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10 Pro's and Con's for Joining the U.S. Army from a Soldier's Point of View

Updated on February 05, 2009

Joined: 7 years agoFollowers: 137Articles: 6

10 Pro's for Joining the Army

  1. Job Security. When you join the Army you are put in a certain job, if you tested well you are put into the job you wanted according to availability. Then you go through Basic Training and upon passing this you continue on to Advanced Individual Training (AIT). Upon completion of these two courses you become qualified for that job you were given. The job will be yours, there will be no lay-offs. Note: Only after completion of both Basic and AIT is the job yours. If failure of one or both of these training courses is a result, then you may lose your job and you would most likely be assigned with a less than desirable job. Transferring to another job is possible based on various and widely ranged circumstances. My fiancé transferred to a different job just recently, and I can transfer to another job if I'm willing to give up the enlistment bonuses I was given. If I don't want to give up my bonus, I can pick another job when I enlist in a few years. There are options.
  2. Income annually adjusted for inflation. Based on inflation we get a pay raise every year.
  3. Dependable Retirement Benefits. It's not a question mark.
  4. Learn and train in new skills. The Army prides on the constant and consistent learning of its soldiers. It's definitely a pride of mine, the Army assists me in my goal to always keep learning.
  5. Stay in shape and Stay Healthy... and get paid doing it! It's a joke in the army, but a reality also, that we get paid for doing something we would do habitually even if we weren't in the Army.
  6. Gain lasting friendship bonds. The Army is its own community and as a community it has its own experiences. It's a great thing to know when you can count on a buddy with your life.
  7. Learn more about yourself. With the extreme training environments the Army puts you through you tend to learn a lot more about yourself than you would working at your local movie store or internship etc. The Army places its soldiers through extreme training so that the soldier will be ready for anything and thus more likely to come home unscathed. I learned more about myself and my abilities in six months of Army Training than I have in 10 years of my life.
  8. Skip out on the Routine Life. Army Life is definitely different. Training is constantly changing, something different always needs to be done or learned. It's great for people who don't like to stand idle.
  9. Take a break from school/work. With the choice of joining the military comes the outcome of your decision- if you're Active Army you have the life of a soldier on a base and possibly a deployment in the future, if you're Army Reserve you will have a deployment on your hands and if it's a break from school or work you want, then more power to ya, you'll get it. (side comment: debt free!)
  10. Educational benefits. The Army promotes Learning. It may take you out of school or work for a year or two, but learning and becoming a better person is always #1 so that you can do your job to its utmost effectiveness. So take a break from school or work and work as a medic or intel analyst for the Army, and let the Army help you expand your mind and your life.
  11. Full-Time Pride in the job that you do. One of the reasons why some join the Army, or just military in general, is because they are not interested in working in corporate offices. To them, and me, the 9-5 shift working in cubicles represents an empty, hollow, and meaningless way to live. By joining the Army we gain the meaning and the knowledge that we are serving our Country in a way that we can be proud of.

Afterthought: Joining the Army is not for everyone and hopefully this will enlighten anyone who's wondering if the Army is for them.

Tidbit of random information: Something that lightens the burden on soldier's is that when they deploy they receive a tax free paycheck. Isn't that a good gift to discover?

10 Cons for Joining the U.S. Army

  1. If the Army's not for you, you'll hate it. Think carefully before you join, do your research. You always have time. The Army's maximum enlistment age is 42. Don't rush your decision.
  2. Separation. My fiance is also in the Army and he's already been to Iraq and back. I had to endure the separation of that time and it's no small thing to ignore. Separation from your loved ones, whether you are in the military or you're a family member, is one of the aspects of military life that can make or break a person.
  3. Political Party of the President. No matter what, you must be willing to follow the orders of the current President, no matter the political affiliation.
  4. Early wake-up
  5. Less predictable and controllable schedule
  6. Army Food, depending on where you're stationed, will be either enjoyable or edible. Endure it and drive on.
  7.  From day one: no whining, no complaining and NO EXCUSES.
  8. Possible injury or death. The risk is real, think before you act.
  9. At times non-military personnel will be ignorant as to what you do in the Army and will act out against you with some sort of self-righteous display. Not everyone supports us, and every soldier needs to deal with that. Everyone is entitled to their opinions.
  10. A lot of running. Deal with it soldier and drive on.

It's doing some good

 With this war we're raging and the anger we're seeing amongst us because of an "unjust war", there is plenty of good that has been done: For this is the first time there's been another democracy in the middle east.


Click thumbnail to view full-size
Bonds of friendship formed.Getting ready for mobilization to Iraq.Separation is difficult, but the reunion is so sweet.Ready to defend a Bright Future!
Bonds of friendship formed.
Bonds of friendship formed.
Getting ready for mobilization to Iraq.
Getting ready for mobilization to Iraq.
Separation is difficult, but the reunion is so sweet.
Separation is difficult, but the reunion is so sweet.
Ready to defend a Bright Future!
Ready to defend a Bright Future!


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    • AlexiusComnenus profile image

      AlexiusComnenus 7 years ago from GA

      I particularly was touched by number 6 in pros. I have had some amazing friends and experiences I wouldn't trade for a thing on earth. Kudos!

    • Jessica W profile image

      Jessica W 7 years ago

      Again, Thank You AlexiusComnenus, for your comments! I am glad that at least one of my pro's was in line with someone else's! I also agree that trading my friends and experiences would be utterly impossible.

    • TheMoneyGuy profile image

      TheMoneyGuy 7 years ago from Pyote, TX

      I would add to number 3 on the cons, not just the party of the President, but to be a truly professional Soldier you must truly be apolitical. Getting swept up into politics is the fastest way to tank your careers. Remember you are a servant of the people and they are a fickle lot.


    • Jessica W profile image

      Jessica W 7 years ago

      TMG, Thank ou for your thoughts. I especially agree with your last line, and at times it makes service difficult. However, our political leanings don't have anything to do with being professional soldiers. The shooting of my weapon is not affected by who I think should be president nor does it affect the performance of any other duties. Again, though, I would like to thank you for your thoughts.

    • TheMoneyGuy profile image

      TheMoneyGuy 7 years ago from Pyote, TX

      You still have much to learn young Padawan. While it is true in the enlisted ranks it takes longer for that reality to set in. I know I have held every one of them. It becomes more apperent in the officer ranks, I have held a majority of them, I speak only from personal experience.


    • Jessica W profile image

      Jessica W 7 years ago

      TMG, thank you for your comments. You missed my point though, our political leanings don't have anything to do with being professional soldiers. The shooting of my weapon is not affected by who I think should be president nor does it affect the performance of any other duties. For example, when we are given a mission we don't get all caught up in who's in the presidency; instead, we are concerned with doing our job well and supporting our comrades.

      I am an enlisted soldier, as are all of my battles. I am well acquainted with many among the higher rank structure; they all have their own political leanings and they are all still amazing and professional soldiers. I can't help but think that an apolitical soldier might as well be a drone, or a droid if you will: Unable to differentiate between right or wrong, and unable to work beyond its own abilities when needed.

      However, TMG, all of this is entirely subjective on both our parts. Hence why I wrote this article from my point of view.

    • james 7 years ago

      I really respect it that you are trying to encourage people to join the millitary and protect our nation. i am only 16 but once i get out of high school i am going to the army.oh yeah and don't worry about what DARTH VADER told you.

    • james 7 years ago

      i never heard of this AIT before today. is it even harder then basic training because,i thought basic training is all you had to do,to be called a soldier

    • Jessica W profile image

      Jessica W 7 years ago

      James, thank you for your comments. Good Luck with the Army but make sure you do great in school, that way no one can push you around inellectually. Thanks, too, for your last comment.

      As for AIT, it's called Advanced Individual Training. It's where you go to train for the job you selected for the Army. Everyone's AIT is different. I had a friend who's AIT was amazingly easy and it only lasted for about 8 weeks. Those kind of training situations are said to be like college but with PT (physical training) in the morning. My AIT was extremely different, it was 15 weeks and the sergeants were crazy- but they had to be, with my MOS (military occupational specialty). Honestly, when I was in Basic I just looked to get through it. AIT is what I was focusing on. When you're done with Basic you'll be called a soldier, however depending on which base and mos you end up with, you may not be called a soldier until you complete AIT. It all depends on that lovely job you choose. At the very least the operative word to get used to (no matter your real rank) is PRIVATE. "Shut up, Private, you're in my world now. Beat your face."

    • Jessica W profile image

      Jessica W 7 years ago

      "Beat your face" means do pushups. You do pushups until the sergeant says so. It's really like lying in a bed of roses ; )

    • james 7 years ago

      thanks for answering my question and i hope you have a good time in the army peace.

    • james 7 years ago

      one more question is it really completely free to live on base. excluding all the utilities.sorry for bugging you

    • White-6-alpha 7 years ago

      living in the barracks is free of charge, so is water, electric and laundry... but you will have to pay for internet, cable and whatnot. the other problem is that they take money out of your check every two weeks for food, because they anticipate that you will eat at their Dining facility, but you won't always eat there, ours was closed for 3 years.

    • Navy Jobs Source profile image

      Navy Jobs Source 7 years ago

      Thanks for sharing your personal point of view with this hub. There are many young people who may be questioning if the army is right for them and this may help them make their decision.

    • jpauling352 profile image

      jpauling352 7 years ago from Saint Charles IL

      I wonder if #1 Job Security outweighs the entire cons side when we are in an economy like this

    • Amanda 7 years ago

      Can you email me, please. I have some questions for you about th Army, if that's okay. Especially from a female's point of view.

    • Carbonfour 7 years ago

      I’m 26; I’m looking to be a reserve. What should I expect going in? I ask for the reason that I have talked to three recruiters and I have been told three different stories.

      Thanks in advance! -Cody

    • Shastar3 6 years ago

      Who is in Washington should have much to do with anyone in the military. I know of young people who have been permately disabled and fighting for 2 years to receive benefits that they should have received, no questions asked. our government sent them there, they were disabled. Why does our government promise much but don't stand behind it?

      I have a 16 yr old son, and yes he has thought about it

      ( how could he not with recruiters stalking the high schools) I will do whatever it takes for him to realize that now is not the time to join. Our government must take better care of our Vets. I am so proud and grateful for all who serve. If you are injured I just want to know that you will all be taken care of by the people who sent you out!

    • Nancy V 6 years ago

      I was wondering if you would mind emailing, because I have a few questions I would like to ask another female about joining the army. I read your other hub about being a female in the Army, and it helped answer a lot of them.

      Thank you. C:


    • Net Success 6 years ago

      Good article, I am going to join the army because the pro's 5 and 6. I want to have a job where I stay fit and can workout while gaining friendships.

    • MadelynFinley profile image

      MadelynFinley 6 years ago from United States

      Your number 10 pro is the one that stands out to me the most. I was looking for it as I was reading through the list. Good job!

    • justin 6 years ago

      dude im going into the army!!!! wish me luck!!!!!

    • justin 6 years ago

      hey im in the army!! im a rookie. anyone who`s also in the army could you give me some pointers???

    • Yas 6 years ago

      I was think about join the army but I was jus wondering..does everyone that join the army have to go to war..because I was told I could get a job and work in one of the offices like I was intrested in human resources/management.. but will I still have to fight when the time comes..and if so. How long will it take before I get deployed and if u know anything about the navy please inform me

    • Meghann 6 years ago

      I do hope to join after I get my BSN and become an OB/GYN nurse, but I have worried about people running up to me and telling me I'm killing innocents! What a life, I've already had friends who didn't grow up around military asking me why I would ever want to do this... but I love my country, my family, my friends, and our soldiers... and if I become a nurse, I get to serve them all.

      To Yas:

      If you join the army, you are always up for deployment. If we are in war, you cannot expect to not go. As I've heard it said before, it's not "if" you go but "when".

    • Simone P. 6 years ago

      i am pretty sure the Army is something I was built for I like keeping in shape and having an active/busy life. Im not the type of person to really miss anyone to the point I break down but I know I'll think about everyone in my down time. I just think of being away from my boyfriend and family as bettering me and my future. I just cant skip up on free education, life long bonds, and getting serious about me. I was going to join right out of highschool but my mother talked me out of it, I reget it now but not again. IM GOING and CANT WAIT TO SERVE!!!

    • Alan Adkins II 5 years ago

      I plan on joining the army in 6 days from now, I'll be 18 then. I don't know the specific name of my mos but I'll be a tanker. Hopefully with the M1A2s.

    • rachael 5 years ago

      Hey, I've always thought about joining the army since I was 11 and yesterday I decided I will. I'm 17 now, but thought it best to get my BA in 4 years and then join when I'm 21. I want to be deployed and serve...but I'm still nervous about the whole decision even if it's so far away. Your post helped a lot and made me even more sure about my decision. Thanks.

    • ticardo 5 years ago

      how much running do u do when u get stationed after basic training and ait

    • Members and Guests 4 years ago

      I guess this would be in the list of Cons

    • Terry 4 years ago

      Hi, I'm 18 about to turn 19. I fill like everything I do ends in failure. I'm a little over weight. (I'm 5'6" and weigh 185 lbs) I don't care to do physical activity, its just my stamina right now isn't nearly what it used to be. (Thanks McDonald's) I'm 50/50 on joining the army. 1, separation from my girl friend/family. 2, I'm nervous and have NO IDEA what to expect. Would someone email me ( and talk with me? I have no idea what I'm doing.

    • Jaritt Noggler Combat Engineer Ohio Army Nat'l Guard 4 years ago

      I cant wait to serve for my country and get over there next year

    • DeAndre' 4 years ago

      I got to say its good having a good army post instead of that other negative post by that one girl, don't care for the name but you matched every pro and con for me. Good post.

    • Jessica 4 years ago

      I'm 21 and my dad has mentioned all my life I should join the army/navy/military. I'm actually considering it at this point in my life. I don't even know the difference between National Guard, Army, Navy or whatever else there is. Also, What can I expect if I joined? My dad said reserves, but I'm interested in knowing about all my choices...what are they? Please email me with any information you have.


    • angelnov15 4 years ago






    • Ya 4 years ago

      Hi im 17and a female. I want to be a mortuary affairs specialist. I was wondering if theres a war, do I have to be in combat?

    • nisha 4 years ago

      i would like to join the army, firstly im trying to get over the fear of dying, i really want to join but that fear is constantly there, i also need to know how long ill be away from home i want to be able to live life as well, and secondly if i join the army they own me, there is no going back, what if i find that the army is not for me, what if they fight a war im completely against? the army will completely own me if i join. Im a confused mess, i NEED HELP i dont know what to do i feel the need to join badly but.........i dont know!!!!!!!!

    • Kingsley 4 years ago

      i am a boy of 23years.i want to join the USA army but i have try my best but is not going through.please kindly help me.i am in african,am GHANAIAN

    • Tobi 2 years ago

      I'm 14 and I've been thinking of joining the army since I was 12 but I want to go to to college first and then join the army but by the time I'm done with college I will be 30 years old and I'm kind of embarrassed to join at that age

    • Kaiya 2 years ago

      Hey, yeah I'm 14 too and I want to join the army, should I be in ROTC beforehand?

    • demertius 23 months ago

      I applause you for the insight, I Love being part of a US Army but kinda still thinking......

    • MOORE 20 months ago

      Is there a way to talk to female members of the US army to get more basic information?

    • Sydney 17 months ago

      I've been told countless times on articles that you would have to swim while in the army, whether it be in boot camp or when you're out serving. Do you really? I'm terrified of water and I should get over it while I'm in still in school.

    • Brandy 7 weeks ago

      First of all thank you, and all the other men and woman, for your service. These days especially, we do not deserve such selfless people at our backs. Secondly, I would like to thank you personally. Because of you (and the research I put in) I am fully aware of what I will be signing up for. You have just help a random civilian make the final choice in a life long decision.

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