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What is a day in the life of someone in the military?

What are their daily routines, what kind of things are done?

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Subject: Career question for you

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Raymund’s Answer

William,

As the previous responses have already stated, your day-to-day work life in the military will vary depending on a lot of different factors. While you have very little say in what your work schedule will look like, including any mandatory functions (physical training, field exercises, deployments, etc.), it is up to you to figure out your daily routine to accomplish your duties. Most of us in the military have vastly different lifestyles while on our personal time, and much of our routine will be shaped by that.

On average, you'll work between 10 - 12 hours/day, 5 days/week when you're not deployed or in the field. This can vary between a standard 8 AM - 5 PM schedule, or shift work. You can expect to have mandatory physical fitness training at least 3x week (depending on service and occupation) on top of your work schedule and a lunch break (this can vary between grab-and-go or up to an hour).
-- When deployed, you can expect to work at least 12 hours a day, every day that you're deployed. Depending on the type of deployment and location, you may get lucky and get a day off every week (don't expect or count on this though).

The last thing that I'll leave you with, the further up the ranks you go, your workload and routine will change. While you may only be assigned a 10-hour day in the office, you're very likely going to be bringing your work home with you, being on call, or going to get bothered with work in some fashion. It comes with the territory.

Just as an idea, my typical non-deployment schedule consisted of the following:
430 AM - Wake up
5 AM - 7 AM: Gym
7 AM - 5 PM: Work
6 PM - Dinner
7 PM - 9 PM: Usually one of the following: college classes, social outings, reading, more work*
10 PM - Bed

Hope this helps paint you a picture of what you could expect to see. Again, depending on what service branch and occupation you chose, these schedules could be better or worse than what you end up with.
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Evelin’s Answer

Hey there William,
The day by day life of some one the service can vary from MOS(job) or what branch you’re in, and or what unit you’re in. However I did realize that it’s what you make of it. Just like a regular job you will come in at certain time. Usually if your section wants you to do pt before you go in and they will give you time to back to your room and shower and changeover for work. Depending on if your unit is high tempo or not will determine when you get out sometimes you go to a unit that goes to the field for weeks at a time, and you need to prep before going. That can sometimes delay when you get released but it Varys from 1630 to 2000 or even longer or shorter. You do get the weekends off and even get 4 days off for the holidays. You also get 1 to 2 hour lunch breaks depending on the unit and your section. I’m in the Marine corps and I’m a 3531 which it’s motor transport and my schedule is

Evelin recommends the following next steps:

6AM-7AM SECTION PT
7AM-8AM CHANGE OVER TO CAMMIES
8AM- 1115AM WORK
1115AM- 1245AM LUNCH
1245PM-1630PM WORK THEN WERE OFF
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Moses’s Answer

Many of the prior responses give a good idea into different fields and what they entail. I am a Marine Security Guard stationed abroad working at U.S embassies and consulates overseas. My daily life is pretty straight forward and honestly very mundane for the most part with some unique challenges here and there. Some of my basic duties require me to be vigilant and watchful for security purposes pertaining to the embassy compound. Our shifts are eight hours long consisting of a day, evening, and night shift. Many of my duties do require me to put in work afterhours with no overtime because that is not granted in the military (or for the Marine Corps at least). Besides this, I do get the opportunity to work in unique countries and take advantage of traveling to places I other wise wouldn't have been able too. That is one neat aspect of being stationed in this environment.

To reiterate, not all military occupations are like this and vary completely in what is required of them, especially pertaining to how they go about their day. Even an infantry Marines day can be vastly different compared to an infantry Soldier.
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Leo’s Answer

It will vary greatly depending on the branch of the military, career field, and the individual. For example, I spent 20 years in the Air Force, but because I was in a 24x7 role, I rarely participated in unit PT. My day was to show up for work at my assigned shift time and I generally worked 12 hour shifts in a rotating schedule. One shift set could include working two 12 hour days followed by two 12 hour nights with 3 1/2 days off after that. In other roles I had to be at my desk for 7:30 and worked until 4:30 M-4. There is so much variety that it is not easy to give a standard answer.
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Jerry’s Answer

Everyone's day in the life in the military is unique to that specific person. Depending on your job, your activities may vary. If you are talking about the average work day for someone it mostly start with some kind of exercise in the morning before work with your coworker. Then head to work as you would any other job. Some jobs require different hours and method to working. Others require you to stay outside for multiple days at a time. The only way to know the exact day in the life of someone in the military is to ask someone that works in the job you are interested in working.
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James’s Answer

I worked in Military Police/Corrections in the Marine Corps. I will describe a little about what a typical week would look like for me when I was on shift work.

Monday: Physical Training at 0500 and a 24-hour shift from 0730-0730
Tuesday: Off
Wednesday: Physical Training at 0500 and a 24-hour shift from 0730-0730
Thursday: Field Day (cleaning the barracks and your room, followed by an inspection) at 1630.
Friday: Off
Saturday: Physical Training at 0500 and a 24-hour shift from 0730-0730
Sunday: Off

We would get four to five hours of sleep during those shifts.
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ANDI’s Answer

As mentioned above, it definitely varies from job to job and branch to branch.
I work in Naval Aviation and have experienced a very different career path than even other people in the same job at the same rank.
You need to first decide what you like and dislike, on a very basic level.
Do you enjoy working out a lot? You would probably enjoy the Army or Marines vice the Navy or Air Force.
Do you enjoy computer work or more hands on / manual labor?
Do you prefer to be inside or outside?
Do you want to travel? Do you have or intend to have a family?
Do you like heights? Are you claustrophobic?
All of these answers will play into the career field you choose.
A day could consist of morning PT at 0600, at work by 0800, home by 0500, and back to work the next day, as anyone.
It could consist of coming in at 1800 to stand watch all night, and then going straight to work and completing an almost 24 hour shift.
Work at home will also vary from work while deployed. Most Navy deployments are 12hrs on, 12 hrs off, 7 days a week, for 6-9 months.
Deployed units in other branches and areas will obviously also work under different schedules and stressors.
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