I'm am currently 6 months into AFC Harrogate and I'm starting to consider whether joining the army was the best thing to do. I am currently aspiring to join the rifles but I've met a lot of servicemen that have told me to think twice about joining the army as this really is not what it seems. It just feels like i'm missing out on a lot of experiences to be had. I am not criticising the army at all as so far I've had some good experiences, but I just can't help feeling like it's not the best option when my mates are getting better opportunities, earning more money and seeing the world on holidays while I'm stuck in the drill shed at 9pm on show parade.
I decided to write this on here to get the opinions of ex servicemen which I will really take into consideration because right now the only thing stopping me from leaving is disappointing my family and friends.
Harrogate like most training establishments is not the army that you will encounter once training is finished, its totally different in that the DS are attempting to break you down and build you up in their image, that is to be a fully functioning soldier, able to adapt to the changing conditions that you will eventually face. Stick with it, see it through, once your training is over, and you get to your first working unit, that is where you earn your corn, and at the same time enjoy the facilities, the camaraderie and friendships that will last a life time. The comments from other soldiers, serving and retired reflect their triumphs and failures, every mans take on a soldiers life is different, but every soldier relies on his muckers, as they do on him.
The very fact that you took the queens shilling is enough in the eyes of family and civvie friends, you are doing it for yourself, to further your lifestyle choices, and remember, training is only a small fraction of your time in uniform. My time in training was horrific, back in the early 70s it was a lot tougher, living conditions were by your standards Spartan, bulling boots, button sticks, floor bumpers, etc, I emerged 12 years later a PSI, a more than competent tradesman, able to take anything that life threw at me, AND that is the legacy of a soldier.