The Things They Teach You in the Military…

(Told this story in my author newsletter, but also relevant here…)

Reading a romantic suspense in the little dorm room I share with another officer recently, I came across this line: “You learn quickly in the military never to be caught without condoms.”

“Hey,” I called to my roommate, “did you ever learn never to be caught without condoms?”

She looked up from her People magazine. “What?”

“Never to be caught without condoms. I don’t recall ever learning that, but maybe I was gone when they taught that lesson in my ROTC class.”

“Uh, no.”

“Maybe it’s a computer-based training course specifically for hot ex-Navy Seals. They have to take it once a year, along with cyber awareness training and operational risk management training. Maybe they get reminders: You are five days overdue on your Condom Awareness training. If you do not complete the training within the next ten days, your administrator will lock your condom account.”

“Assuming you’re a heterosexual male, if you deploy all the time like a Navy Seal, why would you need condoms anyway? There are no women where you’re going. Deployed locations are sausage-fests.”

Good point, I thought. As I gathered my toiletries to go brush my teeth, I mentioned I would be gone for a few days on business outside the country. “You’ll have the place [our tiny dorm room] all to yourself!” I said as I was walking out the door.

“Hoo boy. I’d better go get some condoms! Can’t be caught without condoms!”

At that exact moment, another woman walked by. She gave us the stink-eye.

“I’m kidding!” my roommate yelled into the hallway. “We’re kidding, seriously. I’m married…I swear…”

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