So you have always had this curiosity of why people serve for our country. I mean the benefits must be pretty good to have join something like that, right? Well I too have grown up admiring those who served, being somehow curious about their lives, and often asked the most ridiculous questions like, "how often do you have to go on patrols?" For some of you that are truly intrigued, you have probably been on all of the armed forces websites and looked things over. For me, ruling out the Air Force and Marines was simple. I have never been on a plane and I don't care to ever get caught dead in a dessert. Literally. My next decision was choosing from the Navy, the Army, and the all too forgotten Coast Guard. Below is 11 reasons why I am choosing to pursue to enlist in the Navy Reserves, it may sum up all those factors on those sites, and it may help give you a different idea of what your expectations are for which ever branch you want. Take from it as you will.
The biggest thing that attracted me to the Navy was not only the opportunity to travel but the way you get to travel. I personally love water and would enjoy to get to see all kinds of new cultures by soaring through the ocean on the world's most powerful aircraft carriers. What a way to feel bonded with the Earth by actually spending time with it, rather than the typical fly here and get there as quickly as possible, and stay on land at base. Sometimes the unknown is the most exhilarating.
2. GI Bill
For a lot of people who have served, this has been a major benefit and it applies to all armed forces. The GI Bill gives you educational assistance for being in the military. There are many forms of the GI Bill, the Post 9/11 being the most common, but each form has its own requirements. According to the VA or Veterans Affairs, the Post 9/11 GI Bill will assist you or your dependents on tuition and fees, provide you with a monthly housing allowance if you are attending school more than half time, and provide you with a books and supplies stipend. After my first time talking to a recruiter, I now also know a lot more about the GI bill than I had before. You get access to these benefits after serving at least 90 days in active duty service, however, you will not get 100% of the benefits until you have served 36 months in active duty total. You can also find that information through the VA. For those going in the Reserve, your drill days are counted as four active duty days instead of two. All sailors basic training and A school is also counted as active duty service, the two combined is about five and a half months of service depending on your choice of school. Yes you have to work for the GI Bill, but for those who may not be eligible for financial aid, or would be granted very little, or for those who don't want to take out a loan for school, or are like me and are too lazy to write 756392 essays for 500 dollar scholarships to pay for my thousand of dollars in tuition, maybe a weekend a month is not such a bad sacrifice for these benefits.
3. Illinois Grants
There are also options for you to get tuition assistance through your state along with your GI Bill. There is a Veterans Grant for those who have already served and also a grant for those who may still be active in the National Guard.
4. Health Care
If there is one thing the military needs, its for their soldiers, sailors, and airmen to stay healthy. The military provides health care plans with little cost to them and is great. Health Care these days is outrageous so, I won't mind barely having to pay for anything. You can get a glimpse of your branches health care policies on their website or you can learn about Tricare here.
5. Dental Insurance
I know it is not free and my recruiter told me he's paid about $60 a month for dental insurance that the Navy provides, which to me is great because I come from a family of genetically poor teeth. Dental Insurance is one of those things in life no one ever seems to have where I am from and boy do those bills to keep your pearly whites pearly add up quickly without it.
6. You Get To Pick Your Job
When you become employed at almost any service job, like the food industry, they ask you if you would prefer to work on the production line or as a cashier. Sometimes they work with you but they also need to meet their demands. In the military, you get the job you want to pursue, you could be anything from a military police officer, a pilot, or a lawyer. Which ever you choose, you should pick something you are not only interested in but want to pursue as a career in the civilian world. Some of your training can even transfer as college credit.
7. Better Person
Everything in life is what you make of it. I have seen some people join the military and it has completely taken over their minds and they became this new version of themselves but not in a good way. An then I have seen others come out and be an amazing example of leadership and honor. It truly is what you make of it and what you want to become. Your brain has the power to allow you to be anything you want and feel anything you want, you simply make the choice of those feelings.
Some people join the military to have more structure in their life. Maybe they did not have a very structured home. Or maybe their home life was okay but they still feel that themselves as a person needs more work structurally. This does not mean you misbehave but rather you would like to carry yourself in a more respectful and respectable manner.
Whether we like it or not, in life, you always will end up working as a team. We are not alone on this earth and things tend to be easier when not done alone. That being said, many join for the opportunity to experience a deep feeling of comradery and teamwork or to even better their ability to work with a team since it is such an essential life skill.
This is one of the biggest reason I personally am joining the Navy Reserves, and I know many others have too. Commitment is one of the Navy's core value, but it is something I simply do not have. I commonly find myself wanting commitment but when its time to get down to work, I simply get lazy, or no longer am interested. I know several people in my generation and peer group who are the exact same way. I have high hopes that joining the Navy will teach me how to stick to something I have committed myself to. Rather than not finishing something I started.
11. Serving Your Country
For some the biggest reason to join any military is to serve and represent their country. America has had its problems and still does. Though that does not change the fact that I am proud to be a part of this unique society and hope to be a part of all of the great changes it will make in the future. Being in the military allows you to be more involved and connected with your nation and its goals. For many, this is an important way of living.
If you are interested in joining the military or have thought about it, get yourself involved. There are many options and opportunities for those who wish to serve. All you have to do is start asking the questions you want answers to and someone will help you.