Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Military

25 Odd Habits Former U.S. Marines Still Do In Everyday Life That Civilians Will Never Understand

Odd Things Former U.S. Marines Still Do In Everyday Life That Civilians Will Never Understand
Image Credit: United Liberty

Former U.S. Marines now live where military discipline meets everyday civilian life. Their practices, from meticulous punctuality to unique communication styles, may puzzle civilians but are deeply rooted in the ethos of their training.

This look into seemingly odd Marine habits reveals the profound impact of their daily behavior while in military service that continues beyond their active duty into civilian life.

1. Never Wanting To Use An Umbrella

Never Wanting To Use An Umbrella
Image Credit: United Liberty

Marines endure the elements as part of their training, often eschewing umbrellas for resilience. This avoidance might seem stubborn to civilians, who commonly use umbrellas for comfort, but it showcases Marine’s ingrained toughness and preference for facing challenges directly, regardless of the weather.

2. Using the “Knife Hand”

Using the Knife Hand
Image Credit: United Liberty

The “knife hand” gesture, used by Marines to emphasize points or commands, can seem authoritative or intense in civilian conversations. This hand chop, effective for clear communication in the military, highlights the directness and discipline ingrained in Marines, even in non-verbal cues.

3. Writing in All Capital Letters

Writing in All Capital Letters
Image Credit: United Liberty

Marines are trained to write in all caps for clarity and to avoid misinterpretation, especially on official documents. This habit, ensuring legibility, can seem overly formal or even aggressive in civilian texts and emails, where mixed-case writing is customary and all caps can imply shouting.

4. “Piggybacking” in Conversations

Piggybacking in Conversations
Image Credit: United Liberty

Marines efficiently add to a conversation without unnecessary interjections, a practice known as “piggybacking.” In civilian discussions, this direct approach can seem abrupt, reflecting the military’s emphasis on concise communication and the swift conveyance of information, contrasting with the more leisurely pace of civilian dialogue.

5. Never Talking or Texting on the Phone and Walking

Never Talking on the Phone and Walking
Image Credit: United Liberty

Marines prioritize situational awareness, often avoiding phone or text conversations while moving. This habit, aimed at maintaining readiness, contrasts with civilian multitasking, highlighting a disciplined approach to security and focus that persists even in seemingly safe, everyday scenarios.

6. Tying Shoe Laces “Left Over Right”

Tying Shoe Laces Left Over Right
Image Credit: United Liberty

This specific method of tying shoes reflects the uniformity and attention to detail required in the Marine Corps. When observed in civilian life, it underscores a Marine’s deep-rooted adherence to the procedures and standards ingrained during their service, even in the simplest tasks.

7. Carrying Items in Left Hand to Keep the Right Hand Free

Carrying Items in Left Hand to Keep the Right Hand Free
Image Credit: United Liberty

Marines are trained to keep their right hand free to salute. Transferring this practice to civilian life, where saluting isn’t required, illustrates a deep-seated adherence to military decorum, maintaining readiness and respect in any setting.

8. Never Walk on the Grass

Never Walk on the Grass
Image Credit: United Liberty

Marines are taught to respect and preserve the integrity of shared spaces, often avoiding walking on grass as a sign of discipline. While this practice is second nature to Marines, it might perplex civilians, for whom taking shortcuts across lawns is a common, thoughtless act.

9. Telling People To “Carry On”

Telling People To Carry On
Image Credit: United Liberty

Used in the military to resume activities after an interruption, saying “carry on” in civilian life can seem formal or authoritative. It reflects a Marine’s ingrained respect for structure and order, applied in contexts where casual affirmations are typically expected.

10. Maintaining a Perfect “Gig Line” at All Times

Maintaining a Perfect Gig Line at All Times
Image Credit: United Liberty

The alignment of the shirt, belt buckle, and trouser fly, known as the gig line, is meticulously maintained by Marines for a polished appearance. This habit continued outside of service, showcases Marine’s unwavering commitment to precision and discipline, even in casual settings.

11. Always Step Off With the Left Foot

Always Step Off With the Left Foot
Image Credit: United Liberty

This habit ensures uniformity in military marches. In civilian life, the automatic preference to start walking with the left foot might go unnoticed but symbolizes the Marine’s subconscious alignment with the discipline and synchronization of military practices, even in solo movements.

12. Adherence to the “YYYYMMDD Date Format”

Adherence to the YYYYMMDD Date Format
Image Credit: United Liberty

Marines use the “YYYYMMDD” format for precision and standardization across global operations. In civilian life, this meticulous date format can appear unusual, contrasting with common U.S. formats and highlighting a preference for clarity over convention in everyday documentation and digital communication.

13. Saying “Good to Go”

Saying Good to Go
Image Credit: United Liberty

This phrase is a Marine’s versatile affirmation, signaling readiness or approval. In civilian conversations, the military efficiency of “good to go” might come across as curt or overly simplistic, underscoring the difference in communication styles between structured military interactions and everyday civilian dialogue.

14. Wake Up and Immediately Make the Bed

Wake Up and Immediately Make the Bed
Image Credit: United Liberty

Marines start their day by making their bed with precision, a practice symbolizing discipline and order. Carrying this into civilian life, the ritual of meticulously making the bed each morning can seem excessive, yet it sets a productive tone for the day, reflecting a commitment to personal responsibility.

15. Using the “NATO Alphabet”

Using the NATO Alphabet
Image Credit: United Liberty

Marines communicate using the NATO phonetic alphabet such as “alpha”, “charlie” or “foxtrot” for clarity, especially over the radio and in noisy environments. When applied to everyday civilian situations, like spelling a name over the phone, it can seem overly formal or militaristic, but to a Marine, it’s an instinct for precise, unambiguous communication.

16. Ask People, “You Eyeballin’ Me?”

Ask People You Eyeballin Me
Image Credit: United Liberty

This confrontational question, used within the military to address disrespect or challenge, can seem aggressive or peculiar in civilian contexts, where direct confrontation is less common. It reflects the Marine’s clear hierarchy and respect environment, a stark contrast to civilian social norms.

17. Consistently Maintaining a Fresh Cut

Consistently Maintaining a Fresh Cut
Image Credit: United Liberty

Marines adhere to strict grooming standards, frequently getting haircuts to maintain a neat appearance. This routine continued in civilian life, demonstrates a lasting commitment to discipline and professionalism, even when military regulations no longer dictate personal grooming habits.

18. Working Out 5-6 Times a Week

Working Out 5 6 Times a Week
Image Credit: United Liberty

Intense physical training is a staple of Marine life, crafting a habit of rigorous exercise routines. This level of fitness commitment, unusual in the more sedentary civilian lifestyle, showcases Marine’s dedication to strength, endurance, and the ethos of always being battle-ready.

19. Addressing People With “Sir” or “Ma’am”

Addressing People With Sir or Maam
Image Credit: United Liberty

Marines use these formal titles to show respect and adhere to military etiquette. In civilian interactions, such consistent formality can seem out of place or excessively polite, highlighting the ingrained military values of respect and hierarchy in all aspects of communication.

20. Wearing Belts 100% of the Time

Wearing Belts 100 of the Time
Image Credit: United Liberty

Marines are accustomed to wearing belts with their uniforms for a neat, professional look. This practice often continues in civilian life, where belts might not always be necessary, demonstrating Marine’s enduring dedication to maintaining a sharp and disciplined appearance.

21. Eat Now, Talk After

Eat Now Talk After
Image Credit: United Liberty

Marines prioritize eating quickly to refuel, often saving conversation for after meals. This habit, stemming from limited meal times in service, can clash with civilian social dining, where eating is as much about interaction as it is about nourishment, highlighting differing cultural priorities around meals.

22. Always “15-Minute Prior” If You’re On Time, You’re Late

Always 15 Minute Prior If Youre On Time Youre Late
Image Credit: United Liberty

Marines are trained to arrive at least 15 minutes early to every engagement, embedding punctuality as a sign of respect and readiness. In civilian life, this habit can be misinterpreted as overeagerness, showcasing a disciplined approach to time management that goes beyond everyday expectations.

23. Memorizing Routes and Landmarks

Memorizing Routes and Landmarks
Image Credit: United Liberty

Marines are trained to navigate complex terrains by memorizing routes and landmarks, a skill that ensures operational success. In civilian life, this habit of detailed orientation can seem excessive for everyday navigation, reflecting a Marine’s preparedness and strategic thinking in all environments.

24. Using Hand Signals for Communication

Using Hand Signals for Communication
Image Credit: United Liberty

In environments where verbal communication might be compromised, Marines rely on hand signals. When this practice carries over into civilian life, it can appear unusual, especially in non-critical situations, highlighting a Marine’s instinct for clear, non-verbal communication under any circumstances.

25. Checking the Condition of Vehicles Religiously

Checking the Condition of Vehicles Religiously
Image Credit: United Liberty

Before any operation, Marines meticulously inspect their vehicles to ensure readiness. This practice continued in civilian life, means regular checks for oil levels, tire pressure, and overall functionality, showcasing Marine’s enduring commitment to safety and precision beyond the military context.

What Do You Think?

What Do You Think (1)
Image Credit: United Liberty

Are any of these habits something you or another former Marine are guilty of? Let us know which one in the comments and feel free to let us know where you served too!

Conor Jameson
Written By

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

News

California’s recent hike in the minimum wage to $20 an hour has sent shockwaves through the fast food industry, particularly affecting McDonald’s franchises. Franchise...

News

In a recent debate over Safe Storage laws, a Democratic State Legislature member from Minnesota, Rep. Kaohly Vang Her (DFL), made a statement that...

Start

Are you up for the challenge that stumps most U.S. citizens? Test your knowledge with these 25 intriguing questions about American history’s Colonial Period....

News

In a recent report by the Market Gains channel, the host shared about the issue of minimum wage in California. Just a month ago,...