U.S. Army Veteran Valentin Sechelaru Shares 3 Life Lessons to Take from Military Service into Civilian Life
In the army, things are done differently than the average civilian is used to. For example, for basic training you’ll probably be up before 5 a.m., long before most people hit the snooze button. You’ll be heading to bed by about 9 p.m., instead of staying up later to watch your favorite shows.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg; there’s a daily exercise regime, which involves miles of running or other strenuous activities. This doesn’t take into account deployment to other parts of the world for tours of duty that can last months to years. Soldiers must be ready to deploy at all times.
However, as Manchester, New Hampshire’s Valentin Sechelaru, with a 12-year military career that included service with the U.S. Army and National Guard can tell you, the skills and discipline you pick up in the field aren’t just handy for combat – they’re handy for everyday life when you return to your civilian life.
Learn To Accept Support
There’s a perception that soldiers can be lone wolves, fighting battles on their own with little or no support. This stereotype might be brought on by Hollywood’s depictions of being a soldier. However, actual military service is quite the opposite, notes Sechelaru.
The structure of the army is that you’ll be part of a battle buddy system, so another soldier will have your back during active duty and ensure you’re following directives. That’s not to mention the guidance of a commanding officer, as well as other ground and air support. That’s an adjustment for some soldiers that believe they can handle a barrier on their own – which can put their life at risk.
The same can be said for civilians. There are those who take pride in overcoming challenges on their own and don’t believe that anyone can possibly offer input or support to make routine tasks easier. However, that mentality will only make life more difficult, especially when things get really rocky due to an illness or loss.
If you enter another line of work following your service, then accepting support and feedback is part of teamwork – which is valued in the corporate world.
Understand That Sleep is Underrated
Many young professionals and entrepreneurs right now are touting the “hustle culture” – which basically means to get as much done as possible without making time for breaks or proper sleep (which is 7 to 9 hours per night for an adult).
After all, looking busy is equated with success and toughness, which many people feel they need to project to be taken seriously. While sleep might be limited when you’re in army training or active combat, Valentin can tell you that not taking the time to refresh is not going to help you – or anyone.
Soldiers also know that getting in some shut-eye when they can is essential for maximum performance. Sleep deprivation can cause loss of mental focus, which can be a liability in the field or in the office. Not only that, a lack of rest can raise the risk of some pretty serious health problems that range from high blood pressure to diabetes.
Working 16-hour days fuelled by caffeine and adrenaline is nothing to brag about. By getting proper sleep, you’ll likely be able to accomplish more in less time.
Develop Analog Skills
Technology is everywhere, and the military is no different. From thermal imaging to advanced targeting systems, having the technological edge can often mean the difference between victory and defeat in the field.
Valentin Sechelaru notes; however, that even the newest innovations can be a liability when they fail, leaving you to your experience and wits. You can see the effects of this even at a basic level when a cashier’s digital register is down, leaving them unable to do their job.
That’s why you should be able to navigate your way around a city without a map mobile app and learn to do calculations in your head without a computer. Military service prepares you for more than life in the field – it prepares you to field challenges in civilian life.
Many veterans experience challenges adjusting to life as a civilian after their time serving in the military. The key; however, says Valentin Sechelaru, is to take what you’ve learned in the military and apply it to everyday life.
If veterans use the habits and skills they have acquired over their time in service, they will be more prepared to transition into civilian life.
To learn more about Valentin Sechelaru, visit https://www.valentinsechelaru.com/