America loves her troops. We even tend to gloss over a lot of the worse elements of our armed forces. I learned a lot of bad habits during my early years of serving in the Marines (joined at 18, left at 22).
  1. Women are sex objects.
    Misogyny is rampant in the combat jobs of the military. That's mostly a function of cramming a bunch of 18 to 25 year olds together. But those attitudes are tolerated, even encouraged, by many leaders.
  2. Combat is man's highest calling.
    This is a hold over from earlier eras when war offered many opportunities for individual heroism. While that's still true, the industrial scale carnage of modern war has more than erased any benefits.
  3. Leaders must sacrifice their family.
    Folks in the military often have weak marriages that don't survive. That's natural when you are gone all the time as a matter of course. Spouses are expected to bear horrible burdens for years at a time. That's unsustainable.
  4. Get lots of tattoos
    I was the first person in my family to get a tattoo. Now I have over a dozen. Tattoos are more acceptable now, but I still regret several of them for other reasons.
  5. Hide your pain
    In combat you need to compartmentalize. But we never learn when to go back and "make peace" with those traumatic experiences. There are a lot of scarred men out there who don't even realize it.
  6. Seniority is everything
    The military promotes on a specific schedule. There is a time and a place for advancement. Don't rock the boat. These passive attitudes are not suited to the 21st century world.