The military is full of complexities, and while it has a lot of presence in mainstream media, this may not paint the best picture of everything. Many unknowns exist before joining the military, and they could change someone’s opinion on whether they want to join or not. Read on to learn some of the most important things you should know before considering joining the military.
Joining the military is a job, an education, a home, and a lifestyle all wrapped in one. With that said, you will earn an income after enlisting, but it may not be what you want. It is relatively low compared to other jobs, but your meals and housing are comped when living on base, and if you live off base, there are allowances for you and your dependents for food and housing. As you go higher in the military, your base pay will also change, so you are not stuck making the minimum amount.
Your Relationships Turn Long-Distance
When leaving home and going to work or college, many of your relationships become complicated by the distance. With that said, communication and travel back and forth can still be relatively easy. Unfortunately, this is less so in the military, as you will have fewer opportunities to call, and traveling back and forth can sometimes feel impossible. It’s hard to make a long-distance military relationship work with these sporadic calls and visits, so you should consider this when considering joining the military.
You Sign a Contract
While college and jobs can seem like a permanent choice, there are pathways available to stop going. They may not be favorable, but you can still get out. Alternatively, when you join the military, you typically sign a contract committing to about four years of service. There are ways to get an early discharge, but these are complicated and can hurt you and your reputation when looking toward your future possibilities.
You Get To See the World
One of the greatest advantages of joining the military is that you will experience a lot of the world. Of course, this varies from branch to branch and your position, but the US military is global. There are bases worldwide, and you may end up traveling to multiple locations for work, experiencing the world all along the way.
These four things to know about joining the military may change your opinion on the military and whether you should join. Joining the military is a significant life choice, up there with choosing a college and career for your life. It’s not something you should take lightly, and hopefully, you now have a better understanding of everything that comes with it.