Advice on working with the US Military please

#1
Early next year I'm deploying to work on an exclusively US base. I'm not going to the US itself, but will be living and working with the US Army for quite a while. In order to make sure that I don't unintentionally irritate or offend anyone, I'd like to ask the Americans who use ARRSE for some basic do's and don'ts.
 
#2
Not a yank but have worked extensively with them on Ops.

Two key points come to mind;

1. Rank is much much more rigid there than in the UK forces. LTs call Capt sir etc.

2. Sense of humour is very different - don't go trying some of that Brit Army humour on them they just don't get it. e.g WO2 in brit Inf telling an US Lt (female) not to eat too many yorkie bars as her butt might look fat in her combats resulted in the CO having to explain to their Major that he would not charge one of his senior men in Bn.
 

Nehustan

On ROPS
On ROPs
#3
machiavelli said:
2. Sense of humour is very different - don't go trying some of that Brit Army humour on them they just don't get it. e.g WO2 in brit Inf telling an US Lt (female) not to eat too many yorkie bars as her butt might look fat in her combats resulted in the CO having to explain to their Major that he would not charge one of his senior men in Bn.

Now that should be a lesson to anyone not to forget to use the word Ma'am, see what trouble it can get you into...
 
#4
My first thought is 'have patience'

US Bases frequently have ridiculous nanny rules, just bite your tongue and deal with them.

Be familiar with the differences in jargon. Some words are completely alien to them and they'll look at you blankly. Others just have wildly different meanings.

I could probably give you more info if you can be more specific.

NTM
 
#5
They can be very intense, I've found, especially en masse!

I recommend accentuating the British bit, like sitting down for afternoon tea, and always talking about the weather.....!

Great bunch, but their sense of humour is strange!

Litotes
 
#6
I enjoyed working alongside the yanks on telic. There is a lot less bullsh1t being a brit working with them because they'll tend to leave you to it. They didn't care you didn't have your shirt tucked in, beret on etc, unlike brit razzers/ssms. They are always willing to help, even if it is putting themselves out. In a nutshell, I wish I could work with them everyday, instead of the boring day to day 'brit' army life.

10 months to push..........
 
#7
California_Tanker said:
My first thought is 'have patience'

US Bases frequently have ridiculous nanny rules, just bite your tongue and deal with them.

Be familiar with the differences in jargon. Some words are completely alien to them and they'll look at you blankly. Others just have wildly different meanings.

I could probably give you more info if you can be more specific.

NTM
Ahhhh, "two peoples separated by a common language"? I forgot that one!

Litotes
 
#8
Give them any kit that you borrow back to them. Was told by an uncle, officer in the Commando's, how two yank MP's drew their side arms on him when he was too busy to give them the radio set that they had lent to him and were collecting.

Nice that.
 
#9
California_Tanker said:
My first thought is 'have patience'

US Bases frequently have ridiculous nanny rules, just bite your tongue and deal with them.

Be familiar with the differences in jargon. Some words are completely alien to them and they'll look at you blankly. Others just have wildly different meanings.

I could probably give you more info if you can be more specific.

NTM
The 'nanny rules' thing is a worry. I fully intend to keep my head down and be seen to obey them when neccessary. I will also try to keep my sense of humour/sarcasm etc under control.

What I'm trying to establish is basic stuff like who to salute and when, protocol on how to address those above and below me in the hierachy, is there a massive gulf between 'on duty' and 'off duty' etc? In other words the little things that nobody usualy writes down in the 'welcome to the unit' booklets, but that make life so much easier when you know them.
 
#10
womble30313 said:
Give them any kit that you borrow back to them. Was told by an uncle, officer in the Commando's, how two yank MP's drew their side arms on him when he was too busy to give them the radio set that they had lent to him and were collecting.

Nice that.
Bullsh1t...do you really believe the story?
 
#11
Be prepared for their raucous drink-fuelled morning meetings called "prayers". Bring several bottles of your national tipple, scotch or gin whatever, and get stuck in as the senior man arrives....
 
#12
Invicta said:
California_Tanker said:
My first thought is 'have patience'

US Bases frequently have ridiculous nanny rules, just bite your tongue and deal with them.

Be familiar with the differences in jargon. Some words are completely alien to them and they'll look at you blankly. Others just have wildly different meanings.

I could probably give you more info if you can be more specific.

NTM
The 'nanny rules' thing is a worry. I fully intend to keep my head down and be seen to obey them when neccessary. I will also try to keep my sense of humour/sarcasm etc under control.

What I'm trying to establish is basic stuff like who to salute and when, protocol on how to address those above and below me in the hierachy, is there a massive gulf between 'on duty' and 'off duty' etc? In other words the little things that nobody usualy writes down in the 'welcome to the unit' booklets, but that make life so much easier when you know them.
Well, WO-1,CWO-2thru5, 2Lt. thru General officers rate Salutes. Never salute indoors except when reporting or when under Arms. Never wear headgear indoors except as a Sentry, etc.

This site may be of use to You;

http://www.armystudyguide.com/conte..._for_basic_customs_and_courtesies/index.shtml
 
#16
In order to make sure that I don't unintentionally irritate or offend anyone, I'd like to ask the Americans who use ARRSE for some basic do's and don'ts.
1. Do your job.

2. Don't WORRY about "unintentionally irritating or offending" anyone. If they are too stupid to realize you mean no offense, than you should INTENTIONALLY offend them for their own stupidity, or better yet, find a NCO to do that job for you.

3. Ignore the "gangsta rap" wannabe losers we have mistakenly recruited due to our limp wristed leftist politicians. The heart of the American soldier lies in the country side, NOT the ghetto.

4. Immediately, and I mean day ONE, buy a case of beer for ANY NCO's you work with. This is imperative.
 
#17
Mosby makes a good Point, Most should realize your not a Yank, therefore shouldnt take offence when your not completely familiar with the Customs, & Courtesiesof the US Army(I could hardly be expected to know the British Army's at first).

If your performing your job no one should be Bothering You.
 
#18
Here are my musings:

1. Our NCOs far exceeed theirs - the officers tend to make their decisions and NCOs carry them out. A Sgt US Army is not far off a Lance Jack in ours. NCO wise, not till they make Master Sgt or up do they really have any decision making power, but again, most "thinking" is done by the officers.

2. The offiers tend to love our NCOs because they are so versatile and can think. As mentioned above, the officers do like the idea that some of the decision weight is removed from their soldiers. In my job with them (which was technical) the US Officers could not get over how diverse my skill set was, where they tend to have loads of people fixed on one and only one job.

3. A lot of the soldiers come from very poor back-grounds and multi-cultural environments and the Army is a way out., so just be aware of this.

4. Last - they can be very very doctrinal and by the book, but as a Brit you can bypass this as you are an eccentric englishman!

On the whole I really enjoyed it, just be yourself and respect their system.
 
#19
no1cares said:
womble30313 said:
Give them any kit that you borrow back to them. Was told by an uncle, officer in the Commando's, how two yank MP's drew their side arms on him when he was too busy to give them the radio set that they had lent to him and were collecting.

Nice that.
Bullsh1t...do you really believe the story?

I actually do believe it, as I said, he's my uncle and I know he wouldnt lie to me about some thing like that. He has nothing to prove.
Unless I miss understood or am remenbering incorrectly, that is the truth.
 
#20
John_Mosby said:
In order to make sure that I don't unintentionally irritate or offend anyone, I'd like to ask the Americans who use ARRSE for some basic do's and don'ts.
1. Do your job.

2. Don't WORRY about "unintentionally irritating or offending" anyone. If they are too stupid to realize you mean no offense, than you should INTENTIONALLY offend them for their own stupidity, or better yet, find a NCO to do that job for you.

3. Ignore the "gangsta rap" wannabe losers we have mistakenly recruited due to our limp wristed leftist politicians. The heart of the American soldier lies in the country side, NOT the ghetto.

4. Immediately, and I mean day ONE, buy a case of beer for ANY NCO's you work with. This is imperative.
Thanks, J_M, point 2 especially has been taken on board. Point 1 is no problem.

As regards beer, this is in an operational environment, (though not one in which we will be liable to attack) would it be allowed? If so, then as a British SNCO it will be my pleasure!

The "gangster rap" thing we have to put up with as well, though in my experience mainly in logistics units for osme reason.
 

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