Originally Posted by Erratic_Assassin
I debated posting in this thread but feel for it to fair that I should. First let me preface my comments by saying I have the utmost respect for everyone in our armed forces and certainly appreciate the work, risk, etc involved. That being said, however I would like to add a few points.
While the money, training, and perks are great it is not fair to say that in most cases the military is just a normal 9 to 5 job. I have had many friends in numerous branches that would certainly not agree with that. You never know when your unit will be sent to the DMZ in Korea for instance. I had two friends who ended up there. They worked 16 hour days 6 days a week on average.
While it is true that just enlisting doesn't guarantee you a trip to Afghanistan or Iraq the odds are certainly high as the wars there stand currently. That may change in the near future but anyone enlisting now should be well aware that they might spend an indefinate amount of time in the Middle East.
I get sick days at my job. From my understanding of military "sick time" if you aren't vomiting wildly or delusional with 105 degree fever they more or less give you the walk it off attitude.
Also, the time off is ok, but there is little chance that you will get Christmas or Thanksgiving or your birthday off. Sometimes maybe, but don't count on it being a regular tradition.
Some people don't realize how much discipline, physical work, etc it takes to get through basic training and further. 6 inch squares and sheets you can bounce a quarter off of simply isn't realistic for some people. Now I understand things have changed over the years. There are stress cards and such, drill seargents are nicer, etc. but still it's not like a civilian job much of the time.
I could go on but people need to research for themselves. I just don't want someone looking at the military through rose colored glasses then getting to basic and realizing they made a huge mistake. I remember the recruiters that wouldn't leave me alone when I was a senior in high school back in the stone age. They could always list all the positives but you would never hear them say anything about some of the negatives. It was a sales job on their part. All they want is for you to sign the dotted line so their numbers look better. They don't care what happens after that. I'm not saying that is what you are doing Ready2PLay, just speaking from my experience.
But again, I greatly appreciate all of you in the military and your hard work, dedication, etc. Many people have the best time of their lives in the military, meet lifelong friends, greatly improve their future, etc. Some people get stationed in Germany and get to tear up the Autobahn. Some people get stationed in places like Hawaii. I know that happens and I don't want to take away from it, but a lot of folks end up in some craphole desert, or tundra, or stuck in a guard tower 16 hours a day, or get a limb blown off. The rewards are great, but as with any great reward there is pontentially great risk.
I won't post anything else. I don't want to turn your thread into a debate over joining the military. I just wanted to make sure that people consider all the facts. Thanks!
Ok, where do i start. First, I was in Korea, but not the DMZ. I'll tell you, it was probably one of the best years of my life. I won't go into details, but I enjoyed just about every day of my 365 days in country. And For the most part, Korea is a great assignment, except for the very small few who pull DMZ duty.
Little chance of getting Thanksgiving/XMas/BDays off? What are you talking about? Unless you are deployed, all major federal holidays are days off. There is the chance of pulling 24 hour duty that day, but that only happens once in a while. In my 6 years in, I never once had 24 hour duty on a holiday.
Sheets you can bounce a quarter off of? That's pretty much a myth/legend of the military. Yea, the beds need to be made to a high standard while in basic training, but it's not hard to accomplish. You'd be suprised what you are capable of when it boils down to it. Basic training is pretty much just a mind fu(k. As long as you are mentally prepared, you will be fine. When I went in, I was one of the most undisciplined, unathletis persons out there. but BT whipped me into shape, both mentally and phisically. That's what it is for. It is designed to take any type of person and mold them into a soldier.
As a finishing note, I've been out of the service for a little over a year now. There are friendships and bond I made there that I would NEVER have been able to make had I just been a civilian. It's hard to describe the type of friendships you make in the service if you've never served before. There are days I miss it. But then there are days where I wish I would have taken a different route in life. Like others have said, it's all in what you make it.