Posted on Feb 13, 2015
SGT(P) Supply Sergeant (S4)
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I lived 31 of my 32 years in Puerto Rico, moving here to the states has being a huge transition for me. Not just because of the cold, I'm in Maryland where right now we're in the 20s, my home town as I write this is 77. But, for example, we puertorricans don't change our wife's last name when we get married. My wife's last name is Ortiz, which makes it even worse for people to understand it as it is the same as my second last name wich I got from my mom. I've found myself asking to female soldiers which their husbands also serve in our post which is his last name. Their faces are like, eh... and then I get that it's the same. This is just one example, what has shock you from another culture while serving OCONUS?

Driving under 100mph and then remember you are in the Autobahn must be the coolest one for those who went to Germany.
Edited 7 y ago
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SFC Mark Merino
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In the Army....lol. Going from Infantry to Aviation. Mind....blown.
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SGT(P) Supply Sergeant (S4)
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7 y
SFC Mark Merino I had a SFC that went from Infantry to MI, I asked him how he feel with the change and he told me, Camacho, I feel like a fckn PV7!
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SP5 Michael Rathbun
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Edited 7 y ago
Here's some cultural stuff versus the atmospheric (which was pretty big in RVN too).

Many Viet-Namese creep out many Americans if they ever get close together.

Their "personal space" distance is much shorter; they prefer to be up close; we tend to prefer not to.

Like many cultures theirs involves lots of casual physical contact. Some parts of my upbringing prepared me for this when I found that my first assignment as the FNG was to teach ARVN personnel electronics and the maintenance/repair of some typical 31M equipment, but also the Collins KWM-series HF transcievers. When we would squat down to work on the bottom drawers of an equipment stack, it wasn't unusual for one or two students to have their arms on me. Didn't bother me that much, but caused all kinds of speculations about me amongst the US crew.

It eventually dawned on me why this was a FNG assignment.
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SPC Angel Guma
SPC Angel Guma
7 y
Sounds very similar to how Afghans are.
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SP5 Michael Rathbun
SP5 Michael Rathbun
7 y
A lot of places. I got used to it as a child interacting with all the Latinos and Pacific Islanders that my Grandfather employed at his company back in the '50s.
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CW5 Desk Officer
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My biggest culture shock was Korea. I'll never forget the smell when I stepped out of the airplane upon arrival in Korea. Wow, what a smell. It was late spring and they were spreading manure in nearby fields.

After that I learned the smells of "honey trucks" ... not terribly different. The rainy weather was new for me too. I had experienced rain like that, but not anywhere near as long.

There were a lot of things about Korea - a country I ended up liking very much before I left - that were culture shocks for me at first.
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SGT(P) Supply Sergeant (S4)
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CW5 (Join to see) I can deal with the rain, with the smell... In BCT I had a korean buddy and was so lucky that got stationed there, 15 miles from his house. Funny thing is he said that he wanted to travel the world in the Army.
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CW2 Network Management Technician
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The many smells of Korea......
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