Should I join the military?
That’s a very common question for highschool grads or anyone looking to find a career.
There are many benefits to joining the military, but it does not mean it will be for you.
As a veteran, I get asked the same question by a lot of people looking to join the military, and it gets redundant.
So rather than addressing the same thing over and over again, I have put together this list of reasons as to why I believe you should take on a job that most people won’t.
Before you do something you might regret later, you might want to read this post in its entirety.
You can also use the table of contents below to help you navigate a little better, just in case you have the same attention span as me.
I have put together some of the best reasons that I think you should join the military, but I did throw in a few key points that you should consider before raising your right hand.
1. Serving and Defending Your Country
There is no prouder way to give back to your country than through joining any branch of the military.
Whether you want to be hoorah and join the Marines or hang out on a ship with other seamen, any branch is fine.
Being a veteran myself, I found that defending the land we call home was a big deal and I had to put this as the #1 reason why anyone should join the military.
It might not be the most financially rewarding reason but one you can surely be proud of.
As a veteran, I will always be proud that I fought for the freedom that my family gets to enjoy and if you feel the same, then this is one profession to consider.
2. The Military Gives You Direction
This reason alone was enough for me to join the military.
I had no clue as to what I was going to do when I graduated from high school and I wasn’t about to start flipping burgers.
Even if I have no problem doing it.
Becoming more and more out of shape and with no career in mind, I figured that joining the military was the best thing for me to do.
I would say yes, and for the same reason, we are going over right now.
Not only did I land a stable job, but also learned some of life’s biggest lessons.
Mind you I was deployed at just 18 years of age.
So when anyone asks me if they should join the military, this is one of the first things I look at.
The type of person they are, the people they are involved with, and where their life seems headed.
If it’s headed in the wrong direction, a definite yes would be my answer.
3. Keeps You on the Right Track
As a recent grad from high school, you know that there are many ways you can go about your young adult life.
For some, it’s off to college and for others it’s hanging around with the wrong crowd and most likely getting into trouble and developing bad habits.
If that is something you might just be around then joining the military will be a great option.
Not only will you have a decent job but you will not have your friends to distract you form trying to do something with your life.
Joining the military will keep you on track as I can promise you that you will not have time to focus on the nonsense.
If you want to see different parts of the world, joining the military is a great way to do exactly that.
The best part about it is that you don’t need to spend any money doing it.
For the most part at least.
The military will have you in different countries that will have you seeing places that you never thought possible.
Within the four short years, I served as an active-duty soldier, I visited over 20 countries.
Since I’ve been out, I have visited 2
There is no better way to get close to others than through the military.
I have many friends in life but none will ever compare to the group of guys that I served with overseas.
Was it the fact that we did everything together and literally saw each other the minute we woke up to when it was time to close our eyes?
Maybe the hardships and struggles we faced in field problems and deployments?
Whatever the reason might be, you will meet some of the best people in your life.
And if you do plan on getting out, good luck trying to say goodbye because it absolutely sucks.
6. Staying Fit
Exercise is not the easiest thing to get in if you are living a normal life.
Now if you are in the military, you really don’t have a choice.
Wake up at butt dark thirty, go for a run and get ready for another day at work.
Do it again same thing tomorrow and you won’t even worry about having to lose weight.
If you do find that the military isn’t for you, you might do some PT here and there but you will eventually stop.
There are thousands of discounts available to service members and veterans and most of the time you won’t even know it.
From the theaters to buying shoes at Footlocker, you can expect to get a discount just for being in the military.
$20 off a pair of $100 shoes is no small deal and you get exactly that if you do decide to join the military.
8. VIP Treatment
“If there are any veterans or active duty personnel on this flight, kindly move to the front of the line”.
That’s what you will hear at airports and other venues that come with long lines.
And if you’re lucky, you might even get bumped up to first class, which occasionally happened.
Go out to eat in your uniform and you can almost guarantee that someone will pay for your meal.
People appreciate what we do and they will always show it when you least expect it.
9. Experience For the Real World
I joined the military when I was 18 years old and got out when I was 22.
Coming back home was a big shocker for me as my elders weren’t the most responsible bunch.
Instead of them teaching me, I was the one teaching them.
From how to save and make money to simple things like always being early to events and appointments.
10. Helps You Mature
If you are having a hard time being an adult, the military will fix you.
Most of us hate being told what to do and it can be a big problem with this thing called life.
Head your behind over to basic training and you will realize really fast that you are nothing but another human.
Joining the military will turn you from a cocky little prick to a nicely groomed gentleman that can actually contribute to society.
11. Builds Self Confidence
If you are still living in your high school days, that’s fine.
And if you still think that those bullies run the show, head on down to Ft. Benning Georgia and those drill sergeants will turn you into a man.
With the physical and mental training you will receive, you will see that you are worth a lot more than you think.
This will help with life and raising your children to be the best that they can be.
12. Cool Uniform
Everyone loves a man in uniform.
I am curious though, do you men love women in uniform?
Whatever the case may be, uniforms are always cool.
Kids love to wear them and adults do too even if they act like they don’t.
As a service member, you will take pride in what you wear and you can wear one because you actually earned it not like those that just use it for show.
Living at home with the parentals is beyond common and one that most young adults resort to.
You don’t have to worry about any bills and you have a nice little roof over your head.
If that’s not something you see yourself doing, you might want to consider joining the military.
Good old Uncle Sam will provide the housing just for simply joining.
As a young single soldier, you can expect to stay in some kind of barracks (which I find to be fun).
And if you’re married, you can stay in some military housing or even get a house of your own.
Do keep in mind that you will be changing duty stations regardless of your MOS, so try not to get too comfortable.
Oh and don’t go buying all kinds of junk because you will be taking them with you unless you sell them.
14. Medical and Healthcare Insurance
Health insurance is no joke.
You can always get some Medicaid or government assistance but as a working citizen, qualifying is not going to be that easy.
As a military service member, you get all the benefits of decent healthcare and medical treatment.
You can get treated on post as that is usually what will happen but you can also utilize some outside clinics if need be.
Regardless of what your needs are, the military will take care of all your medical and healthcare needs.
Some of you might not know that you are signing up for life insurance but even that is available to you.
It is an option but most military personnel get signed up without even knowing what it is.
It is definitely a benefit and it does not cost more than $30/month.
And if you don’t have some SGLI or SGLV (not sure what they call it these days), then now would be a great time to get with your chain of command to make it happen.
15. Will Help With Landing a Job
Not everyone is cut out to be in the military and that is okay.
What most don’t consider is the fact that you will have the upper hand when applying for a job when you do get out.
There are many jobs for veterans and most are looking for those that have served.
Not just to give back but because veterans have the skills and knowledge that most people don’t have.
These days there are so many bonuses being offered just for joining the military.
Although I didn’t get an initial enlistment bonus I did receive $20k for joining the reserves.
There are many bonuses going around that are constantly changing, so do make sure you get a bonus if you do decide on joining the military.
Sometimes it isn’t monetary either, so inquire and see what other knick knacks Uncle Sam has to offer before you swear in.
17. VA Benefits
As a service member, you are now eligible to take advantage of all the benefits that the Veterans Affairs has to offer.
There are other major veterans benefits that you can get with the VA but the minor ones are pretty sweet too.
From buying a house through one of their loan programs or even getting compensated for a service connected injury.
There are also many other services that can help you get furniture and even cash if you do encounter any hardships after getting out of the military.
This is not an instant benefit but it will definitely help if you plan on getting out.
With the many different Montgomery GI Bill options, you can find the perfect plan to fit your college needs.
If you just so happen to serve overseas, there are better ways for you to go about this whole college thing.
Have your tuition and books paid for and possibly the chance to get some housing allowance all while you attend classes.
Depending on the cost of living in your area, you can get as much as $3,000/month just for a housing allowance alone.
Not many jobs can even pay that much so definitely look into the MGIB if you are planning on joining the military.
Although I am a big fan of investing into making more money, I am all about retiring.
With the military, they offer a fairly decent retirement plan but it can change at any given point.
At the very least, you can bank on the fact that you will have some money when you do end your time in service.
And if you do serve enough time to retire, you will also be able to continue shopping on base as well as utilizing their healthcare.
20. You Can Join the VFW
The Veterans of Foreign Wars is a great program that helps military personnel.
You do not need to be an actual veteran of any war but you can join by simply being in the military.
There are other requirements but for the most part, most military personnel are eligible to join the VFW.
And if you know anything about a VFW bar, well, let’s just say that you can now enter one.
Before You Join
Sure there are many benefits of joining the military but there are certain things you MUST know before you raise your right hand.
I don’t feel right telling you all these good things without telling you some of the most basic but realistic things to expect.
It isn’t anything crazy but I at least think you should understand them before committing.
The Military is NOT a Video Game
I mention this because there are people that actually think such madness.
There was this dude in basic training that thought that the Army was just like a video game and ended up trying to run away.
So if you are thinking that you are going to be John Rambo or some Call of Duty soldier, you might want to wake up and smell the coffee.
The military is no joke and you will be dealing with real weapons that will hurt real people.
It is NOTHING Like You Think it is
Most people join the military thinking it isn’t going to be that bad just to find out that it is a lot worse than the movies.
Hearing about it and experiencing it first hand are completely different and you will only understand that by being there for yourself.
The Military is Very Demanding
If you thought you were heading into a 9-5 type of career think again.
Uncle Sam owns you and you will do what Uncle Sam says.
If you’re in the middle of a nice dinner and you are called in to work, then guess what?
You will go into work.
A lot of your off time will still involve military activities, so you will definitely need to get used to the military lifestyle.
Joining the Military is Not That Bad
All in all, the military is a great place to start for anyone who isn’t sure about a career.
I would’ve never jumped out of a perfectly fine aircraft if I didn’t join, so if you want to live on the edge, this is where it can be done.
I hope these 20 benefits have given you some motivation to do anything in life, even if it isn’t joining the military.
Do remember that with any good comes the bad, so be on the lookout for that post as I might just be doing it next.
Until next time, keep these tips in mind as I’m sure it will help you out.
And if you do decide to join, please don’t eat the cake.
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