Military Service Forges Forever Friendships

Christopher B Shaw

Brief encounters that turn into life-long friendships. That’s just how it is in the military.

These military connections aren’t just short-term or temporary; for most service members, the friendships that they form while active in service become their lifeline. Colonel Chris Shaw, Marine, takes a look at profound friendships among military service members, how they are established, and why they continue long after the uniform is retired.

Beyond the Barracks: Unique Relationships

One might wonder how service members develop such deep connections with each other when they may train with one group of individuals, they may deploy with another group and may go to war with still another. What is even more profound is that the United States military is made of women and men from all over the country. The Marine Corps boasts that it recruits from every zip code in the United States. What that means is the bonds are created from every demographic that makes up our great nation – our cities, suburbs, rural areas from every region of the United States. Additionally, rotational deployments are common, meaning that members are expected to leave their current unit or command at one point or another.

Rotations can last from 3 to 6 years and are a typical occurrence across all branches of the service. Military members are used to the concept and doesn’t deter their friendships in any way. That’s because the deep, albeit brief relationships are woven from shared experiences, developed trust, unwavering support and at times extreme painful loses. For this reason, military members never truly abandon each other.

There is an unspoken code among those who serve – a promise that no friendship shall ever die. Relationships will never change and will only pick up from where they left off if given the opportunity to reunite.

More importantly, friends will understand and feel no resentment when the other doesn’t communicate or make efforts for the relationship.

But apart from this, what exactly makes a military friendship so unique?

Friends Acknowledge the Dangers of Their Situation

Service members universally acknowledge that life is short, as their life is a series of unpredictable and potentially dangerous events.

Combat zones. Terrorist groups. War.

No matter where he or she is, a service member is always in a situation that could potentially turn dangerous, and he knows that it’s the same for his comrades. This is what drives members to form friendships… fast. And allows them not to sweat the small stuff and opens them up to enjoying the good times.

Chris Shaw Marine

They Understand Each Other’s Struggles

Military members go through the many of the same struggles together. When they form a connection with someone, the shared experiences, sentiments, and hardships deepen the bond right away. Having someone who gets or goes through what they’re going through can make any situation much more bearable.

True Friends Cherish without Imposing High Expectations

Friends in the military don’t expect too much from each other. No explanation is necessary when one suddenly packs up to leave because the others understand it and have lived it themselves. They don’t expect a call every now and then, or a birthday greeting, or a Christmas card.

Friends understand that military life is hard and expectations won’t do their relationship any good.
These are the main reasons why service members value their friendships more. The bond is deeply rooted in shared experiences and values but with a no-frills, no-strings-attached approach.

These friendships have endured so much in a short span, that’s why they last a lifetime. It makes every conversation more impactful and every memory all the more unforgettable.

Service members are bound by the extraordinary friendships they have formed in service and forever changed for the better.

Christopher B Shaw
Christopher B Shaw