Should I join the military? All advice welcome.

posted 3 years ago in Military
  • poll: Have you enjoyed your experience in the military?
    Yes. : (14 votes)
    35 %
    No. : (21 votes)
    53 %
    Somewhat. : (4 votes)
    10 %
    Allow me to explain... : (1 votes)
    3 %
  • Post # 4
    6573 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: September 2011

    I’m going from second-hand info here, so sorry if that’s not what you wanted! Maybe it’ll tide you over until someone who’s actually in the military sees this :). 

    A woman I know in the military was dating someone who’s an officer, and they either had to keep it secret, or get engaged immediately. They ended up breaking up, because it was too much pressure. It’s also been hard for her to find someone since she moves often. Even if you don’t have the officer/enlisted quandry, it’s going to be hard to stay together.

    That said, obviously there’s more to life than finding a guy, so go with what you want, ultimately. It’s just something to keep in mind! 

    Also, there’s this!

    Post # 5
    1896 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: March 2014

    I have a friend in the military.  She loved it.  She was the sort of person who needed discipline and was not really sure of what else to do with her life.  She also enjoys being one of the boys.


    That said, she regrets reenlisting the last time. She’s finding herself feeling some age pressures (related to children) and problems with dating and the “when you’re deployed” mentality of some of the guys.


    But i would never, under any circumstance, say you should join if it has ANYTHING to do with this boyfriend.  

    Post # 6
    4367 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: November 1999

    I did BMT out of high school and was very active in sports prior. I felt like it was easy. If you’re going to train, I recommend running. Of course this was 2001 for me. I was USAf and joined for school money. As far as a guy I’m not married to at 22 telling me what to do with my career? Um no. I’m not going to lie and tell you it’s everything your recruiter cracks it up to be, and then boom I ran into wartime (joined May 2001) but it certainly has its benefits. It’s 8 years since I separated and they are still paying for my Masters degree and hello VA house loan. You can pm me for more details. There was stuff my recruiter definitely left out, like when he told me to lie about my marijuana use as a teen & then surprise! I needed a top secret clearance! Haha. (I passed lol)

    Post # 7
    125 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: December 2013

    I’m in the Navy, but joining the military is something that will take over your life. The branch you’re joining will need to know everything about your past, including medical history, mental health counseling, any drug use, traffic tickets, felonies, everything.

    The job you are allowed to choose is most definitely determined by your ASVAB score. There are jobs that will not be offered to you unless you score a certain amount. You job can also determind if they need you to enlist for 4 or 6 years, initially. I would really recommend 4 for your first term.

    I know plenty of people who have joined because they want to go to school, so I don’t see that as necessarily a bad reason. It is only bad if you have a completely negative attitude towards the military and show it on a regular basis. No point in making yourself miserable, you signed the paperwork, right?

    If you’re joining the Air Force I can’t really tell you what your boot camp will be like, but as with any service, you’ll go, graduate, transfer to a site that will train you for your job, and PCS to wherever your first duty station is.

    I could probably type up a book, but I have an appointment soon, so feel free to PM me if you have any specific questions. To be honest, I love being enlisted and I can’t imagine my life without it. There are pros and cons as with any job, but the friends you make and the pride you feel always help with the bad.

    Post # 8
    9137 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL


    Pros – job security for the most part, great benefits, actual retirement benefits if you stay on that long, regimented liefstyle, some travel to cool places (Ramstein Air Base, Germany)

    Cons – military picks your job, military picks where you will be based (may not be an awesome place, i.e. Minot, ND), have to do reserves even once you’re done, military and especially AF has bad track record with women (i.e. rapes/assualts), only guaranteed placement within 100 miles of spouse, dangerous job

    If you’re not 100% sure, it’s a good idea to wait another year to determine whether you are actually sure.  Also, per my stepdad who is retired Navy it’s better to go in as an officer than an enlistee.

    Post # 9
    4413 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: June 2012

    Keep in mind that the military is currently downsizing and people are getting kicked out right and left. They are being VERY selective about who they allow to join at this point.

    DH is currently in the Army and plans to be in until he retires. He has said multiple times that under no circumstances would he allow our daughter to join, though (I mean, obviously he can’t really ALLOW it but you get the point). The sexual assault rates for women in uniform are absolutely jaw-dropping. It is NOT an easy place to be a female.

    It absolutely does take over your life, though, and makes it hard to maintain normal relationships. It is much easier for men to marry civilians and drag wife and family all over the country than it is for women to marry civilian men and drag them all over the place, simply because of how our society is set up. It’s ‘weird’ for a man to follow a woman’s career everywhere … so many military women end up dating/marrying military men, and then it’s TWO careers bouncing all over the place. Divorce rates for joint military couples are high.

    All that being said … there’s no greater pride than in serving your nation in uniform, and so if it’s something you’re hell-bent on doing, then go for it! Just make sure you go in with your eyes wide open to what you’re getting yourself into.

    Post # 10
    1793 posts
    Buzzing bee

    I will take a stab at this as I retired last Summer with 26 years of Active Federal Service.

    My first question is always – why do you think you want to join?  What has piqued your interest in military service?

    There are a LOT of benefits to serving – there are a LOT of trade-offs.  The current GI Bill is like winning a tuition lottery.  I was able to transfer it to my son who starts community college next month.  He pays for the first two years and shows me he won’t waste my GI Bill and he can have it.  If he doesn’t show me he is serious, he won’t get it.

    I grew exponentially as a person.  ( went to BMT 6 DAYS after I graduated high school!  Got out after I married my ex-h and got pregnant.  Went back in a few years later).  I think there are wonderful experiences to be had in the military but you have to be cut out for them and you have to want them.  You have to know you won’t be home for Christmas very darned often at all.

    You will travel, you will grow, you will be pushed farther than you ever imagined possible.  Not everyone is looking for that and that is ok.

    Sooo, back to my first question – why do you think you might be interested in military service.

    As far as the boyfriend – you are 22 and have your whole life ahead of you.  I have a daughter 10 years older than you are!  If he is someone worth keeping in your life he won’t stand in the way of your desires, goals, and aspirations.  If he does stand in your way, I really encourage you to keep looking.

    Post # 11
    1631 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: August 2013

    @whatdidigetmyselfinto:  I am serving my tenth year in the Army. My advice (as in how I would go back in time and do it?) allow me to enlighten you:

    First off, I probably wouldn’t sign up at all – but if I did I would get my degree first and go in as an officer – to the Airforce.

    All of the services have different standards of living. Airforce is the highest. Best barracks, best food, best seats for flying to and from deployments, etc etc etc

    Most service branches offer college repayment programs – as in they pay your student loans for school you have already attended (as a bonus when you join). Use this to go to school and go into any branch as an officer for a substantial chaneg in the way you are treated (basically the difference to how someone treats their dog and how they would treat a friend).

    Acheiving rank in the Army can get political depending on where you are stationed – but rank in the Airforce is a test you take when you hit your timelines – they are hard – but I would rather a test then to get passed on rank because another Soldier in your unit is related to a General.

    Physical fitness training is noticeable harder for the Army and Marines – Airforce is pretty normal. You would think this means that means Airforce is not as strong or apt to do physical labor – and I say – wrong. Army mindset makes you push through injuries that you should be resting. They tell you to ignore pain and getting help for an injury – or just time to rest (and not have to run ten miles on a bum knee) means you have to follow this very drawn out process. They don’t care about your health – where as in the Airforce its different.

    I could go on for days – but if it was my daughter asking I would tell her to do the Airforce as an officer or nothing at all (and I would prefer nothing).

    Post # 12
    805 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: May 2014

    The ASVAB is easy. yes your points count, the better your score the “better” your job. you should have an idea of what you want to dowhen you get it. alot of jobs dont always translate to good careers when you get out. I spent 8 years in the Air force. i did video production becasue i thought it was a cool job, and it was, however on the outside none of that mattered. Im in HR now something i have NO experience in lol but i got lucky. I started with 4 years, but ended up doing 8.

    Just think if you stay in 20 years and retire you will only be 42, and you can collect a check forever and still have another career for 20 years and get 2 retirements. i only got out because of medical, i have bad knees but i loved the air force. feel free to PM me if youd like.

    Post # 13
    4367 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: November 1999

    @CarpefnDiem:  Funny I did project management for computer systems & now I’m in HR on the outside! 🙂

    Post # 14
    805 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: May 2014

    @deetroitwhat:  hindsight is 20/20 i really wish i had done 3C0 (computers/IT) because my friends are making like $30 an hour on the outside 🙁

    Post # 15
    4367 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: November 1999

    @CarpefnDiem:  I was actually a 3C3 but if you get into like HRIS analytics you can make that much… That’s the path I think I am going to ultimately take. Generalists & recruiters def can make that much too. It’s an overall lucrative field, I think. You’ll get there! 

    Post # 16
    4367 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: November 1999


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