conduct · Correction · military discipline

What the Military Taught Me: Discipline


During the first week of Basic Training this inner conversation took place:

            It is 3a.m. and I can hear Drill Sargent’s boots coming down the hallway. The bang of his fists against the doors of our barracks startles meSleep, what is sleep?  I got about 15 minutes of it last night and now it’s time to get up. Oh boy!  Feeling tired is an understatement.  More like exhausted.  I want to go home.  I don’t think I can make it through this Basic Training stuff.  My arms hurt.  My legs hurt. My feet are bruised and blistered. My back feels like an elephant slept on top of me all night long.  I want to go home…  I need to go home.

 What was I thinking?  I didn’t know what they meant about signing your life away.  I want my Mommy.  I need my Daddy. I want to cry!  SUCK IT UPSoldiers DON’T CRY!  Women in the military…what?  This is crazy!  I should have stayed home.  You know, went to college.  Got a regular 9 to 5 job. … Too late!  Snap out of it.  Get up!

Remember, Drill Sargent said, “No Pain, No Gain” but this is more than I can bare.  Going to be the longest 8 weeks of my life.  They call us names.  I am not a worm or a maggot.  I’m a woman.  I am somebody’s daughter.  Who am I kidding.  No way out of this mess.  Be Strong.  You can do this!  Get your butt out of this bed.  Formation in 15 minutes. 

Girl, get out of your head.  Are you a winner or a loser?  You can make it…you have no choice… You Are in The Army Now!


I know all-to-well the meaning of discipline.  From the beginning, the military drilled discipline into us without ever mentioning the word.  The set scheduling of exercise, breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  The work day schedule.  Something to do every hour of the day.  No idle time.

No task too big or too small. Each job required the same amount of discipline and dedication.  If you never learned “time management” the military is the place to be.  Managing your time insured that all tasks were completed from start to finish…no excuses! No sleep equals no excuse…the job shall get done.

Webster’s dictionary defines discipline as “the practice of training people or animals to obey rules or a code of conduct or behavior using reward or punishment to correct.”  Well, the military’s policy to instill the highest level of discipline achievable.  And, they do!


Soon, more to come on this subject.  The military teaches life skills that transfer to civilian life.  The next blog will be on the life skill of Respect…enjoy!

Written by Laura B. Alexander




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