My nickname was Ishmael for the first few months on a team. Being a new guy is an interesting experience and fun, just not for you.

You’ve all heard it. FNG – “Fucking New Guy.” That was me; it was you and if it wasn’t it will be. It’s not fun but, it’s not the worst, either. Often, in Special Forces when you first arrive at your team you’re hardly spoken to or acknowledged. I have a friend who wasn’t allowed to sit for the first six months. It can be brutal with nicknames, interrogatory questions that never actually end and being treated like an idiot, on purpose. But, you take it with a grain of salt and understand they’re testing you and having fun. Our team became pretty rough for almost anyone who just walked into the team room. But underneath that, we were just having a great time.

You’ve got so much to learn. The basics of shoot, move, and communicate, but with your team. As a new guy you have to listen to your teammates’ experiences. You have to understand the slightly different way they operate and do things. The new way to do things runs the gamut from administration functions to the more important tactics. After some time you go from zero to hero. You’ll eventually be the senior member of the company. You might be even find yourself telling soldiers how to behave as new detachment members themselves.

Some standard new team guy tasks are: cleaning the team room, buying beer for the team regularly, shred documents for the team, accept your new stupid nickname, and undergo some on-the-spot time to test your skills – often. Being a new guy isn’t fun, but there’s some freedom in the face that you’re learning. The best thing that can happen to you is to deploy to combat with your team after a little bit of time back in the rear. Back in the rear being here in the states, physically at your unit.