Enlistment can be complicated. Many people either do not listen, or they get confused, and they join the Armed Forces with expectations that are way out of line with reality. At other times, their expectations are fine, but they still got confused during the enlistment process and wind up thinking that things are one way and discovering that in fact situations and circumstances are different. There is an old saying: If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.
This is true with much of life, but also especially true of the Military. There are a number of misguided beliefs and in some cases, out and out lies that young people that join the military believe. So in an effort to clear some of them up we will examine them here.
If you don’t like the Military you can just quit. Unfortunately people every year that join the Service believe this to be true. Its not. If you don’t like the military, in short: Too Bad. Up until the time you leave for basic training, you CAN change your mind. But once you start basic, you are obligated. So it’s best not to join unless you are SURE its something that you want to be a part of.
Being sent to a combat area is unlikely. Well, we are currently involved in a War on Terror. So you tell me? If you join the Air Force and Navy (at the present time) your chances of being based on shore overseas in a combat area are reduced, but not eliminated. It depends on your selected military job, your branch of service, and the needs of the service that you join. Those three factors are the largest in deciding where you wind up serving your enlistment.
They don’t yell in Basic Training Anymore. In short: Yes they do. They just don’t yell as much as they used to. This is because it’s been found that mentoring is a more effective way to instruct and teach. But during the first fourteen to twenty one days, expect to be yelled at. Oh yes. More than once. Guaranteed.
Once you get out you wont have to be called back. In your first enlistment you are obligated for eight years. It doesn’t matter what your enlistment term is, this is true for everyone in the U.S. Armed Forces. The remainder of your time will be an IRR, or inactive ready reserve commitment.
These are just a few of the more common fallacies. When you join, ask lots of questions. And by all means, any promises, get it in WRITING. It will insure what you thought you heard, is what you wind up receiving.