Horace, the famous Roman poet wrote, carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero, which is often translated as "Seize the day, put very little trust in tomorrow". The ode says that tomorrow is unforeseen and that one should not leave to chance future happenings, but rather one should do all one can today to make one's own future better.
In the 1989 movie Dead Poets Society, the English teacher played by Robin Williams, famously says: "Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary." Later, this line was voted as the 95th greatest movie quote by the American Film Institute.
Yes, Carpe Diem! But for those in the military there is another nuance besides what Horace penned. You see, often when troops are being deployed or sent on temporary duty one of the first questions they ask is, “What’s the per diem?”. For those who don’t know, per diem is a daily payment to cover certain expenses like meals when the military isn’t able to provide them. Hence the term “per diem” which translates to “per day”. The rates vary by the costs in those areas, ranging frequently from $56 to $130 per day. So, for a ten day trip the payment to the member could be anywhere from $560 to $1,300.
But if you don’t eat $130 of food in a day then what you don’t use is yours to keep. So…you can buy souvenirs, do tourist things, invest it in the stock market (yeah right), or use it to party. Truth be told it’s normally the latter.
So temporary duty to let’s say Las Vegas and it’s Carpe Per Diem – Seize The Pay! And what could be better for morale besides a drunken binge paid for by Uncle Sam?!?!
Have you enjoyed your Per Diem during your military service? If so then grab one of our Carpe Per Diem morale patches as an homage to Uncle Sam’s generosity.