"Ask Sarge"

Do you have a question regarding the U.S. Military? Then Ask Sarge! He has been around a long time and has all the answers.

We have created this page with the idea of helping military people with a place to seek information about problems they might be facing. Sarge will do his best to help you find some of the answers. Sarge has been in the U.S. Army for 22 years and will soon be retiring out. The advice he will be able to share will come from someone who has a great working knowledge of the military and we believe it will be of benefit to you. Sarge wants you to know that he will be happy to answer your questions about the military or anything related to the military. While Sarge has his opinions on politics and religion, these are areas he wishes not to give advice. We also know that he has a poor record on picking lottery numbers, so with that in mind, if you need advice on the military just ask Sarge. If you want advice on religion, politics, or winning lottery tickets then sit down with your barber…he has all of that information. We will try to get you good answers as fast as we can and if possible find you links or references that will assist you with your question or problem.

Hey Sarge quick question that I hope will help me get started as I prepare to get out of the Air Force. I am due to get out Sept 10, What are some of the steps I need to take to make a smooth transition back into civilian life? I am single and have a job waiting for me. What are some of the resources that are available to me? Is there anything that I need to be wary of as I leave the military? Thanks in advance for your help
Name or Initials: GP
Branch of Service: Air Force
Fargo,North Dakota

Really the only thing I can tell you is make sure you hit all the stations during your transition, you sound as your set, but document everything in the medical department and I mean everything! Although you might not feel any effects right now you may in the future. From that twisted ankle while doing pt to any thing that might have happenend while deployed? I know that my Army instulation has a goal of 100% job placement when the leave active duty, but it sounds like you have that part covered. So Gods speed and thank you so much for your service and my families freedom!

Thanks for taliking with Sarge. Keep in touch and feel free to contact us again at any time,

One thing I would add to this is to make copies of everything, DD-214 and some of your other documents you will find that you will need for the rest of your life. You apply for school, home loans,benifits and sometimes even for employment one thing they will ask for is your records. I would scan your documents and save to a disk. When you make copies put them in a plastic protective cover. Make a second set and store them at a realitives or some other safe place. The originals I would put in a safe place such as a safety deposit box or a home safe. A safety deposit box will cost you a few dollars a year but is avery good investment. Thanks for your service to our country, we are proud of you.


Request permission to ask for advice.

I am an E-4 Female stationed at Fort Bragg,I work as an admin assistant. My problem is the OIC is a married man and seems to want to flirt in a fun way and ask me to meet him for coffee or go to a movie. I don't want to meet him or start anything with him. That said, I am afraid that he may make my work more difficult if I dont meet with him. Any advice would be appreciated greatly.
Fort Bragg

Okay I gave this a lot of thought hence the delay. (Sorry) I am not going to insult your intelligence you know there is a zillion ways the military has in place to address this problem, but I also understand what your asking. What I don't know is how he is approaching you? E-mail, Phone, or Face to Face? So let's address the three! If it's E-mail than I would make a folder, name it something different like NCOERS and save everything! It will help you in the future I promise. Phone is harder I would leave it on speaker and tell him your very busy with the task you where assigned and have to keep working. If it's face to face than I would try to always have more than one person in the room with me. No is No and if you think it has gotten to that point than all you can do is confront him, but make sure you have a senior NCO in the room with you when you do, do not, do not, do not confront him alone! There is numerous avenues of getting help with this issue already set-up in the army and if it gets to that point use them! You are going to have to confront him if it's making a hostile work environment/ you uncomfortable and it's not fair to you and it degrades the moral of the Army. Write down every time he ask you to meet if it's face to face conversations because it will only help you in the future I promise! Date/Time/Where/ and details. I know it's a awkward situation but you have to stand up for yourself, just be professional and with somebody when you do it. I am very interested in knowing what happens if your willing to give the feedback and hope this helps?

Thanks, Sarge

I Need Advice My Question Is...I have a few concerns about my older brother who is in the Navy. He went through boot camp and then into Radar school. He has been been sent to a ship and was there for several weeks before they left on a cruise. Since they left port we have not had any communications from him. No calls and no mail.He did tell us that they were headed to Naples Italy but they are not scheduled to get there until Feb 18th. That seems like it is taking to long just to cross the ocean. Do I have reason for concerns or is that normal? Any ideas would be a relief for me and my parents.
Gregory W
US Navy
Spokane Washington


Put your parents and yourself at ease! Black outs are a very normal and very important part of being in the military! Although it makes loved ones not in the Military worry. You and your family will get used to it very quickly, you see believe it or not it is for your brothers, the US Navy, and The United States of America safety to go into black out mode for National Security reasons. Think of it this way, if you had somebody trying to do harm to you, would you want them to know where your at? I am sure your brother is safe and protected and will call or E-mail you all at the very first chance he gets! When he does do me a favor, tell him thank you from Ol Sarge and his family for his service it's great people like your brother that makes us safe here in the good ol US of A!

Thanks, Sarge

Just another few words to bring some more comfort to you and your family. I served 4 years in the US Navy. There are many reasons why you may loose communication from time to time. Yes black outs of communication happens when the Navy deems it necessary for the completion and security of missions. As far as not receiving mail, unless your brothers ship has aircraft capabilities’ such as a Helo pad or flight deck it may take longer to get and send mail. Mail leaves the states and is flown to the nearest aircraft carrier. From there it will be flown by helicopter to the ship. If the weather or distance to the ship creates problems they will hold everything until conditions improve, sometimes that can be days and yes even weeks. Once the mail is delivered they pick up all the out going mail take it back to the carrier. If the carrier is close to Europe the mail may be flown to a base over there then put on a plane back to the states. It is all time consuming to say the least, but one day you will open the mailbox and find 8 or 10 letters from your brother. The same will happen on the other end. The most important thing for you to do is to continue writing to him. It always helps when you have been away from home and get a stack of mail. news from home is always welcomed. A subcription to the local paper and his favorite magazines will be always geatly enjoyed by him and his shipmates.


I need some advice about my husband who just recently came home from his tour of duty in Afghanistan. We knew it would take some time for him to adjust to life stateside and being with his family.

After about 10 days he started texting and calling his friends that he had served with. .He seems to be more concerned how they are doing than what is happing with me and our family. His overall behavior has changed he seems to always be on alert and has a hard time just unwinding. Is this normal for people who have served in a combat role? How can I help him adjust? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Kanisha Dayton Ohio


First things first a little disclaimer: I have NO training in this field and can only tell you my opinion. This the question that I have wanted but dreeded answering so I'm going to answer this in parts if that's okay.

Adjusting back to his life style before he deployed can take time, there is no set time to re-acclimate that I am aware of? Since my second deployment to Iraq I personally don't like crowds where as before I always had to be the center of attention, will that ever change only time will tell. We don't know what your husband went through and how it affected him and we may never know which brings me to my second point.

His friends that he made in a war zone will probably be his friends for life, I still have friends I talk to from Desert Storm. There is a special bond you make when the only people you have to watch your back are your fellow soldiers. I would assume that the friendships he forged while deployed will be life long.

Being alert and tense is hard to over come due to the stress of the situation he was in. It took me personally along time to overcome this but with time I have learned to relax a little bit more and enjoy everyday life better. Now let's get to the heart of your question, your family.

Every branch of the military has programs in place to help re-acclimate families after a deployment. Anything from counseling to marriage work shops to paid couples retreats. Not knowing what branch your husband is in makes this harder to research, but my best advice is to look up who is the family programs coordinator in his unit to see what programs are available.If you have difficulties locating them then no matter what religion you are if any seek out the units Chaplin if not for advice then at least for the information. He/She will also know what programs are available. Mrs Sarge says to give him time and as much support as you can with out nagging him remember the man you married and think of the man he will be. Please talk to a family program or Chaplin to get information on different programs, there is alot of ways for a family to get help after a deployment, but the important thing is to seek the help. My family will be thinking of you and yours and wish the very best for you.

Thanks, Sarge

As a Viet Nam vet I want to give you my perspective. It has been 41 years ago that I was in a combat zone. As far as staying in contact with those I served with in Viet Nam I always felt a closer bond to them than the others I served with. Over time the contact becomes less and less just simply because life steps in and people get busy doing their own thing with friends and families. The men I served with are still in my memories but I remember them as young men and if I ran into any of them now I would be looking at an old guy just like I have become and probably wouldn’t even recognize them.

As far as being on alert, due to the training and the situation I was in as a young man I am still always scanning crowds and evaluating what is going on around me. There are certain movies and events that I won’t go to just to help keep the nightmares minimized. If your husband is like most of the vets who have served in a combat situation, you will find it hard for him to be open and talk about it. This is an area that you want him to go at his own pace and let him give only the information that feels like he can share at the time. It has taken 41 years and there are still things I won’t share.

Be patient with him, love him and support him, combat zones no matter which one you have been in takes time to put behind you. The advice Sarge gave you was right on. You need to seek people that can help you at the local level, you do have support teams ready and willing to help you, please take advantage of their knowledge to help you through this.

We thank your husband for his service and for your sacrifices while he has been on deployment. Our prayers and support are behind you 100%


When I watch the news I hear them talking about squadrons divisions and battalions I know that is a reference to a certain number of people. What is the number of people needed for each group?
Thank you for taking time to help me with this.

Debbie R

The make-up of a unit is based largely on their mission ie. combat, support,and so forth, but listed is a loose guide line:
Squad: 5 to 7 Soldiers
Platoon: 4 to 5 Squads= 35
Company: 4 to 5 Platoons= 175
Battalion: 4 to 5 Company's= 875
Brigade: 4 to 5 Battalions= 4375
Division: 4 to 5 Brigades= 21875 Soldiers

This is a rough guide line and by know means reflects the make-up of anycertain unit in the military. I hope this gives you a better concept. I would be interested in hearing back from you to know if this helped?

Thanks, Sarge

I am about to finish high school and I am thinking about a carrier in the military. I want to work in electronics Is there one branch that would be better to join?

J. H.

JH, Although every branch of the Military has it's positive points it really depends on your future goals? Electronics is very broad, but from what I have seen the Navy and Air Force have great programs in your choosen field. Now if you plan on going to college than make sure you check out the Guard and Reserve branches as well. Your doing the right thing! Setting goals and taking the time to research so Gods speed and may you have a great career!



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