Getting over it....

How long did it take you to get the army out of your system once you'd left? I was talking to a long term civvy friend of mine last weekend and he was telling me the difference he saw in my outlook and behaviour from the first moments I'd left and how I was now. He tols me I was wound up tighter than a clockspring and I used to look and act quite agressivly, even when just going for a paper. When I meet friends of mine still serving I notice these things more than ever before.
Apparently I am now normal (on the outside at least) after 5 years on the outside, but the army does still feature quite heavily on my subconsious, as almost all of my dreams are army releated, featuring old mates and situations etc, and I still get the urge to hit idiots wherever I find them.
What I'd like to find out from all of you ex's is how long did it take you to mellow out, or not to think about the army on a daily basis, or force yourself to settledown, and not have to worry about living out of bags.
Me? I'd say 3.5 years.
I still am a sad git who thinks about the Army most days, normally as some plonker does something and who really needs a rifting to rectify. but I can't as he/she would be into HR faster than a donkey walloper says "gee up"

But aside from that, it took about 5 years to stop treating people like soldiers, i.e. expectingt hem to do what you told them, and doing what I was told.
Interesting topic

The majority of people exposed to the forces lifestyle from an early age or at least in the formative years of your life will be greatly influanced by their training and Regimental life. The same applies for most jobs I suspect, the obvious difference between the forces and eleswhere is the discipline which is drummed into you.

On leaving the army I lost contact with everyone bar one lad for the best part of 10 years, never had that much difficulty adapting to civvy street as I'd maintained a good few civvy mates while still in, so I was aware that the image of the ruffty tuffty squaddie only went so far. There were occasions when you would look around you and wonder WTF was going on but as I was working on building sites there was a similar work ethic to be found.

Looking back I noticed the difference between me and civvies more while at Uni, as there were some real tools to be found there. :D

Overall, don't know like most I miss the craic but not the BS tht went with the job, I look back and wonder whether I should have stayed in but on balance leaving was the right decision to make and I have no regrets.
Left Regs to go to uni. Early on I was "late for parade" one morning and took it upon myself to report to Head of Department and state that I had indeed been late. He looked baffled and told me I was the only student EVER who had actually come into his office to ADMIT to anything let alone something which was actually EXPECTED. Stand at Ease, Stand Easy and relax.......................
The biggest difference I noticed in Civvy life, other than the fact that few carried rifles, dressed in DPM and saluted each other, was the fact that their perception of life was very narrow. They worry about the smallest things. There is no real danger in being a civvy save the lottery on heart attacks, RTAs, etc therefore they get more animated about the little things. Still the female ones are excellent shags.

Oh and by the way Speedy it is no surprise you still think of the Army when your on this site every day. There's no need to give it up entirely.
Left 5 years ago and think about it almost everyday, although I do feel I adapted to civi street very quickly

My issue is that I don't have a definition that I like, one of the hardest things I had to do was register my first son and give my occupation, through gritted teeth I admitted to IT Consultant, I actually felt embarissed and wondered if I could have ex-soldier put on there instead
wellyhead said:
I had to do was register my first son and give my occupation, through gritted teeth I admitted to IT Consultant, I actually felt embarissed and wondered if I could have ex-soldier put on there instead
I'll have to check my lads birth cert now to see what it says (thinks its H.M Forces seeing as he was born at the the CMH in the Shot.

My wedding certificate in the 'occupation' box says PARATROOPER :D :D :D
like you I feel the same as you W/H. Although I've been out only two years.
I have to tell people that I'm a Maintenance Engineer which makes me feel strange without ever attending university.
Maybe it's a street cred thing to be known as a soldier.
skewb said:
I miss the technology.
In the army!!! I have more high tech and advanced electronics devices currently
laying in my jacket pocket that I ever saw in the modern British army!!!
I've just gotten out recently after a 12 year stint, not having too much trouble adapting to civi street, but like someone else said, the thing (I've always noticed) that gets on your nerves most is that civis are very narrow minded and do make big deals over little tiny "nothing" things.

I guess its because a lot of them have had a somewhat closeted existence, and their little job and local life means the world to them, and they are just content to live in it.

i think the army and moving around a lot (especially doing a lot of foreign postings and tours) makes you restless to some extent, even though out and settled happily, I'm not sure I'd be able to have a "little job" locally - at least, not one that pays more or the same even, and I'm still on the hop round the world with my job.
There is the other side of course. In my occupation if anything goes wrong I am expected to get it fixed, and even if I caused the problem (accidents DO happen in IT) I won't be banging my tabs into anyones office or finding myself working weekends. This bit I like.
Still haven't fully got it out of my system after 5 years...

(otherwise I wouldn't still be a sad git coming onto this website to leave these stupid messages! :oops: :lol: )
I was doing fine until I was turned on to ARRSE..the usual process then ensued:

ARmy Rumour SErvice, hmm? Thanks mate I'll have a look some time

ARRSE Web-site? Yeah I go on occasionally

ARRSE-ing? Yes definitely tonight..or into the morning

ARRSE? Yes I like to keep a window with it in open just in case...

ARRSE-addict? I can take it or leave it..oops there's Biscuits in the NAAFI Bar - I can't let him have the last word..oh my God that's just got to be Fitzie on the Inf page, I'll PM him and find out if Mummy's_knickers really is him...

ARRSE - It really screws you up!


It took me about 18 months to get the Army out of my system. That took a TA tour on Telic 2. After 24 years man and boy I see it now as a 'mourning period'.

No one knows how you are going to take it but you. Even my missus said I was more of a miserable git than before. I tried a few jobs and sunk to the pits before joining the Old Bill which I enjoy more than when I was in the mob.

I missed all the usual things- being in charge, getting Wednesdays and Fridays off. Pi$$ ups in the Mess etc.

But once youre out you realise you are just a name they bandy about when they remember what a git you were, or who messed up the ammo account on UNICOM. Also when you turn up at a function, you get the looks from the young bayonet Sgts, of, what does that tw@t want? Can't he let go?

Now I have a new circle of mates and now only remember the good times I had.
Did 12 years - left in 96 as SSgt. Determined to cut all ties, with the exception of a few mates. Found however that I kept on saying "when I was in the Army" and had to consciously stop myself from doing it.

10 yrs + after leaving, I still have dreams about Army days, although more and more they are characterised by me being on the "outside". Now I've given in and volunteered as an adult instructor in ACF. Try not to be a sad git and harp on about it.

I've certainly mellowed, but was never that regimetal anyway. Most of all I miss the friendship and sense of belonging.

ARRSE however has kicked me backwards and I can't get away from this f***** PC! bog help us all!
Ventress said:
Even my missus said I was more of a miserable git than before.
How was that possible Venty?
Did 27 years and then 13 with mostly ex-forces and have never got it out of my system completely. the civvies and ex raf for the 13 years were in the main arrse-lickers and glad i retired when i did. Like most i only generally remember the good times. Missus is ex service which helps although we still up sticks every few years and move on to some other country to live in. Off on a recce to central america with the missus for a month in a few days time.....been here too long :!:

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