List of Pros and Cons of Army
The United States Army is not for everyone. Enlistment is a choice and success depends on adaptability and acceptance of the pros and cons of Army life.
List of Pros of the Army
The Army provides the best skills training in the world. There is no field of endeavor that is not a part of the Army. The training that you get in the Army is extremely detailed. You have to pick a specialty and qualify through testing but successful completion of qualifications can open doors to you that prepare you for a career in the Army as well as a well-paid career in the civilian world.
The pay is good. Army pay may not equal civilian pay but your housing, utilities, medical expenses, life insurance, and other expenses are free. You also get tax breaks being a part of the Army. A comparison of the pay in the Army with most civilian jobs you can get with a high school diploma shows the Army pays better.
You can live in different countries and different parts of the United States. You get to experience different cultures first hand for an extended period of time. The experience is not only personally fulfilling but it allows you to do your job better. Experience dealing with other cultures and people is one of the most important attributes for a civilian career.
4. Financial support
The Army guarantees pay increases. Federal laws dictate that annual cost of living increases are paid to all Army personnel. You can advance through the ranks through training, testing, and achievement and increase your pay grade. The rate of pay is dependent on your willingness to put the time and effort into achieving goals.
The Army provides free educational opportunities while you are in the Army and after you leave. You are required to be in the Army for a few years before you can attend a college. Some course restrictions may apply to you depending on your Army specialty. When you are a civilian again, you can study anything you want and get as many degrees as you desire. Educational benefits are unlimited. The educational benefits can be used by your children and spouse as well.
6. Time off
The Army has an excellent vacation and leave structure. You get vacation days and leave days that accumulate every month you are in the Army. You can get as many as 75 days of vacation above and beyond requested leave or regular leave days. The Army gives you extra leave days to find a new home and get settled if you change locations.
7. Health care
Health care is free in the army. Health care is not only free it is required. The Army needs you to be as healthy and as fit as possible so they take the time to check you out at least once a year and provide any medicines or treatments you may need at no cost to you.
The Army will fly you anywhere for vacation. One of the perks of Army life is free flights. You have to fill out a form and make a request but you can usually get flights to anywhere on an Army plane or a civilian plane. This perk is great for vacations or visiting family if you are stationed in a foreign country.
9. Physical conditioning
You will become the best physical specimen that you could possibly be in the Army. Physical endurance above and beyond the normal is a necessity in the Army and you can be sure that your officers will see to it that you are fit.
You will develop a sense of purpose and a feeling of camaraderie in the Army that no other “job” can ever provide for you. Friendships that last a lifetime and a brotherhood in arms are not just a saying in the Army it is a fact.
List of Cons of the Army
People in the Army have a higher than average divorce rate. Being away from your spouse for extended periods of time can make you and your spouse vulnerable to extramarital affairs. You inevitably get caught and the indiscretion can often lead to a divorce. The divorce can be particularly trying if children are involved.
You are liable to be wounded mentally and physically in the Army. The army fights wars. While the Army does its best to repair any damage that you may sustain in action, you have to accept the fact that you may end up facing a life without a limb, the mobility you once enjoyed, or lingering mental malfunctions like post traumatic stress disorder.
There is a potential that you will be killed during you Army service. This is a reality that you must face. While the Army provides extensive benefits to your family in the event of your death, nothing can ever replace you to your family.
The food in the Army will sustain you. A few weeks of MREs will get on anyone’s last nerve. Food in the mess halls of most Army stations is good if not delicious. You get plenty of food but quality can vary.
5. Heath care
Health care standards in the Army have improved after recent investigations have shown a low level of care for wounded veterans and active service members. The Army has yet to claim that it is satisfied with the improved state of care in its hospitals and clinics.
6. Job security
Your Army career may be cut short by world events that you have no control over. The number of people in the Army goes up in times of threat and goes down in times of lower threat. Many Army positions can be eliminated in budget battles in Congress and the Senate.
You have to learn to take orders in the Army. A chain of command and orders are necessary for the Army to function. Many times you must suppress your personal feelings or preferences for the good of the unit and because you are ordered to do a task that makes you uncomfortable.