Why Should You Join the Military? (Top 10 Reasons)
I will not dwell on the patriotic theme in this article. Or the possibility of being deployed to places like Iraq and Afghanistan. Everybody knows about those aspects. My objective here is to outline why it might make sense for you or your child to consider a military career, or to at least make a commitment for awhile. If you’re a grandmother, it’s too late. You probably won’t get drafted.
I’m not telling anybody anything I didn’t do myself. And the G.I. Bill was the primary reason I graduated from college. Me, a real screwball in high school. The military does have a way of maturing total screwballs.
“Our bombs are smarter than the average high school student. At least they can find Kuwait.” A. Whitney Brown, during First Gulf War (not to be confused with Whitney Houston who married Bobby Brown)
Okay, let’s get down to it. Why should you join the military?
(Public domain pictures are courtesy of www.izismile.com)
The women. They’re everywhere, they’re everywhere.
Every military force in the world has amongst its midst incredibly beautiful women in uniform. I mean, is there anything hotter than a lady with a gun? This is my rifle, this is my gun. This is for shooting, this is for fun.
Approximately 20% of the military population is female, both in the United States and most other countries.
I will attempt to illustrate this concept of beauty in a military uniform (it sure beats a French maid outfit, ‘eh?) as this article moves along. Now what if you are a woman, you might ask. So don’t ask, don’t tell.
The food. You like eating for free, right? All you want for free? Talk about the ultimate smorgasbord. I will admit I developed a hatred for liver and onions in the military. But that’s just me.
Despite the quality and quantity of food, I remember the time the bad lieutenant (Actually, I think he might have been a captain. I can’t remember. They all look the same to me.) sent me out off base to get him and his buddies some burgers while they were playing poker. I’m driving this Jeep with no doors and it was storming like crazy and I almost rolled the dang thing over going around a corner. I swear, I could reach out and touch the ground. He had the nerve to complain about the burgers being a little cold and wet when I got back.
According to most nutritional experts, the military actually provides a good diet of healthy food. Really. The spaghetti looks good, eh?
Free medical care. If you get shot or wind up with shrapnel in your butt from a mortar (It did happen to one of my buddies while he was asleep in his bunk. Talk about the easy way to get a Purple Heart.) all your medical care is on the house. But what about when you get out? Same thing. It’s usually all paid for.
My best friend served 4 years in the Air Force way back when. In the past several years he has had open heart surgery, knee surgery, and back surgery. All paid for. Oh, free glasses too. And he is always going to the VA hospital for this test or that test. Next he’ll be needing a hearing aid and a prosthetic penis.
Now, if you’re a veteran who makes a lot of money, you may be subject to a co-payment, so then it wouldn’t all be paid for. Now me, I try not to go for medical treatment, so as to save the government money. Not to mention, the doctor will find something wrong with you, whether there is or not.
Housing. Yeah, I know, nobody wants to live in a foxhole. If you are not residing in government-provided housing that is on the house (no pun intended), you receive what’s called the BAH (Basic Allowance for Housing), which is based on geographical duty location, pay grade, and dependency status.
You can buy a home with a VA loan with 0% down. You can save hundreds of dollars every month by eliminating the need for private mortgage insurance required with conventional loans since the government guarantees it. And the VA loans typically have lower interest rates.
There is the GI Bill, of course, but there is a lot more to it than that. If you take courses while you are in the service, 100 % of your tuition is paid. If you join the military after you have acquired student loans, you likely can get help paying those if you attended school on an approved Perkins, Stafford, or other Department of Education Guaranteed Student Loan.
My daughter is a high school senior contemplating what college to attend. She has military recruiters soliciting her. What they say is that she can not only go to college for free, she can get paid while she is doing it. Unfortunately, I have not been able to talk her into it (yet). If you have any interest whatsoever in the military footing your bill for college instead of you and your parents, you should talk to a military recruiter.
Retirement benefits. Would you prefer to retire at 48 or 62 or at what age? Let me give you an example to illustrate the advantages of retirement from the military. An individual who entered the service in 1981 at age 18 and who retired in 2011 (30 years) as an E-8 (First Sergeant) now receives a monthly retirement benefit of approximately $3600. That is projected to double in 20 years to approximately $7200. Or you can take a cash bonus of $30,000 and a lesser monthly amount.
In the private sector, there are age requirements for taking your pension. It depends on the company. Some let you take your pension at 55, but not many.
Training/careers. There are thousands of different jobs for enlisted personnel and officers. My daughter took the ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) last year, and the recruiters discussed with her the results in terms of what careers she would be best suited for.
Many of the careers are similar to civilian life. For example, you have “Arts, Communications, Media and Design Careers – Enlisted” for which the description reads “Arts, Communications, Media and Design enlisted personnel are the creative people responsible for the media associated with the Military. This is an important part of communicating military messages to people all over the world. Service members in this field create everything ... Possible Military Job Titles: Printing Specialist; Photographic Specialist; Musician; Graphic Designer and Illustrator; Broadcast Journalist and Newswriter; Combat Correspondent; Audiovisual and Broadcast Technician; Public Affairs Specialist
Then you have “Counseling, Social Work and Human Services Careers – Enlisted” for which the description reads “Human Services enlisted personnel provide counseling and spiritual support for servicemembers. They work with psychologists, social workers and chaplains to organize treatment, classes or religious services. This career field involves a lot of communication and organization and provides many opportunities ... Possible Military Job Titles: Caseworker or Counselor; Religious Program Specialist.”
Shopping at the PX. Also known as the military post store and commissary. Active military, their dependents and family members, and any veteran can shop there and save about 30%, which is basically at or a little above cost.
Now you can even shop at home and pick up at the nearest store, or in some cases have what you purchased delivered. The All-Service Exchange Online Store websites deliver tax-free shopping to authorized customers in every corner of the globe.
When you are in the service you naturally get free uniforms, both for work and dress, as frequently pictured herein.
American Legion and VFWs. I can’t believe how cheap the drinks are in these places. Food too. And there is usually some sober person there who can give you good advice on whatever.
My local American Legion has NFL Sunday Ticket and I would go over there, not to drink of course or hang out with the groupies, but to watch Steeler games if I couldn’t get them on my TV. These organizations provide a plethora of useful information for veterans regarding medical issues and other service-related matters.
Financial security. Not only because of what has been previously mentioned. You also have such things as life insurance (Active-duty service members may select up to $400,000 in Service Group Life Insurance at a cost of only $27 a month) and other benefits. There are tax advantages of being in the military. Just to mention one, your pay while you are serving in a combat zone is not taxed. There is a Thrift Savings Plan similar to a 401 (k).
But what is the greatest financial security concern of most individuals? It’s probably that you will become unemployed, right? And can’t find another job, at least not one at a comparable salary.
Not to worry, the military is hiring!
A Marine and a sailor were sitting in a bar one day arguing over which was the superior service.
After a swig of beer the Marine says, “Well, we had Iwo Jima.”
Arching his eyebrows, the sailor replies, “'We had the Battle of Midway.”
“Not entirely true,” responded the Marine. “Some of those pilots were Marines, in fact, Henderson Field on Guadalcanal was named after a Marine pilot killed at the Battle of Midway.”
The sailor responds, “Point taken.”'
The Marine then says, “We Marines were born at Tunn Tavern!”
The sailor, nodding agreement, says, ”But we had John Paul Jones.”
The argument continued until the sailor comes up with what he thinks will end the discussion. With a flourish of finality he says, “The Navy invented sex.”
The Marine replies, “That is true, but it was the Marines who introduced it to women.”
Even more reasons to join the military!
Write a book about your military experiences and become a best-selling author. You don’t even have to be Hemingway or even have any writing experience. Get somebody who can write to help you if necessary. Right on ‘er I mean write on!
So many military personnel and veterans have incredible stories that just need to be told, for money and fame.
Just be careful you don't get assassinated by the C.I.A. before Oprah makes your book famous.