veterans can be relied upon to be on time. They typically arrive early to a meeting or event and value others’ time, and expect the same from those around them. 

Respect for Traditions

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Military personnel generally have a lot of respect for customs and traditions, and some veterans may maintain specific rituals and observances. They often value formalities and time-honored practices.

Physical Fitness

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The U.S. Army uses a Holistic Health and Fitness System to equip soldiers to take care of their health and well-being while optimizing their performance and preventing injury and disease. Veterans often continue to prioritize health and fitness on leaving the military with regular exercise and disciplined eating habits.

High-Stress Tolerance

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Soldiers often work in high-stress environments and need to have a good tolerance for stressful situations. People who have served in the military are therefore well-equipped to handle adverse situations in the civilian world.

Effective Communication

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Military personnel are trained in clear and concise communication and can effectively convey information to diverse audiences. Veterans are likely to be direct and straightforward in their interactions, making them useful in a lot of different fields.


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Military training encourages problem-solving with limited resources, so veterans are typically adept at finding innovative solutions to challenges. They often approach problems with a can-do attitude, impressing civilians with their resourcefulness.


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After becoming accustomed to adapting to ever-changing circumstances in the military, veterans can easily transition between different roles and responsibilities in civilian life. They are flexible in the face of uncertainty and can change their behavior to suit different people and circumstances.

Sense of Duty

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A sense of duty is deeply ingrained in military culture. Veterans are likely to feel a strong commitment to their roles and responsibilities and take pride in fulfilling their duties and obligations.

Commitment to Service

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People who have served in the military often have the belief that they are serving something greater than themselves. This means they might find opportunities to give back to their communities, such as by getting involved in volunteer work or community service.

Dress and Grooming Standards

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Military personnel are trained in strict dress and grooming standards and always maintain a neat and professional appearance. They prefer clean-cut hairstyles and well-maintained clothing, so you’ll probably be able to spot them a mile off in the street.

Respect for Equipment and Tools

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Proper care of equipment and tools is heavily emphasized in the military. Veterans are likely to maintain and care for their personal belongings and typically value high-quality and durable equipment.

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