There are pros and cons of joining the armed forces, here are some of the main ones.
The main 'pros'
Recruits say that some of the main benefits of life in the forces are:
- New challenges
- Global travel
- Active lifestyle, including sports and adventurous training
- Personal development and the chance to rise through the ranks
- Physical fitness
- Help with basic English and Maths skills
- Secure job (for most)
- Friendship and teamwork
The main 'cons'
But there are down-sides of joining the armed forces as well. Recruits say that some of the problems of military life are:
- Having much less choice in general than civilians, including little choice over when they can return to civilian life
- Spending a long time away from home
- The risks of mental harm or physical injury from warfare
- Bullying and harassment for some
- Sometimes disagreeing with the wars they are ordered to fight or with the way the wars are fought
- Sometimes having to do long and boring jobs
- Too many rules and regulations
- Difficulty resettling into civilian life after leaving the forces
How satisfied are people in the armed forces?
The recruitment booklets, websites and DVDs give the impression that everyone in the armed forces is happy but this is not true. There are more satisfied than dissatisfied people in the armed forces but they tend to be less satisfied than civilians.
Whether you loved or hated being in the armed forces could depend on:
- The sort of person you are
- What the people around you were like
- The sort of job you did in the forces (there are many)
- How well you were supported by your family and friends
- What you wanted to get out of the forces
- Whether or not you went in with your eyes open, which means understanding the pros and cons before you sign up!
Test yourself on what you know about joining the armed forces.
[Selected sources: Armed Forces Continuous Attitude Survey, 2012; Armed Forces Pay Review Body, 2006; Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development, 2009]
Last Updated on Saturday, 20 October 2012 00:22