A Military Personality

Is there such a thing as a military personality? Psychology Today addresses this very topic:

I don’t believe there is a “military personality” per se. But service members do share a number of mannerisms, beliefs, traits and perceptions.

Confidence, for example – service members have an air of self-assuredness, poise and downright coolness. A purposeful and swift stride, eye contact with strangers and a head held high with a slight controlled swivel is a dead giveaway that a confident soldier, sailor, airmen or Marine is in the area.

Hmm, that would mean there are a lot of military types here, for example. (One weensy editorial qwibble, why is Marine capitalized and not Sailor?)

9 thoughts on “A Military Personality

  1. Marine is capitalised over here as it is a rank. i.e. Marine Joe Bloggs, the next rank up the promotion ladder being Lance Corporal… (Private is a rank used within the Army only).

    L/Cpl’s have to be on the candidates list for promotion, which traditionally is an honorary rank, with a minimum rise in pay from Marine.

    A Marine would undertake four to five years of candidate training to achieve the rank of L/Cpl, if he was recommended, as it is not a given passage.

    Referring to a ‘Royal Marine’ as an individual, is capitalised in the same way.

    All ranks following on from Marine, identify themselves thus;
    L/Cpl Joe Bloggs RM
    Cpl Joe Bloggs RM
    Through to officers, Lieutenant Joe Bloggs RM (pronounced ‘Leftenant’).

    Each Royal Marine is a Royal Marines Commando, with the exception of the Band Service.

    The Royal Marines Band Service wear peaked caps for their daily wear. When they are required for mandatory medical and field training they wear the same blue Beret with a red flash behind the cap badge, the same as a recruit going through training.

    (For those with a green Beret Its far easier referring to each other as Bootneck’s).

    Interestingly, every rank within the RM’s is trained in ‘step up’ to cover the rank above their own for operational procedures. On operations its not unusual to see a patrol being led by Junior NCO’s, with the Troop Sergeant observing.

    The Army, and RAF remain confused over the rank status within the Corps of Royal Marines, Jolly Jack tar is more astute, as the working relationship is more bonded.

    Yours Aye.

  2. I do generally agree with the article, I can always pick out military, and it is not just the haircut. After 23 years, I feel it. This morning I was at my son’s soccer “meet the coach” meeting surrounded by about 200 parents and kids milling about. The director started to talk and I immediately paid close attention, while many rudely continued on. I had sunglasses on, so I looked around and realized that the people in the military (almost all I noticed) were paying 100% attention, and a few young mothers too – but there was less respect shown (as a percentage) by the rest of the group.

    I have heard though, that according to the Myers-Briggs test, there is a certain group of personalities, I believe ISTJ, who make up the largest percentage of military. Something about the love of order and schedules make them successful in military life. Somehow I survived, even though I am almost the complete opposite of this personality type! Ha ha!

  3. EB: We have the same policy here for Sailor. The CNO put out a directive instructing all Sailors to capitalize the word. It interesting that you do not have Privates and that Marine is a rank. In Blue and Gold land, we use Seaman, not Sailor.
    Lil C: Yes, I’ve experienced that too, with a bunch of military people getting all intense when in a civvie environment. As for you not being the naval type, I beg to differ. I’ve seen you wirebrush a stray el-tee when he stepped on your perfectly polished toesies.

  4. I always felt I had an organized and disciplined mind….it was the rest of me that wasn’t….nothing like that organized clutter is there, guys???….k

  5. Ross Perot, for one, believed there was such a thing as a military personality and he went out of his way to recruit former and retired military into Electronic Data Systems (EDS). When I went to interview with the company up in Dee-troit in 1985 shortly after I retired, my interviewer/recruiter took me around and introduced me to a whole bunch of my potential co-workers, many of whom I’d known (or had known of) in Air Force Communications Command. There were so many of those guys that they laughingly referred to EDS’s offices in Dee-troit as “AFCC North.” The decision to hire on was pretty much a no-brainer.

    So, yeah. Confidence, poise, ability to communicate… all of which are essential to excel in any endeavor. Perot (a Canoe U grad) recognized that and built a great company on that foundation.

  6. As a true civilian ( no prior military service) I can say yes there is a specific type of person. Now having spent 10 years as Firefighter/ Paramedic, I can say that the same types of personality are in the civilian sector as well. The ability to quickly asses thee problem, find a good solution and make it happen, in a short time does follow through, and change if needed. I think that is why vet’s are attracted to the fire/police service, there is a brotherhood with in the ranks, (good or bad) and its a quasi military organization with ranking Chiefs, Captain’s, even a few LT, in there for the mix, but with less danger and chance of death. (sometime new fire LT are just as clueless as new military LT, but not normally, since they all come up through the ranks.)

    People have commented to me on my body language and personality, and asked if I was in the Army, when I say no but tell them my background, they say, yep that explains it.

  7. Kris: Your comments on blogs come across as organized! So you can add that to your military-ish traits.
    Buck: I’ve always respected Mr. Perot. I thought he was a victim of the age of media and appearance. His VP too, ADM Stockdale. Both great Americans.
    Mark: That is great, I’ve always the greatest respect for firefighters and EMT. Hard work. And somewhat military. . .

  8. I grew up in the rural Midwest, and went to school at the Big State University. Most of the people I knew who went in to the military tended to be either children of military fathers (back then, there were not a whole lot of women making the military a profession), or farm kids. Because both were raised with waaaaaaaay more discipline than the rest of us. (I wasn’t in the military, and I do wish it I had joined–my undergrad friends in ROTC were great selling points for signning up, but I was too “artsy.” Ugh. Wasted much of my youth. On crap.) Hugely admired the kids who wound up joining the military. They were confidant (without being stuck-up), self-disciplined, kind, and generous. And knew that duty comes before desire, and could put duty before desire.

    • Great reply. I admired the folks in the military and then decided to join myself. I full-well understand your stance. . .

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