The word “swag” has multiple meanings. In the sense that I am going to discuss in this post, swag concerns the way a person carries themselves. I know urban dictionary is no realistic source, but they define “swag” as “appearance ,style ,or the way he or she presents them selves.”e I believe swag goes a long way in business…those marketers with swag generally exude an overwhelming amount of confidence, without having to say very much.

I bring this up because I feel people in the military often think that “swag” has to do with appearance, and because we wear a uniform we don’t have an opportunity to display our swag. Instead, I feel that it is challenging to find your swag in uniform and when it is successful, it immediately gives a first impression. Swag is not just about what you look like, but how you present and carry yourself. The greater confidence you have, especially in the many socially awkward settings that the military ends up putting you in, the more likely you are to convince your counterparts that you are the best (or maybe you really aren’t but are convincing enough to make others think that you are…great example of swag).

Most soldiers in the military display negative swag, a kind of confidence that shows cockiness and arrogance. In this sense, I feel having a ton of swag works to your disadvantage. One of the greatest downfalls of a new platoon leader is arrogance and cockiness, especially if you lack the technical and tactical skill to back up your arrogant swag. Many officers think that coming in with a big stick, puffing their chest out to show everyone who is boss (ie: arrogant swag) it will make them more successful. This sort of swag definitely works to your disadvantage.

I bring this topic up because we have had multiple new Lieutenants arrive to my unit in the past couple of months and I have yet to see one who has the proper swag. Either they are too timid and nervous, or display the arrogant swag that I spoke of earlier making them immune to correction if you will. I’ve never entered a job in the military thinking I knew it all, because I quickly learned that I didn’t. Instead, I exuded confidence and pumped learned from the experience that I was surrounded with. I feel a lot of young officers can’t find their “swag niche” and end up acting too cocky, forcing those they lead to lose respect for them. Instead, they need to take a step back and analyze what they say, how they appear, and their daily actions.

GIRLS IN GREEN…find your swag.