Why should anyone seriously consider a military career?
It’s a legitimate question. But it’s also important to know that for the overwhelming majority of people entering military service, few make the military a lifelong career.
Instead, they typically serve a three- or four-year enlistment, then resume their civilian lives and career paths.
Because the military is one of a few occupations that can serve either as a stepping stone or as a rewarding career, a second question regarding military service might be needed: Why should anyone consider a few years (as opposed to a career) in the military?
The answers for both questions might lie in just what military service provides, and how it can be an advantage in almost every sector of business.
What does military service provide?
In the business world, leadership is a much sought-after skill. Leadership should not be confused with management. Managers are plentiful, but leaders are scarce. A good manager knows the responsibilities of their subordinates. A leader not only understands the responsibilities of those in his or her charge, but also knows how to motivate subordinates to do their best and to function as a team.
The average first-term, enlisted member of the military is under 23 years old. Many are fresh out of high school. Yet unlike private enterprises, the military provides specialized training, then heaps generous amounts of responsibility on novice soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines. Not only are they tasked with making life-and-death decisions, but they are also entrusted with multimillion-dollar systems and pieces of equipment.
After successfully completing just a single enlistment, many young veterans are viewed as valuable and reliable assets to prospective employers. Not only have they already received top-notch training, just as their non-veteran rivals fresh out of college or civilian technical schools, but they have already proven that they can apply what they have been taught.
For those making a career of the military, which is normally 20 years of active-duty service, most find themselves extremely marketable in supervisory and management positions in business and industry.
A typical retiree may be under 40 years of age when returning to civilian life—still young enough to start a second career. Making the deal even sweeter for the military retiree is that after picking up a new career, they could receive two paychecks—a military retirement check and a paycheck from their new job.
Many military retirees sock their retiree pay away into investment funds or savings accounts, building a nest egg that can allow them a fairly comfortable and early retirement from the civilian