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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I am an honorably-discharged Army veteran of the Persian Gulf War era and these are my observations based upon 7 years of service as an American soldier from 1988-1995. Here are some things to consider before signing the dotted line and raising your right hand. I'm not telling you what to do. Only you can make that decision.


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Things to Consider Before Signing Up For Military Service

(Recruiters and Printed Recruitment Materials Might Not Tell You Any of These Things)​

  • The service is not for cowards or the physically weak
  • You don’t dare question military authority; you don’t even dream to ask “why” to a drill sergeant when told to do something; if the training cadre even thinks your face is bulldog ugly, that’s good enough reason alone to get dropped for pushups
  • The service is all about teamwork, not individuality: there is no “I” in TEAM
  • In basic training or boot camp, you are not a human being; you are more humble than a convict in the joint
  • No smoking, dip or alcohol will be allowed in basic training
  • Do NOT arrange for your mother and other loved ones to meet you at the airport, train station or bus station on ship-out day to basic training or boot camp; you will be baby-sat non-stop all the way from the MEPS station to the military reception at basic training or boot camp; you should have all your goodbye hugs and kisses to mom already done before leaving home
  • Bring virtually nothing with you for personal effects except the civilian clothes you are wearing, military papers, and wallet: travel as light to boot camp as possible: the more you carry there the more messy things become at reception: you don’t need your damn phone or sippy cup at boot camp
  • The military has many anti-gun policies: you are not free to possess a personal firearm in the military or on an installation just as you please: if you have a gun, you will be ordered to surrender it to the amnesty box upon arrival to military reception: tight gun control by base command policy makes military installations a virtual target-rich “hunting preserve” for potential terrorists and mass shooters
  • You must follow all lawful military orders promptly, without question and without backtalk or face serious trouble: the US military is a dictatorship: you sign away many rights when you volunteer to join
  • The MEPS [military entrance processing station] personnel, military and civilians alike, are not going to be nice when you go through there for the physical; they’ll be checking more than your heartbeat; they are checking attitude and demeanor; they will humble you in order to tempt you to say something back to them so that they may disqualify you for military service; they will tell you to hurry up and do things like there is no tomorrow like taking your clothes off for the spread-your-cheeks inspection; it is the job of MEPS to try their damndest to keep you out of the service; everybody (peers, military authorities and civilians) is going to get on your case when you join
  • The service is not for slow-pokes or lazy people; you will be expected to do everything you are told to do, even utilizing the latrine and putting our shoes on, like there is no tomorrow
  • Some grown men don’t like for women to yell or growl in their ear or tell them what to do; in the US military, because of social experimentation and perhaps “wokeness”, you will be subject to having women in power over grown men; this includes drill sergeants; they are not nice little cupcakes
  • The military is a paper bureaucracy: are you there to do battle with an armed enemy or master desk job skills?
  • It is recommended that you don’t drink or smoke before entering the service: do not be overweight or over-fat; be sure to be physically fit; ideally, for males, you should be able to run two-miles in under 12 minutes, do at least 75 proper pushups in two minutes and do at least 65 proper sit-ups in two minutes: a good regimen of weight training, bench press, aerobics, stretching and calisthenics is recommended before going in; ask your recruiter for information regarding military fitness/weight standards before committing to sign up; in the army and marines, especially, PT (physical training) will be your number one challenge; it’s best to have your fitness conquered before entry into service to get it out of the way; ask your recruiter to demonstrate the correct form for a pushup and a sit-up: you might do a personal trainer fitness program beforehand to snap into shape before joining the service: conquering PT is about 90% of the battle for military service, if you are fit enough to max out your PT test, all the other crap in basic training will be chicken feet
  • There is an old policy in the service known as “hurry up and wait”; you will often be made to do things on the double only to wait forever afterwards
  • f you are a landlubber or even get seasick on a party boat fishing, don’t even think about the navy: in the navy, you are often confined to a ship for months at a time: there is no taking almost every weekend off to drive in your automobile downtown to bowl with your buddies or chase women: in the army, if you go infantry, you will be married to your pup tent, your weapon, your ruck, your e-tool and life in the field; you might not shower for up to two weeks and weekends off to go downtown can be quite scarce; infantry field duty or training for 3 weeks out of a month is not uncommon
  • In the American service, you are subject to UCMJ, Uniform Code of Military Justice, which is federal law based upon old-English law: disobeying military authority or disrespecting military superiors could lead to criminal prosecution; court martial; the penalties for crimes committed while in uniform are much harsher than in the civilian sector: petty theft in uniform could lead to a dishonorable discharge and maybe even imprisonment at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas; having sexual relations with an underage person, even if that person consented, is considered statutory rape and may be punishable by death in the military
  • Military recruiters are reputed to lie or give inaccurate information to prospective recruits to meet enlistment quotas: take everything they say with a grain of salt
  • The military is a vast minefield of potentially-nasty surprises: always expect the unexpected: always keep your **** wired tight: never get caught with your pants down: learn to be comfortable outside your own comfort zone
  • You may have to travel on a military cargo plane at one time or other during your military career: to prevent traveler’s diarrhea especially for those with irritable bowel syndrome or who are white-knuckle flyers, always carry on your person and be taking Immodium in advance before getting on the plane: do not eat any food or drink any beverages except water for at least three hours before boarding: you may not be allowed to use the ****ter on board the aircraft for two hours or more
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
I have had my past military service weighing on my mind heavily lately. I feel it is my moral obligation to spread the down-and-dirty truth all over social media about what joining the service is really all about. Military joiners will not get all or any of this information from military recruiters or MEPS personnel. Some military recruiters are reputed to lie or give inaccurate information to enlistees. My personal knowledge based upon experience will better prepare prospective recruits physically, mentally and emotionally so they are not in for a horrible shock when the drill sergeant comes on board the bus. Some of the truths from firsthand experience I tell might be a deal-breaker to some. The more you know. It's better to make informed decisions ahead of time and plan ahead. Once the dotted line is signed and the right hand is raised, it's too late to turn back.
 

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I happen to have been in the Army about the same time, 90-96.

I agree with most, but not all of what you have here.

I don't think the MEPS personnel and the DSs are trying to drum you out. They are simply trying to break you down so they can rebuild you. Now if you end up completely broken or prove unbreakable, then yeah you're out. I got to MEPS 3 days before my BT started and it was hell. It was the most boring time in my life. I waxed and buffed the same floor about 10 times.

You have the pushups and sit-ups reversed. You need to do more sit-ups than pushup to get max score. Also the standard for men just to get into BT is 12 pushups. The DS will take it from there, lol. Also, even the youngest age group gets a max score on the run if they do 2 miles in 13 minutes or less.

Complete truth with the hurry up and wait. That is just military life

I would also add that you need to be prepared to go with minimal food. I can't count how many times I ate on my way to the trash can. Often we would still be in line to get chow and someone in our company that was already sitting starts talking. The DS says if you have time to talk then you are done eating, which means EVERYONE is done eating. I went from 185 to 160lbs in BT.

I wouldn't trade my military experience for anything. It was exactly what I needed personally and professionally. It also afforded my new wife and I the opportunity to live in Korea for a year. Another experience I wouldn't trade for anything.


I wonder how much different it is today. I knew some people that went through BT a year or two after me and it seemed like they described a gentler and kinder version of BT, but I don't know first hand.
 

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I have had my past military service weighing on my mind heavily lately. I feel it is my moral obligation to spread the down-and-dirty truth all over social media about what joining the service is really all about. Military joiners will not get all or any of this information from military recruiters or MEPS personnel. Some military recruiters are reputed to lie or give inaccurate information to enlistees. My personal knowledge based upon experience will better prepare prospective recruits physically, mentally and emotionally so they are not in for a horrible shock when the drill sergeant comes on board the bus. Some of the truths from firsthand experience I tell might be a deal-breaker to some. The more you know. It's better to make informed decisions ahead of time and plan ahead. Once the dotted line is signed and the right hand is raised, it's too late to turn back.
Honorable intentions, but there are several points in your initial post that appear to be an anecdotal point rather than something everyone experienced.

At the top of that list is the last sentence, which shows a lack of understanding of the enlistment process.

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Honorable intentions, but there are several points in your initial post that appear to be an anecdotal point rather than something everyone experienced.

At the top of that list is the last sentence, which shows a lack of understanding of the enlistment process.

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Quite true. I witnessed many people get out at various times, without a dishonorable discharge. Many just aren't cut out for it and sometimes that isn't discovered until BT or beyond.
 

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Go woke, no recruits.
This is quite possibly the LEAST impactful factor in recruiting right now, or at least not a meaningful factor...and this is coming from someone who DESPISES woke policies in any form.

Correlation does not equal causation.

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This is quite possibly the LEAST impactful factor in recruiting right now, or at least not a meaningful factor...and this is coming from someone who DESPISES woke policies in any form.

Correlation does not equal causation.

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I would hope not, in the US military, but too much forced gender bending kowtowing and CRT ish stuff is happening in the military re PC, and that imo does indeed figure into the lack of military age males now interesting in enlisting.

No way it doesn't.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Honorable intentions, but there are several points in your initial post that appear to be an anecdotal point rather than something everyone experienced.

At the top of that list is the last sentence, which shows a lack of understanding of the enlistment process.

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I know. I was only speaking from my own personal experiences. I am no expert on enlistment processes as I was never a recruiting NCO. I was a 63B10, light-wheeled vehicle mechanic and of course, an American soldier. I had minimal field duty in the army because of my MOS (trade). Occasional FTX's and ARTEPs. Once in a blue moon, a detail in the field like guarding ammunition, 2.75 inch rockets or some stupid crap. Most of the time weekends off unless I got CQ or battalion runner duty.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Nothing you said surprises me in the least.
Wouldn’t have even over a year ago before my boy joined the Navy. He loves it and is doing great.
As an army mechanic and a land animal, I enjoyed the fact that I got off for the weekends most of the time. My father was an electrican's mate in the navy in the latter half of the 1950's. He had duty on aircraft carriers mostly. He told me that I would be stuck out on a ship at sea for a long time. He told me about the girls of the evening he met in the Phillipines. I really am the type of person who hates to be cooped up. In spite of being stuck out on a ship, I thought the navy might still be "fun". I got an arcade game cartridge for Intellivision in 1982 called Sea Battle from my mother at Christmas. I attempted to go navy in 1984 but the MEPS said no. I tried again in 1985 and the MEPS still said no. The MEPS shrink said I had a "dull personality" whatever the hell he meant. I even hated the navy recruiters, petty officers, I saw. They were a___holes. I'm so damn glad to this day that the navy did not take me in the end. I would have been one very unhappy seaman.

Three years later, the army would take me at age 24 and the rest is history. The worst thing I hated about the field was those damn camo nets and poles. In one field artillery unit I was stationed at, during FTX's we were jumping constantly and dealing with those stupid things in the dark. I was constantly dog tired in the field. Sleep deprivation. The frequent jumping, including night jumping, field artillery does is why they were called gun bunnies. Getting vehicles stuck in the mud left and right was a nightmare for us army mechanics that had to do recovery operations.
 

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As an army mechanic and a land animal, I enjoyed the fact that I got off for the weekends most of the time. My father was an electrican's mate in the navy in the latter half of the 1950's. He had duty on aircraft carriers mostly. He told me that I would be stuck out on a ship at sea for a long time. He told me about the girls of the evening he met in the Phillipines. I really am the type of person who hates to be cooped up. In spite of being stuck out on a ship, I thought the navy might still be "fun". I got an arcade game cartridge for Intellivision in 1982 called Sea Battle from my mother at Christmas. I attempted to go navy in 1984 but the MEPS said no. I tried again in 1985 and the MEPS still said no. The MEPS shrink said I had a "dull personality" whatever the hell he meant. I even hated the navy recruiters, petty officers, I saw. They were a___holes. I'm so damn glad to this day that the navy did not take me in the end. I would have been one very unhappy seaman.

Three years later, the army would take me at age 24 and the rest is history. The worst thing I hated about the field was those damn camo nets and poles. In one field artillery unit I was stationed at, during FTX's we were jumping constantly and dealing with those stupid things in the dark. I was constantly dog tired in the field. Sleep deprivation. The frequent jumping, including night jumping, field artillery does is why they were called gun bunnies. Getting vehicles stuck in the mud left and right was a nightmare for us army mechanics that had to do recovery operations.
My son was always a mess at home and school, but a superstar at the jobs he held. Kinda typical for an ADHD kid. Had 4 jobs at once in his senior year because he’d quit to improve his situation, but previous bosses would hunt him down and make him offers he couldn’t refuse. He took direction seriously and doing a good job was important to him. Suffice to say, his command loves him. And for all he struggled with in HS, he was never unintelligent. He scored quite well on the test and was able to choose a very good rate. The kid blows me away with where he was and where he is now. Very proud of him.
 

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I come from a military family. I wouldn't ever joint the military in any form or capacity, unless my country is for real being attacked. And yes, I'm trained for weapon handling, and taking care of them. I only use my weapon for recreational target shooting, and in the event (which so far never has happened) that I need to defend myself, my home, or family.

I know all the entails to be in the military. But what I hate the most is how they lie to you, to recruit you, to send you to fight wars around the world for no other purpose other than political, economical, and militaristic views and purposes, such as "weapons of mass destruction" bullshits lies. And before I forget, the way a lot of veterans are thrown to lions after they come back home. Not to mention what social agendas crap are doing to the military.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
I was an enlisted man, the difference between enlisted and officer, huge.
One of my drill sergeants told me that the noncommissioned officers were the backbone of the army. These officers are actually enlisted. The best commissioned officers were at one time enlisted men. They were down in the trenches and foxholes standing in the mud up to their knees once just like ordinary soldiers. Officers from ROTC and the various academies are not very good leaders of soldiers in battle. One of my first sergeants got into a fist fight with one scrawny little young punk 1st lieutenant and you should guess correctly as to who was boss in this fight. Many of these idiots fresh out of the academy or ROTC can't fire a weapon very well or even march. As a specialist, I once graded my command sergeant major on a PT test and this man even had a "pumpkin" on his chest. It made me feel proud and mighty to grade a high-ranking NCO with drill sergeant history. He was a bit cross at me for making his coffee too strong one morning while I was pulling batallion runner duty. I made it double strength like I liked to to keep me awake.

The way one goes from enlisted to OCS, officer's candidate school, is by having at least an associate's degree and not being past 30 if memory serves me correctly. You might ask this to an army recruiter to be certain. I would want an officer (commanding me in battle as a soldier) who was once under the discipline, rigors and training of army drills sergeants. An officer who was once hurried off the bus in basic training by the guy in the smoky the bear hat the same way all other enlisted soldiers were. I would even more prefer an officer with prior NCO experience.
 

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One of my drill sergeants told me that the noncommissioned officers were the backbone of the army. These officers are actually enlisted. The best commissioned officers were at one time enlisted men. They were down in the trenches and foxholes standing in the mud once just like ordinary soldiers. Officers from ROTC and the various academies are not very good leaders of soldiers in battle. One of my first sergeants got into a fist fight with one scrawny little young punk 1st lieutenant and you should guess correctly as to who was boss in this fight. Many of these idiots fresh out of the academy or ROTC can't fire a weapon very well or even march. As a specialist, I once graded my command sergeant major on a PT test and this man even had a "pumpkin" on his chest. It made me feel proud and mighty to grade a high-ranking NCO with drill sergeant history. He was a bit cross at me for making his coffee too strong one morning while I was pulling batallion runner duty. I made it double strength like I liked to to keep me awake.

The way one goes from enlisted to OCS, officer's candidate school, is by having at least an associate's degree and not being past 30 if memory serves me correctly. You might ask this to an army recruiter to be certain. I would want an officer (commanding me in battle as a soldier) who was once under the discipline, rigors and training of army drills sergeants. An officer who was once hurried off the bus in basic training by the guy in the smoky the bear hat the same way all other enlisted soldiers were. I would even more prefer an officer with prior NCO experience.
I get it I was honorably discharged as an E-5 and understood very well the way in which the system worked.

If I had it to do all over again, no way would I have gone the enlisted route. The system is geared for officers to have a career not the enlisted ranks (except for the few who actually get to the E ranks as you said that run it).
 
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