Not everything in the military is all action. And not all action in the military is actually as it is portrayed in Hollywood at all.
Responding to a recent Reddit question “what things do movies get hilariously wrong about the military,” hundreds of military service members from a number of countries chime in on how their military experience was nothing at all like what is displayed on the silver screen.
The answers range from the technical, such as how uniforms are often incredibly wrong, to the critical, such as how an artillery strike extremely close to a soldier’s position will likely result in death or injury. We’ve collected some of the most eye opening answers about what the military is actually like below.
Reddit member endlessbloodorgy shared: “Not enough cussing. Not even close.”
And Newguy6962579 chimed in that what bothered him most was:
When no one knows their job and the lead folks are always micromanaging. You don’t have to tell marines to shoot at the bad guys.
Also, “That’s an order!”
Pyronaut44 noted that the ages in the movies never seem true to life:
Ages always seem well off, movies and TV shows seem to have Private soldiers averaging in their 30’s whereas reality is more 19/20 years old. A realistic depiction of your typical infantry platoon would have audiences wondering why all these kids are running about playing soldiers.
Commenter rick7475 noted:
What I hate the most is how easy it is to kill or take out trained soldiers or mercenaries who were probably veterans. Some spy or hero sneaks on base, a few kicks and hits, and the guards with automatic weapons are down for the count. Also, one shot takes out a soldier when the hero gets wounded a dozen times and still has strength to defuse the fakest looking bomb ever or save the cute honey trapped in a high security cell.
When its a military picture or TV show, they always focus on the officers as heroes, never the squad members or NCO’s that most officers give credit for getting the job done.
Or even the tactics, and I’m looking at you “Saving Private Ryan”, sending man after man to take out a pill box and only after a dozen are dead deciding on using a sniper.
For user bleachmike51, his complaints were much more technical:
Popped collar on ACU’s, no patches, soldiers running into combat with patrol caps and berets…. list goes on. Try watching the military in the flash and not cringing.
Reddit member tcain5188 noted that for many in the military, the jobs are not at all close to combat: “not enough people at desks pretending to work.”
And Tyrantt_47 echoed that unlike in the movies, few people in the military are in peak physical shape: “hardly anyone I knew in the military was ripped”
Commentor p00d73 shared a hard truth about combat in the military:
Artillery impacts. When the heroes get shelled, they just seem to brush off the dirt from the massive explosion 5m next to them and continue fighting. In movies an artillery barrage always seems like a minor annoyance instead of a slaughterfest.
User tacsquid wrote:
Everyone is always an officer and uses military radio jargon in real life conversations. People don’t even say that sh– over the radio ffs. Also in movies EVERYTHING is bullet proof when in real life very few things are. Everything is always super clean and neat. Girls have nice hair and makeup. No one has salty crust on their uniform from not being able to wash clothes. Officers also always give out orders and sh– like everyone else is a robot. on a patrol a good officer shouldn’t be doing sh– except talking on the radio to the TOC for CAS. Everyone should already know what to do and the NCOs can handle the rest.
And in reply to tacsquid, SavageHenry0311 shared his own personal experience:
Speaking of suppressors –
Nobody seems to understand how f—— LOUD sh– is.
I was in a gunfight in a stairwell once, and my left ear is still ringing 10 years later.
In the movies, they do a few mag dumps in an elevator/car/parking garage….and then whisper back and forth 3 minutes later.
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