7 Things You Should Know Before Enlisting In The Military

Did you know that the US army is older than the country itself? George Washington, on 14 June 1775, led the creation of a unified Continental Army. The Second Continental Congress then passed it. However, the United States became a country only on 04 July 1776, after declaring independence. This is one of the reasons why the military is well respected and, aside from this, military personnel are willing to lay down their lives and sacrifice themselves for the their country so that its people may live in peace.

Joining the military is not easy. Besides passing the required examinations to be accepted, it takes a different kind of personal preparation to be fully prepared to become part of such a reputable organisation. If you are thinking about enlisting in the military, keep the following things in mind:

1. Self-Motivation Is Essential

Joining the military is a life-changing decision, and one which will most likely put your life in danger. Thus, if someone talked you into enlisting, you better have a deeper reason why you want to serve the country. Remember that once you join the military, you will be seeing and experiencing things you might not have imagined before. Also, it is not for the faint of heart. Always have a basis or a constant motivation to make you push harder and never give up.

2. Be Physically Fit and Healthy

During your boot camp, the training will be tough. You will learn the core values of the military as well as become more disciplined. Aside from this, your ability to work with a team will be evaluated. In conjunction with these lessons, you will be exposed to different service elements that involve physical, mental, and emotional challenges. It will be a form of survival. Thus, you need to prepare your mind and body and become physically fit to be ready for any challenge(s).

3. Initiative Is a Huge Factor to Success

Enlisting takes a lot of guts and drive. Thus, once you are accepted, you need to have the initiative to learn. Gone are the days when lying around the house is the only option to enjoy a lazy day. In the military, you only get to rest when you are allowed – meaning your skills and capacity to adapt will be your basis for getting through training.

Upon enlisting, waste no time and learn everything you can. Exercise, eat healthily, prepare your mind, practice combat techniques, and, most of all, prepare yourself mentally and emotionally for what is to come unless you want to receive a military reprimand for your inability to be the best you can be. Facing military administrative action can be tough and expensive, and you will need to have a skilled lawyer on your side to help craft your defence.

4. Meet With Your Military Recruiter

It is mandatory for everyone who wishes to join the military to meet with a recruiter. Your recruiter will provide you with the information you need to know – including service, training, and career opportunities. Thus, you should anticipate what you need to bring along during the interview and secure the documents they will be asking from you.

5. Prepare All Your Medical Records

Upon screening, your medical records will be reviewed. The committee will need to see your medical history (including past illnesses, operations, broken bones, etc.) and even your mental state. This will most likely be a make-or-break decision, and if you are lucky, you might get a waiver. Nevertheless, always come prepared with clean and honest documents, and prepare a few sets of copies in case you lose them.

6. Be At Your Best Behaviour

As an aspiring military person, a clean background is needed to avoid getting eliminated during the screening process. A background check will be conducted to ensure that you are a ‘good citizen’ of the state. Thus, it would be best to inform them of any criminal record beforehand before they find it out for themselves.

Do not omit information so that they will not doubt your character. If you do, you will break their trust, which is one of the most important foundations of every organisation, and you most likely will not qualify for their enlistment standards.

New York Army National Guard Sgt. 1st Class Theresa Barone-Lopez embraces her daughter Juliana at the Albany International Airport on Jan. 27, 2016. Barone-Lopez was among 50 Soldiers of the 42nd Infantry Division who deployed to Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in April 2015. They served as members of the headquarters element for Joint Task Force Guantanamo, and provided administrative support to the task force. Barone-Lopez lives in Amsterdam, N.Y. ( U.S. National Guard Photo by Master Sgt. Raymond Drumsta)

7. You Will Be Separated From Your Family

Being part of the military means being deployed elsewhere. This means you will not be seeing your family as much as you want, and you will be missing a lot of milestones over the years.

On the other hand, you will see different parts of the world and experience first-hand how it is on the battlefield. You will see the world differently, and this experience will shape who you are as a person.


The decision to join the military is not easy, nor one to take lightly. Thus, you should be prepared and be adequately informed about what you’ll get yourself into. It is an honour to serve one’s country, but one of the most important things to do to be worthy of doing so is to be committed and confident about your decision.


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