8 Good Reasons And 7 Bad Reasons To Join The Army

Every choice a human makes has a reason behind it. Sometimes that reason is good, and other times it is a bad reason. I have witnessed people who have made good choices but for bad reasons, and I have seen humans make bad choices for good reasons.

A great example of a bad choice for a good reason was the day I was sitting in a courtroom to battle a traffic ticket I received and I watched as a man was called to the front. The police officer was also called up and the charges were read. The man had been arrested for shoplifting. When the officer was asked what the man stole, the answer was a pack of ground beef. Turning to the man, the Judge asked why. With tears, the man said softly that he just wanted to feed his family, and he pleaded guilty.

The man had made a bad choice for good reasons. He was fined $10 and the judge reached into his billfold and handed the man a $50 bill. He told him to pay the fine, and the Judge looked at the officer and asked him to take the man to the grocery store to purchase food for his family. There was not a dry eye in the courtroom.

With that point, I must say there is nothing wrong with joining the United States Army. But, the reason you are joining may be good or bad. I am going to list 16 reasons to join the Army. 8 of these reasons are good and 7 are bad. But, that equals 15; there is 1 reason that I really cannot determine if it is a good or bad reason. Maybe you can chime in at the end with your thoughts.

Good Reason #1: To Serve Your Country

No matter what anyone says, we live in the greatest country in the world. In all honesty, I believe every human who lives in the U.S. should have to serve for at least 2 years. It is those who choose to serve who have helped make this the best country.

Bad Reason #1: To Gain Respect

What comes to mind immediately is the late and great comedian Rodney Dangerfield. “I don’t get no respect.” Joining the Army will not get you respect. You earn respect by giving respect. You do not have to join the Army to get it.

Good Reason #2: V.A. Benefits

Joining because you know you will be well taken care of as a veteran is a good reason in my book. Some of the benefits could include:

  • V.A. hospitals

  • Disability compensation

  • Education

  • and much more

Bad Reason #2: Family Tradition

You know, I always did like that song by Hank Williams Jr called Family Tradition, but family tradition is not a good reason to join the Army in my opinion. Yes, many do, but I think it should be a matter of desire and not because others before did.

That is my opinion, and I bet there will be some who disagree.

Good Reason #3: Educational Benefits

A large percentage of people cannot afford the tuition of higher education. With the Montgomery G.I. Bill, soldiers can get higher education at a highly reduced rate, or even free. It does make good sense to join the Army for educational benefits.

Bad Reason #3: You Are Tired Of People Telling You What To Do

Excuse me, but I am laughing my tail off at this one. There are actually teenagers who will say this reason. Just wait until they meet that Drill Sergeant on day #1. “Get down and give me 25 maggot!”

Good Reason #4: Full Time Employment

There are communities around the United States where a job is hard to find that can support a family. I see nothing wrong with joining the United States Army to get that full time job you need.

Bad Reason #4: To Get Away From Family

Maybe you do not see eye-to-eye with your Mother, Father or both, but joining the Army to escape them is a terrible reason. I suggest you consider that reason carefully before signing the dotted line at the recruiter’s office.

Good Reason #5: Retirement

The U.S. Army offers a great pension plan for soldiers and officers who serve a certain amount of time. I believe the consideration of your retirement is a wise reason to join the Army.

Bad Reason #5: To Get Out Of Legal Trouble

Well, it is confession time. This is why I joined many years ago, and it was a bad reason. I will say that the Army helped me, but I was in the minority of those who go in for that reason who change. Usually, they are the ones who end up with Article 15s or even Court Martial.

Good Reason #6: To Learn New Skills

This somewhat goes along with education, but you can learn a variety of skills that will help you in civilian life. Leadership is a huge skill to learn. Take advantage of it.

Bad Reason #6: To Kill

If this is your reason, you need serious help! Go see a psychologist and please do not seek a place in the United States Army. They do not need anyone like you.

Good Reason #7: Money

Yes, you can make a pretty good living in the Army. If you put your mind to it and work forward, you will gain promotions and make more money. Just do not let this be your all-in-all factor, because as is written: Money is the root of evil.

Bad Reason #7: A Dare

Just because your buddy dares you to join the Army is not a good reason to join. What if he dares you to rob a bank? Will you?

Use some common sense.

Good Reason #8: Medical Benefits

This somewhat falls into the V.A. Benefits, but while you serve, you are medically covered along with your family. The medical insurance from the United States Military is 2nd to none.

The Reason I Cannot Determine: Travel

Many people would put this in the good, but what about those who have traveled to undesirable places. I have spoke with soldiers who went to Afghanistan and hated every minute. I have spoke with soldiers who were stationed in Germany and loved it.

So, I am asking all of you reading this to share your travels with the Army, and if you rate it good or bad.

You can leave your comments, or questions in the area below.

Thanks for your service and for those considering: joining, just make sure you are doing it for a good reason.

chuck holmes

Chuck Holmes
Former Army Major (resigned)
Publisher, Part-Time-Commander.com
Email: mrchuckholmes@gmail.com

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2 thoughts on “8 Good Reasons And 7 Bad Reasons To Join The Army”

  1. There are some reasons not to join the military. Do not or cannot relocate. Have dependents without a contingency plan. Cannot give up on particular drug usage. Cannot stand being told what to do. Do not like working with other people. Cannot deal with violence and/or gory. Cannot deal with having little personal time. Do not want to be physically and emotionally stretched.

    1. Johndel Callora

      Hi Stephen, thanks for sharing your thoughts on why others do not want to be in the military. I think “fun” could also be a good or bad reason to be in the military.

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