The reasons people join the military is a pretty different topic for numerous people. Even much more variable is the reasons people don't join or end up leaving the Army. This section leaves a brief description of these two aspects.
Why people join (and remain):
A vast number of people that are already present continue their full 20 years until they retire with their pension. 20 years in the military presents you 50% of your pay when you quit. Additionally you get total health and dental coverage for you, your partner, and your children till the end of your life.
There are numerous different programs in the Army (and military) that pay for education or provide you many opportunities. These constitute giving you $4,500 per year in tuition payments while you are still in, or paying for your total degree while getting housing expenses paid, or to being able to get a medical or law qualification fully paid for by the government while you get compensated your typical salary. Then there are all these different training certifications and schools that the Department of Defense will direct you too for free (and pay your travel expenses too).
The job experience you get from your time in the military is tremendous if you think on using that experience after you leave the Army. If you get accepted to a certain specialty, the Army will pay for your training and pay your salary even if you do not possess any experience in it! This includes fields like engineering, networking, IT, food safety, management, law enforcement, etc. and it is all available to you! Not only that but after they train you, they afford you monumental amounts of on the job activity.
The Army, as well as the other branches, distribute large opportunities for experiencing foreign cultures in different countries. You can go to different locations like Colorado, Washington, New York, Guam, Germany, Italy, Japan, South Korea, UK, Qatar, Kuwait, etc. When there you can live the culture and see the people, eat the food and broaden your perspective of mankind! I warn that you will probably be demanded to have a few years in before they send you to one of these locations (you can also request them when you reenlist, but thats a next installment).
The opportunity to help the country that has presented you so much. Less than 1% of US citizens attend the training schools of the military and know what it means to fight for your freedom. For the most part someone you know has likely served whether it was a parent, grand parent, or friend. You may not even know they served, and may still work in the National Guard or Reserves. They are your doctors, gardeners, teachers, lawyers and firefighters. They chose to raise their right hand and protect the US and the Constitution against all enemies external and home. For a lot of people patriotism is the principal reason why they do this work.
Why people don't join (or leave):
Hard on the family:
If you have a household the Army life is brutal. You will displace every 2-3 years. This may mean purchasing/ renting a new house. Finding a new school for your kids. Your children will have to find new friends. Your wife/husband will have to get a new job (moving so much also means that your spouse's resume take a large hit since there is little longevity). Sometimes the new installation may not have the support your old post had. The most exhilarating attribute at Fort Leonardwood, Missouri is the Wal-Mart on a weekend night.
With Iraq in the story books and Afghanistan shortly to be a bitter memory, deployments are not going to be that big of a deal any more. Nevertheless, when both of those conflicts were going on you could expect to deploy every other year. That means 12 months stateside, and 12-18 months deployed dependent on your mission. This was both active duty and reserves/national guard. It is difficult. Really hard. You will depart your house for twelve months or more and not know when you can speak to your family. You will not know when you will be able to proceed back home, or even if you will go back home. You may lose close friends. You may be maimed or lose limb(s). You will in all likelihood go to a funeral for someone you knew that died before their time.
It Is A Cruel Path:
Being in the Army is a difficult existence. It is not your 9-5. You can expect to wake up at 5 AM every day and you may not get home until 6 PM or later. You will do 10 mile ruck marches with a minimum of 40 lbs on your back. You will fill and arrange 50 lbs sand bags in the hot sun to create combat positions. You will eat a lot of very bad food. You will also not spend as much time as you need with your family, and you will move away from the friends you grew up with. Most of all the Army is really tough on your body. 20 years in the Army will hurt your back, ankles, head, wrists, neck, etc. That is why when you allot those 20 years you get medical coverage for life.
Imagine your neighbor dumps his rubbish all over the area, leaves dog waste in your yard, and is blasting music to wake the neighborhood. Now envision if the law gave him tickets for the waste, dog poop and noisy music. Then they proceed to dispense you a ticket for not controlling your friend. The Army is like that. Look after your neighbor, or you get penalized. Group punishment. Reactive, not proactive. "Common sense? That makes too much sense, lets do the complete opposite." These are few of the things you will experience while in the Army.
So why don't you tell me already if I should join the Army or not?!
Unluckily this is a judgment only you can accomplish. It is definitely something you need to carefully deliberate since joining the Army will have a meaningful outcome on your future life. In the end only you can resolve this decision. Hopefully the message above can create for you just a little bit of insight into what is the advisable decision.
To read more information on the Army and benefits you can receive, please go to JoiningtheArmyHQ.com