Army lifestyle

Posted: November 22, 2010 in Uncategorized

This is probably one of the most difficult things for most newly commissioned officers to deal with. While you were in dental school no one cared what you wore, how long your hair was, if you shaved, whether or not you could run/do pushups/sit-ups, or where you went on your time off.

The army is not only interested in all of those things but they have an opinion as well. The army has regulations on what to wear and when. You have to cut your hair a certain way, no beards are allowed, and moustaches are frowned upon. You have to take and pass a physical fitness test (APFT) twice a year and depending on where you are stationed you probably will have to get up at 0500 to do PT with your unit at least once a week.

On top of all the regulation during your “duty day” the Army will regulate your personal time as well. You usually are not allowed to leave a certain mile radius of your assigned base without a “pass” and cannot visit certain “off limits” establishments in your community. Before you leave for a four day weekend, you will likely have to have your vehicle inspected by some representative from your unit.

Despite all of the personal intrusions the army lifestyle is not that bad. Once you get used to it you just move on. There are benefits to being told what to wear. I never have to think about what I’m going to wear to work. My hair is too short to have to deal with and my wife likes me clean shaven, though she misses the beard I sported for six years before I came on active duty.

I would add that being assigned to a TDA DENTAC is very different than being assigned to a Brigade Combat Team. The BCT treats it’s officers well because there aren’t nearly as many officers there as there are in a dental clinic. And being a Captain in a brigade unit is a lot bigger deal than being a Captain in a dental clinic. In the clinic the CPTs are the most junior officers.

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