Life as a military kid is not always easy, and our lives tend to be much different from the lives of civilian children. Most families live in one or two states and most kids attend Kindergarten, Middle, and High school all in the same school district. I am a 15-year-old military brat, which means I have lived in six states and attended 9 different schools. But don’t feel bad for me or for other military teens, as we have acquired many attributes that will serve us well in adulthood (which is only a few years away). Many of these characteristics are also founding principles of the United States military. Having a life directly connected to the military results in embodying many of these characteristics.
Our parents have very unique jobs and they must wake up very early every morning for PT (physical training). They also have scheduled meetings throughout their days and weeks. So if you are a military brat like me you know that military parents usually do not like being late to any event. Punctuality is a very important skill and it is one that makes military children successful adults.
Due to the uniqueness of our parents' jobs, many military kids PCS every 2-3 years. Each time we move we must adapt to our new surroundings. We have to adapt to new sights, smells, sounds, and new people. This is something that can be confusing and difficult to do, but becoming accustomed to this translates very well into adult life, with switching jobs or having to work with new people. As military kids, we know we’ll be able to work with difficult people because we have had to go to school with all sorts of difficult people.
As military children, our lives can be very confusing, and sometimes they are even difficult. Even though we have to uproot our lives quite often, many military children view a new base as an opportunity. Although I don't get the chance to go to school with the same people my whole life like many civilians, I always view a new school with a good attitude as it is a chance to make new friends that can last a lifetime. Having this optimism in adult life will make us military children happier and more accepting of changes.
Being a member of a military family means facing challenges. Moving as often as we do creates an environment where we are forced to put ourselves out there. For some people it is very hard to make new friends, but for military brats? No problem! Military children and spouses are forced to be confident and talk to new people in order to make friends at new duty stations. This can translate to a military kid doing better in a job interview than a civilian.
The service member(s) in military families know that military life isn't the easiest. Everyone knows being a military child/spouse can be very difficult at times. However, because we go through these difficult things, we military children are more understanding of the feelings of others. This social skill is crucial for military children in their adult lives, as they will become more understanding of other people going through the same life struggles we went through at a young age.
While being a military child is definitely difficult at times, I wouldn't have it any other way. Yes, my life gets pretty crazy when it's time to PCS, but I have experienced so many things that my civilian friends have not. Due to the fact that my mom was in the army, she is used to moving and is always extremely helpful when moving. Having a supportive home is extremely crucial for military children, spouses, and service members. Personally, I believe that being a military brat will help me in ways that I will not understand until I am older. My worldview has been extremely broadened by my dad's job, and I will always be grateful for that.