The military brat lifestyle typically involves moving to new states or countries many times while growing up, as the child's military family is customarily transferred to new non-combat assignments; consequently, many military brats never have a home town.There are also other aspects of military brat life that are significantly different in comparison to the civilian American population, often including living in foreign countries and or diverse regions within the U.
Studies show that this group is shaped by several forces.A major influence is the fact of frequent moves, as the family follows the military member-parent (or in some cases, both parents who are military members) who is transferred from military base to military base, each move usually being hundreds or thousands of miles in distance.Paradoxically, a majority of those very same military brats who report having struggled with perfectionism and performance control issues also describe themselves as being successful in their lives, indicating a resilience that also surfaces in overcoming or learning to manage those issues in the long run.Overall a majority of military brats report having developed a kind of extra-adaptability and assimilate into new situations quickly and well, as they have done with each move to a new military base, town or country.Studies show that growing up immersed in military culture can have long-lasting effects on children, both in positive and also some negative ways.
Base gate and checkpoint at the since-closed Amarillo AFB.
Military brats receive completely free medical care until their soldier-parent leaves the service (without a full combat related disability) or they reach the age of 21 or age 23 (depending on the parent's branch of service) if enrolled in college full-time.
While some non-military families may share some of these same attributes and experiences, military culture has a much higher incidence and concentration of these issues and experiences in military families as compared to civilian populations, and by tightly-knit military communities that perceive these experiences as normal.
Life inside of military bases differs significantly from the civilian world, giving many military brats a feeling of difference from civilian culture.
While the general public uses the term "base" to refer any military installation, within the US military the term "base" primarily applies to Air Force or Navy installations while Army installations are called "posts." Military brats grow up moving from base to base as they follow their parent or parents to new assignments.
These studies look at overall patterns and individual experiences may vary widely: Some strong positives that have been identified in studies of military brat populations are a high occurrence of very resilient personalities, exceptional social skills, a high level of multicultural or international awareness, proficiency in foreign languages, and a statistically very strong affinity for careers that entail service to others.