Top 7 Ways to Serve Your Country without Joining the Military

There are a lot of good ways to serve your country without joining the military.  Sure, serving in the military is a good way to serve, but there are many other great options as well.  Many people want to do something to serve their country, but not everyone has the desire or the capability to serve in the military.  Some folks have medical issues, arent’ qualified for service, or simply don’t have the desire to put on the uniform.

What I want to do in the paragraphs below is share 7 alternative ways to serve your country without joining the military.  I don’t expect you to agree with every method that I suggest, but I think this is a good starting point. They are listed in no particular order.

# 7 Peace Corps

I am a big fan of the Peace Corps!  This is a great alternative to military service for some people.  The stated mission of the Peace Corps includes providing technical assistance, helping people outside the United States to understand American culture, and helping Americans to understand the cultures of other countries.

# 6 Law Enforcement

I understand that not everyone is a big fan of the police.  However, the police do have an important mission within each community they serve.  Serving as a police officer, in any capacity, is a great way to serve your country.

# 5  Start a Business

What is more patriotic than starting your own business and creating JOBS for others?  If you have the entrepreneurial spirit like I do, this could be a great alternative to military service.

# 4 Teacher

Teachers have a HUGE role in our society.  Teaching kids how to be productive and responsible adults is no small task.  If you have a desire to teach, this would be a great way to serve your country.

# 3 Working for the Government

Some people might not consider a “typical” government job as serving your country.  I disagree somewhat.  I believe that IF you have a government job and you do your best and are productive, that is a good thing.  If you look at your government job as MORE than just a job, you have the right mindset.  If you look for opportunities to serve the people you work for and work with, you’re doing things right.

# 2 Politics

I’m not a big fan of politicians.  You probably aren’t either.  That being said, being a politician can be a great way to serve your country IF you are in it for the right reasons.  If your heart really is to “serve the people” I think you could do a very good job as a local, state or federal politician.  We could use some more politicians who aren’t just looking out for themselves.

# 1 Loving Parent and Spouse

Without a doubt, the single most important unit in our country is the “family.”  Without a strong family unit, our country would fall apart (it already is).  One of the best things you can do is be a good spouse and parent.  Love your spouse.  Treat them well.  Provide for them.  Spend time with your kids.  Build a strong family unit.  Of all the things you could do on this list, this one is the most important.  Don’t neglect or forget about your kids while you build your career.

Final Thoughts

The bottom line is that there are MANY ways to serve your country without serving in the military.  Ultimately, you have to decide what is best for you and your family.  Whatever career you choose or decision you make, I encourage you to be the best that you can be and strive to make a difference.

What are your thoughts?  What do you think are the best ways to serve your country without joining the military? Leave a comment below to let me know what you think.  I look forward to hearing from you.

chuck holmes

Chuck Holmes
Former Army Major (resigned)

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16 thoughts on “Top 7 Ways to Serve Your Country without Joining the Military”

  1. The best way I can serve my country at the age of 62 is to serve my local community but in order to do that I need to stay on top of my own health. This is so important to me, that way I won’t become a health burden to my neighbors and family. Then I am able to do simple things like volunteer at a local produce market, go around my neighborhood and pick up trash and take pizza to a group of National-guards standing around on call all day. There are hundreds of opportunities right in your own backyard to love your neighbor as yourself. I think the little things, staying local and keeping it simple are the most priceless acts of kindness sometimes.

  2. The administration officials need to not put age restrictions on joining. Other services from non active duty , including, much more for the care.

  3. I fall under #3. I work for the FAA as an air traffic controller. I always wanted to join the Air Force but I ended up going to college and taking a different rout. I still have a desire to serve, I thought about joining the Air National Guard but the wife wasn’t too happy with that idea. So now I’m looking into becoming a volunteer firefighter. I guess what I do now is somewhat of a service in that I keep air travelers safe and occasionally get to talk to military pilots, but I want to do more. Thanks for your 7 alternatives, and thank you for your service.

  4. Another place that many might not consider in serving our country is peaceful protest in the form of marches and pickets when something is morally wrong. It is our duty as citizens to stand for right, and believe it or not, we are serving our country when we stand against misguided laws and political stances. I think of today’s issues of say abortion, gay marriage, government spending, and more. If we are apathetic, we are not serving our country.

  5. Have you ever seen a grown man shed some tears? I just did when I read your #1 way to serve our country.

    So many people have forgotten that family is the foundation of everything. Have you told your parents, your siblings, your children and grandchildren, and your spouse that you love them lately? Without the family, we have nothing.

    Since I moved here to Puerto Rico from the Midwest, something I have noticed about these people are the strong family ties. It is something I would like to see more of in the United States. I have been guilty of taking my family for granted.

    Great post Chuck. Made my eyes water.

  6. First, thank you for all the great insight and ideas. I follow your websight on facebook and also suscribe to your youtube channel. I feel the need to also suggest state defense forces and state guards as a honorable path of service.for those who want to serve in a military copacity but for some reason cant either for medical reasons or peesonal. I as a senior nco in the Sdf’s utilize your site to help improve and teach the non prior service members and to refresh myself in leadership and with ideas. Thank you for thisvalueable resource. You sir would be a great fit in a local state guard unit.

  7. Theresa Williams

    I think Peace Corps, working for the government, and politics are the obvious ways on this list to serve the country without joining the military. As you said, being a law enforcement officer can be rather controversial but is no less necessary. I think the most overlooked ways to serve on this list are starting a business, being a teacher, and building a strong family. These are the types of everyday things that people often forget, overlook, or neglect but are really the foundation of the country. I’d also add that doing the seemingly menial service jobs– like being a trash collector– actually need good people with a heart of service doing them and that they serve the country in a strong way, too. These are the people who are willing to do the grunt work that no one else wants to but is also essential for our daily living.

    1. Good points, Theresa. I tell everyone, “whatever you do, be the best you can be!” Take pride in your work. The world needs good bosses, moms, trash collectors, Soldiers, police officers, etc.

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