I see it all too often.
Guys join the military and have no idea what they are joining or what they are even doing.
They end up leaving the service disgruntled and confused with only themselves to blame.
I joined the Navy in 2007 and a lot has changed in the 9 years I’ve been in. Some things for better and others for worst.
You have to have a certain mindset to 1: be successful in the Military and 2: keep from becoming disenfranchised.
Here’s why this life may not be for you.
1. You are fiercely independent
You effectively sign your life away and voluntarily waive some of your rights when you sign the contract.
No one likes to say this but it’s effectively indentured servitude and you are bound to that contract until the expiration thereof, death, disability, or dishonorable discharge.
You will go where they tell you and you cannot be outside of 350 miles of your duty station at any point without taking leave (vacation days) or special authorization.
There are many things that you will not be able to say, you cannot publicly attend protests. Certain laws are in place to prevent a military coup from happening. Military members as a rule do not openly criticize elected officials as its detrimental to good order and discipline.
2. You are controlling
You’re going to lose your mind.
You aren’t in control of shit. Now there are somethings that you have control over BUT you do not have much control over where you get stationed or what work you will be doing.
You can go to the service school for the job you picked in the military and go somewhere to clean shitters all day or shuffle paper. You will accept that there are things you can’t control or you won’t last long here.
3. You aren’t adaptive
Forget it, at some point you are going to be dealing with people you hate everyday. You will stand for hours in formation and do the most mind-numbing military training and tasks possible.
Most of the things the military does is out of touch with reality and the majority of military leadership have no corporate experience or the ability to manage a huge organization.
Because of this, you often will not have sufficient equipment or funding to carry out the mission. Sometimes you will be sent to do a job that you will have zero experience and no training for.
This happened to me 6 years ago, imagine a 20 year old managing a medical department responsible for 200 people. One of the most trying things I’ve ever done and I damn near became an alcoholic.
4. You have no values
The Military cannot, will not, and should not teach you moral values and personal decency.
Yes, there are core values but most of the time when someone is of ill character before they join, they stay that way.
You can learn core values but you can never ever teach decency and righteousness.
Many Navy Commanding Officers and Senior Enlisted came into the military with moral chinks in their armor and got exposed once they were put in leadership positions.
You can hide behind a mask for a while but your subordinate WILL figure you out and expose any failing you have. You aren’t slick.
You don’t have to be Moral Orel either, just do the right thing when no one is looking and no one will EVER question your character.
5. You can’t handle pressure
Stay the hell out of my Navy.
You will get someone killed, there are many instances where you will be under intense pressure.
I’ve had a mostly office job but I’ve still had to deal with medical emergencies do basic first aid as a Hospital Corpsman. From treating dehydrated Marines, adverse reactions to immunizations, broken vertebrae, and making a life or death decision while on armed watch.
“Do I shoot and kill this guy?”
You will have to find a way to deal with pressure or you will be swiftly crushed by it. Its all mental toughness with a touch of swift judgement and you can’t teach this shit.
If any of this made you uneasy, don’t ever join the military, this life ain’t for you.
6. You demand respect you don’t deserve
There are 2 kinds of respect in the military.
Minimum respect you are entitled to because of your rank and/or position.
Personal respect you earn from the people that work with you.
One doe not entitle you to the other.
If you ever at any point demand to your people to respect your authority, then its lost forever.
The worst leaders are the ones that think they are amazing because they reached a certain rank and don’t bother to improve people skills, listening skills, or leadership skills. They refuse to listen and wonder why their people underperform and no one has any real respect for them.
Demanding respect is different from commanding respect. When you demand it, you lack it. When you command it, you have it, there’s no question.
7. You have a sense of entitlement
You will be disappointed and even destroyed.
Often-times people have a job before they join the military and have a rude awakening. Back in corporate America they were calling the shots but in the the Navy they are but peons.
Unless you deploy and receive extra pay (at the price of being separated from family and civilization). You will make far less money than doing an equivalent civilian job.
I’m not saying military benefits aren’t great but you have to keep things in perspective.
You aren’t a civlian anymore and you have an adjustment to make just like the 18 year olds, that never had a job before.
8. You’ve taken the Red Pill
You will be forced to swallow some of the most mind numbing leftist propaganda possible and deal with people that believe every word of the official story and cannot think for themselves.
If you’ve taken the Red Pill you have no business in the military because you don’t need to and you could not stomach the propaganda. You see the world for what it is and not what you want it to be, so why commit to being a henchman for the government?
You may not agree with the above sentiment but we can all agree that the government is dangerously inept. Just think…they have your life in their hands. Can you accept that?
9. You are on a path of Self-Improvement
Most of what I know is from things I’ve done and learned outside of my military job. I read books like Peter Griffin eats food.
If you are on your way to self-mastery the military won’t have alot to teach you. A self-motivated learner like you would be better served starting a business than joining the military.
10. You have a life vision and value your time
Uncertainty when I was 18 was the reason why I joined the Navy.
I was very sheltered and had no idea what to do and society kept telling me that I needed college. So I joined for the college benefits.
After close to 10 years I have absolutely no interest in college but I gained something far more valuable: experiences, stories, and toughness.
If you know what you want then don’t join the military unless you want a military career and dream of it.
I wanted to be a SEAL and was disqualified on the physical for no reason other than “25 is old and you have two injuries that healed but still disqualifying”
Given the door closed for me to do the cool shit, I decided to let my contract expire and never return.
The Military is like any other job, you trade your time for money, its all about money.
Eventually, I became fiercely protective of my time because I knew I’ve spent most of my 20’s doing an office job I hated.
I refuse to regret the last 10 years as that would be foolish and short-sighted; it gave me enough time to work on myself, and have what very few people have.
I know I can never be content working a job again because I’ve experienced the pain and anguish day-in and day-out. Seeing the contrast between my career and the improvement I did outside of it is what gave me my vision.
The military does not want or need visionaries, they only want someone who can do the job.
If you have a need for something more please don’t waste time working for the government, we need you somewhere else!
There are many things I love about military culture and this wasn’t intended to be a hit-piece.
I’m still in the damn thing after all.
Life is what you make it, if you join the Military, make the best of it!!
I hate having to kick out people that never should have joined in the first place and I’ve done it many many times.
If you want to know more about military life, leave a comment or shoot me a line!
Hospital Corpsman First Class
Marcus A. Harris