Friday, September 2, 2011

Decisions, Decisions

The decision to join the United States Military is not an easy one.  There are many things that need to be thought through before signing that contract and taking that oath, especially when you have a significant other to factor into the equation.  The decision to enter this new nomadic lifestyle has to be one that you both agree upon as it takes a lot of strength and dedication from both people.  It can really test your relationship and you need to be sure you have good communication with each other as that will be the #1 thing to make the whole experience easier.  My husband first brought up the idea to me a couple years ago when he was approaching graduating from college.  My first reaction when I heard “Military” was hell no!  I was convinced that it was not a lifestyle I wanted.  Slowly I managed to come around, but it took about a year’s worth of researching about the different branches and all of the Hubby’s options, in addition to many long discussions and having him telling me that it’s honestly always been an option that he’s entertained the idea of, not just something he decided on a whim because of a lack of other options.  I now think this is the best thing that we could have done for us and our future and I stand behind him 110%.

Every branch of the Military has its positives and its negatives, and different branches work best for different people depending on your preferences.  We first looked at the Air Force, but he decided against pursuing that option given how selective and competitive their Officer program is.  With this being something he wants the ability to make a career out of, he wanted to be sure to have the highest odds of being commissioned as an Officer.  We then looked at the Navy and the Hubby and I both quickly came to the same conclusion that we did not like the idea of him being away for sea duty on a ship or in a sub for extended periods of time.  He’s never really been interested in the Marines, so we ultimately ended up with the Army as being the branch that would work best, both career wise for him, providing him with the most potential options for advancement, as well as for our future family and time together.
The best advice I can give to anyone considering joining the Military is to research, research, research and learn as much information as you possibly can before making the commitment.  And then once he, or she, has signed and made the commitment, continue to research in order to learn ahead of time every possibility that could be headed your way!  In the new age of social media, Facebook and blogs can be really good sources to find out information by connecting with people who have been through what you’re facing and can give you the honest to God truth that you may not get from a recruiter.  It’s always nice to find people to connect with who are going or who have gone through the same thing as you.

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