An Army Brat and His Path to Advertising

It doesn’t jump out from the resume.

But it shows up at every workplace.
On every job.

It shows up in the conference room.
And in the breakroom.

IN 24-POINT BOLD HEADLINES.
And in a 10-point legal copy.

In every brainstorm session.
And at the umpteenth revision.

What shows up — unfailingly — is that I’m a brat.

And proud of it!

From Wikipedia:

“Military brat” and various “brat” derivatives describe the child of a parent or parents serving full-time in the United States Armed Forces and can also refer to the subculture and lifestyle of such families.

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 hometown. 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.S., exposure to foreign languages and cultures, and immersion in military culture.

Recognized as a term of endearment and respect.

When I was a kid, I had no idea how different my life experiences were from the “civilian” kids I met later in life. I grew up in an Army family, and it was routine for us to move from place to place every two to three years. I didn’t think anything of it or appreciate the toolkit it gave me — until I got into advertising. And, advertising got into me.

Below are a few of the attributes associated with being a military brat.

Social Skills

Frequent moves and exposure to diverse cultures serve brats well especially when it comes to interviews, interactions and job performance.

Flexibility

Brats must constantly adapt to new places, faces and circumstances. For brats, new and ever-changing is what’s ‘normal.’ Open-mindedness is essential.

Maturity and Resilience

Brats cope with difficult situations – such as separation from parents and friends – early and often in life, that hone coping skills and an ability to bounce back.

To read all that, an army brat ranks right up there with a bite from a radioactive spider!

Okay, superpowers may be an overstatement, but I am so grateful that I was able to experience the life of an Army brat. I wouldn’t have had it any other way. Only someone with my background could appreciate an advertising career for the calm and stability it has to offer.

My life’s journey is listed below. And while I now regard Arizona as my home state, I joke that my origins are in the far east … New Jersey!

Start date-End date, City, State/Country

  • 5/15/68-3/5/69, Seabrook, New Jersey
  • 3/13/69-8/4/69, Ft Huachuca, Arizona
  • 8/6/69-9/17/69, Imperial Beach, California
  • 9/24/69-4/18/70, Seabrook, New Jersey
  • 4/18/70-7/7/72, Meppel, Netherland
  • 7/8/72-7/21/72, Bruhl, Germany
  • 7/22/72-8/14/72, Seabrook, New Jersey
  • 8/25/72-9/14/72, Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • 9/15/72-12/2/73, Fort Carson, Colorado
  • 12/13/73-1/10/74, Taipei, Taiwan
  • 1/11/74-6/8/74, Tam Sui, Taiwan
  • 6/8/74-11/4/75, Tien Mou, Taiwan
  • 11/15/75-1/13/76, Taipei, Taiwan
  • 1/14/76-2/28/77, Fort Lewis, Washington
  • 3/10/77-3/20/77, Seabrook, New Jersey
  • 3/21/77-3/22/77, Zwiebrucken, Germany
  • 3/23/77-9/21/80, Baumholder, Germany
  • 9/22/80-12/28/80, Seabrook, New Jersey
  • 1/2/81-5/21/83, Ft Huachuca, Arizona
  • 5/21/83-12/22/84, Sierra Vista, Arizona
  • 12/23/84-8/13/86, Sacramento, California