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View Poll Results: Which made you join?
Money for College 7 8.24%
Benefits (Health, Dental, etc.) 7 8.24%
Skills Training 17 20.00%
Life Skills (Friendships, Discipline, etc.) 13 15.29%
Looking for a challenge, change of pace 19 22.35%
Always wanted to (or) family heritage 18 21.18%
All of the above 11 12.94%
Drafted 6 7.06%
None of the above 23 27.06%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 85. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-18-2012, 02:01 PM
 
Location: Planet Eaarth
8,957 posts, read 17,000,905 times
Reputation: 7193

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When I enlisted I wanted to avoid the draft (Vietnam era) to choose how I would serve. While I never stepped foot in 'nam I did serve in other surrounding countries as part of a spec ops team as support. Not all what I signed up for!

Oh well, four years came and went then I was done.
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Old 03-21-2012, 07:17 PM
 
Location: denison,tx
866 posts, read 933,361 times
Reputation: 1531
graduated high school in 74...didn't want to spend the rest of my life in
"small-town USA"...thought why not...both dad and older brother had
served...signed up for 3 yr. enlistment as that way I could request the
permanent duty station I wanted...
recruiters also worked it out that I could go in on "buddy system" because
a friend of mine had enlisted about the same time...so went in as E-2
because of that...
completed the 3 yrs., did some traveling including 16 mo. in Germany,
used my GI bill for college when I got out, and didn't have to go back to
"small-town USA" to live the rest of my life...

sometimes wonder what life would have been like if I hadn't taken that
opportunity.
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Old 03-28-2012, 06:22 AM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
499 posts, read 1,803,727 times
Reputation: 1010
For me, the decision to enlist was based upon curiosity. I wanted to see if I could make it through basic training. So I joined the NH National Guard when I was a junior in high school. Ultimately I received my commission upon college graduation and have been on active duty since 1993.

When I was young LT, my enlisted experience certainly helped me out.
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Old 03-28-2012, 08:39 AM
 
Location: In The Pacific
986 posts, read 1,133,936 times
Reputation: 1230
I joined the Air Force on Nov of 1967, a yr after my high school graduation for a few reasons which are:
1). A few of my friends died in Vietnam after they got drafted after high school graduation and I didn't want that!
2). I wasn't college material after high school and I didn't have any skills except for working on cars I learned in auto hobby shop in high school and working summer jobs as a carpenter apprentice!
3). I broke up with my girlfriend just before my high school graduation!
4). My father was a retired Navy man and I didn't like being in the middle of the ocean and I didn't like bell bottom pants!
5). I was bored after my high school graduation, had no job, no money and no girlfriend! I didn't even have a car! I also knew that I would get a draft notice soon!
So, I joined the Air Force with the all of the above reasons! 30 yrs later, 12 yrs active duty combined with my 18 yrs with Civil Service, I retired at age 49 in 1997. Since I only had a small pension to begin with, my wife and I decided to move and retire in the Philippines in 1998! We've been here ever since and still enjoying our retirement lifestyle and at the age of 60 and then at 62, all of my other pensions kicked in, tripling my total U.S. Government pensions! Life is grand when a plan comes together!
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Old 04-02-2012, 10:03 AM
 
2,459 posts, read 4,670,496 times
Reputation: 4403
For several reasons. I wanted out of the small town I was living in. I wanted out of the state period. Family heritage. Desert Storm was happening and since my father served during Vietnam, Grandfather WWII, etc. I wanted to continue that legacy. (I did not see combat as things were wrapping up by the time I got in). I thought it would give me a good jump on life. I also wanted college money even though I had wanted to be a soldier most of my child hood and thought I might stay in for the long haul. Luckily I had the foresight to know that I may not like it. I didn't but I have no regrets. I'd do it all over again in a heartbeat. It was good for me and I'm proud of my service.
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Old 04-03-2012, 08:50 PM
 
Location: USA
3,966 posts, read 9,151,846 times
Reputation: 2197
I am working towards becoming enlisted, but pretty much bored with civilian life. I really believe military structure is what I really need in my life. Weird as that sounds to some people. I want to be a programmer, but I need money for school. My grandparents didn't have a choice between WW2 and Korea, but they turned out ok. Taking a refresh on algebra and getting my weakness, factoring trinomials, mastered before I take my ASVAB.
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Old 04-09-2012, 03:37 AM
 
Location: SoCal
1,243 posts, read 1,493,456 times
Reputation: 848
For me? I wanted to deploy and "see some sh-t" sounds stupid I know. But hey, I had this dumb idea that going to Iraq or Afghanistan would be fun.

That said, I spent 15 not so awesome months in Afghanistan. You know, Been there done that, got the T-shirt, now I'm counting down the days till I'm out.
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Old 04-16-2012, 09:57 PM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ
1,070 posts, read 2,234,347 times
Reputation: 1417
Couple of reasons for me. I just signed my contract for the US Army Reserves in November (ship out for Basic this summer!).

One major reason was curiosity. I've had a few friends join the services, and a few family members (some cousins, and my grandfather served in the Navy). They all raved about how great of an experience it was, and how much they loved it.

Another reason, I guess could be thought of as "love of country". Let me set the record straight: I think there are a few things that should really change in our country, but no place is perfect. I'm a born and raised American. I've travelled all over the US with my family, as well as several other countries. What I've found is that a lot of places have required military or civil service for it's residents. While the US has had drafts before, there's currently no required service for anyone. I thought to myself, America has been a good country to me -- full of opportunity and such -- so I should probably give back.

Money is a small part of it. I come from what most would consider a family "with means". My college and living expenses are covered, so it's not like I need the money. But by enlisting, I sort of gain some self-sufficiency, and some independence. While I could easily live off my parents dime, I feel better working hard to pay my own way. I have no desire to be a millionaire, but would like to afford a comfortable living.

Last, but most important, could be classified somewhere around "career path" or "life skills". After high school (graduated 2010), I spent a year at a University. It seemed strange to me, all my friends there would talk about their "plans", and what they were going to do after college. Most of them were dead-set on certain career paths, and were working hard on a degree to get them there. My mind was foggy. I still had no idea "what I wanted to be when I grew up", so to speak. Hell, I still hadn't decided on a major! It made me feel a bit lost. I had recurring thoughts of enlisting since high school, and decided to talk to a recruiter. I liked the idea of having a path laid out for me for the next 4-8 years, with pay and benefits, leaving with skills that would help me get a job in the real world. I put off enlisting for another year (long story short: I hated the state I was living in, and wanted to get far away before making any other decisions). Moved out west in August, first talked to a recruiter out here in October, and was holding up my right hand, repeating the oath, the first week of November. Haven't looked back yet.
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Old 04-17-2012, 08:49 AM
 
5,666 posts, read 4,211,174 times
Reputation: 5608
My Brother was in the Parachute Regiment and had gone to the Falklands in '82 when i was 10yrs old. He was the first family member to join the Army so there was no tradition of it. He came home from it but not all his friends did and 6 years later he left the Army after doing 9 years.

I remember in '92 as the preparations for the 10 year anniversary of the war approached he became a bit more withdrawn and i eventually got him to to talk about it and he told me how much he missed those that didn't come back. Even 4 years after he left he spoke weekly to his mates and would meet up with them at least once a month.

That made a big impression on me, to think that he made friends like that and had done something that he had a massive sense of pride in and i was just bumming about with my mates and working in a supermarket.

In March '92 i joined the Army and after a month started training. I passed 'P' Company 6 months later and was awarded the maroon beret and became a Para'.

20yrs later i'm still in and have 2 years left.
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Old 04-18-2012, 05:20 PM
 
Location: Hawaii
237 posts, read 521,773 times
Reputation: 161
For me it was a natural progression from being an Army brat. For my husband, it was to escape a small town with not much going for it.

Our son joined to 'go to war' (I call it Lt. Dan syndrome). He's deployed alright and ready to come home. :-)
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