101 Tips for the Troops – #8

Operational Life vs. Home Life – Tip #8

There are two very different mindsets for soldiers.  There is the mind frame you work under and the mind frame you have at home.  They are completely different.  It is important for you and your family to understand the difference so that you can potentially avoid conficts and misunderstandings.  Neither way of thinking is wrong, it is more that you need to change the way you think to fit your environment and situation.

* Operationally –  Kill or be killed

Home – Be annoyed, get over it and forgive people for making mistakes (you are going to make a life time of them)

* Operationally – Plan for the immediate moment, for today – don’t think about the future because if you think too far ahead you’ll miss what is right in front of you and end up getting someone or yourself killed

Home – Always think ahead and have things that you can look forward to, much of what you do is for some future fun event

* Operationally – There is a boss, you follow (without question) what they ask you to do.  It isn’t always easy.

Home – There isn’t really one boss, there are people in your life that can control things at different times for different reasons.  It isn’t always easy.

* Operationally – People will not ask your opinion or what your feelings are or want them most of the time.

Home – People will seek out your opinion, thoughts and feelings – they want to and often need to know what you think and feel.

* Operationally – You must practice defensive and somewhat aggressive driving or you could be killed or kill others

Home – You are driving to get somewhere or get something and it isn’t life or death

* Operationally – You need to be secretive for your safety and the safety of others

Home – Secrets can only serve to further divide you and your family members

* Operationally – You need to be emotionally in control at all times for the sake of the mission

Home – Expressing your emotions (however raw or uncomfortable) lets other family members and friends feel as though they are connected to you, trusted by you and loved by you

* Operationally – Discipline is highly regarded and often a must have.  Following structure and order is comforting and required throughout trainings and depoyments.

Home – Discipline has a place and time but impulsivity and a lack of structure are also an important part of family life.  No one in your family wants to be controlled or ordered around.

For more information about our resources, tips and books go to: http://www.whileyouwereaway.org

To submit a tip of your own, write to: Megan@whileyouwereaway.org

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