Can You Relate to this? You Know You're a Military Brat When.... - The Warrior's Journey®

Can You Relate to this? You Know You’re a Military Brat When….

Friends and family look on as USS Chafee departs Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.. Photo by The U.S. Navy is licensed under CC By 2.0

If you’ve grown up with a Mom or Dad in the military, you probably know what it means to adapt to your surroundings in ways other kids can’t even imagine.

You may have moved from place to place in the states but you might also have lived in places with “All beach… no ocean!”

Anyone who’s lived outside the good ol’ USA knows a thing or two about culture shock, but even if you’ve been stationed outside the area where you were born you may know what it means to “adapt or die!” There is a term used for kids like you and I’m not talking about “Military Brat!” It is called “TCK” or “Third Culture Kid.” It means that you look at the world differently than many of your friends who believe a long trip is about three hours.

So, we thought you might enjoy a few observations from other Military Brats like yourself. Here is the wisdom of people who probably see the world a lot like you do!

What Military Brats Think Makes them Different!

You Know You’re a Military Brat When…

  • You have to become the strong one in the house because the parent not in the military becomes depressed and your siblings still need to be taken care of, and the house maintained. —Renne
  • You’ve lived in more houses than your age. —Sharah
  • The only reason you stay in a state longer than two years is because your family of eight becomes too expensive to move. —Frances
  • You’re tired of starting over. —Shelby
  • You move every one to two years. —Candy
  • You get jealous when other kids talk about how they’ve been friends since kindergarten, and you’ve only been friends with them since last year. —Tori
  • You honestly get touched by patriotic songs. —Sarah
  • You have more than one best friend around the country. —Samasly
  • You automatically attract members of the opposite sex when you travel stateside because they think you’re foreign. 🙂 —Andrew
  • You’ve attended more than three different schools. —Marie
  • You notice Tom Cruise in uniform, goes outside without a hat, and has a non-regulation haircut in Top Gun. —Audrey
  • You have to celebrate everyone’s birthday on the same day because your dad won’t be there. —Victoria
  • You have to start flying from Europe to go to countries you haven’t visited. —Zach
  • You’re surprised when you live in the same place for over two years. —Maiya
  • You’re not nervous to move to a new place, because you’re used to it. —Katie
  • Moving to a different country doesn’t even scare you anymore. —Alexandria
  • Your dad can finally make it to one of your choir concerts in time to see you perform. —Alexandria
  • You get excited when you see that there is an “unavailable” call coming in. —Kara
  • People ask you where you’re from you don’t know what to tell them, because you’ve never actually lived where you were born. —Tiffany
  • You cry when your dad comes home ‘cause it’s proof he’s still alive. —Jessie
  • You argue with others that the term ‘brat’ is actually very endearing. —Laura
  • People ask you how can you understand German people if you don’t speak German. —Gabe
  • You tell people that you lived in Japan and they ask if you speak Japanese. —Joi
  • You wonder every day where your Dad is and when he’s coming back. —Chris
  • You have been to the places in your many many history books. —Bailey
  • You are surprised by people who have never left their home state. —Zach
  • You have lived in places where people go on vacation. —Zach
  • You have celebrated birthdays, Thanksgiving, and Christmas all on the same day because your dad won’t be home for the actual days. —Mel
  • You see places on TV that you have been to. —Zach
  • You have lived on 3 different continents and 4 different countries before your 18th birthday. —Trish
  • You can teach the Geography class better than the teacher. —Jay
  • You’re American but have never lived in the US. —Mary
  • Your father misses your band concert, your prom, and your graduation but still he means everything in the world to you. —Pam

**** Wanna add your own? Go to the Club Beyond Facebook page and leave a comment that begins: “You know you’re a military teen when…”


Military teens are considered to be Third Culture Kids (TCKs). Below is a brief bio is by a TCK. Even though he is not a military brat, there are some similarities to your way of life. He definitely addresses his identity as a TCK. TCK

Self-Portraits 34. Albert Wang

How has being a TCK changed your life?

Regardless of the identity issues, the sense of restlessness, and at times, the inability to be completely understood, I actually feel really privileged to be a TCK. Growing up mobile gave me a grander perspective about life and deeper insight to world issues. It’s also affected my career ambitions, my relationships, and my faith. The greatest blessing is to have people around the world I can call friends and a family at home that I know I can turn to regardless of what change happens in my life.

Born In: New Jersey, USA Raised In: Singapore, Qatar, Taiwan, California Lived In: New Jersey, Virginia, Los Angeles + San Francisco in California (USA), Singapore (Singapore), Doha (Qatar), Taipei (Taiwan) Hope To Live In: Paris, New Zealand and any island where they filmed Survivor.

So What?

If you battle with being a Military Brat (TCK) it might be cool to connect with people who have “Been there, done that!” Click one of the response buttons on this page and someone who knows what life is about as a Military Brat will contact you.

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