15 Military Habits Veterans Carry Into Civilian Life


Moving from military service to civilian life is a huge transition. Of course, it comes with challenges, but not without opportunities. Veterans find that the habits they developed in the military follow them well in their post-service endeavors. These habits, birthed from rigorous drilling and diverse experiences, stick even when they now live life by a different set of rules. Read on to see 15 habits that veterans commonly carry into civilian life.

Working in Teams

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Military missions require a high degree of cooperation and coordination among team members. Veterans have to work seamlessly within a team, so they recognize the importance of each member’s contribution to achieving a common goal. They are valuable assets in team-oriented environments because they can collaborate effectively and support their colleagues.



Those who have been in combat may develop a habit of being constantly alert and on edge, even in safe environments. Hyper-vigilance can make them suspicious of people who aren’t threats to them and make them anxious, which ruins their ability to relax.

Over-Reliance on Structure

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Structure and routine are some of the things that make military life so rigid. Staying for a long time in the military can result in overdependence on these factors. When veterans are too reliant on them, civilian life, which is typically less structured, can be weird for them.

Solving Problems


The military environment is unpredictable and demands quick thinking and practical problem-solving skills. Veterans are trained to assess situations, identify potential issues, and develop and implement solutions rapidly. Handling complex problems and making sound decisions under pressure come readily to them.

Adapting Quickly


Military personnel frequently face changing environments and must adapt to new circumstances quickly. This experience fosters a lofty degree of flexibility and resilience. In civilian life, veterans can adjust rapidly to new job roles, industries, and challenges and will thrive even in fast-evolving workplaces.

Attention to Detail


The repercussions of a tiny error can be mighty in the military, so precision is non-negotiable. Veterans carry this meticulous attention to detail into civilian jobs. They ensure accuracy and thoroughness in the tasks they carry out. This habit is a must-have for doing things that require careful planning, quality control, and compliance with regulations.

Handling Stress


High-pressure situations in the military help veterans develop robust stress management techniques. They learn to remain calm, focused, and effective under pressure. This ability to manage stress in civilian life allows veterans to handle demanding jobs, tight deadlines, and high-stakes projects without becoming overwhelmed.

Respect for Authority


Military culture instills a strong regard for hierarchy and authority. Those who’ve participated in it understand the importance of following orders and appreciating leadership. So, in civilian life, they can easily navigate organizations, understand how things work, and show respect to their bosses and coworkers.

Physical Fitness


Physical fitness and military training go hand in hand. It is essential for operational readiness and personal health. Many veterans maintain a commitment to fitness after their service to enjoy its benefits for physical and mental well-being. You’ll find that they regularly exercise and, as a result, enjoy healthier lifestyles and improved productivity in their civilian lives.

Managing Time


In the military, being on time is not just a courtesy but a necessity. Punctuality and effective time management can mean the difference between success and failure in operations. Hence, veterans consistently arrive on time for meetings and appointments. They can prioritize tasks, meet deadlines, and organize their workload effectively.


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Mentorship is a component of military culture—experienced personnel guide and support newer members. Veterans often continue this tradition in civilian life, mentoring colleagues, peers, and younger generations. Their willingness to share knowledge and help others is valuable to learning and growth.

Staying Resilient


Going through the military involves facing and overcoming huge challenges and hardships. By the time their service is over, ex-military people develop incredible resilience. When they face setbacks, they bounce back, and when facing adversity, they persist.

Emotional Suppression

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Sometimes, in the military, showing emotions might be seen as a weakness. They are forced to stay tough even in grim situations. They may continue to suppress their emotions in civilian life, which can lead to mental health issues that can affect meaningful relationships.



Because building relationships and networks is essential in the military, several veterans are adept at it. Good networking prowess can be highly beneficial in civilian life as it comes in handy when finding job opportunities, collaborating with teammates, and advancing professionally.

Overly Direct Communication

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Military communication tends to be very direct and to the point. In civilian life, this can sometimes come across as blunt or abrasive and cause misunderstandings or conflicts with those around them who are not used to this style.


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