Joining the military

It’s looking more appealing as of late. I’m a bit optionless at the moment. The idea of giving four years of my life in service of the government is unattractive but the training and bonuses are. I’ve never been a very socially confident person but I’m very confident in my physical abilities. Any thoughts?

How much are you going to get paid? Will you certainly be a grunt, or do you have the option of some kind of technical job in the military? What branch are you considering? Are you comfortable with the idea of killing another human being, and having other human beings try and kill you? Have you been to college? What is your age?

I believe volunteering for the armed forces to be an honorable endeavor. Sacrificing one’s private liberties to be a guardian for the nation in which they feel a patriotic obligation to in my opinion is a very high calling.

On a sidenote, my son who suffers with scoliosis,(curvature of the spine) wanted to join the military after 3 years of ROTC. He had scored highest in his class on the ASVAB test and was summarily sought out by the Marines. Once they had found out he had a 22 degree curvature of the spine they had dropped their desire to take him in (understadibly so).
So, my son had went to all the recruiting stations in our area of every branch of the military and was rejected time and again. Needless to say his self esteem hit rock bottom. He couldn’t hold jobs and resorted to doing a myriad of illegal drugs which further dragged him down into deep depression.
Ok, here comes the part which you may not care to read and I apologize if it offends you. Prayers were made on his behalf and a pastor had prophesied he had seen him in full dress uniform. Not long after these events he went to another recruiting station where an examination was set up by an army doctor and he had noted my son had not suffered further declination of his spine since his first examination several years earlier.
To make a long story short, he was accepted into the army and has met all the requirements expected by them. Plus he was made squad leader and will be graduating basic training the 20th of this month where his grandmother, mother and I will attend those services. Unfortunately, his disability couldn’t attain his desire to get into the Rangers, but he is happy nonetheless.
I admire his perseverance in obtaining the goal for which he so strongly strived for and am very happy as well. :slight_smile:

How old are you?

You sound like me to be honest.

I’d say the military is a fine option. When I think back to some of the ‘optionless’ people that I knew (friends, mostly), those who opted to join the military ended up considerably better than those who didn’t. Which branch and which training package, well, research that a little bit and see what appeals most to you. Clearly it isn’t a trivial decision, so I’d spend a lot of time both researching it and thinking about it. Talking to people who have enlisted is also a good call. But don’t sign anything until you are sure. Recruiters will give you all sorts of lines, take anything they say with a huge grain of salt.


That is an awesome story. Congrats on your son achieving his goals, very cool. And for a noble cause too!

Well most branches of the military are not paid a whole lot, but the basic necessities are provided for, allowing you to save up. I just turned 20, I’ve never been to college, was home schooled, never finished high school, I’m considering the army and would eventually like to get into the airborne rangers.

Provided that they would kill me if given the opportunity then I would be prepared to kill…Though I wouldn’t say I would be completely ‘‘comfortable’’ with it.

I’m all for other people getting themselves killed to protect me.

If it were me though, I wouldn’t go.

Well my reasons for considering military service are more pragmatic than this. I am more attracted to the challenge, and as a way of providing for myself.

Great story…Good luck to him.

If you have numerous options then I would agree.

20 years old.

Well, my other only other option would have to be “shoot myself in the head”, because that has got to be the only thing worse than getting shot at.

Yes I’m not impulsive at all and never commit to any decision without considerable forethought. I had a friend who joined not too long ago, and I noticed that he became much more assertive - something I would like to develop.

In what way were they better off?

Thank you Xun, I must admit surprise when I had found out he was accepted after all of the rejections he suffered. My mind is still boggled. :slight_smile:

Thanks Luminescence…I feel things can only get better for him in the future. Good luck to you as well. :slight_smile:


What is this crap! Am I the only one whose stomach turned whilst reading this.

I’m sure there would be people who agree with your obvious disgust. On the other hand, there are people who would agree with my assessment as well. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. If we all thought alike this would be a dull world to live in.


I noticed that there were two main ways they were better off and of course they are related (they always are). The first is that they are simply better off financially. Because of the military, some of them were able to afford to go to a good college (always a nice way to increase one’s earning potential) while another one got some excellent training in a trade (electrician), and the other one is off adventuring somewhere (last I heard he was flying humanitarian supplies to Afghanistan with a nice semi-legal arms-selling business on the side. But that was around five years ago. That might not have ended well for him, I should ask around.).

Those are a heck of a lot better than my (non-military) buddy who is still being promised a managerial position at the stores where he works. He wised up at one, where he had been working for ten-odd years and they had been promising for five of those ten that “next year was his year” and left, but he’s still pretty screwed. My other non-military buddies either work in construction (which was great until the housing bubble fell apart, but it is hard, hard work) or as waitstaff (which has pluses and minuses). I know it doesn’t sound too appealing, but the military offers a very nice path to a well-paying and as stable a 9-5 job as exists nowadays. I don’t think that should be poo-pooed. Plus if you save money while you are being taken care of by the military instead of spending it on booze and loose women (only one of them actually did this), you will have a crapton of cash when you get out.

The other way was the personal transformation. Boot camp is intense and they basically break you down and then re-form you. It is an interesting transformation to see, the people became both more assertive and self-confident while also much more willing to take orders. In a power vacuum, they will assume command (you know, those dreaded, “What do you want to do tonight?” conversations) but if someone they respect has some idea, they will fall right in line. They also tend to have a pretty clear perspective on life, with respect to how one ought balance work and play. Of course, the transformation isn’t total. You know, the misanthropes are still misanthropes, the unsatisfied ones are still unsatisfied, the happy ones are still happy, and so on. But there is a much firmer core to them, they are more comfortable with themselves.

In terms of PTSD, those who have deployed (n=3 out of ~12 people I know) none of them have any problems. Naturally, they were freaked as hell before they went and when they were deployed it was one hell of an emotional rollercoaster, but they all seem sane as ever. Granted, none of them had any traumatic experiences either. That tends to be what causes the PTSD, after all. I’ve still got one overseas, so we’ll see how she is when she comes back. So far, she seems to be thriving in the cradle of civilization.

But do think about it. After all, you can learn a trade without joining the military. You can hold out working dead-end jobs until you are eligible for a Pell Grant. You can start working as a waiter and work your way up, it can pay very well and it offers (as well as demands) all sorts of flexibility. And those options have the advantage of you not getting shot at, which is hard to understate. The best reason to join the military is because you want to, not because you feel you have to. I know I did some things with ROTC back-in-the-day. Try it out and see how you like it. As long as you don’t sign anything you can walk away anytime. See if you like it. Some people do, some people don’t.

If you enjoy 4 hours of sleep everday the military is for you.

( P.S. Don’t trust anything the military recruiters say. They are trained to lie and mislead in order to lure people.)

Also note that if you join the military especially the army and marines as a cook or some other non-combatant occupation if they need you on the front lines your going to go there.

( But I chose a non-combatant military occupation. I shouldn’t have to go to front lines of combat.) Doesn’t matter.

The only people in the army or marines who don’t go to combat are the pastors and priests.

If you are a military construction worker, cook, or water inspector they can still call you on the front lines by putting a rifle into your hands.

If you can stomach all of that then I wish you luck on your military career.


One thing I have learnt lurking on this BBS is that there are very few “minority reports” even amoung outsiders. Homosexuals want to join the army, artists vote Republican, vegetarian alcoholics…