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The Culture and the Sub-Culture

You know how Marines hate to be called Soldiers? Well, when I was watching the news reports of the President's visit to Ft. Bliss this week, I realized I knew exactly how they felt. I found myself cringing time and time again as reporters kept referring to Ft. Bliss as a "base."

I realize that the other branches have "bases," but we Army folk have "posts." And though I've never had the inclination to go postal over it, it's always irritated me a bit to hear our posts referred to as bases because, well, I'm an Army wife. And it's not a base. It's a post. And I wish reporters, at least, would get it right.

I threw a blurb out on Twitter about my pet peeve and a conversation ensued among several of us. Some asked what the difference was, and it's really just one of terminology. Then it was my turn for a lesson in military sub-culture. As we amicably chatted back and forth, one of the Navy wives mentioned that it was funny that she called a post a base, but always called a PX a PX and never a BX or NEX. A N-E what, I asked. I had no idea there was a difference between a BX and an NEX.In fact, I'm not sure I even knew what an NEX was!

The whole back and forth struck me as funny. It's often said that the military has its own culture, and I certainly agree with that, but I've never really thought much about the various sub-cultures. Each branch has their own acronyms, their own way of doing things and, apparently, their own name for their Military Wal-Mart.

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