While serving in the military is an honorable career choice, it is not for everyone. Before deciding to join the military, you should examine your reasons for wanting to join and investigate some of the downsides to enlistment.
- The military is not a normal job. When you decide you’re tired of military service, you can’t just quit as you can with a civilian job. If you don’t get along with your coworkers or your boss, you’ll have to deal with it. Quitting is not an option in the majority of circumstances.
- There will always be someone giving you orders. No matter how high your rank may be or how long you serve, someone will always be giving you orders and telling you what to do. If you don’t perform well in this type of rank and authority structure, the military may not be for you.
- If you are single, you will most likely have a roommate in the barracks. While it isn’t always the case, it’s best to bet on having to live in very close quarters with someone else and being pleasantly surprised when it doesn’t happen.
- You should expect to be deployed at least once during your enlistment in the military. Depending on the branch of service, you may be deployed more than once. If you have a spouse and/or children, this should be a consideration before you join. Having a family will not preclude you from deploying when the military needs you.
- When you enlist, you are committing to a minimum of eight years regardless of how long you will be on active duty. If you sign a three year contract or a four year contract, you are still committed for a total of eight years. The active duty contract time will be followed by inactive or reserve duty time where the military can recall you at any time if your MOS and training is needed.
This is not to say that the military is all bad. There are numerous positives to military service. But you should also know about the possible downsides to any career opportunity you are considering pursuing – and the military is no exception.