Understanding military culture is key to your well being as a military family
It is no great surprise that there is a distinct military culture. Families which become connected to the military have to raise their military cultural awareness in order to achieve the best possible quality of life. Military communities are very closely connected and, at times, closed off to the outside and therefore such a change can be a little shocking for someone who is not used to such tight relations.
People living in military communities also differ in regard to their principles. One of the major things which sets them apart is they live their lives supporting a cause which is much greater than their own lives. Therefore, the issues they are confronted with also differ from most regular folk and it is important to understand such a culture better in order to best fit in and avoid unpleasant surprises.
While it may be true that each individual may have his or her own reasons for joining the military, be it financial reasons, adventure, excitement, dreams or family reasons, it is this cause of supporting their country, the sense of honour, the sense of pride and other such noble sensations which keep them connected through the good or the bad times. Even though each single individual could be very different from one another, coming from different backgrounds, different educations, family status, etc, this one feeling is strong enough to equalize is some regard the people and connect them into something resembling a family.
A friend in the military is likely to be a far stronger bond than a friend from regular life.
In this regard it is then highly recommended, as a military family, to understand this military culture and try not to have any major conflicts with the other families. The chances are high that you may be living in the same base or town together at present or at some point in the future. The circle of friends is likely to be common, so any disputes would be clearly felt and interfere with your own well being.
This can of course be seen from a negative viewpoint, but I advise you to see this from its more positive aspects. When you will have difficulties in your life then it is the other families, your friends, who will be able to fully understand what you are going through because they have the same issues as you. You will be able to share all your life experiences together and have an intimate understanding with one another as not so many words would be required to explain the situation, be it a happy one or a sad one. Relationships with other military families inside the military culture can become almost like your family – the choice is fully yours.
On your own part what you can do improve your military cultural awareness as quickly as you can by visiting and meeting the other families in your base or location. Get involved in, without pushing, in the various activities and lives of the families in order to be able to understand them better and help when needed. Share in happiness of the military promotions or other milestones related to your children or your family. By sharing the bonds will become stronger.
In military culture you can not expect to be in full control of all the circumstances. If you are one of those people who like to control everything this can potentially be very difficult for you, because there are a lot of things which you can no longer control in your life. One of the factors of course is having to move after a number of years to another base or town. As before you can choose to create issues and stress from such things or you can choose to accept change and look for opportunities such as meeting new people, discovering new places, learning something new. And don’t forget to stay in touch with your “older” friends as chances are you may be stationed in the same location again.