Introverts in the military
How the Military Breaks Introverts Out of Their Shells | Jobs for Veterans
The military has a way of ensuring that its troops constantly work, live, and interact with each other. While it’s not uncommon for troops to get off duty and hide away in their barracks or at home, the way the military is structured prevents them from truly shutting themselves off from the rest of the unit.
One of the most mission-critical elements of the military is a foundation of trust and rapport between troops. To that end, the military has a way of forcing its troops into building camaraderie.
1. Basic Training/Boot Camp living conditions
Straight out of the gate, potential recruits are thrown in 30-man bays under the watchful eye of Drill Sergeants/Instructors. Troops will quickly learn the go-to pastime when there’s absolutely nothing else to do: talking to each other.
That quiet kid from a Midwestern suburb will probably have their first interaction with people from nearly every other state, background, economic status, and lifestyle during Basic.
Doesn’t matter where you’re from; you’re all sh*t. (Photo by Sgt. Ken Scar)
2. Morning PT
You’ll never hear more words of encouragement than you do during physical training. When troops go for a run in the morning, they’ll often shout motivation at one another. “Come on, Pvt. Introvert! You got this!”
This isn’t done solely to lift spirits, but rather to make sure their ass catches back up to the platoon.
“Hurry the f*ck up!” comes from a place of love and mutual understanding. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Gary Witte)
3. Working parties
Another perfect way to build mutual understanding is to share suffering. Cleaning the same connex they cleaned out last week may seem boring (because it is), but every time a troop says something like, “man, f*ck this. Am I right?” a friendship is born.
There are few stances shared by troops more than a dislike of mundane, physical labor.
Many friendships have bloomed through the shared hatred of sandbags. (Photo by Sgt. John Crosby)
4. Barracks parties
In nearly every comedy about high school or college life, there’s always that one party scene. Those kinds of lavish parties don’t really exist like they do in the movies — college kids are broke. But do you know who gets a regular paycheck on the first and fifteenth of each month and has few bills to spend the money on? Troops.
Actual parties also bring troops together. Everyone is pulled from their barracks room to do keg-stands off the roof of the Battalion Headquarters before staff duty finds them.
Your party isn’t close to awesome until someone calls the unit’s medic because they don’t want to explain it later to the aid station. (Screen-grab via YouTube)
5. The “battle-buddy” system
The “battle-buddy” system is a method the chain of command uses to have troops keep an eye on each other. What probably started out as a great PowerPoint presentation given by a gung-ho 1st Lt. gave the military what is, essentially, an assigned best friend. The idea was to prevent troops from getting into trouble, but it’s eventually devolved into simply having two troops stand in the First Sergeant’s office.
This system is even more needed while stationed overseas. Command policies often dictate that a troop can’t leave post without someone keeping an eye on them. Now, instead, there’re two dumbasses let loose on the world.
Battle buddies have a way of picking you up when you’re down. (Photo by Master Sgt. Michel Sauret)
6. Constant pissing contests
Pissing contests are a weird constant in the military. In the civilian world, people try to one-up each other with made-up stories. In the military, actions speak louder than words, so when troops do awesome things daily, chances are they were trying to one-up the person next to them.
The best way to describe it would be if someone were to say, “Man, I’m awesome. How about you, introvert? How awesome are you?”
And nearly every conversation begins with the phrase “No sh*t, there I was…” (Photo by Cpl. Paul D. Zellner II)
Troops stateside can find some room to breathe, but when they’re deployed and end up 30 to a tent with no walking room, well… good luck.
The only privacy you’ll find is in the latrine. Even then, you might have a conversation with the guy in the next stall.
“Dude, I’m telling you. My art skills are going to take me places one day!” (Image from Wikipedia Commons)
This article originally appeared on We Are The Mighty
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Sometimes the Army is too much like high school... : army
basically, introvert hell. I debated whether to post on a throwaway but fuck it. I'm curious how many other people have noticed this.
Soldiers are judged based on their personality and whether they fit in with the cool crowd more than they are judged on performance, work ethic, knowledge, or skill. In fact one could say that their performance, work ethic, knowledge and skill are only perceived accurately if they are already liked.
I don't like reducing people to stereotypes, but in my experience, extroverts thrive in the Army. If you can walk into a new situation with a new group of people and immediately involve yourself in conversations, engage in banter, "get" all the inside jokes and bring your own to the table, have something to say about anything and everything, well, you can be the freshest of privates and you'll be part of the E4 mafia in no time. On the other hand if you come in, keep your head down and your mouth shut (which is ironically the advice given to most new privates), don't talk much beyond "roger sarnt," obey whatever orders you're given, and don't jump into other people's conversations, then that will become what's expected of you pretty much indefinitely. To the point that when you do talk, everyone just looks at you funny and goes back to whatever more interesting conversation they were having.
Private X can take initiative and do some task, but do it in plain view of others, volunteer out loud, and engage in conversation while doing it, and they will be looked on as hard-working and motivated. Private Y can take initiative and do some task, but do it quietly when no one's watching, not say anything to draw attention to himself, and no one will ever notice--in fact they're just as likely to say "why aren't you working? can't you be more like Private X?" A soldier can be smart as fuck but never draw attention to it, never say when they are right but admit every time they are wrong, and they'll be looked on as stupid. They're judged for being silent, for talking, for asking for help, for not asking for help, for not taking initiative, for being the only one working. People are happier to laugh than to include the shy, awkward soldier. And once you're the soldier other people laugh at, you never get out of that rut.
Now I'm well aware that part of life as a private is to be fucked with...but there's a difference between fucking with someone because they're a private and fucking with them because they're shy and awkward. It seems like there's only one real way to stop being fucked with and (inb4 "unfuckwithable") it's not getting promoted. It's getting socially accepted into the "in crowd."
Is it just me or is this just like high school 2.0? I'm in my 20s, I was a working professional before the Army, I've had adult friends, and since I've joined I feel like I've been thrust back into my socially retarded teenage body. Don't get me wrong, I don't regret joining, and it was right for me for various personal reasons...but I'm here to serve, not try desperately to get accepted into some clique. At some point the only thing left to do is give up, keep to yourself, "turn off" while at work and become a functioning alcoholic like 2/3 of the Army is anyway.
Thoughts? Agreements/disagreements? tl;dr How the fuck do introverts and shy people make it in the Army?
Psychologists figured out how people calculate introverts - Gazeta.Ru
Psychologists have found out how people calculate introverts - Gazeta.Ru | News
Psychologists have found that people who answer questions more slowly are perceived as more introverted. The study is published in Journal of Experimental Psychology: General .
Scientists conducted 14 different experiments involving a total of 5160 people. In all studies, participants either read a script, listened to an audio recording, or watched a video of a person answering a question. He answered either immediately or made a short pause of up to six seconds before answering. The scenarios included several different situations, including small talk and a job interview. In addition, responses ranged from single-word responses to extended sentences. nine0003
It turned out that people who answer questions after a pause are seen as nervous and socially passive, as well as more introverted. Moreover, such a judgment was formed quickly: an answer in four seconds instead of two may be enough to seem like an introvert.
Research findings suggest that response time may play a role in job interviews, as quick responders may be seen as more extroverted and therefore more likely to be hired for social positions. nine0003
The authors did not measure the accuracy of participants' judgments. However, their research draws attention to the fact that people rely heavily on various imperceptible pieces of information in making social decisions and judgments. This requires them to be more careful and think more analytically than intuitively.
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Thank you for your message, we will fix it soon. nine0003
The biggest deficit in the army is privacy
You have almost no chance of being alone. Sleep, food, toilet - the usual peaceful rituals here are completely devoid of intimacy. The war will show which of you is a real introvert and which one was just fooling around
War is not limited to the front line. Rocket stumps allow Moscow to reach the rear. True, in Lviv, air raids are lived differently than in the same Kyiv. When you hear a siren in the capital, there is a great temptation to think that the rocket is in transit. That Kyiv is only part of the route, and the goal itself lies to the west. And in Lviv, you immediately understand that she has already arrived and this is the “final”. And therefore, either she us, or we her. nine0003
However, for the last month we have been accumulating impressions in the south and east. Before, it seemed to me that the main fatalists are those who happened to serve on the territory of military facilities. Probably, it is not easy to guard the same General Staff, knowing that the place of your service is marked with a bold tick in the Russian list of missile targets.
And then I came across a convoy with a captured Tiger. The only armored vehicle whose silhouette unmistakably betrays its origin. The only silhouette that is not like everything that is in service with the Ukrainian army. Only those who have a very phlegmatic relationship with fate can ride it on the front end. Because at night the tridents on the sides may not be able to see. nine0003
Before the war, superstition irritated me. Now there is no. At some point, I myself began to say “extreme” instead of “last”. I know for sure that I will stop doing this when I return. Office life threatens us only with a broken cooler, and therefore, in civilian life, the word “extreme” in terms of relevance is equal to wearing camouflage clothes for no reason.
Social networks irritate with arguments about the final contour of our victory. Those who follow the war from the sofa - little by little begin to resemble football fans. The only possible victory scenario for them is the capitulation of Russia. You think at this moment that they are programming themselves for defeat - after all, any other format of victory will not be enough for them. nine0003
The phrase “we believe in ZSU” starts to sound infantile. This formula is not enough. Either you yourself are in ZSU, or you help ZSU. In this war, we are still an underdog, and therefore we play defensively. We are still David, not Goliath, and therefore our war is primarily for the preservation of statehood and sovereignty. And not for the parade-lightning exit to the borders of 2013.
The closer you are to the army, the less you start to resemble a pique vest playing soldiers. The deeper one is immersed in reality, the less temptation to declare aloud one's own "fatigue". Because everyone gets tired - but there are always those who find it harder. The memory of this makes you keep your mouth shut. nine0003
And I also think that in the furnace of our war the remnants of Soviet weapons from Eastern Europe will burn. The entire region will finally switch to NATO standards - simply because of the lack of alternatives. After all, we are still fighting with what was created to destroy the West. Moreover, for the first twenty-four years of independence, we did not spend money on replenishing arsenals and warehouses.