There must be hundreds of reasons why someone would join the military. I spent 10 years recruiting for the Air Force and here are what I believe are the top 10 reasons people enlist.
- Education – With college costs soaring not many people can afford to pay for education. Almost every individual I spoke with wanted to get their college degree. The military has some great programs for education. Tuition Assistance (TA), the Montgomery G.I. Bill (MGIB) and the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill are just a few avenues which the military offers to its members to help them pay or offset the cost of a college degree.
- Money – Who doesn’t like money? I have not had one person join the military who didn’t want to get paid and the military starts off pretty well for an entry level job! Plus there are no costs for meals or room and board!
- Medical coverage – With the economy still hurting, many individuals find themselves and their family without medical and dental coverage. The military’s medical benefits are awesome. No annual fees, deductibles or co-pays.
- A Career – Many individuals want to find a job where they can stay, be rewarded for hard work, and move up in the company. The military offers all of this. After serving as little as 20 years individuals can elect to retire and start collecting retired pay immediately!
- Travel – Imagine living in Europe or Japan, Hawaii or Alaska, Spain or Guam or almost anywhere in the United States. The military has installations all over the world and not only pay for you and your family to get there but will pay to ship all of your household goods too. Remember your off-duty time is your time to travel and see the world!
- Camaraderie – The sense of belonging and friendship you get serving alongside individual’s everyday is second to none. Knowing that these individuals will do anything to protect you and you in turn would do the same for them sets the people in the military apart from most other jobs in the world.
- Direction – Not everyone graduates from high school and knows exactly what they want to do. Many people who have been out of high school for a number of years still have no idea what they want to do with their lives. The military gives these individuals a place to get some experience and possibly figure out what direction he or she wants to take in their life.
- Real world skills – Learning a trade is half the battle. Many employers not only want you to have learned a skill but to have actual experience using that skill. Because many of the jobs the military has to offer will directly convert over to civilian jobs the military is a great place to learn a skill, get experience, and then take that skill with you when you get out or retire from the military.
- Honor – Some individuals join the military for no other reason than to give back to this great country.
- Just Because – Some individuals join the military because they think it sounds cool. Maybe they want to use the latest technology, work with police or bomb dogs, work with billion dollar aircraft, or do something out of their comfort zone. All are equally great reasons to join the military.
So what do you think? Why would you join?