I begin training at the military academy soon. Need advice.

Greetings everyone,

I am going to attempt to write a coherent post

I begin training at the military academy in my country soon. Let me give you some background so you'll better understand my position. I did my undergraduate from the US, a liberal arts school. It was a huge learning experience. As a result, the way I reason about things has changed. I've always wanted to join the army and was finally offered a place at the academy after assessments. I ranked 1 out of about 7000 candidates which, to me, is a sign that this career is right for me. I know what it entails (my father is an officer as well). I have the choice of either going back to the States for graduate school or join the army. And I chose the latter because I think I'll regret not joining the army more than I would not going to graduate school. 

Since I've been back I don't really get along with most people I come across. I just work on a whole another different wavelength now. I find it very hard to tolerate bull shit from people. One example would be during our assessments the candidates would have some free time where we would just sit around and talk. During one such conversation, one of the guys starts going on a rant about how our nations army is the best in comparison to other militaries of the world and starting throwing around false numbers and information from the recent joint exercises with different nation. I couldn't control myself and called him out on his wrong info. Instantly, everyone in the group developed a bit of a disliking towards me. I try my best to be polite with everyone I interact with but there are sometimes people who take me the wrong way and perceive me as pompous just because I dress better and talk with a better set of vocabulary. 

Part of me is dreading going to the academy because I think I might not get along with everyone. I know I can be a good leader but I don't want to sacrifice who I am along the way to get along with everyone else. I was hoping you guys would have some advice regarding how to handle myself. The whole dressing fancier wouldn't be a problem since we will all be in uniforms but I just need some advice on the social aspect, on how to make friends and not lose them.

Any advice is appreciated. Thanks!

EDIT : The post is a bit all over the place - if you need clarification about something/more info, don't hesitate to ask. 

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I posted up an article in here somewhere from Saudi Arabia discussing US education style and why it's the best in the world; not so much due to the rigors, but because of the way it forces you to think about a broad range of topics.  This is probably going to cause you some issues back home.  You've seen a little bit of the world, and learned to think differently about it.  My best advice on this is, keep silent.  If you must speak up, find a non-threatening way of doing it.

You likely picked up a lot of American habits along with your new style of thinking.  American habits have both good and bad points.  Overall we don't tolerate a lot of bullshit.  We're also more trusting of strangers.  So when we do get bullshitted, it makes us a little angry.  Because of this, in comparison with other cultures, we're more straightforward in how we interact with others.  I won't bullshit you, and I'll take you at your word until you prove otherwise.

This directness is seen as rudeness by a good chunk of the world.  Where we would rather not have to dance and play the social niceness games, other cultures rely on it to keep interpersonal peace.  I'd bet, you're going to need to relearn your culture's social customs.

That hit home. That actually explains a lot to me about my behavior these days. Thanks, Shane!


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