13 Lessons You Learn While Traveling in the US Military




Military travel: it’s like civilian travel with more red tape. Here are 13 things every constant military traveler knows.

1. The Defense Travel System is arguably the most frustrating thing ever made.


2. The overly moto guys will wear civilian clothes but completely fail to hide that they’re in the military.

3. Your military ID and TSA Precheck can make security a breeze.

4. Getting your gear through security can be more challenging, so you learn to make friends with security.

5. Government rate hotels are not always the nicest.

6. Someone will get lost but swear he isn’t. This is especially annoying when he outranks you.

7. Someone in your group can’t handle foreign food.

8. Take a minute to get to know the staff duty driver every night, just in case.

9. You will run into someone from an old unit. You probably will not be excited about it.

10. The DoD is paying for the rental car and mileage, so find somewhere to go every day off.

11. No matter how many phone numbers, email addresses, and instant messaging usernames you exchange, someone will be impossible to keep track of for accountability. It’s probably a senior officer.

12. Every base exchange is filled with tackier, more expensive versions of local stuff you can buy off post.

13. Despite all the frustrations, you will want to leave again 15 minutes after you return to your home base.


classedit2 David Nye – Staff Writer at We Are The Mighty

David is a former Fort Bragg paratrooper who deployed with the 82nd Airborne Division’s 4th Brigade Combat Team.


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  • Pat

    Fortunately I never had to use the DTS but once and that was for a demob.

  • Rick

    Also with number 5 where the hotels aren’t the nicest but they also are not always the cheapest way to go.

  • mamahabu

    I remember Going TDY in a KC-135, the only female with 75 guys – crammed in Jump-seats, all our gear piled in the center isle, and nothing to do for 9 hours… make a quick stop in Fairbanks for fuel – then another 9 hours to Japan. No problems with TSA (there wasn’t any back in the 70’s) It would have been NICE to go DTS, but NO. No comfy hotels, No rental cars, and The “friends” you meet are waiting for you to unload your junk and Get to Work! I only got to go into the City a couple of times, and Yeah, everything is priced out of this world!