Joining the military is an extremely serious decision, effecting not only yourself, but also your family, friends, and in a lot of cases, coworkers. In addition to all of these to consider, you should also be aware that what you choose to do also affects your country and its safety. Some view this fact as too great of a burden to even consider, and some don’t consider it at all.

Another point to consider is this resounding, almost insultingly obvious fact:

NOT EVERYONE IS CUT OUT FOR THE MILITARY. True statement. Very often, smart, capable people will get in and realize this is true only after the fact. In such a situation, one can only hope to make the most of the experience.

(It should be clarified, of course, that this page is adamantly pro military, and the above statement shouldn’t be taken as discouragement for anyone considering joining.)

Everyone’s different, and no two military experiences are the same, but among the most popular reasons for joining are:

1. EXPERIENCE– Regardless of the branch you join, the job you take, the commands you end up stationed at, joining the military is going to be unlike anything you’ve experienced before. Is it all going to be excellent, fun, and rewarding? Probably not. (This site is intended to inform and to educate-not recruit.) In terms of experience, you can look at the possibilities from a few perspectives:

-Work experience

-Social experience

The work experience and experiences you’ll pick up while enlisted are considerable. For the young man or woman just graduating high school, this is especially huge. One of the common questions on the other side of a diploma is “who’s going to hire me with nothing but a high school education?”. One great thing about the military is the degree of responsibility given to an age group that the civilian world looks at as more of a liability. A second element to that fact is how great the opportunities are for learning how to manage with that responsibility at a young age.

From a social standpoint, the military can be just as beneficial. Given the fact that some 80% or so of enlistees come from somewhere between the coastlines of the continental US, and overwhelming number of us come from small towns, not generally given to being culturally rich. Basically, the military gives the good ole boys a chance to get out of the small town.

Depending on where you see yourself after the military, this is often a must. If you imagine yourself working for a Fortune 500 company after you’re discharged, then learning how to interact with people from various backgrounds is essential. As nearly every hiring manager in the world will tell you, one the most desirable traits a prospective employee can possess is the ability to work well with others. Life as a soldier, sailor, marine, or airman will give you the opportunity to see the best (and sometimes the worst) sides to almost all the personality types the world has to offer.

2. TRAVEL- “Oh, the places you’ll go” largely applies here. One caveat here: a recruiter may make some promises that he or she may not be able to see through. The fact is that the military is an enormous machine that answers only to a small group of men in Washington. Ultimately, YOU WILL GO WHERE YOU’RE NEEDED. Because, by signing the dotted line, you are agreeing to do just that. Not everyone ends up working as assistant to a four star admiral out of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii with weekends off and a government car.

However, there are a few things you can do to better your chances of ending up in that type of position, if that’s what you’re after. Such an article will be posted at a later date, focusing on how to succeed in the military.

Regardless of where you end up while serving in the military, chances are incredibly good that it will be new and different than what you’re used to. Unless, of course, you’re from a military town to start with (i.e. Jacksonville, NC, Norfolk VA, San Diego, CA and the like). Nevertheless, the opportunities for travel are nearly endless stateside and absolutely limitless overseas. As a highly active, forward deployed military, that is one of the few guarantees of enlistment.

3. BENEFITS, PAY, AND EDUCATION- An extremely broad topic rolled into one, again to be covered in greater length in later posts. In short, the military boasts some of the most desirable benefits, a very competitive pays structure, and excellent education perks you’re bound to find in today’s job market. And one should hope so. There are no jobs in the private sector that demand as much, as often, as your average job in the military.

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