Was Serving In The Military Your Life and if so Why?

People I meet in civvy street often ask me what life was like in the Army and do I miss it. Was it my life?

Without missing a beat my answer is always YES, and I'd go back and do it all again in a heartbeat.

Why?

Because I gave the Army the best 24 years of my life. Blood, a lot of sweat, and a few tears. And in return the Army gave me my wife and two sons, the happiest and saddest times all rolled into one. The Army gave me the opportunities that old school mates, who never left the town they grew up in, could only dream of. The chance to build a career and provide security for my family.

That said, I was lucky, I never went to war, never killed anybody that I know of, and I dont have a chest full of medals to wear on Remembrance Sunday. What I do have are the treasured memories of the things I have done, the things I have achieved. A dodgy hip, and some physical scars that will always remind of the great times I had.

Those of you who have suffered horrific injuries giving service to your country, I salute you. Those of you who have lost comrades in battle, I salute you. Stay strong, be proud, and never give in.

All these things did, and will always, make me proud to say, Yes, I was a Soldier, and unless you have too, you will never truly understand.



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It was my life while I did it, now it isn't. It was a reasonably good 12 years but I was never an exceptional soldier and most who knew me when I was in would say I was a bit of an arse, but that was 30 years ago now.
 
Joined at 17, still serving almost 37 years later. I will probably take an FTRS contract when my regular service ends in a few months.

So I guess that’s a yes :)
 
Was Serving In The Military Your Life and if so Why?
It was my life for 22 years.

Through good times, bad times, laughs, tears, blood and snot. That was just SCBC & PSBC :D :D

Do it all again - You better believe it.

Wake up call, grow up fast call for an 18 year old.

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CatsEyes

War Hero
Yes and no. I'm very proud of my military service, in 2 out of the 3 we have. At heart I'll always be a squaddie, and loyal towards my first Oath of Allegiance, the Army rather than the RAF. I had a great time and learned a lot. Do it again? Yes, without doubt.

Since leaving, I've been through another career, so although I don't say the military has "been my life", my life would not be the same today without the experiences I was fortunate enough to have accumulated.
 

Chalkster69

Old-Salt
It seemed like it was at the time, now I've moved on and I have a different life.

Had a whale of a time, but I've been doing what I'm doing now for longer than I was a squaddy & quite frankly, I don't miss the fecking around, the idiots in charge & the pointless bullshit....

Plus I look at some of the unit pages on Facebook & realise that I only associated with half of the people as I had no choice and that, actually, they were twats then and they're older, fatter twats now!!
 
It was okay, especially at the start, I did alot of things my civvie peers would never experience from boxing to necking a top shelf on promotion to sunbathing in Caye Caulker to parachuting to riding a camel, as time went on it got shitter, with the Army turning into a risk averse, PC, hypocritical bureaucracy.

Would I join again? Would I ****, civvie street is a lot easier, pays more with less bullshit or being treated like a ****.
 

CatsEyes

War Hero
It seemed like it was at the time, now I've moved on and I have a different life.

Had a whale of a time, but I've been doing what I'm doing now for longer than I was a squaddy & quite frankly, I don't miss the fecking around, the idiots in charge & the pointless bullshit....

Plus I look at some of the unit pages on Facebook & realise that I only associated with half of the people as I had no choice and that, actually, they were twats then and they're older, fatter twats now!!
After the military, I went into the Civil Service, so I still had that wrapped around me in my second career. Lucky, or what?
 

Helm

MIA
Moderator
Book Reviewer
Probably the best period of my life, mainly because single, lot of cash to piss up against a wall, and no responsibility other than Army ones.
 
Its an interesting question.... I did the 9 years as an RTG(R Signals), saw a few bullets flying and then a very brief stint in the TA Light infantry. I admit, to have had some mental issues and grew a little angry about life and the usual before-army problems from childhood, had to be finally settled.. From that moment, I binned off my army experiences for another decade and never mentioned anything.

However, once your into your 40s, my view is you start to get more nostalgic about your glory days and the forces is one of the places, you can genuinally get a feeling of doing something glorious and worthwhile. I think its noticable that the old timers who saw extended combat kept shtum into probably 50/60s.
 

4(T)

LE
IMHO the best character-forming and life-preparation experience for a youngster, bar none.

My military experiences in the British Army and elsewhere as a young man were fantastic, and very little has since come close. I pine for my lost youth - waterbottle on hip, (that) rifle in hand, etc.

However, I'm probably of that last generation (Africa, BAOR, etc) that experienced the army in its traditional form, before the steep decline in numbers and - arguably - ethos that set in.

I ended my British military career embittered, with a deeply negative view of the CoC and the way moral cowardice and progressive dogma were becoming the new norm - not least through nearing losing my life because of it.

I couldn't serve in today's army; I probably wouldn't last five minutes before conflicting with the new cultural rules.
 

Fake Sheikh

War Hero
6 years of good training, hot countries & no one trying to kill me, its hard being held back just in case..
Boring as hell, hardly any gongs but did install discipline & a sick sense of humour in me.
Also taught me if to respect others what ever cnut they might be.
 
Enjoyed my 35ish yrs overall, some good times and bad, bit like everywhere really in that respect. Met some good people I'd walk over hot coals for, some throbbers who I wouldn't pi55 on if they were on fire and most were just OK again just like everywhere.

I joined partly because I was programmed to having a father who served, partly because I desperately wanted out of Burnley and partly because I wanted to work on army kit rather than be an apprentice at Ribble Bus Coy.

I stayed because I found I was good at working on army kit, often working late into the night on my own and at weekends. I missed out on quite a bit because of that but looking back I'd do the same again. I also stayed because I enjoyed going on Ex and because I found a place I came to see as home, people who looked after me and gave me a boot up the Arrse when I needed it and sometimes when I didn't, people that fed me when I was hungry, people who served me alcohol that was cheaper than anything in civvy street and people who helped you through the hangover that followed because they knew how you felt. I enjoyed the few times I was fortunate to go on adventure trg, except the time we were in the Highlands and my crampons kept coming loose going up a effin big hill.

I was fortunate to leave on Options for Change and have jobs in civvy street, fortunate to get the chance to join the TA 3 years later as my wife realised I was missing army life, fortunate to be encouraged to go to FRY which re-kindled my army bug fully despite the way my tour ended, fortunate enough to get an FTRS post because of my experience and fortunate to get an NRPS job which allowed us to move to Scotland which is where we wanted to retire to at the end of it all. I left because I was Medically Discharged and again in that I was fortunate because 3 years later my job didn't exist.

Would I do it all again knowing how it turns out, yes I would, it made me the sarky old knackered git I am today, full of outdated knowledge and keen to tell anyone who can't escape how it was better in my day.
 
I was walking the dog on a wooded area of a golf course. It was a warm windless night, just moonlight. Me and the dog.

For a moment I was still there. Just a fleeting moment and it was gone.

It was a good feeling.
 
It wasn’t my life. Was just something to do for a few years. I put everything into it though, no half measures or being a jack cu nt.

Didn’t join for a career, was just a young lad looking for a bit of adventure. Was fcuk all else in Newcastle in 98/99.

Was just really fortunate that during my time in service it was really busy ops wise. I really wouldn’t want to be in a peace time army, it sounds fcuking shit.

If I stayed in I would now be two years short of the 22 year point. I think I’d of at least been a full screw or something. One thing I could never do was screw the nut in the barracks.

Time served: about 9 years

Capbadge: RE (building shitters on tour scruffy cu nts)

Best posting: 51 PARA SQN. Hero’s of the free world. Women wanted us, men wanted to be us. Maroon adorned machines with chiseled bodies, massive schlongs and movie star good looks.

Proudest achievement: winning my milling on P Coy. Pure fluke, but fcuk it a win is a win.

Worst event: breaking leg on buckskee PARA jump one day. Fcuk my life. Had a stupid walk/ swagger before hand, it’s fcuking worse now. Cheers RAF.

Funniest memory: using the shura shack in PB Wahid Afghan as my after dark w ank tank

Biggest regret: getting caught out once with that classic ‘who wants their motorbike licence?’ I was young.

Would do again: pumping a medic chick that had false bangers. Only green fleet I ever touched.

Would not do again: PTI course. Gymnastics plyometrics white daps etc. Fcuk off.

Biggest change witnessed during my time: the roll out of Pay As You Dine. Seriously, someone’s head needs to roll for that. Total
Sh1t show.

Job now: Offshore Crane Operator and father to two daughters. Sharing a house with 3 females is harder than anything the army threw at me. I feel like everything prior to this was build up training.

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Can’t remember what I was looking at here that had me so unimpressed. Might of been watching someone making a midday attempt at cot bed build.

My two daughters are pretty much totally unaware of my service. Im saving it for old age so I can turn into a proper Uncle Albert type character.

One thing I do enjoy is when I find myself talking to an ex squaddie somewhere. Either at work or wherever and they start telling howling stories about weekend benders pissing and shitting themselves and going twos up on the same bird everyone else in the block had nailed the week before. Immediately know they are gen :lol:
 
Did you hand them back when you left?
That is droller than a droll thing. But that's what I like about Arrse, no one has a sense of humour quite like it, which was until joining Arrse one of the things I missed;);)
 
Enjoyed my 35ish yrs overall, some good times and bad, bit like everywhere really in that respect. Met some good people I'd walk over hot coals for, some throbbers who I wouldn't pi55 on if they were on fire and most were just OK again just like everywhere.

I joined partly because I was programmed to having a father who served, partly because I desperately wanted out of Burnley and partly because I wanted to work on army kit rather than be an apprentice at Ribble Bus Coy.

I stayed because I found I was good at working on army kit, often working late into the night on my own and at weekends. I missed out on quite a bit because of that but looking back I'd do the same again. I also stayed because I enjoyed going on Ex and because I found a place I came to see as home, people who looked after me and gave me a boot up the Arrse when I needed it and sometimes when I didn't, people that fed me when I was hungry, people who served me alcohol that was cheaper than anything in civvy street and people who helped you through the hangover that followed because they knew how you felt. I enjoyed the few times I was fortunate to go on adventure trg, except the time we were in the Highlands and my crampons kept coming loose going up a effin big hill.

I was fortunate to leave on Options for Change and have jobs in civvy street, fortunate to get the chance to join the TA 3 years later as my wife realised I was missing army life, fortunate to be encouraged to go to FRY which re-kindled my army bug fully despite the way my tour ended, fortunate enough to get an FTRS post because of my experience and fortunate to get an NRPS job which allowed us to move to Scotland which is where we wanted to retire to at the end of it all. I left because I was Medically Discharged and again in that I was fortunate because 3 years later my job didn't exist.

Would I do it all again knowing how it turns out, yes I would, it made me the sarky old knackered git I am today, full of outdated knowledge and keen to tell anyone who can't escape how it was better in my day.
'Better in my day' - Its the eternal argument...... I would rather have done my service with WW2 ROEs, than our crappy Lawyered up rules and probably worse again now. In my 9 years, from mid 80s to mid 90s, I felt the equipment improved, apart from the personal weapon. But, the trust between ORs and Officer/SNCO was loosening towards the end, as the services started to shrink, that process slowed after 9/11, but is likely renewed when someone returns to proper soldiering (see guardsmen).
 

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