Skip to comments.What age did you join the Military and why? What motovate you? Any regrets?
Posted on 12/30/2005 8:15:40 AM PST by FlatLandBeer
What age did you join the Military and why? What motovate you? Any regrets?
What would advise a young person to do these days?
Drafted at 20 during the Vietnam war. Didn't want to go, but avoiding the draft in any way was not a legitimate moral choice. Was the best thing that ever happened to me. I grew up a lot, had the privilege of serving my country, and learned the true meaning sacrifice. I would strongly encourage any young person to spend a year or two doing something outside themselves either serving the country or the community in some way. It's not only good for the country but good for the individual.
I joined the USAF at age 20, in 1965. I had dropped out of college due to boredom and was working a dead-end job. After my service, I returned to college, with a new sense of the importance of an education.
I recommend a tour of duty for all young men. It's a real experience that is more important that college at that time.
husband joined right out of high school. Got his masters over the years. He has no regrets. Traveled, learned, grew, developed, was mentored, mentored others and thankful for the opportunities it affored him and then our family. NO regrets at all. Career man. Military put us where we are today. It was wonderful. More young people should join. Guides their lives, turns some of them around, helps them decide on what they want to do, gives them a focus and makes them strong to face life. It's a GOOD thing.
20 years old. A friend of the family was an instructor at the winter survival school for pararescue. So, AirForce was my choice....and a wise one at that. Airforce sends their officers out to fight. ROFL.
IMO, every American should spend 2 years in the military. It's the LEAST they can do for our country and will make true men and women out of them.
Just turned 17. Was not doing well in school. Joined the Army.
Regrets, no. When I got out, I went back to high school at night, once I got my diploma, I went on to college.
It would have been easier to remain in High School but I was not motivated to learn. When I got out of the Army and discovered the only work I could get was manual labor, I found the motivation.
joined at 17....to get out of NJ, see the world.....went to Parris Island at 18...stayed in for 11+ years and still miss it (sometimes).
Best thing I ever did. Made some friends for life.
The Few. The Proud.
I was 30 when I joined the US Navy Reserve. So far so good.
I was drafted 6 months after high school graduation but because of the advice from a close friend, a Marine, I chose to enlist in the Marine Corps.....one of the best decisions of my life. My youngest son is currently a lieutenant in the Corps.... Semper Fi to all you jarheads out there. God I love the Corps.
Enlisted in the USAF at the age of 20. Walked away from a college scholarship and mom and dad directing my life. Wanted to do something besides be an accountant, and instead became a jet engine mechanic working on the best fighters in the world. Any regrets? Not about my service, no - best job in the world.
I joined the US Navy when I was 17. I wanted to serve my country. I volunteered for air duty in Vietnam. I have no regrets and would do it again.
Enlisted in 1965, motivated by the news showing guys my age fighting in Nam. Thought it was my duty to join the fight.
No regrets would do it again in a second.
Army was good in motivating me, paid my way through College and I would recommend military service to everyone.
Joined at 29. Something I always wanted to do. Love it. Became an officer and a SF Soldier. Don't be as dumb as me and at least have the army pay for college!
I was 21 in JUly 1961. The friggin' Russians built the Berlin Wall in August. I was learning the manual of arms and close order drill in November.
Got my draft notice and subsequently enlisted (RA - MICI) after being classified AAAAA, you're next.
Joined USAF in 1960 mostly to try and find what I wanted to do. I was a HS drop out and was really going nowhere. It was the best move I ever made. I finished my HS education (GED) and went on to get a couple of years of college while in the AF and finished up college when I got out in 1964.
Even though I bitched and moaned the entire 4 years (3 in the UK)they were some of the very best times of my life. The military taught me discipline and how to focus and look past the next beer or day off. I would do it all again and in fact would gladly have gone back after 9/11.
Joined at 18.
Only regrets are not following up on all the oppotunities for which I was presented...and foolishly declined-- DLI, USMA Prep School, OCS.
And not saving more money...and for decking the jerk who punched a friend...and for NOT decking a certain LT!
Oh, yeah, and not getting representation at my disability hearing.
I left the AF as a Captain in 1973 having had to withstand, like many Viet Nam era personnel, the slings and arrows of Fonda, Kerry and their ilk.
My first class cruise was "WestPac," which I thought would be Hawaii. It turned out to be Vietnam. I was on an LPD, and we took part in an opposed landing.
I remember wondering as it was going on just exactly how it was I'd managed to get myself into exactly the spot I was trying to avoid. I consoled myself with the satisfaction of having avoided phys ed. In fact, I'd still rather fight in a war than take another phys ed class.
As for advising young people, I don't ... and if you have any doubts as to why, try re-reading the above.
It was either the AF at 18 or I might have eventually ended up in jail in my boring, dying home town. No regrets, except I wish I would have signed up sooner. I missed the old GI bill by a couple of weeks.
For me, the experience has been phenomenal. I got in to serve others, but the real beneficiary is myself, in terms of confidence, fitness and strength.
I enlisted in the "Delayed Entry Program" for training as a Naval Aviator in March, 1963, at age 22. Reported to NAS Pensacola to begin Aviation Officer Candidate School in May, 1964, and was designated a Naval Aviator in Sep. 1965.
I spent almost 11 years on active duty and remained in the Naval Reserve until I retired in Oct. 1991.
Would I do it all over again? In a heartbeat! They paid me to fly and land on aircraft carriers. It don't get no better than that!
And I worked with and for the finest Americans I have ever known. That was an added benefit.
In fact, the only military related regret I have is that I did not enlist in the USMCR when I was 17. It would have served me well when I got to Pensacola had I been a Marine.
As a "Candyass Feathermerchant College Boy," I was grits for my Gunnery Sergeant's mill!
HST, whenever I encounter a sharp young college age man or woman, I encourage them to seriously investigate the US Navy or Marine Corps Aviation as a potential avocation.
I cannot think of any place I would rather be today, if I were 24 again, than strapped in the cockpit of a FA-18 on the port catapult of the USS Abraham Lincoln (or any other carrier, for that matter) to deliver a load of FReedom to an Islamofacist raghead!
boy, there's a lot of old farts here...(including me!)
i'd say try and join before the age of 21, just for physical purposes. my son is 19, and we just finished visiting our first recruiter.
Joined the Marine Corps at 20, because I wanted to go through bootcamp (SanDiego version), and air traffic control school outside of Memphis. Had a great time, met fun people, saw places, no regrets.
Do I regret it? Not in the slightest.
Would I recommend it? Only for those that are willing to risk their lives for their country, their friends, and their way of life. You'll always have brothers and sisters in the Army if you feel that way.
As far as specific recommendations, each service has it's own personality, and people generally drift towards the one they're most compatible with. Job selection varies quite a bit, but again, people gravitate towards what they're good at.
I would definitely not recommend the military for everyone. However, I would say that I've seen things my civilian peers never will, and am far richer for the experience. (If a little banged up in the process.) I wouldn't trade the experience for anything.
I did not serve and regret it to this day. I tried to serve in Gulf War 1 but I was too old by a year...
My son reports for boot camp on Monday next week. He has joined the Army and has been accepted for Airborne Ranger traning.
His goal is to join special forces. I am as proud as I can be about his decision.
Every young person should serve their country...they will get back 10 times what they put into it...
Thats my opinion.
Enlisted in the USAF at 18. I wanted to travel and I wanted job training. I got both and liked it enough to spend 22 years on active duty.
Well, I'll say this: I never served, and it is my greatest regret. If only I were 18 again...
Joined the Navy at 17, just in time for Viet Nam. Made two WESTPAC cruises in a tin can. Got schooling in electronics, the GI bill which put me through college, a lot of traveling to foreign lands and a much more mature attitude for my trouble. (Actually it was no trouble at all.) I almost re-enlisted.
I wish I'd gone in, and I think every teenager ought to serve for at least two years. Teach them some pride, respect and discipline, and a good work ethic.
Joined 2 days after my 17 th birthday and it was the best thing to happen to me.
11 th grade drop out, served my 3 years and had 2 years of college when I got my honorable discharge.
Joined at almost-18. No regrets, I have seen places and been out of the bubble unlike 99% of my co- workers. I understand the value of teamwork, also unlike 99% of my co- workers. I would rather die in my boots than in my bed, but I am also a mother. Cannot be fully mom and fully soldier, so I chose mom in the end.
Either you are a soldier in your heart and soul or you hate it. I am comfortable with this fact: If need be, I could defend the things I hold dear in this life with a great deal of skill and courage.
I was 21 and had been a college student. On a study tour of the Soviet Union (part of a semester abroad program) and witnessing the misery and lack of freedom in the Soviet Union and then peering over the Berlin Wall at the barbed wire and mine traps, I had a seachange in my view of the world; It dawned on me that most of my professors were idiots. I joined the army and was stationed in Turkey and South Korea. I still think the best people I ever met were in the service. I'm hoping my children consider the military academies in the future.
I was 18 years and four months old (in 1956). I was in college, but didn't think it was taking me anywhere I wanted to go. So I stopped out, and went off to "learn a trade" which I hoped would be in electronics or mechanical maintenance. One look at the mention of college, and the classification specialist put me in a foreign language school, definitely NOT a choice on my part. I washed out, but found the only option remaining to me was to be trained "OTJ", as a typewriter jockey. At the end of some four years, two months and twenty-four days (the four years I figured I owed to my country, the two months and twenty-four days were somebody else's time), I went home, with the attitude that they would have to call up the blind, the crippled, the crazy, the little old ladies, and the small children, before they dragged me back in again (I believe I invented the phrase FIGMO, and its reverse, OMGIF). In later years, the experience was, on balance, much to my benefit, as the mention of the honorable dischrge was well regarded in the early part of the 1960's, and later on, the "Cold War" GI Bill paid for my return to college and eventual masters's degree.
Do I recommend life in the military for anyone? As a personal discipline, honing life skills, few experiences can beat it. But you really learn the meaning of commitment, and eventually you get self-reliant, or suffer horrible consequences. Simply being in an organized unit with stiff demands on your abilities and emotional stability, and because by definition military services means you WILL be around a number of highly hazardous situations, which can develop with incredible speed into a confrontation with one's own mortality, is a stern test of will and fortitude.
Some crack under the strain, others get ground up by the machinery of war, and the majority come away with a much more profound admiration for everybody who has stepped into the breach in defense of their country.
Enlisted in the Corps 2 days after my 17th birthday. Shipped out 6 months later. Most enlightening experience of my life by far. Got to travel around the world twice, met people and saw things I couldn't have dreamed of if I hadn't been there in person. That four years changed me in ways I simply cannot express in words. Thank God for the Marine Corps.
Graduated HS in June 71, two weeks later I was going through Army BCT at Fort Dix. Spent over 7 years active Army, got out went to college, got a commision with the AF and spent another 14 years on active duty. It's really surprising how fast those 20 some years on active duty went. Would do it again in a hearbeat.
Was that school in Californicate...to study Russian?
I enlisted in the Air Force in 1971, at age 17.
I supported the war in Vietnam, but wasn't sent due to my skill code (nuke weapons).
My motivation was getting out of the house with 8 younger siblings.
No regrets, as I'm still in Aerospace.
Worked for me. Thanks to the planets aligning on the day I took the ACT, and the fact that the applicant pool was greatly diminished due to Vietnam, I was awarded a 4 year Army ROTC scholarship.
What a great deal! I received a great education at virtually no cost: tuition, books, lab fees, etc. were all covered, plus a $100/month stipend (I think it's 200/month now).
I had a 4 year commitment, but served a bit over 8. It was a great experience, and I don't regret it one bit. Whenever I have the opportunity, I extol the virtues of ROTC to kids. I even mention it to the 6th graders that I teach at my parish, just to plant the seed.
Nowadays, that scholarship would be valued at over $120,000, considering that Gonzaga University costs about $30K per year. Back then, it was $10K-12K (mid 70s), and there was no way I could have afforded that.
The Army also paid for my masters degree, via the GI Bill.
volunteered to USMC at 17 out of high school .. no regrets
Joined the Navy at 17
Joined the National Guard at 34 (thought I wanted to set some roots)
Joined the Army Reserve at 39
Naval Aviation was the most challenging and the most fun but as others have said before me, each branch has it's own flavor, I miss them all.
That deserves a PING and MEGA-DITTOES!
Became a USN officer @ age 24. It was more or less my "family business." My only regret is that I'm no longer in the service.
Yo! Check it out.
My only regret is that I didn't get to stay around long enough to fight radical Islam.