Chief Petty Officer Sailor HMS Richmond Reunited Children Her Majesty's Naval Base Portsmouth DNI

10 Signs You Were A Military Child

Chief Petty Officer Sailor HMS Richmond Reunited Children Her Majesty's Naval Base Portsmouth DNI

Military kids are badass, that is an undeniable fact.

Being born the child of someone in the Armed Forces has its pros and cons but there is nothing you can do about it so you learn to get on with life and make the most of the opportunities you are given.

Pad brats know it is really 1700 not 5pm, move house (and country) a lot and will always defend someone unable to stand up for themselves.

They get moved around, have to say goodbye to friends they have known for years and then make new friends easily. They also take deployments and absent parents in their stride because they are simply. THE. BEST.

The life of a military child today might be very different to that of a kid born in the 80s but if you are over the age of 30 some of these might sound familiar.


1) People ask you where you are from and you do not even try to explain as you are not entirely sure yourself.

2) The clothes your parents bought you from the NAAFI made you look like you were a time traveller from another time zone or dimension.

  • But you did not care what you wore because all the other kids on base wore exactly the same thing.

3) You have had a regulation haircut and loved it but soon got sad as dad could not see it as he was away, then your mum got sad because you look like a mini version of your dad.

Soldier Father Son Reunited 2nd Battalion The Royal Welsh Afghanistan Deployment Welsh Flag DNI

4) You have eaten more than one really posh Christmas meal in the Officer’s mess and been told to stay on best behaviour to then watch the supposed adults get hopelessly drunk and misbehave more than you ever could, no matter what rank.

5) Turning up 10 minutes early for an appointment means you are late.

6) Father Christmas always turned up in a military helicopter and also wore combat boots and DPM trousers underneath and nearly almost always strangely resembled another brats dad or regimental leader.

Red Arrows Family Child RAF Scampton Royal Air Force DNI

7) Your teacher was also your neighbour, and their partner just happened to serve under your dad. There was no escape or cheating the system.

8) You have waved goodbye to your dad stood in your pyjamas at 0400 hours or earlier at some point.

9) You cannot watch any drama or film involving the military or police without pulling it to bits within the first two minutes due to inaccuracies then ruining the film for everyone else.

10) You are tough, adaptable, good at making friends and being alone for long periods of time and would not trade your childhood and upbringing for anything in the world.

With thanks to Lee Hensman for the original list.

Join Our Newsletter


Broken heating in forces family homes reported 24,000 times in under a year

The Royal Navy's state-of-the-art sea survival school

The bold task of deep cleaning iconic RAF aircraft