Why did you join?

October 18th, 2011  

Topic: Why did you join?

Personally, there's a bunch of reasons.
I'm pursuing this path because civilian life seems boring.
I want the challenge. To learn my physical and mental limits, and then surpass it.
I want the achievement, I want to be part of something worthy of so much respect.
Lastly, I want to see the other side of the coin. I want to know what goes on in the places you only see on tv, because what you see on tv can be as real as a celebrities 'assets'.

Reason I bring this up is because I hear your answer given when a recruiter asks "Why?" is a big one.
October 18th, 2011  
Who joined....I was Shanghaied.....I received a nice Little letter from the Queen inviting me to see the world in one of her organisations, and she would have the pleasure of paying me just half the amount of a regular soldier.
October 18th, 2011  
I was going through that teenage rebellious period.

I wouldn't apply myself to my school work, and although leaving school at 14 years of age was almost the norm back then, my parents did manage to get it through my thick skull that there was no real future doing the things I was qualified for in my home town.

I had a cousin in the Navy who used to visit and tell us of the things he used to do, so I suggested that I be allowed to join the Navy, and was fortunate that at that time we had a Junior Recruit Scheme, whereby you could join up at 15 years of age. I applied to join and after the usual tests was accepted.

Little did I know that I had just signed up for, 12 months of what would probably be, the most closely scrutinised and disciplined High School in Australia. Although most of us were only of year 10 standard most of us passed at least several subjects to Year 12 standard after the year. There were no "airy fairy" subjects, it was all English, Maths I & II, Physics, Chemistry plus Naval subjects, History, Seamanship, Navigation and PT,... lots and lots and lots, of PT and of course,... Rifle drill. (sometimes these were combined) A process called "shake ups", designed to focus ones thoughts and bring about enlightenment. Today it would be called "physical abuse or assault".

The Junior Recruit Scheme was shut down in the 1980s as it contravened the "Child Soldier" laws. Never the less, it certainly fulfilled a real need, straightening out the more rebellious spirits among us.
October 18th, 2011  
Like LeEnfield I didn't "join" - I was drafted in 1966, actually into the USMC. I later "enlisted" - after attending one of Jane Fonda’s Anti War events in San Diego. She, Donald Sutherland, “Country Joe” Fish and the rest were nothing more than incoherent, drugged out fools. Peter Boyle was also there but I don’t remember him speaking, he spent his time pushing kids on a swing.

I was working for a large Bank and was bored to tears so I enlisted in the Army.
"Ask any man of this century (20th) what he has done to make his life worthwhile - the best will say I’ve served (in the military)." JFK
October 19th, 2011  
I joined my state's defense force for a couple of reasons. I felt that I could better myself professionally with the skills learned and perfected in the defense force. I also felt that I am now a citizen of this country and I should give back in some way, and what better way than to serve my home state whenever it is needed.
October 19th, 2011  
I wanted to join the RAF at 15 straight from school as an apprentice aero engine mech, my dad tore up the papers more or less saying “You'll never do.”

I waited till I was almost 17 when I didn't need his permission, and what swung it for me, my best friend had died a few months earlier, my grandfather.

I went to the recruitment centre in London and enquired about joining, an elderly Flight Sergeant about 50 (well old to a 17 year old) took me aside and asked me why did I want to join, I gave him chapter and verse. He sat and thought for a moment and said that if I was joining to get back at my dad, I was making a big mistake. To cut a long story short he realised that I really wanted to join and started the process, medical check, police back ground check and the rest. They even wanted my family tree going back as far as my grandfather, including their military service if any.

I went home 2 weeks and 4 days before I was 17 with the paperwork for my dad to sign, and told him if he didn't I only had to wait another couple of weeks when I didn't need his permission. He signed the papers saying that I wont last two weeks in training, and don't expect him to buy me out.

On 22nd August 1966 a number of us new recruits gathered at Victory House in Kingsway, London to catch the train to the recruit training school. There to see me off was the Flight Sergeant who handled my enlistment, he shook my hand and said, “I envy you son, you have a fantastic adventure in front of you.”

After recruit training and trade training I had among the best years of my life in the RAF. My only regret is taking my discharge, I wish I had stayed in for the full 22 years.
October 19th, 2011  
Chief Bones

I was 17 ... had lost interest in school (even though I was drawing As and Bs) and didn't want to hang out on street corners like some of my friends were doing.

I knew that the draft would in all likliehood snap me up sooner or later so I chose to enter the Army (with my parents signing for me).

Looking back .. I guess I had my share of patriotism and wanted to do my duty.
October 19th, 2011  
I enlisted Airborne Infantry in 1966 for all the original reasons posted.
My dad was 506th in WW2 and died young.
I grew up around vets and many of my college mates were vets.
I finished college after I got out.
Never regretted a second of it.
Many draftees will say that as well.

Go get 'em!
October 19th, 2011  
I joined 18 July 1986. I was working at a Prison (Central Correctional Institution) Everyone, including staff and inmates all thought that I was ex-Military. I was also , playing in a band at the time to make extra money and the gigs were slowly becoming nill. I signed up for the S.C. National Guard, in Camden S.C. Got my paperwork, exam by the Doc.'s and was shipped, by plane to Fort Knox, Kentucky. I was older than my Drill Sergeants, and the rest of the enlistees. I celebrated my 31st Birthday in Basic. I got used to being called; OLD-MAN, Gran' PA,' and others. I joined for the Army for the pay, the chance to see places I'd probably never see again in my life. I went to Fort Jackson for my AIT (Advanced Initial Training) to be a Mechanic (Light Wheel). I was informed if you're gonna fix it, you may as well drive it. I got the chance to go to Korea twice, Japan, NTC (National Training Center) and got called up for Iraqi Freedom. It was hard, NTC didn't compare to the Middle East. The 114th Signal Company, was in Country '03-'04. We Made it back in one piece. I, served with the best people in the world. Made quite a few friends over the 22 years I served. The Military is one big family, you may not remember names but you remember faces. I'm not saying its easy, because it takes fortitude to make it in the Military. I retired as a E-5/Sergeant. With an Honorary promoyion to E-6/Staff Sergeant. It was the best years of my life.
October 20th, 2011  
I joined because for as long as I can remember I had wanted to be a soldier. I figured it was the right thing to do. That was over 10 years ago. Over the years I have learned what being a soldier is really about, and as I have learned about all of that I feel that tug in my gut all the time that more needs to be done. When I'm in the states all is well for about a month, then I again feel that tug to get to where the boots hit the ground, where my fellow soldiers are closing with the enemy, where I feel I can make the most difference.

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