What makes people WANT to join the military?

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United States
February 9, 2007 7:38am CST
Have you ever wondered why some people are so very quick to join the military and serve their country while others are simply not interested at all? I've often wondered. I'm so proud of my dad, a Navy man, who takes such pride in his country and served with pride. The pride I see in all branches of our service makes me just beam, realizing that these military servants made the CHOICE to serve. I just wonder why for some it's an automatic decision, as if it's something they feel they MUST do, while others find it quite easy to dismiss and say no thanks. Is it a matter of fear? A matter of "lack of pride"? I know for some it's a religious thing, they can't justify going into a war and killing (I have my own thoughts on that but I'll keep them to myself). But I just wonder what makes some people have it in them to know they must serve. I can proudly say my son has commented often that he wants to serve, probably a navy man or a marine (like his papa). I admit it frightens me... but it also makes me so proud.
11 people like this
65 responses
@unishwetabh (1032)
• India
9 Feb 07
I am a student doing engineering. One of my uncle was in army. I always used to think that what made him join the army. And he said that its the pride. The pride of serving their motherland. After joining the army you become more civilized. Its truly a different way of leading a life. And moreover you get so much respect everywhere.
5 people like this
• United States
9 Feb 07
I have to agree.. it's truly a matter of pride and love and respect for your country and what it stands for. I'm always amazed at those who don't have the pride. I get goosebumps when I hear our National Anthem, while I'll see others laughing and talking while it's being sung. I've wanted to smack more than one person, believe me! lol
3 people like this
• United States
10 Feb 07
I think it is pride of serving their country. In some it it the benifits that they get for joining. Some gets a free education, retirement, training for their career and for some it changes them for ever. Some go in as a small backwards teenager and comes out of service as a proud educated respected service man with a career respected by the best. If I repeat myself it is because we need to respect and be proud of our service men.
2 people like this
@arnboy (357)
• India
9 Feb 07
Well in my country the number one motivator is a secure government job, retirement pensions, canteen facilities and of course tons of scotch whiskey (the main reason) ha ha LOL
• United States
9 Feb 07
LOL... the truth comes out!!! It's because they're lushes! hahahaha! I agree... there is some motivation in the pensions and the education benefits for the US military too.
3 people like this
@craftwave (1338)
• United States
9 Feb 07
There are various reasons why a person enters the military. One of the main ones is schooling. You can get schooling while serving in the military and you can also use the GI bill to help pay for schooling after you disconnect with the military. Another reason is it is a secure job. You will find that in times when the economy is bad that more people enter the military. Some join to travel and see the world and of course there are those who want to serve their country. My husband who is a chaplain joined to serve his God. It was where he felt God was calling him to be.
4 people like this
• United States
9 Feb 07
Chaplain is a wonderful way to serve in so many ways! I applaud him!
3 people like this
@mikekire (146)
• Nigeria
9 Feb 07
The reasons cannot be far fetched from i. Love of fatherland ii. Love of power and affluence iii. Parental influence iv. Love of uniforms. But whichever way, it is good for those that have the courage.Like me, iam in love with naval dresses.
4 people like this
• Romania
10 Feb 07
Good point of view, but another reason could be high wages and rewards, a safe job and a good retirement fund.
1 person likes this
@librarian (181)
• United States
9 Feb 07
Honestly, the chances of getting killed in the military are pretty low statistically. Even with the gulf war, the chances of even getting hurt is small. You probably won't even be stationed there. After 20 years, you can retire on partial salary. Sounds pretty sweet to me.
@lifeiseasy (2292)
• United States
9 Feb 07
I live in a highly military town and from what I have seen and heard from others ,the military recruiters offer big sign up bonuses for the kids if they sign up right out of school , also in my small one horse town that is the highest paying job there is here so for the kids .I think its all about the money and then next they can get an education through the armed services as well so those are two pretty valid reasons for these kids to want to go into the armed services ...I think
• United States
9 Feb 07
I know education used to be one of the biggest reasons. Kids saw it as an affordable way to get college. But with the war at hand, I wonder how many truly sign up for that reason alone? I'm thinking "free college" is a lot less appealing when you are thinking "war front" first! I'd say at this point there are more joining simply for the desire to serve their country... but that's my guess and nothing more!
1 person likes this
@mac1946 (1602)
• Calgary, Alberta
9 Feb 07
good discussion,I joined the Canadian army when I was 18,it was peace time,My father was in ww2,so I was brought up with a heavy military background(he was a sgt.major)so I had no qualms about joining. when the idiots in the gov.integrated the servicesin 68,I took my honerable discharge,and went to Th U.S. and joined there,I knew that with my background,I would be sent to Viet Nam.I served 3 years,and came back to Canada after I was wounded enough that I was unable to continue.I have 3 Purple Hearts) I did this,not out of patriatism,so much,as to fight for our freedom against communism. I am still proud of all the service men that put their lives on the line for what they believe in. please remember,there were 40,000 Canadian volenteers of which 7,000 did not return. yes,there are many today,that will not join,many because thier parents teach them that military is bad. I am not a "war lover"but I am also not afraid to serve if needed. I honestly believe,there would be far less problems with the youth of today,if they served 18 months.then see if they could handle it enough to continue. this is my say. thank you.
2 people like this
• Israel
9 Feb 07
I think that you are good patriot and you father also man. It's good to know that there are people like you here just sacrified all they have for freedom and gov. request.
1 person likes this
• United States
9 Feb 07
You can certainly stand proud Mac! I'm always doubly amazed at the men and women from other countries that serve in the US armed forces. It wasn't uncommon years ago! And you are right.. it's obviously not a matter of "patriotism" as much as freedom and maintaining that freedom or offering it to a new bunch of people who have never experienced it before! Thanks to you and your family!
@not4me (1713)
• United States
10 Feb 07
I joined the military back in 1994 during peace time to get out of an abusive household and to get college money because we were pretty poor. I left the Marines in June 2001 - 3 months before 9/11 luckily because my husband is also active duty and we had one child at the time. He is in Iraq now. Neither of us were ever particularly patriotic and we are both against this war. I don't know what I would have done if we were both called up and we had to leave our 1-year-old behind. If my kids decide to join the military I will not give them my blessing unless they go in as an officer, especially if they are looking at a career out of it. I should have done that and I would have been a good/competent one. My husband is a Gunny and he would have made a great officer too but he only has like 3 years left.
2 people like this
@not4me (1713)
• United States
10 Feb 07
I agree with that other user. I thought Marine boot camp was a blast. I was one of the few who enjoyed it in my platoon.
2 people like this
@Kicker55 (243)
• United States
9 Feb 07
The military offers alot of options for people that really don't have the resources to go to college and get a good high paying job. They give out signing bonuses, and completely pay for schooling. The problem is that you are signing your life away to the government and they can do anything to you that they want then. That's a big problem for me and it is why I will never join the military. I am no ones property but my own. Some people don't mind doing others bidding without knowing why, especially the people in washington who really don't know what their doing. But not me, I'd end up getting shot or something because I have to have a reason to do something. I want to know why we are invading this town or country not just "DO IT". But that's me
2 people like this
• United States
9 Feb 07
LOL.. I have to agree that stopping to discuss with your opponent WHY you are there might be detrimental in the military! lol I know it's not for everyone and I can't judge because it's not my place. I just know that for those that serve, I am beyond grateful!
1 person likes this
@kgwat70 (13396)
• United States
10 Feb 07
I think people join the military because they want to do some thing for our country and serve our country and protect our freedom here in the States as well as in other countries. They enjoy the life they have here in the states and want to make sure we continue to have freedom and live happily and do the things we want to do. They are very brave individuals. Some may join the military because they are not sure what they want to do as far as a career is concerned and also joining the military can help them get a good education.
@Deepoo (19)
• India
10 Feb 07
That is the nice decision for entering into the military.One of my friend also join in the mil of india. Just a strong motivation is enough to go to military.. If we gave the young guys defenetly enter into that and give big relief to our country
2 people like this
@mssnow (9493)
• United States
9 Feb 07
My son wanted to join the army because it will pay for his college. I tried every argument in the book to tell him not to join, but he was stubbborn. He has been in South Korea for almost a year now. I worry about him all the time.
1 person likes this
• United States
9 Feb 07
I understand the fear you have for him... but take pride in the fact that he made that decision to serve too. Let him know he's appreciated by others in his country for sure!
@mssnow (9493)
• United States
10 Feb 07
I do, I tell him I am proud of him for making his decsion.
1 person likes this
@howard96h (11659)
• New York, New York
9 Feb 07
As with any country the ability to represent their land and fight for freedom and justice. Could you imagine a country without military, like having no police force. :)
1 person likes this
• United States
9 Feb 07
Aren't the Swiss without a true army? How have they remained "safe"? I'm not being sarcastic... I'm truly wondering this after you made mention of "could you imagine a country with no military". Good point. We're lucky to have them for sure!
@Stiletto (4584)
10 Feb 07
I think they're safe because they maintain neutrality. Also I think the financial interests held in Switzerland will probably make a difference there. Although isn't it the Swiss Guard that guard the Vatican? Surely they're an army?
@jimotman (634)
• Indonesia
9 Feb 07
I think the ones who join the military are those who are patriots, who loves their country very much, and are willing to die for their country. so they are special people because not a lot of people are willing to do that for their country.
1 person likes this
• United States
9 Feb 07
I do believe that anyone entering during these times are true patriots. I know that before we were "at war" and the chances of being shipped over there to fight in combat, people would sign assuming they'd never see battle and get a free education. As we all know, nothing in life is free!
@gloria777 (1678)
• India
10 Feb 07
They get good perks and benefits which extends to their whole family. Its the main reason of joining military. I don't think people join military due to their love or regards towards own country.
1 person likes this
@KHyuga (1700)
• Singapore
10 Feb 07
I'm sure that there are many people who join the army out of their genuine love for the country and they should never be discounted.
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Feb 07
It's a family thing, and besides, bootcamp is fun.
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Feb 07
LOL.. fun is one word I don't think I've ever heard when referring to boot camp?!
• United States
9 Feb 07
My husband is a Marine and the reason why he joined the first time when he was 18 was that his parents gave him an ultimatum, he could get a job and go to college or join the military. So he joined the military. He got out four years later, got a full time job and went to school, but he decided that the Marines were better so we got married and he went back in. I think that he needed the structure to keep him sane. I also know a lot of them reenlist because of the close friends that they make as well as the fact that they have the chance to see the world.
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Feb 07
Once a Marine, always a Marine. My fiance is a Marine and he loves what he does. As much as he loves it, he's ready to be home, so he's not re-enlisting this summer. Which is fine. I support him no matter what. Semper Fi!
1 person likes this
• United States
9 Feb 07
most of the men in my family have served in the military, but only one or two are really "patriotic" Everyone else was just paying for college. Personally I have considered joining the coast guard but I would not join other branches of the military. I do feel that we all have a personal responsibilitie to serve our country. I would have no problem defending this country, I just have a problem with us invading other countries.
1 person likes this
• United States
9 Feb 07
It is a difficult situation when you cannot truly justify why you are there and question it all. Unfortunately you cannot choose which fights you go to I guess but something about the military makes it so you understand WHY you're going.. or at least THINK you understand it.
@crystal8577 (1470)
• United States
9 Feb 07
A number of my aunts & uncles joined the military (Army, NAvy & Air Force) that did not have anything to do with my choice though. I just knew I wanted to join & I did at 19. I wanted to serve my country. It had nothing to do with the money, training, traveling, college or anything. I am proud to be an American & thought that I needed to do my part. I am glad & proud to have served. My daughters are proud that their Mommy was in the Army too.
1 person likes this
• United States
9 Feb 07
I love to hear about the women that serve. It is a double whammy because for many years they weren't truly a part of the whole picture. Thanks for being the patriot you are!
1 person likes this
• Israel
9 Feb 07
I am waiting so much for the moment to serve in the army, the feeling I feel its love to homeland, you can't describe it here or in just a cuple of words. I think it's something you born with so there are some who gonna fight and even die for the country ( like me ) and there are some who prefer to be at home and far from the dangerous.
1 person likes this
• United States
9 Feb 07
Well your country will be proud I'm sure. I like to see young men and women with that attitude because I don't think it's nearly as common as it once used to be.