Joining the military is no joke. You are volunteering to give your life for your country and her ideals. You are giving up your freedom to maintain freedom for others. If you’re thinking of joining please do it for the right reasons. You don’t want to sign up for free medical, free travel and the G.I. Bill. Those are “perks” not reasons. While the reasons for each person may differ slightly the lessons learned are the same. Some are small lessons you hopefully learned from your parents and others are life changing, personality enhancing game changers that will form you into not only a fighting machine but a well-rounded person who is a benefit to the very society you signed up to protect. In this time when young people are whining about silly things like fairness and feelings the military is making courageous, honorable, loyal, hardworking self-sufficient heroes. The lessons learned in the military will last a lifetime no matter who you are, where you’re from and where you go.
Anyone who has ever been in the military will tell you that first they break you down then they build you up. It take away all those things you think you need for security and then teach you basic survival techniques so that you can save not only yourself but others. There is no questioning fairness in the military. Life’s not fair and the military teaches you that lesson on the first day. If you’re feeling entitled to life’s little niceties the military will cure you of that little delusion before you can blink. You’ll find yourself up before dawn, crawling through the mud on your belly in 30 degree weather dodging obstacles with people who depend on you to make it. There is no being the best looking, best dressed, “coolest” guy in a platoon. You are judged on your effort and your ability to be dependable and if you can’t manage that you won’t need some loud mouthed sergeant to tell you because your bunk mates will razz you until you get your stuff together. If you have any sort of attitude when you enter the military you’d be wise to lose it quick before someone forces you to throw it away. You could however be stubborn to the notion of humility in which case I would advise you to smuggle in some extra tooth brushes because you’ll be cleaning things with your issued one that will make you cry for your momma.
2. Team Work
You’re whole life you’ve always heard the phrase “there is no I in team” and the military is the mother of all teachers when it comes to that lesson. You need your friends and you better be worthy of their help or you will suffer for it. The military will put you in many situations where you will depend on the help of others in order to complete your tasks. They will do this over and over until you get it right. If you want to survive in real life you’ll need to learn to depend on others so you might as well let the military have their way and learn that lesson A.S.A.P.
3. Dress with Respect
In the military you must always dress with respect. While it’s obvious that different situations call for different types of dress, when you’re presenting yourself for inspection you better not have your pants drooping or your shirt untucked. Everyone should dress as if they not only respect themselves but others and I can promise you that after a stint in the military you won’t be showing up to the Walmart in your pajama pants and a dirty T-shirt. You will dress as though your appearance matters. You’ll learn that showing up for a job interview in old ripped jeans and a concert T is the last thing you would ever do, unless you like peeling 1000 potatoes on KP duty.