I am a Military Brat

Pease Air Force Base at Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The picture was taken in the May 1966 from the balcony of the operations building. I was in the 7th grade. There is one KC-135 and six B-52s on the runway.
Pease Air Force Base at Portsmouth, New Hampshire. There is one KC-135 and six B-52s on the runway. The picture was taken in the May 1966 from the balcony of the operations building. I was in the 7th grade. I lived on Pease AFB from February 1966 to May 1967 and was in the 7th and 8th grades while we lived there.

What is a military brat? A military brat is the son or daughter of an airman, marine, sailor, or soldier. These children of career military have common characteristics. They grew up in a community of service. Sacrificing for the greater good is part of their character. They moved on average once every three years to a new state, region, or country.

Academic studies show military brats lack racism.1 They are the only color blind group in the USA. They are the most open-minded of any subgroup in the world. They are more tolerant and embrace diversity with respect for others better than their civilian counterparts to include those raised in liberal homes. They are equally respectful and tolerant of conservative, moderate and liberal points of view.2

They adapt to change and new situations better than any group in the United States. 2

They are socially independent. They do well in personal relationships. They put the needs of the other people ahead of their own needs.

Military brats who grew up as military dependents particularly in the late 1940s to early 1970s are kinder, caring, and more loyal than their raised as civilian children counterparts. They were higher achievers academically and professionally make the best employees due to characteristics like self-discipline, self-starter, flexibility, and their personal fiscal responsibility. 2

Most military brats do not have a real home town.2 Most do not know their cousins, aunts and uncles or grandparents very well. Many, including me, do not trust the governments of North Korea, Russia and China.

The word brat is not derogatory. It stands for:

B – Born

R – Raised

A – And

T – Trained1

I’m a military brat. My father served in the United States Army, United States Army Air Force and the United States Air Force (USAF). He retired from the USAF.

I am also a former United States Army officer. Growing up as a military brat helped prepare me for my service. It was all natural and comfortable to me. I felt it was where I belonged more than anyplace else in my life.

1 http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=military%20brat

2 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_brat_(U.S._subculture)

Author: Jimmie Aaron Kepler, Ed.D.

Jimmie Aaron Kepler is a full-time writer. He was born in San Antonio, Texas, to a career military father and stay at home mother. He lived in six states and attended eight different schools before graduating high school. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in History with minors in English and Military Science from The University of Texas at Arlington, Master of Arts and Master of Religious Education degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, as well as the Doctor of Education degree. Before writing full-time, he worked as a US Army officer for 10-years, religious educator for 18-years, and as an IT software application engineer for over 20-years. He is a widower. He lives in North Texas with his cat Lacey.

2 thoughts on “I am a Military Brat”

  1. Hi there from a Dutch fellow military brat 🙂 My dad was an officer in the Dutch Air Force. We were lucky though … we moved home only three times. Dad did change jobs in the air force more frequently but as an high ranking officer he worked at the Dutch equivalent of the Pentagon, in Den Haag. So we could live at one place for most of my youth.

    Our home was quite disciplined, yes, but again we were lucky that dad did not like to be an officer at home. There were certain strict rules but all in all it was quite fun at our home.

    As for all the other traits you mentioned … yes, my brother and I were raised to take care of others, to think of others as more important than ourselves. Of course, we were also Calvinists, so doubly “blessed” by feeling responsible for everyone else.

    I will never say it was not a good upbringing but I have to admit that it took a burn-out a few years ago to shake some of it and start looking out for myself a bit more. Which is quite healthy 😉

    1. I learned something new about you. I understand the feeling doubly blessed. My father was usually the Sunday School Superintendent and my mother the Vacation Bible School director on most of the military installations where I lived. My father’s first tour to Vietnam in 1963-1964 allowed for dependents to accompany him. The US government ended dependents going there after his tour of duty ended in August 1964. No, my family did not go to Vietnam with my father. We moved close to my mother’s family. Father wisely new it was too hot of a war zone to bring the wife and kids.

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