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  • Ten Telltale Signs That You Have Served

    Published: 12/20/2021

    4 min read

    Ten Telltale Signs That You Have Served

    It’s not just the super-short haircut or the ramrod straight posture. There are other telltale signs that you have been in the military. Here are just a few of our favorites:

    1. There are boxes that you have moved at least two times without ever opening them. You sort of know what’s in the boxes, and someday you’ll be settled in one place long enough to actually unpack them. When that day comes, you might also decide to remove the little colored stickers from all of your furniture. But probably not, you’ve gotten used to seeing those colorful little reminders of your past moves.
    1. You cannot watch a movie with a military theme- even a fictional one- without pointing out all of the mistakes. Your spouse will slouch in their seat as you get “shushed” for loudly complaining that “klick” (for kilometer) wasn’t commonly used by American soldiers in WWII. Calm down, buddy. Do the rest of us get our nuts in a twist if the Navy doesn’t actually have a Top Gun trophy? Must we endure your outrage while we are still pissed off that Goose died?
    1. You know that Bravo Zulu isn’t a show on the Discovery channel. Giving someone a “Bravo Zulu” lets them know that they did a great job. In 1956, the US Navy adopted the phonetic alphabet of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), and the administrative code BZ for “well done” morphed from “Baker Zebra” to “Bravo Zulu”.

    And this brings us to sign #4 that you have served....

    1. You find it imperative to correct anyone who misuses the phonetic alphabet. Let someone accidentally say “P- as in Peter” or an “E- as in Edward” while on the phone with the cable company, and you simply can’t stop yourself. “Papa Echo”, you’ll interject with just a hint of exasperation. Doesn’t matter that the person on the other end of the call already found the account. It’s what you do.
    1. You might turn taking a dump into a social event. In what other subculture is it acceptable to have a deep philosophical conversation while your pants are around your ankles? Any bathroom modesty that you possessed coming in was a dim memory after boot camp. While a civilian might pretend that the noxious fumes coming from a public restroom stall are not of their own making, you will take full credit for the funk emanating straight from your ass. And you might have a couple of stories about the worst dumps you’ve ever unleashed.
    1. You know that 29 Palms is not the number of trees that Donald Trump planted at Mar-a-Lago. This vast Marine Corps base covers 1,100 sq miles in the Mohave region of California. 29 Palms is known for its blazing summertime heat and rough terrain, making it a premier training facility that is ideal for modern warfare. But where are the palm trees?
    1. You can sleep just about anywhere. Stories about falling asleep in formation, on the crapper, or even on maneuvers are legendary. This superpower comes in handy for civilian life, too. Just ask the guy sleeping soundly in the chair next to you at the airport.
    1. You think that it’s normal to buy furniture based on its weight. While most couples shop for the perfect sectional to complement their dream home, you and your spouse are trying to decide which sofa seems easier to lift. As anyone who has ever gone over their PCS weight limit will tell you, the military is merciless when it comes to collecting on that overage bill.
    1. You really do swear like a sailor. Obvious, but we had to include this one. And there’s reason to believe that sailors have always had a reputation for slinging some pretty salty language. Colorful language is definitely a source of pride for our seafaring services. Just ask the f-in’ pecker checker
    1. You ask for a military discount everywhere you go. It’s ingrained early on when money is tight and even name-brand toilet paper seems out of reach. You’re not a cheapskate, but to this day you can’t purchase a box of Thin Mints without at least making the inquiry. It’s okay. At Provengo, military discounts are our thing. You don’t even have to ask.




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