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If you learned your ABC’s as "Alpha, Bravo, Charlie," and understand the phrase "If you’re on time, you’re late," you may have grown up in a military family. If you have, you know that the military culture has influenced everything about you—from your earliest memories to your later life lessons. Here are 10 signs you grew up in a military family.

  1. It's not a "grocery store"; it's the "commissary." To everyone else, it may be the grocery store, but to you, the place to shop for groceries will always be called the commissary.
  2. You always ask for a military discount. Asking about a military discount is so second nature that you've even asked the Girl Scouts selling cookies door-to-door if they offer a discount. Sadly, they said "No."
  3. Telling someone where you're from can be complicated. By the time you were 10 years old, you had a passport and had lived in 3 different locations. When people ask you where you're from, it takes a good 5 minutes to recount your many "homes."
  4. You get the urge to move every 3 years. If you moved every few years growing up, you saw the world, and you loved it. Now, you start to feel the itch to move after you've been in a place "too long."
  5. You speak in acronyms like it's a second language. Instead of saying "We just had a permanent change of station from overseas," you say, "We just PCS'd from OCONUS." Why say each word when it's so much easier to speak in acronyms?
  6. Your respect for military men and women is epic. Growing up in a military family means you understand and appreciate the bravery, camaraderie and sacrifices of our servicemembers.
  7. You think MREs are an underrated dinner option. Sure, the idea of pouch-wrapped food sounds disgusting to some, but you know that Meal, Ready-to-Eats (MREs) are actually quick and easy options for dinner. Pass the toasted corn kernels and heat pack!
  8. You're an excellent bowler. No matter where you were stationed, there was always a cheap bowling alley on base. As a result, that's where you had your birthdays, family game nights and random get-togethers. Today, it comes as no surprise that you've got amazing bowling skills.
  9. You still get confused when the movie starts without "The Star-Spangled Banner" being played. Even after seeing countless movies off base, you occasionally catch yourself waiting for the anthem to play.
  10. You have friends all over the world. Moving from station to station meant you had to say goodbye to friends. But now you have friends in every exotic location and a free place to crash when you're traveling!

Celebrating Military Families

As anyone who grew up in a military family can attest, these are just a few of the experiences you might have enjoyed growing up with. At Navy Federal, we’re committed to serving those who serve.

This article is intended to provide general information and shouldn't be considered legal, tax or financial advice. It's always a good idea to consult a tax or financial advisor for specific information on how certain laws apply to your situation and about your individual financial situation.