Politics are always a hot button issue and it is unavoidable in the team. Political leaders will send you abroad and change who is in your sight picture

Earn and keep their respect. Stand up for yourself. Learn to articulate your point of view in a reasonable way and become a true pragmatic thinker. Take the opportunity to understand why others disagree with you. Most important, do your job and don’t complain. Your politics won’t matter on the battlefield. But their confidence in you will.

So, to be brief on this one – just learn to deal with people. Because when you get to a team for the first time – it’s going to somewhat abusive. They’re going to make fun of you and it’s not going to stop until they feel you’ve proved yourself. In that process, if you reveal a large chink in your armor or they discover you’re a political idealogue it might affect your relationship with them. It’s not your first impression that counts the most but your first few months as you deal with the harassment.

I felt compelled to write this article now because it seems that politics is more polarized than ever before in my young life. Life outside is reflective of life, inside. Except, there simply are more conservative and republican voters. That’s important to understand for people joining from more liberal areas that are accustomed to a full-bore or semi-echo chamber. Understand that if you’re perceived as an extremist one way or the other that reputation will follow you.

If this applies to you – this is a great opportunity to just take a break from the constant outrage or, if your party wins, the jubilation. The ups and downs aren’t relevant to you as a Green Beret. It comes back to a simple fact that you need to do your job, do it well enough – and maintain the appropriate level of fitness.