There are certain inevitabilities that come with joining the military. From being screamed at by drill instructors to bad housing assignments and learning how to sleep anywhere, some experiences are universally shared by anyone who has worn the uniform.
Twitter user @scmorrison, however, recently noted that while certain ordeals are shared, there are other commonplace endeavors that some have managed to avoid for the entirety of their service.
I have 14 years of service and have NEVER thrown a hand grenade.
— Steve (@scmorrison) September 13, 2020
The notion attracted the attention of Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command and Army Training and Doctrine, both highly active accounts on the platform, which kicked off a friendly game of “never have I ever, military edition,” yielding surprising and amusing results from those in all branches.
(Don’t forget to put a finger down if you’ve undertaken any of these endeavors.)
Riffing on the original Tweet, Maj. Gen. Tammy Smith noted that while she has had the pleasure of throwing a grenade, there’s a distinct piece of flair she’s missing: The Army Achievement Medal.
34 years of service and never earned an AAM- but I have thrown a hand grenade.
— MG Tammy Smith (@MG_SmithT) September 13, 2020
Smith’s remark hurts, considering she’s dedicated more than three decades to the Army. Other responses, however, stung less but revealed plenty about military culture.
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— Blondes Over Baghdad (@BlondsOvrBaghd) September 13, 2020
A surprising response, given the soaring number of smoking personnel.
“About 30 percent of veterans self-reported current use of cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco, roll-your-own, and/or pipe tobacco, with the majority of the users (21.6 percent) reporting current cigarette smoking,” the FDA reports.
Good on BoB for not succumbing to peer pressure. Though, it appears she’s not the only one to avoid the bandwagon substance use that keeps most service members sane — like energy drinks.
13.5 years. 5 deployments, 2 Navy and 3 Marine Corps.
Never used tobacco, Red Bull, or
— MechE Devil Doc (@MathNerdJeremy) September 13, 2020
Scientists should study how @MathNerdJeremy managed to stay awake for those 13 years without assistance.
And then there’s this downright impressive sailor with a two-decade-long streak of fortunate duty stations.
Almost 23 years in the Navy and I’ve never been stationed in Norfolk or DC. I win the Navy.
— Erik Naley (@battlechop719) September 13, 2020
Still, the most shocking revelation, perhaps, belongs to user @DavidChetlain, a submariner.
Never ate an MRE.
— David Chetlain (@DavidChetlain) September 13, 2020
How anyone makes it through a career in the military and never happens upon a brown packet of chili-mac, we’ll never know.
Perhaps things are just different under the sea.
About Sarah Sicard
Sarah Sicard is the Digital Editor of Military Times. She previously served as Army Times Editor. Other work can be found at National Defense Magazine, Task & Purpose, Defense News, Fast Company, Business Insider and AdWeek.