The military is an actual culture

In my cultural anthropology class we have to write response papers; a 450 words of what was talked about that day, or pick a topic from a handout. On this handout was a topic on writing about my culture and talk about six keys words given about my culture – adapt, change, system, organize and give meaning, cultural difference, theoretical schools. Since I was i the Navy I decided to write about how the military is an actual culture.


The military is a culture all to itself; separate from the civilian world. Each branch is a different tribe, each of them similar in some ways, yet they have their differences. Each branch has their own uniforms and ranking system, as well as a few rules they don’t apply to the other branches. They also have traditions, requirements, ethics, and codes to follow.

Each branch also has clans, which separates themselves in their tribe. For instance, the Navy has Firemen, Airmen, and Seamen; each one of these clans have different task than the other clans. Firemen work on damage control, Airmen work on and around planes, Seamen work on and around the ship.

Boot camp is a place where all enlisted would have to adapt. It is also a huge cultural change. We would spend nine weeks or more trying to learn new rules, learn about our uniforms and how to take care of them, and also learn about each rank and the change of command, and most importantly we learn about discipline.

Growing up as a military brat, I had to adapt a lot. Having been to twelve schools before graduating high school, I was either ahead of my class mates or behind. I was always the new kid. I couldn’t make friends, more or less I wouldn’t because of the fact that I wouldn’t be staying in that school for very long.

Each person doesn’t stay at the same place for long (three years, more or less); they would have to transfer to another duty station. Once there, they would have to adapt to their new location and get use to the changes in their new duty station. Each duty station will be different than the last one, as they have different rules to follow. They could have also moved from the East coast to the West coast, or moved to a foreign country. They could have also transferred from a ship to shore duty; shore duty is another term for being stationed on dry land. Shore duty is very different than sea duty (being stationed on a ship), as you don’t have to worry about going out to sea every month. When I was in the Navy, I was stationed on board a ship most of my enlistment. I had spent more time out to sea, than I did on dry land.

After I had gotten out in 2004, the entire military had changed uniforms. Each branch was required to wear camouflage. I also noticed, from pictures of my friends that are still in, that the Navy issued new uniforms and had done away with most of the old uniforms. This was probably costly to everyone as once a year we would receive a small uniform allowance.       

4 thoughts on “The military is an actual culture

  1. reaching4hishem

    Interesting the way you broke it down. As for the uniforms, they gave us extra money on the clothing allowance it was a big lump sum to purchase our new uniforms. They also rolled them out over a year period so the transition was quite simple. They went from new PT uniforms to the Black and Tans to the NWUs! I have just been out for 2 months but I wonder how much the culture will change when I have been out for 10 years lol!


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