Whether it’s obligatory or by choice, joining the army is a strenuous decision with a lot of risk involved. In some countries, like Egypt and South Korea, most fresh graduates are obliged to join the army for a minimum of 12 months as part of the national service program. In other countries, such as the United States, citizens have the freedom to enlist in the army should they choose to.
Both of these options carry their own advantages and, in contrast, risks. In this article, we’ll take a look at some important points you need to keep in mind before joining the army.
Joining the army opens up new development opportunities and teaches you aspects of the real world. It gives you the chance to get to know people from all walks of life and potential individuals from other countries, should they choose to travel for military duties. In any case, knowing the challenges of duty is essential for surviving in the military. New recruits are usually given basic chores, such as cleaning the army base and cooking food.
Your military experience can also depend on your professional background. For instance, medical professionals who enlist in the army undergo many courses to get educated about war injuries and how to treat them. Engineers, on the other hand, get involved in the designs of army bases and vehicles to better understand the philosophy of military design. The military often provides you with various career opportunities after the service is finished. Having an extensive military background on a resumé is usually seen as a positive trait to potential employers, considering the military personnel are known for their strict lifestyle and efficient work habits.
Being in good shape, both mentally and physically, is typically one of the first prerequisites. People who are prone to sickness and injury usually get excused from the military instead of being put at risk. Others who exhibit potentially unstable behavior are also excused to avoid nervous breakdowns and to preserve the safety of other army members. A basic knowledge of weapon assembly, and training for an extended period of time (typically three months or 100 days) are required before recruits are assigned more advanced tasks, which could include weapon assembly or traveling to other countries. If you exhibit leadership qualities, you may be promoted to the next rank, which usually consists of overseeing the new recruits in basic training.
While there are many positive aspects of joining the military, being aware of the downsides and risks is also important before enlisting. Military service takes a big portion of one’s time, so, as expected, your social life may be negatively affected by your time away from family and friends. This can lead to depression and could potentially make you question your choice.
Being in the army also carries a fatal risk, as weapons become a large part of a soldier’s life.
Accidental deaths on army bases are a rare occurrence, but not impossible. There are known cases where military issued equipment turned out to be defective, resulting in health damage, disabilities, and injuries. A soldier traveling abroad in times of war can also be faced with excessive violence, which could take a toll on their mental health. Studies show that many soldiers with combat experience suffer from mental illnesses such as PTSD and depression.
Being aware of your decision
In European countries, mental wellness programs and psychological support teams are available on-site to help soldiers cope with their mental struggles. These soldiers undergo rigorous training and spend a large part of their life under constant pressure to survive in the field. Should they succeed and finish their military service, they are rewarded handsomely with loans and expenses from their country’s military association as a gesture of appreciation for their service. Most stores also offer special discounts to military personnel.
These options should always be presented during the recruitment period so the soldier is made aware of all the advantages and disadvantages of joining the military. Failure to properly inform citizens of the risks is illegal in most countries. In this case, the citizen is usually rewarded with compensation from the government.
The choice to join the army is one that requires a lot of thought. Each potential recruit needs to weigh their options before enlisting. Without a fully informed decision, the average person faces numerous mental and physical risks that can last a lifetime. Choosing to serve your country is a great honor, but not one that should be taken lightly.