The reasons people join the military is a pretty different matter for some people. Yet more varying is the reasons people don't join or end up leaving the Army. This article give briefly go over the these two aspects. |
Why people join (and stay):
Pension: A wide number of people that are already in will stay in for their full 20 years until they retire with their pension. 20 years in the military provide you 50% of your pay when you retire for the rest of your lifetime. Additionally you get full health and dental coverage for you, your partner, and children till the end of your days.
Training: There are MANY numerous and various programs in the Army (and military) that pay for training or give you many opportunities. These comprise from giving you $4,500 per year in tuition payments while you are still in the Army, to paying for your total education while getting housing expenses paid, to being able to get a medical or law degree fully paid for by the government while you get paid your typical salary. Then there are all these additional training certifications and schools that the federal government will direct you too for free (and pay your traveling expenses too).
Experience: The job experience you get from your time in the military is tremendous if you think on using that experience after you leave the Army. If you get accepted to a certain MOS (Military Occupation Specialty) the Army will pay for your training and pay your salary even if you do not have any experience in it! This includes fields like engineering, networking, IT, food safety, emergency management, law enforcement, etc. and it is all free to you! Not only that but after they prepare you, they give you massive amounts of on the job preparation.
Experience Abroad: The Army, as well as the different branches, administer you large opportunities for experience abroad in different countries and cultures. You can PCS (Permanent Change of Station) to an extremely wide variety of locations like Colorado, Washington, New York, Pacific Islands, Germany, Italy, Japan, South Korea, UK, Qatar, Kuwait, etc. While there you can participate in the society and experience the people, eat the food and broaden your range of experiences! The one warning to this is you will likely need to get a few years in before they will transfer you to one of these locations (you can also ask them when you reenlist, but thats a next post).
Patriotism: The chance to help the state that has granted you so much. Less than 1% of US citizens assist in the military and know what it means to fight for your freedom. For the most part someone you know has likely served whether it was a parent, grand parent, or friend. You may not even know they served, and may still aid in the National Guard or Reserves. They are your doctors, gardeners, teachers, personal trainers and firefighters. They chose to raise their right hand and support the US and the Constitution against all enemies foreign and interior. For a lot of people loyalty is the principal reason why they service.
Why people don't join (or depart):
Difficult on the household: If you have a household the Army experience is hard. You will move every 2-3 years. This may mean purchasing/ leasing a new house. Finding a new school for your kids. Your kids will have to find new friends. Your wife/husband have to get a new job (moving so much also means that your spouse's resume will exact a huge toll since there is short longevity in any position). Sometimes the new move may not have the conveniences your old place had. The most exciting situation at Fort Leonardwood, Missouri is the Wal-Mart on Weekday night.
Deployments: With Iraq in the story books and Afghanistan shortly to be a resentful memory, deployments are not going to be that big of a deal any more. Still, when both of those wars were going on you could wait to deploy every other twelve months. That means 12 months stateside, and 12-18 months deployed dependent on your assignment. This was both active duty and reserves/national guard. It is tough. Very difficult. You will depart from your family for a year or more and not know when you can communicate with them. You will not know when you will be able to come back home, or even if you will go back home. You may lose familiar friends. You may be maimed or lose limb(s). You will in all likelihood go to a remembrance or funeral for someone you knew that died before their time.
It Is A Tough Career: Being in the Army is a hard job. It is not your 9-5. You can expect to wake up at 5 AM every day and you may not get home until 6 PM or later. You will do 10 mile ruck marches with a minimum of 40 lbs on your back. You will fill and heap 50 lbs sand bags in the hot sun to build fighting positions. You will eat a lot of real bad food. You will also not spend as much time as you want with your family, and you will move away from the friends you grew up with. Most of all the military is really brutal on your health. 20 years in the Army will ache your back, ankles, shoulders, wrists, neck, etc. That is why when you allot those 20 years you get medical aid for the rest of your lifespan.
The Bull$h*t: Imagine your neighbor dumps his rubbish all over the residence, leaves dog poop in your yard, and plays music noisy enough to rouse the dead. Now envision if the police gave him tickets for the waste, dog crap and noisy music. Then they act to dispense you a fine for not controlling your friend. The Army is like that. Pick up after your friend, or you get corrected. Group penalty. Reactive, not proactive. "Common sense? That makes too much sense, lets do the whole opposite." These are few of the things you will receive while in the Army.
So why don't you inform me already if I should join the Army or not?!
Unfortunately this is a resolution only you can accomplish. It is definitely something you need to carefully analyze since joining the armed forces will have a considerable effect on your future life, for the better or for the bad. In the end only you can settle on the right decision. Hopefully the information above can give you just a little bit of insight into what is the best selection for you.
To get more information on the Army, military, and armed forces please visit JoiningtheArmyHQ.com
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