What to Consider When Joining the Military

Military photo
Photo by

Seniors are nearing the end of their high school days. Military recruiters salivate at this thought, since this is when they make the most money. Our kids see them in the lunch rooms with their brochures scattered over one of the tables. They are there in full dress blues, whites, beiges, and blacks trying to make a lasting impression on their young minds. That is exactly how I remember them during my senior year, all those years ago. How do our kids know which branch to join? One well spoken recruiter, from any branch, could paint a pretty picture in anyone’s mind. This could become a major blunder on our kid’s part, if they do not choose wisely. Hopefully, this will help assist you with your future soldier.

The Army is a pretty well-rounded decision for anyone. It is not as strenuous as life in the Marine Corps, they will not have lengthy periods away, and they provide the soldiers with an opportunity to take some college courses while they serve. You will have to spend at least one year on foreign soil, but they give you an option to choose where you want to deploy. Of course, it is on a ranking system, meaning you have to choose three places on a scale of one to three. Any soldier in the Army will spend a moderate amount of time in the field. There is a drawback. You do not have a choice where you will get stationed after Basic Training and AIT, which means you could end up being stationed on a rapid deployment base. Rapid deployment bases are the ones that are sent to hostile areas first.

The Navy offers better overall training than the other three branches. Here your kids could end up getting a decent paying job right after his or her service in the military. One major downfall to joining the Navy is the lack of time for family, since the soldiers end up spending a great deal of time away at sea. You need to make sure you swim well, before joining too. If you are not a very good swimmer, you may want to consider joining another branch of the service. Your children will not have as much time as they would in the other branches to get ahead with their college courses.

The Air Force is the least strenuous of any other branch in the service. Their training is as lackluster as they get. Your kids will have more than ample down time and will not travel as frequently as they would in the other branches. This is my least favorite of all the branches in the military.

The Marine Corps. is the most physically strenuous of the bunch, but the camaraderie within this branch is unequalled. New marines and retired marines treat each other with the same amount of respect as they had for their own units. It is not uncommon to land a job, because their boss was a former marine, as well. This happens quite frequently. This is the primary difference between the branches. A marine will have his share of down time, but he is also likely to find himself deployed more rapidly than if they were in the Army. The pride a marine feels within will carry throughout his lifetime. Any type of down time is the right time to work on gaining college credits. This would be the third best option, if they want to work toward college credits.

The Coast Guard is another branch of the military, though they will fall under Naval command if the Navy is in the area. This branch is a little tougher, because they tend to feel a little slighted by the other branches. This branch is actually one of the busiest branches in action. The Coast Guard is responsible for the protection of the United States coastline, so they end up doing most of the rescue work within domestic waters. This is an ideal option if you are interested in serving while getting college credits.

There is another option available to those interested in joining the armed forces. That is the reserves, which every branch has. These are typically reserved for college graduates. This is the best path to take, if you are seriously interested in military duty. Without any college, there is little chance of promoting to an officer with the military. There are exceptions, but they are far and few, and usually take a long time to attain.

Of course, each branch thinks they are superior to the other. This does not really reflect when they are in a combat scenario, because they will defend each other as if they are one unit. I recommend serving in any of the branches, because the discipline taught in the military cannot be taught anywhere else. I do not recommend joining the military, if you are considering a family life. Military life is extremely hard on families. In terms of uniforms, I think the black dress garb of the Marine Corps. is the sharpest, followed by the white of the Navy and Coast Guard, then would be the blue Air Force, finally, the dress green of the Army is terrible. Take that into consideration if you are joining because of the way the uniform looks.