What is a fun meter in the military and how exactly is something like that measured? These are valid questions that might seem kind of odd to civilians, but you probably have some idea if you are in the armed forces. The "fun meter" is an interesting bit of military jargon that actually has a lot of bearing on one's time in the military.
When one thinks of serving in the military, a lot of words probably come to mind. Adventure, danger, action, personal growth, etc. are all ways that one might reasonably describe a stint with America's best and brightest. "Fun" probably does not come to mind quite as readily.
There is something to be said for having a positive attitude in rough situations, however. That is exactly what the United States military attempts to ingrain in its recruits by measuring the amount of fun that they are having. It might seem odd, and maybe even unprofessional. However, positive reenforcement is scientifically proven to be more effective than the inverse. It therefore makes sense that the armed forces of the world's most powerful country would go out of its way to instill a bit of dynamism into its training practices.
So, just what is the "fun meter"? In short, it is an informal way for the military to track a recruit/soldier's positive attitude and willingness to put him or herself into the thick of the action. A high willingness to participate in group activities, whether it is training or something a little bit less formal, will increase a person's fun meter. Having a high fun meter is seen as a good thing because it affords one a good reputation with the higher command.
Ultimately, a good fun meter looks good when it comes time to promotion. Promoting is a touchy subject in the military. Some branches promote much faster than others, depending on the needs of the branch. Regardless, a good fun meter will always look good. When your commanding officer has only good things to say about your attitude and willingness to participate, it transmits into a more favorable position to promote.
How is the fun meter measured? It is important to note that while a high fun meter is good and sometimes even notable and advantageous, it is still an informal measurement. The truth is that fun meters are more likely to be taken seriously by officers who have direct contact with the service members in question. It is these superiors who also get to dictate just how high someone's fun meter actually is.
If someone has a high fun meter, they can get the okay from a commanding officer to obtain a "fun meter" patch. This is a simple ornamental patch that shows a high meter, indicating that the person who is wearing it has a lot of enthusiasm. Another related patch is the "Give a fu**" patch, which is a also a positive thing. The "Give a fu**" patch is like the fun meter patch, in that it is an informal measurement of one's dedication and handwork. More often than not it is related to one's willingness to endure hard and strenuous tasks.