There are many wonderful things about the United States Military that may, from time to time, be overlooked. With the War on Terrorism going on and the fear of new problems and military outbreaks, it is easy to see why the military frequently gets a “bad rap”. Because I have been involved in the military for years, I have been fortunate enough to see the good, the bad and the ugly of life inside camouflage. There is a whole other world out there that consists of military members, contractors and their families. Military families are some of the bravest and steadfast I have ever known. Our troops are made up of fresh faced kids right out of bootcamp to seasoned veterans with numerous conflicts under their belts, with the ribbons and medals to prove it. There is a unique allure that brings people to the military, and an even greater one that keeps them coming back for more even after their enlistments are up. So just what is it about the U.S. military that keeps us hanging on?
Sense of Purpose. Sense of Strength.
After eight longs weeks of basic training, many enlistees finally figure out what their purpose in life is, whether it has anything to do with the military or not. The rigors, stresses and strains that drill instructors unleash on their recruits is harsh, demanding and it never lets up. There is something to be learned from being subjected to such mental and physical hardship. When they deep down into themselves, they are reborn in a sense. Almost all recruits who graduate from basic training have emerged as someone else, they are forever changed. Thought this certainly cannot be said of all, it is quite accurate in describing majority of graduates. Reruits are taught that there is something bigger than themselves. They are taught to work as a team and to evaluate the needs of others and work together to accomplish victory. Recruits are taught to depend on one another to survive and complete their missions. For someone who has never had to do such things, it is a life-changing evolution. They come out of the ordeal with a new-found confidence in themselves and that of their comrades.
The military exists solely on the responsibilities of every one person. If one person fails to do their job, entire units can suffer. Lives can be lost. It isn’t just bootcamp that teaches military personnel responsibility, it is the actual duty stations that they go to afterwards. Knowing how to do your job and do it well is what will set you apart and make a difference in the overall scheme of things. The ability to resume responsibility is one of the reasons why many parents across the country encourage their kids to sign up for the military. There is just something about military accountability that teaches responsibility like nothing else can.
Along with finances come great responsibilities. Many young adults do not have the slightest clue how to manage money or balance a checkbook. Many view their bank accounts as one may view a water well – just keep using it until it runs out. Luckily, the military has mandatory training sessions to teach new personnel how to read their Leave and Earnings Statements (LES), and how to manage the money that they have. This is an invaluable asset, as many young adults never get any kind of formal financial training. The military makes financial responsibility a very realistic attribute to every person who wears a uniform. There are multiple programs set up through each branch of service that specifically caters to the financial needs of servicemembers, from savings, to checkings, to loans to investments. Many of these fancy programs cost regular civilians a pretty penny to be enrolled or involved in, but for military servicemembers, these programs are offered free of charge.
Hands On Training.
There are very few places in the world, if any, that will allow you to walk right in and start training in just about any job field you are interested in, cost free. Just imagine this: the military uses state of the art training facilities across the country to train personnel. Millions of dollars are spent every year just for training purposes alone. Folks that have always dreamed of working with weapons can find themselves shooting within weeks of enlistment. Those who have dreamed of being military pilots, find themselves in the seat of a multi-million dollar military aircraft within months. Simply put, you cannot find a better organization for training anywhere else. Nothing can beat the intense hands-on-training offered by our armed forces.
Worried that your child will not be able to continue their education? Not so! Not only does the U.S. military encourage troops to continue their education, but they shell out millions upon millions every year to pay for military personnel’s education expenses! The military sees continuing education as an incredible asset, not only for the purpose of having better trained personnel, but as an invaluable tool for personal growth. The military is constantly trying to find ways to make getting an education easier and more convenient for the troops. There are classrooms on ships, night courses, classes that are taught on military installations all across the world and even universities that have agreed to work with the military that way troops can take courses online, even if they are stationed in war zones!
Excellent Health and Dental Care.
Military hospitals, clinics and dental offices are available to military personnel, staffed with some of the finest military trained professionals. The greatest part is that the military’s TRICARE insurance covers 100% of most visits and procedures. You can always guarantee on getting the help that you need in a timely and professional manner. Military facilities are generally more cozy and family oriented because they see the same faces, not like busy big city hospitals who are constantly pushing out complete strangers. Appointments are generally easier to obtained and the doctors are less stressed than other civilian doctors I have known.
Room For Growth.
Every year, the military gets a raise. If you are a true go-getter, you can promote quickly and easily through the ranks, which will earn you not only the recognition and resposibility, but the raise in pay. There are so many options if you are in the military. You can feel safe knowing that someone is out there looking out for you. If there is something that you want to achieve, there is a military program out there that can help you do it.
These are just a few great reasons why the military is a wonderful place to get started. It is understandable why many people would be hesitant about allowing their children sign that dotted line, but in the end, the benefits greatly outweigh the risks.