Are you thinking of joining the Army? Well, before you make a final decision, it is best to look first into its pros and cons before you get yourself transported to a boot camp and then have second thoughts whether it is a wise move or not.
List of Pros of Joining the Army
1. It offers guaranteed paycheck and free utilities.
Though joining the Army does not guarantee you of becoming some kind of a millionaire, it does give you the pleasure that, no matter the circumstance, checks will always show up in your account during pay dates. Even during the scares when the government was shutting down, with rumors spreading that military personnel would not receive their pay that time, they certainly got paid. Also, if you have a family and on a pay grade that is high enough, you will have the option to live in town on the government’s expense. As you can see, they will pay for your rent and provide you a set amount of money for utilities. You will also get a clothing allowance every year for your uniforms, though you do not have to use the money for such, since you will receive uniforms by the time you start serving.
2. It provides free college.
The Army is a good way to go if you cannot afford college and do not want to bear the burden of student loans. Specifically, the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill is going to pay for your education while on active duty and for college and rent after you get discharged honorably. Moreover, the bill’s benefits can be transferred to your spouse or children when you decide to extend your contract during your enlistment and lose interest in school, as long as you complete a decade of active duty.
3. It comes with free health care.
Have you ever got injured and not receive medical attention because it was too expensive? Well, you will not have to experience this situation when you are on active duty, as the military does not have to pay for these expenses. No matter the injury you will incur in the Army, the ambulance will pick you up free of charge. You will also be covered for any dental services you receive. As long as you survive from the activities you engage in, the military will fix you up for free.
4. It offers military discounts and even free flights.
This is one of the most favorite perks of being in the Army, which is implemented in most places. How can someone say “no” to a person who is serving the country? Speaking of flights, you can enjoy them free by finding the nearest MAC flight and signing up. As long as there is available space, you will be transported to your desired destination. However, take note that military flights do not offer 100% guarantee, so it is still best to always have a backup plan.
List of Cons of Joining the Army
1. It will take you away from your family and friends.
Joining the Army would require you to be stationed in another part of the world, which is not always pleasing considering you will be far away from your loved ones. You will miss a lot of occasions with them, and when you do go home on a leave after being away for quite a while from your family and friends, the experience can be awkward, aside from exhilarating. Suddenly, you realize that the world you left behind did not stop without you, and you would see everybody, including your closest friends, moving on from you and growing up to be almost like strangers. What’s worse, you will have to work on Christmas or any occasion on certain situations, depriving you of the opportunity to get together with the ones you love.
2. It offers less freedom to make personal decisions.
Trying to go on leave to a foreign country? Planning to get married? Thinking of making a huge purchase, like a car? Whatever personal decision you are planning to make, you have to ask permission when you are in the Army. That free college previously mentioned? You still have to get it approved before signing up for classes. Seemingly, the military almost does not trust you on doing anything on your own. Also, if you love going out and drinking all night, take note that many overseas commands impose curfews based on pay grades, so you should better be back inside your house before the freedom clock runs out, or else you will get arrested by the military police. It would seem to you like the Army always wants to know everything about you and what you do, so you have to bear with it.
3. It does not allow you to quit.
It would be too bad if you do not feel like being in the Army anymore, as you will be required to sign a contract that you are entitled to complete within years of service. Though there are ways to get out early, most of them involve dishonorable discharge and jail time, which you would not want.
4. It poses risks that come with free health care.
Though free health care sounds pretty good and comes as a pro, it can also come as a con considering the risks it poses. You have to keep in mind that most of the doctors and medical personnel who will tend to you are also in the military too, which means that if these individuals were not paying attention during your surgery and accidentally sewed you up with a few surgical instruments inside you, with you somehow managing to survive, you do not have the right to press charges. Basically, you get what you pay for, and since you did not pay for anything, you are not really entitled that much.
So, these are some of the biggest pros and cons of joining the Army. Try to weigh them all down before you make a final decision.