The Life Advice I Wish I Was Given at the Start of My Army Career
The hard to find information about committing to the military tells a different story, traditional soldiering
The army is one of the most exclusive families I have ever been part of in my entire life.
Bonds and connections I’ve cultivated in the military extend farther beyond my life-long sports teammates, my group of friends back home, and in some cases, my actual family.
One day in high school my senior year, I woke up knowing that I wanted to sign up for the U.S. Army because my family has a long bloodline of service members and it’s become a tradition to serve.
I heard tons of stories about how the experiences you’re going to have are going to be unlike anything you’ve ever had before, which isn’t wrong. But what people don’t talk about is the people.
The People Make Serving Worth It
Prior to my 2017 basic training in Fort Sill Oklahoma, I was a quiet young guy who had loads of acquaintances, but not many “ride or dies” who would do anything to lift me and support my best interests.
Within the first hour of touching down in Oklahoma, I made three friends because we were all excited and nervous about the next ten weeks to come.
Even before we were all stripped away of our individuality, we connected. Not because we had known each other all our lives, but because we knew we needed each other for moral support. The next ten weeks of BCT and for the duration of our Army careers, we would be working with other soldiers.
I’ve been blessed to experience the following events in my five-year army career thus far:
- Attend BCT and AIT
- Deploy to Kuwait and Saudi Arabia
- Compete for Air Assault School
A lot of service members aren’t as lucky as I am to deploy overseas. Some troops I know sign up for the Army so that they can deploy and take part in some badass missions. I got to do some really unexpected things I’ll never forget.
You’re Going to Miss it More Than You Think
Although I’m still in the reserve component of the Army, I think about my experiences overseas almost daily. These long days in the field with sand in my face, 120-degree weather beaming sweat down my back, and nonexistent internet were incredible experiences.
The people who came from the broad Chicagoland area that I deployed upgraded from acquaintances to family. I went from feeling so alone, like a lone wolf hunting for his next meal to being one of the lead dogs in the pack fulfilling a purpose to take care of everyone.
I knew I had potential in business and marketing, which I’m currently pursuing, but overseas I felt purpose incomparable to any other thing I’ve done in my life.
Most people are motivated to leave the military because it’s not the life they dreamed of, but then they go back to the civilian world and feel lost without the Army camaraderie and structure.
Throughout all the bad experiences a soldier doesn’t want to take part in, there are amazing memories that are irreplaceable and seared into their memory forever.
A lot of people are afraid to say they enjoy serving in the military. Some put up a front that they could be running businesses or doing something much more luxurious, yet that isn’t always true.
At the root of things, the military is a great resource for someone looking to instill discipline, travel the world, make lifelong friends, and establish more. purpose in their life.
My experience is one of millions. I miss the 322 days I was deployed overseas. It’s not the career I want for a lifetime, but I absolutely don’t regret taking the leap.