The army in 2012 is not a place for star athletes; it's a place for people with two arms, two legs, and a pulse. Recruiters try to make it sound challenging because they don't want you to think that any "losers" join the army. It's a psychological trick. Remember that less than .5% of Americans join the army from among a population where over half the citizens are overweight. The army compensates for that during basic training. In basic training, everyone is divided into three separate running groups: fast, medium, and slow. If you are worried about it, start running every day for a mile or two. Two miles is the standard. Your first question was whether you were joining for the right reasons. What are your reasons for joining? If you are good with money and you are getting a large bonus and you seriously think you may attend an actual college after leaving, then you have made the right choice. The government rewards those who serve the state very well. Just remember that money is less attainable in the civilian world, so save as much as you can and get VA loans and your college grant money. If you are joining to "be all you can be", just forget it. Being a firefighter is a more noble profession and has higher standards. The army is like welfare. The longer you are in, the harder it is to leave. Something the recruiter won't tell you and may not even understand: As a private in the army, you are a sub-citizen--basically the bottom of the barrel in American society. You forfeit many of your basic rights. You will lawfully have to salute and show courtesy to officers simply because they attended college and you didn't. Ordinary civilians can can say whatever they wish to their boss. Good luck on whatever you decide to do.