Why are you joining?

This is borne from a conversation I had tonight with a sprog that is about to go in.

His answers were true and good, and pretty much the same as mine all those years ago, but it made me wonder why others have joined.

This is purely for people that are ABOUT to join, not for those of us that have already passed basic and trade and have the T Shirt and medals, so please, no "I joined because" stories.

You / I have already done it so it is irrelevant.

I want to know why people choose to join in today's climate.

Comments please.


I'm joining for the money.
I've always wanted to join the army since I was a kid. No military family and they're strictly against it (but feck 'em, I'm 19). Always loved watching films and documentaries on war, military etc. I used to be an "its my duty to help protect Britain" but Afghan and Iraq fecked that up. My pride in being British also helped sway me.


To make something of myself. I would hate to be stuck in an office all my life. I'm not from a military family, but I've never considered doing anything else.


Secure job with reasonable pay especially for younger boys like us. Obviously the lifestyle seems suited to my personality and I'm really up for the job I want to do.


I wanted to join from Uni, but my parents were against it. Then I went and bought a car etc on the never, never. Finally got rid of all my debts and can now join :)
The army interests me because I'm not a normal family kind of guy, thats prepared to live my life in the rat race. Spending an hour in traffic each way to get to my 9 - 5 job that I hate, to pay for kids I never wanted and a house thats smaller than I need. I want to do something with my life that means something, and do pretty cool interesting things along the way.


War Hero
9-5 in an office grinding my way through life just to make money really didn't appeal, also from a really early age I've been into military history.
No family military history though, they would rather I'd do something else but have been really supportive.

Oh and because green really brings out my eyes....


Got military history on all sides of the family mine and my wife's. And just saw the army as a next step always wanted to join. Filled out all the forms when i was 18 but mother putting pressure on me made me not do it. Now i'm 22 and living with wife and kid means i can do what i want now without parental pressure.


War Hero
Cause working in an office is stupidly dull. Bit of adventure , excitement. Stable job. All of my mates who were going anywhere erm , have. If I say here I'll turn into one of the people I loathe. I've always been a bit of a military buff anyhow , and I dont see why other guys should do thier bit without me doing mine. Loads of reasons really.

Family I feel are supporting me , not my decision , fair play to them I suppose. First words out of a girl I knows mouth when I told her were "Youre going to lose your legs". Which was pretty fucking awesome.
Job security, clear path of promotion, opportunity to gain new skills and qualifications, good pay and perks, good mates, travel, sport, adventurous training, pride, honour and respect. To actually live and experience.
Sick of all the very dull jobs ive had in civvi street don't want to look back in 20 years time and fink i wish i would have done that, wishing to leran new things make new friends as all the people round here will happily sit on there arrse until there 50 also have had family in RAf , navy and the army but the army is by far the most appealing to me.


Grown up hearing war stroies from relatives in the forcesand watch documentaires , and wanted to be in the army since I was about 5, no other job has intrests me and i want a job where if somone asks me what i do for a living i can say somthing that makes me proud when i say it.
Pay, Promotion and Training.

On civvy street you can get training but on poor pay, or you can get good pay and no future training and just tread water (my position)

For everyone joining the realistic situation is that you've got 40 yrs of your working life left, if you did 5, 10 or full term, you'll still have another career on the other side.

Life is there to be lived.


War Hero
Wanted to join the Army when i was younger, ended up moving away with my family, then came back and thought dran it.....popped into the office in my town.
Active lifstyle, travel, good holidays and pay, make loads of friends and have a good secure job aswell, who wouldn't want all that! But i think you defo have to want the millitary life to join up! My grandad was an RSM and love hearing the stories my dad tells me about all the travelling they've done!


I'm really bloody lucky to live where I do. Free education, free healthcare in a rich first-world country. I'm 18 now so I can vote, having the gift of a democratic country. Basically, I've been given a first-class upbringing in the best Nation on God's earth and I'd like be able to do the same for later generations, as those who fought before did for me.


In the current climate jobs are a) Hard to come by and if they are it's jobs with no prospects, no real future , and they require no physical or mental exertion from zed persons. Jobs like Mcdonalds, Burger King ... which i like to reffer to as dead-end jobs or flippin fake steaks. Or b) the high paying jobs which require A-Levels , degrees - even those are far and few between.

I left school at 16 with ample GCSE's hoping to make some money for myself... yes it was all a new thing back then. Now 4 years down the line - i'm fed up....life's becoming tedious doing the same ol thing day in day out, i need variation. I was in the Army Cadets for 3 years, although it's not the field force army,i got to the point where i realised how much i loved it , the weapons training, drill , Personal Admin - completely devoting my time and myself into one specific thing! I did better in the ACF than i did in my GCSE's! (Silly but heh , one of life's lesson right there)
I attempted to join up at age of 16 and to go for junior entry, sitting here now thinking about it - i was young and still did'nt really know what i wanted .... but now after 4years of nothing more exciting or intresting than going out of a weekend getting rat arrsed and waking up the next morning to feel the consequences.

I realise the army is for me... Job security , Job Variation (things are'nt going to be the same everyday of the week) , the discipline (people may not like it but from Civi life into Soldier - it'll cause a change of person - i know i will in me anyway - Take it on the chin and get over it), Fitness (people going to work , coming home monday to friday never get out of that routine and never really bother with fitness),

I personally have never really left the southwest of england apart from 2 family holidays, but with the army i'm this will change or it atleast has the ability to change!

This is just a vague idea as to why i want to join!

Syn :)

P.s - koliver82 - Life is there to be lived. - Exactly that! I don't want to get to 40 and think i could've done it.


EDITED TO ADD - I only have experience with a RN application not Army, but reasons much the same (before anyone tells me to pissoff to rumration).

Strangely enough Ive just had a pretty long conversation about this topic with a friend, who asked that exact question. And I seem to have raised more questions than I answered... I wouldnt say Im now having second thoughts but Im now going to sit down and have a long think about my future and what I really want from it.

I guess the short answer to your question would be "stable job, active lifestyle, opportunity to travel, interest in what I applied to do, decent pay".

The long answer - I had a decent "career" job from the age of 17, working in Insolvency, when I was 21 I left my job to go to Uni to study Psychology, prettymuch spur of the moment kinda thing, on reflection I didnt REALLY think about the life changes it would bring. Within a few months money was drying up so part time work was found in a local supermarket - it got to the point I had no option but to work to get by, and as a result I dropped out of uni and became a full time supermarket shelf monkey.

A year of working in the supermarket and I began to realise that I have so much more to offer to the world than putting biscuits onto shelves. I considered going back to the office full time, but jobs were sparse and I guess I was trying to find a way to explain my 18 month stint in a supermarket (to go with my 4 years of previous office work). Someone mentioned that a friend had joined up to the RAF and when I got home that morning I started having a look around on the internet and researched some forces jobs, I settled on the RN (at that point) and decided that it was worth looking into further at least. Some weeks later I decided to apply and the process began. I quit the smoking and started working on improving overall fitness, renewed the gym membership, group induction, passed my psychometric tests, opticians report, went for the the 1st interview then BAM hit a brick wall... "clear your debt before going any further sonny"... so the AFCO recruiter told me to go away for 6 months, sort my finances then come back and go from there.... and then the thinking started....

The weeks following my interview brought out some questions I didnt answer before I applied. Is this what I REALLY want? Im telling myself yes but how can I be sure? I was happy being a 9-5 clone, having evenings and weekends to do as I please, reporting to no one (outside of work) and all the other benefits that come with civvy life. So why not just go from supermarket drone to office worker clone and live my life as society intended... clear promotion prospects, good pay, stable market (insolvency is in this economey) but as I said previously, jobs seem to be few and far between at present, although Im lead to believe by some market pros theres about to be a "boom".

I guess I fooled myself with the usual good points people see in a career in the forces and didnt take into consideration the less appealing points.

Questions I now need to think about, in some serious depth before going back to the AFCO and saying yes this is what i DEFINETLY want are things like -

How many shoeings will it take before I start getting the discipline needed for such a job? (Im not a particularly diciplined person), and the shift from free agent to disciplined recruit is likely to be an earth shattering change.

How will I respond to being deployed into an active warzone (should it happen), could I do what Im expected without question? I guess this is something that is trained for, but it does take a certain type of person, not everyone is suited to this job... am I?

How will I respond when faced with a situation to which Im opposed? Im not really a political person... but I have opinions and a situation may arise where Im required to do something that have objections to. Am I willing to disregard my own opinions, I know for sure Ill be expected to... but can I?

Theres a whole host of other questions I need to answer before being sure that joining up is right for me, but to answer the origional question "Why are you joining?"... if Im honest .. I think I dazzled myself with the shiney points of a life in the armed forces, the stable career, the money, the chance to travel, being one of the lads... even making my parents that bit prouder of me... and only now I am realising there a whole other side to this...

Had the recruiter not stopped me at that point and told me to go and review my finances, I think Id still be happily plodding on though the process, by this point id probably have had my medical done and be halfway to raleigh... mabye it was a blessing in disguise... or have I started thinking too much about things that will just come naturally? Who knows....

I dont know... maybe this has been a post of waffle, I probably think too much.


for me, it's a chance to do something with opportunity!
I've always been pro army, travel, training, sports, fitness everything in one job, wait, hang on... life style.
i want to do something with my life that will hopefully make a difference, i can't see my self being a civvie
office and 9 - 5 seems bland to me, with the army, hopefully everything would be different when it happens
and finally to prove myself that i can do something with myself.

if anyone writes on here, coz i have nothing better to do, i think i will hit myself :)


For me it's a number of things

Secure job when there aren't many secure jobs around

I hate the idea of sitting in an office for the rest of my life

My time in the Army will be something I can tell my kids/grandkids about. I was pretty much captivated by my Grandad's stories of Oman and my great uncle's stories of the western front and Burma.

I'll get fitter.

I finish my A Levels next year, so I'll be 18 (just) and I'll be able to apply myself.

In 20 years time I'll be able to come on this forum and berate new users with stories of "real rifles" and how training was much harder in my day :p

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