With a challenging and perilous job that requires you to adapt to new conditions and situations constantly, military life is simultaneously rewarding and miserable. However, the experiences of army life — good and bad — can offer valuable insight into how to survive better the next time you find yourself trapped between those unforgiving cliffs with only your wits, strength, and courage as your guides.

These pointers don’t just come from the personal experience of a cabin full of men who are all current or former servicemen who traded a desk job for crawling through mud under sniper fire; they also come from observing countless men who signed up for service and were tested on every level. 

So let’s look at how these lessons relate to surviving army life so that we might better prepare for any other challenges we may face in our lives outside the barracks…

Keep Your Skills Sharp

Your most significant asset — especially in a hostile environment — is your ability to think clearly. So keep your mental edge sharp by regularly using the skills you’ve acquired throughout your life. This can include techniques used in your job and hobbies or even just activities in which you regularly engage in your spare time.

Practice makes perfect for virtually any skill, so the more you hone your ability to play the piano or speak another language, the easier and more comfortable it becomes to use that skill. All these pursuits allow you to exercise your mind and keep fit. Doing so improves your ability to solve problems, develop creative ideas, and manage stressful situations. 

You also reduce your risk of growing conditions like Alzheimer’s disease by keeping your brain active.

Then, in times of stress, you won’t have to relearn everything from scratch; you’ll already have a developed and practiced skill in your muscle memory.

Stay in Good Shape

(Photo by Ketut Subiyanto/Pixabay)
(Photo by Ketut Subiyanto/Pixabay)

Part of being in good shape for military life is about aesthetics — you’re already in the most attractive uniform, after all — but it’s also about practicality. On top of ensuring you look your best, being in good shape helps you physically survive basic training and the rest of your service.